THE FORGOTTEN WOMAN

Every day I have told many true inspiring stories about Indians. But today I want to make a slight twist in our story. The story concerns about the forgotten African women who helped India to battle against British in 1857. And killed a number of British soldiers before being shot . The women fought in Sikandra in Lucknow during the revolt of 1857.

If we talk about the revolt of 1857 without mentioning our female freedom fighter that would be a gross injustice because those valiant women’s contributions are unforgettable in every context of our Indian of history revolt. We can easily recall the name of Rani Lakshmi Bai, Begum Hazrat Mahal and alongside Matangini hazra without closing our eyes . And we discuss women from oppressed classes such as Jhalkari Bai and Uda Devi whose contributions to the war are less unheard of and arguably because they exist in the margins of society.

But there are many of women who redefines what it means to be an song mostly they remain absent from history textbook. Here comes the tales of that unnamed woman who was an African and briefly talk about in “Reminiscence of the great Mutiny (1857 1859) that had been published in 1910 by William Forbes Mitchell.

He requested one of his men to look up at the trees and see if someone was hiding in the thick leaves and branches. “I see him, sir!” the trooper shouted back. He cocked his rifle and fired, and down fell a limp body. Forbes-Mitchell writes that the body which fell from the trees was dressed in a “tight-fitted red jacket” and “rose-coloured silk trousers”. When the jacket burst open, it was revealed that the body was that of a woman’s. The trooper lamented his actions, and said, “If I had known it was a woman, I would have rather died a thousand deaths than have harmed her.”

“A considerable number of African slaves were imported to India by Arab slave traders, sometimes in collaboration with Indian slave traders,” Dr Rosie says. “This had been going on for centuries, where men, women, and children were being brought in from East Africa. So it’s possible our unnamed woman soldier either came directly from Africa or was born in India to African parents. King Wajid Ali Shah was fond of African women and women of mixed African/Indian blood, and Begum Hazrat Mahal herself was the daughter of an African slave.”

The Awadh Army, under Wajid Ali Shah, had a Hubshiyan Pulton, or the Black Platoon, Dr Rosie says. This was made up of African soldiers. “There wouldn’t have been any women in the platoon, but we know the king had a female cavalry bodyguard. British writers described them as ‘Amazons’ — female soldiers. This unnamed woman was almost certainly a part of this group. There is a Gulabi Pulton mentioned in the King’s Army, and it is possible that this was the name of the bodyguard. It is quite a feminine name for a platoon, and if you look at the description of what she was wearing, a red jacket and rose-coloured silk trousers, this makes sense,” Dr Rosie adds.

Dr. Rosie Llewellyn Jones, tells us ” She foughtto the death in Sikandar Bagh and killed several British soldiers”

Dr.Jones held a session that named battlefield Lucknow in which she recently discussed about this unnamed women’s contribution, which was a part of the Sanatkada Lucknow Festival. During her lecture in a deep voice of despair she said “unfortunately we don’t know about her and she is probably one of the many unsung heroes of the time”

 

Actually we should all grateful to those heroes. But nobody reciprocate. Nobody reciprocate the contribution that what they had done. Why we are going so selfish so self-centred. Nowadays if we feel that there is a need of us to join some movement or some kind of exploitations , maximum of us will not go because they have develop selfish care for themselves and their family only. Can you even thing a girl who is not from our country even had fight until his last breath for us is this is not a illustrative example of what straight spine can do!

Aditya Santra
" Came to inundate this world of dichotomy with words of adherence where limitation knows no deterrent "

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