AbstractsWomens Studies

Daughter of Kashi - Queen of Jhansi; Banaras dotter - Drottning av Jhansi

by Victoria Lundin

Institution: Karlstad University
Year: 2015
Keywords: History: history didactics: Use of History: India: Varanasi: Banaras: Benares: Jhansi: Queen of Jhansi: Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi: The Rani of Jhansi monument in Banaras: Oral history: First war of Independence: 1857-58: Sepoy Mutiny: Women's studies: women empowerment; Jhansi ki Rani; Historiebruk: Historiedidaktik: Indien: Varanasi: Banaras: Benares: Jhansi: Första frihetskriget 1857-58: Sepoy upproret: Drottning av Jhansi: Rani Lakshmi Bai av Jhansi: kvinnoforskning; Humanities; History and Archaeology; Humaniora; Historia och arkeologi; Historia; History
Record ID: 1332087
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-35398


The purpose of this master thesis in history was to examine the use of history of an Indian queen, the Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi. The Rani Lakshmi Bai was born in Banaras and married a king – the Raja of Jhansi. The Rani Lakshmi Bai fought against the British during the first war of independence year 1857-58. Recently, a memorial has been built at her supposed birthplace in Banaras, more than 150 years after her death. This development has raised several questions about the use of history of the Rani Lakshmi Bai. How has the use of history of Rani Lakshmi Bai changed? Why has it become relevant to build a statue of the Rani now and not before? The purpose of this study has been answered with the help of oral history and text analysis. Firstly, this has been done, by examining the knowledge of people from Banaras and Jhansi as well as through their perceived image of the Rani Lakshmi Bai. Twenty people from Banaras and four people from Jhansi have been interviewed. Secondly, the institutional level information has been examined which is presented in educational textbooks and newspapers like the local newspaper Aaj and the national newspapers The Hindu as well as The Times of India. The results show that the level of historical knowledge about the Rani is low, though the love and affection for her are great. The use of history of the Rani Lakshmi Bai has been as a freedom fighter, a role model in different contexts and a symbol, as well as an inspirational source of women empowerment. There is also a political use of the Rani. All these uses of history in combination with the increased economic interest in the neighbourhood of Assi in the city of Banaras made it relevant and possible to build a monument of the Rani Lakshmi Bai in present time.