The Indian Revolt of 1857 against the Britishers has been studied by all of us. It was known as the First War of Independence. Although, the revolt was called off but it instilled a hope of freedom in the minds of people. While there were many fighters, Uda Devi’s name is a special one because of her courageous battle in Lucknow against the British.
She was born in Awadh in U.P. and at an early age, she decided to fight against the British on seeing the anger of the people. So, she approached Begum Hazrat Mahal to ask for permission and help. Begum Hazrat Mahal allowed Uda Devi to form a women battalion, which Uda would lead herself. So, she and her husband played an important role in the fight when the Britishers attacked Awadh.
Uda Devi In The Battle Of Sikandar Bagh
In November 1857, a battle took place between a small British contingent headed by General Colin Campbell and the people of Awadh on the southern bank of river Gomti. In this battle, as many as 2000 soldiers and rebels died including Uda Devi’s husband. After her husband’s death, she decided to avenge it.
When the British Army approached Sikandar Bagh palace, she climbed up a tree. She took aim and killed around 32-36 British soldiers singlehandedly. Afterward, an officer noticed that many of the dead soldiers had bullet wounds from an upward trajectory. They suspected a sniper who could be hidden in the trees.
Then the British soldiers fired at a pipal tree and a dead body fell down from the tree. On inspection, it was found that the sniper was not a man but Uda Devi herself. Everyone was shocked after knowing that a woman took so many soldiers down. And it is said that in recognition of her bravery, officers like Campbell bowed heads in front of her body.
Indeed, she was an inspiration to all women, especially from the non-dominant caste. Every year on November 16th, the people from her caste gather on the site of her fall and pay tribute to her. She faced all challenges and was determined to fight against the British. She also is one of the inspirations behind an all-women battalion of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Army Constabulary.
Truly, women like her are a great inspiration to all. These are just a few of the brave stories where women literally do anything to protect their loved ones. Here is a story about an amazing defense officer who carried her 5-days-old baby to her late husband’s funeral march who lost his life in a plane crash.