A social media post claims that ‘after the death of Rani Laxmi Bai, Nawab Ali Bahadur of Banda performed her last rites, when no Hindu did her last rites due to fear of the British’. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Nawab Ali Bahadur of Band performed the last rites of Rani Lakshmi Bai.
Fact: There are a couple of versions regarding Rani Lakshmi Bai’s death. One is that she was shot dead by the British army near Phool Bagh of Gwalior. In another version, she after being severely injured and not wanting the British to capture her body, asked a hermit to burn it. Neither version claims that Nawab Ali Bahadur has performed her last rites and further there is no evidence to support this claim. However, there are reports of Nawab Ali Bahadur of Banda helping Lakshmi Bai in fighting the British. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
In fighting the British during the 1857 revolt, Rani Lakshmi Bai sought the help of Nawab Ali Bahadur, the Nawab of the dominion of Banda (now Uttar Pradesh). There are accounts of Rani Lakshmi Bai writing a letter seeking his support and along with the letter, she also sent him a Rakhi.
Accepting the request from Lakshmi Bai, the Nawab of Banda along with the army of ten thousand soldiers joined her in the fight against the British. While there are reports of the Nawab helping out Lakshmi Bai in fighting the British, there are no reports or substantial evidence to claim that he performed her last rites.
In fact, there are a couple of versions regarding her death (here, here & here). One is that she was shot dead by the British army near Phool Bagh of Gwalior. In another version, she after being severely injured and not wanting the British to capture her body, asked a hermit to burn it.
Another essay suggests that she was fatally injured after being struck with a sword on her head in a battle with the British army led by General Hugh Rose. ‘Her dead body was immediately removed from the scene by her loyal attendant Ramchandra Rao and lit the funeral pyre. She died with a sword in her hand and the enemy could not touch her at all’, the essay added.
Jaishree Misra, in her book ‘Rani’, supporting the above version mentioned that General Hugh Rose who led the British forces against her claimed to have seen her cremation in a letter he later wrote to his commander.
Although there are different accounts about the death of Rani Lakshmi Bai, none of the accounts support the claim that her last rites were performed by Nawab Ali Bahadur, and there are no reports in support of this.
To sum it up, there is no evidence to suggest that Nawab Ali Bahadur performed the last rites of Rani Lakshmi Bai.