A hero of the fight for freedom in
1857. His very name made the mighty English
generals tremble. Deceived by his
friend, he faced death like a hero, for the sake of his country.
Author - K.Shripaty Sastry
The British troops had pitched their
tents on the parade grounds near the fort of Shivpuri, 75 miles from Gwalior.
The day was April 18, 1859. It was 4 o'clock in the afternoon. A smiling,
charming prisoner was brought out of the prison.
His hands and feet were chained. Under
guard he was taken to the hangman's post. He had been condemned to death.
The prisoner stepped towards the post fearlessly. There was no hesitation
as he stepped upon the platform. It was the custom to cover the eyes of
the condemned man with a scarf. When soldiers stepped forward with the
scarf, he smiled and made signs to say, 'I don't need all this.' Nor did
he allow the hands and feet to be bound. He himself put the noose around
his neck. The rope was tightened. Then, at last, there was a pull....
In a moment it was all over.
It was a heart-rending scene, which
moved the whole country to tears. The man who was hanging lifeless on the
gallows of the English was no criminal. He was not a thief, he was no cutthroat.
He was the Supreme commander in the War of Indian Independence,which, in
1857, had challenged the hold of the British over India. It was he who,
more than anybody else, shook the mighty British Empire to its foundations.
Holding aloft the flag of freedom, he sought to break the chains of slavery
and fought the military might of the English heroically. His name was Tatia
Tope, a household word for bravery.