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Freedom Fighters

Sardar Patel

Bal Gangadhar Tilak Bhagath Singh
Khudiram Bose Ramaprasad Bismil
Ashfaqulla Khan Tatia Tope
Madame Cama
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Nana Saheb’s Right Hand

Tatia Tope was born in 1814, the son of Panduranga Pant. Panduranga Pant belonged to Yewale, a small place near Nasik. He had eight children; the second was Raghunath. It was this boy who later became famous in the War of Indian Independence as' 'Tatia Tope'.

Peshwa Baji Rao the Second of Poona was then the ruling chief of the Marathas. 
Panduranga Pant was a respected member of his court. Occasionally the boy Tatia used to accompany his father during his visits to the Peshwa. It was not long before the smart boy with expressive eyes attracted the attention of the Peshwa. Impressed by the brilliance of the boy, The Peshwa decorated him with a 'topi' (cap) bright with jewels. 'Tatia' is a term of affection in Marathi. Those near and dear to Raghunath used to call  him Tatia. Since the Peshwa presented the 'topi' it became his life-long companion. So he came to be called Tatia Tope and the name stuck to him to the last.

By that time the English had become supreme in India. Those who came six thousand miles as merchants soon threw away the scales and took over the scepter; they became rulers and masters. The kings and princes of India were quarrelling among themselves. It became easy for the British to set one against the other. The British conquered territory after territory. Crowns rolled in the dust. King doms fell like a pack of cards. The conquest of the whole of India was the much-cherished dream of the English. But the Marathas refused to yield to the British might. They kept there the arm that carried freedom. They were the swords for India.

But the English were not disheartened. They were biding their time. It was not long 
before such a day arrived. By 1800 death had snatched away many Maratha heroes and statesmen. A week and pleasure -loving man like Baji Rao the Second became the Peshwa. Wisdom had departed. Greed and jealousy corrupted the people's minds. Many joined hands with the English. They were on the road to ruin. As a result, the Marathas were totally defeated in their war against the English in 1818. Unfortunate India stoodhumbled as slavery gripped her.

The defeated Peshwa surrendered his kingdom to the English in exchange for an yearly pension of eight lakh rupees. He moved to Brahmavarta near Kanpur to live a life of retirement. Many Maratha families followed him to this place. So did the loyal 
Panduranga Pant. The boy Tatia Tope followed his father.

All who were Tatia Tope's playmates in Brahmavarta later won deathless fame in the War of Independence.

The most important of them was Nana Saheb, the adopted son of Baji Rao the Second, and later the brain behind the revolutionary war of 1857. His nephew was there, Rao Saheb. During the revolution Rao Saheb was to accompany Tatia Tope like a shadow in all his military exploits. Then there was a little gid Manu, the daughter of Moropant Tambe, a loyal

Courtier of the Peshwa. The radiant girl was affectionately called 'Chabili',the same girl ho was to dazzle the country and the enemies later as 'Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi'. Brahmavarta was the home of such great little ones.

There were teachers to educate the children. They were bound to one another in   childhood affection, played games of war and learnt their lessons in sword-play and horse-riding together. Tatia Tope soon mastered the arts of war.

After the death of Baji Rao the Second in 1851, Nana Saheb became the Peshwa. He had a strong sense of self-respect and a deep love of freedom. He wanted to wash away the shame of slavery. No sooner had he become the Peshwa than he picked up the sword, which his father had abandoned in 1818. To regain the lost empire and to avenge its loss was the one single thought that occupied Nana's mind. Tatia Tope was he companion, trusted friend and adviser. They shared the same dream.

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The peshwa decorated the boy with a 'topi' bright with jewels
About Tatia Tope
You are Here! Nana Saheb's Right Hand
To Dispel The Darkness Of Slavery
Tatia, The Sword Of Freedom
For The Freedom Of Jhansi
Man Singh's Promise To Provide Protection
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