Ramchandra Pandurang Tope who was widely known as Tatya Tope was a brave leader who laid the foundations of the Indian freedom struggle through the revolt of 1857 which is a ground breaking event in the history of India’s independence struggle. His name made the mighty English general tremble. He was a great freedom fighter who fought for the Indian Independence. He was the one who shook the niche of the British Empire.
Life of Tatya Tope
He was born in the year 1857 in Yeola village in Maharashtra. His parents were Pandurang Rao and Rukhmabai, he was their only son. People called him Tatya because he use to wear a hat that was gifted by the Peshwa. His official name was Raghunath and was also known as Ramchandra.
As Tatya Tope’s father was a treasurer with the Peshwa. He use to frequently visit the court and take Tatya Tope with him. He was fortunate enough to have spend his early days in life with Queen Laxmibai and Nanasaheb Peshwa. He was working as a clerk at the Nanasaheb court along with them. When the political storm was gaining momentum he won over the Indian troops of the East India Company in May 1857 and became the Commander in Chief of his forces. He was the prime member in the attack of Delhi, Lucknow and Kanpur. He was an exceptional person who was dedicated towards the Independence movement.
Role in the 1857 uprising
Tatya Tope was Nanasaheb’s close associate and general. Nana Saheb’s forces attacked the British entrenchment at Kanpur. The company forces reached Cawnpore and captured the city. Tatya Tope and Nana Saheb escaped from the city. While Nana Saheb went to the other city Tatya Tope fought against the British soldiers. However his forces were defeated by the Britishers and then he joined Rani Laxmibai at Kalpi.
Struggle for Freedom of Jhansi
Rani Laxmibai had urged Tatya Tope to help her in the movement for the freedom of her kingdom and to occupy Gwalior. He went there with his small army to help her which could not sustain the British force and fell like a pack of cards. Unfortunately they lost the battle, Rani was killed and the Britishers expanded their rule in Gwalior. After losing, he again stood back to fight with the Britishers collected a huge army and conquered many forts in India. When he knew that Britishers are short of resources he took advantage of it and confronted them.
Death of Tatya Tope
He took cover with a friend while escaping Britishers. The Britisher’s when aware of Tatya Tope association tempted his friend Man Singh to betray Tatya. He was been caught in the sleep by the British soldiers. He became a martyr in the freedom struggle as he was hanged to death at Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh on 18th April, 1859. The event brought tears and sorrows in the eyes of the Indian as they had lost a very courageous and great warrior.