Tantia Tope

The original name of Tantya Tope was Ram Chandra Pandurang Tope. One of the great Indian freedom fighters, the name of Tantya Tope literally made English generals tremble with fear. He had such aura, such fearsome reputation. Born in a village named Yeola in Maharashtra, Tantya Tope was the only son of Padurang Rao Tope and Rukhmabai. His father was a key noble at the court of Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao 2nd. Later on when his family shifted from Peshwa to Bithur, Tantya Tope developed healthy and friendly relationship with Peshwa’s adopted sons, Nana Sahib and Maharaja Madhav Singhji. 

When Lord Dalhousie deprived Nana Sahib of his father’s pension in the year 1851, Tantya took his first action against the British. He was completely against the unjust policies of the British rule. In May 1857, he devoted himself fully to the nation’s cause. He managed to establish his authority and also became the commander in chief of his forces. Tantya Tope was a pivotal figure in India’s freedom war in 1857. He was one of the most wanted fighters by the British army because he had taken over the Indian troops of the East India Company, stationed at Kanpur. The British empire was going whole hog to capture everything India had by depriving Indians of their own rights and through the use of force and deception. Along with other Indian, Tantya Tope also felt great discontentment against the rulers and decided to take his own corrective course. 

Tantya Tope tried to join Rani Laxmibai in Kalpi and occupy Gwalior. But they lost the battle and Rani Laxmibai was killed. British managed to occupy the Gwalior. But Tantya was not to lose hope. He collected huge forces and kept hunting British. He won many crucial and strategic forts. It is being said that, Tantya Tope fought no less than 150 battles. He kept hurting British rule with his Guerrilla campaigns. British forces were unable to catch him but he was betrayed by his own friend Man Singh and on 7th April 1859, British General captured him. He has hanged to death on April 18, 1859. Tantya Tope’s fierce patriotism will always be remembered by the Indian people.