India recalls Hazrat Mahal`s contribution to freedom struggle
Kathmandu: India on Monday described Begum Hazrat Mahal, who had rebelled against British colonial rule in the country in 1857-58, as an "extraordinary freedom fighter".
Laying a wreath at the Jama Masjid here on her 135th death anniversary, India`s Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae recalled her contributions towards the freedom movement of India.
"Begum Hazrat Mahal was an extraordinary freedom fighter of India, who played a vital role in India`s First War of Independence and her contributions towards the freedom movement of India will always be remembered," Rae said.
He said, "The tomb of the Begum is a symbol of close friendly relations between Nepal and India and we will celebrate the death anniversary every year."
Begum, who was married to Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, led the government of Awadh from 1857 to 1858 after her husband was exiled to Calcutta.
But when the British rulers recaptured Awadh, she had to take refuge in Nepal.
One of the principal complaints of Begum Hazrat Mahal was that the East India Company had casually demolished temples and mosques to make way for roads.
She breathed her last in Nepal on April 7, 1879 after spending 20 years in exile, and was buried in the courtyard of the Jama Masjid.
Rae was accompanied by Joydeep Mazumdar, Deputy Chief of Mission at Indian Embassy, and other senior officials to pay homage to Begum Hazrat Mahal.
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