A commemorative postage stamp on Begum Hazrat Mahal, Begum of Awadh, second wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, a leader of Indian Rebellion of 1857 [a part of the series ‘India’s Struggle for Freedom‘] :
Issued by India
Issued on May 10, 1984
Issued for : Indian Posts & Telegraphs Department is privileged to issue four commemorative stamps in the memory of these great Freedom Fighters.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Single colour
Denomination : 50 Paise
Name : Muhammadi Khanum
Born on 1820 at Faizabad, Awadh, British India [now in Uttar Pradesh]
Died on Apr 7, 1879 at Kathmandu, Nepal
- The First War of Independence (1857-58) was the first general widespread uprising against the rule of the British East India Company. The Doctrine of Lapse, issue of cartridges greased with animal fat to Indian soldiers, introduction of British system of education and a number of social reforms had infuriated a very wide section of Indian people, who rose in revolt at a number of places all over India. The East India Company was brought under the direct rule of the British Crown as a result of this uprising.
- Of the very large number of freedom fighters, who led the struggle, four are being commemorated through the present series, which is a part of the larger series on India’s Struggle for Freedom.
- Begum Hazrat Mahal, wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, was also known as the Begum of Avadh. In addition to being gifted with irresistible physical charm, she had an inborn genius for organisation and command. After her husband had been sent away in exile to Calcutta, she with the cooperation of a zealous hand of supporters like Sarafaddaulah, Maharaj Bal Krishna, Raja Jai Lal and above all Mammon Khan worked incessantly to revive the fortunes of Avadh. She seized control of Lucknow in association with the revolutionary forces and set up her son, Prince Birjis Qadr, as the King of Avadh. Hazrat Mahal worked in association with Nana Saheb but later escaped from Lucknow and joined the Maulavi of Faizabad in the attack on Sahajahanpur. She was driven from pillar to post, but she made her retreat with fortitude. She rejected with the contempt the promises of allowance and status held out to her by the British against whom her hatred was unrelenting. In the end after bearing misfortunate and misery throughout the period of resistance, she found asylum in Nepal where she died in 1879.