While history books have documented the likes of Rani Laxmi Bai and praised their valour, a few unsung heroes of India's First War of Independence (1857) have been overlooked. Straight from the annals of history, we bring to you the story of Uda Devi- a valiant fighter who killed more than two dozen soldiers of the British army that laid siege to Lucknow, under General Colin Campbell's guidance. Belonging to an age where women were expected to remain in the shadows, Uda Devi took charge on the battlefield and gave her life fighting for Awadh.
A sniper with a tally of 32 kills!
Uda Devi Pasi was born in a small village of Awadh and like any other passionate Indian, her blood was also boiling as she witnessed the rising atrocities of Britishers. She joined Begum Hazrat Mahal's endeavours of fighting for independence and was given the command of the woman's battalion by the Begum, during the Seige of Lucknow.
After the army regiment headed by General Campbell had decimated Sikandar Bagh, it was observed that the bullet wounds of several British soldiers indicated a steep, downward trajectory. Suspecting that a sniper was still hidden in the nearby tree, Britishers open-fired and a rebel's body fell on the ground. Further investigations disclosed that this rebel was Uda Devi- a woman who was dressed as a man to participate in this struggle for freedom.
If you have ever passed the intersection outside Sikandar Bagh, you must've noticed a statue carrying a rifle- this statue is how this city is still paying homage to Uda Devi. Killing almost 32 British soldiers, she has etched her name in Indian history as the anti-imperialist rebel who defied conventions with every bullet she fired!