I am posting this as it appeared in the New Indian Express, 18th November 2009….i captured the photograph from the newspaper, using my cellphone, and am posting it alongside the write-up..
A freedom fighter from Belgaum claims that he is in possession of the Original photograph of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi. “The photograph was taken by Halfman, a British photographer, when the Rani was 15yrs old….”..says Vithal Rao Yalgi, an 86 yr old freedom fighter from Belgaum, Karnataka. Laxmibai was born in the year 1835 and the photograph was taken at the Jhansi palace in 1850. The photograph shows Laxmibai, with her traditional ornaments, which were given to her by Nanasaheb Peshwa of Pune, who also joined her in the freedom struggle against the British.The Rani’s photo was? exhibited in Bhopal on August 19th and the Academicians of the History department of
Bhopal University? also agreed that the photograph was indeed of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi. Some of the original documents and records preserved by the Madhya Pradesh govt also support that the? picture taken by Halfman is original.Vithalrao Yalgi told Indian Express that he received the photograph from a person called Thakur, whose father and grandfather took part in the freedom struggle. Yalgi said that the photograph would be unveiled at the Swatantrya Yodha Bhavan in Belgaum on November 19th as that was the Birthday of Rani Laxmibai.
Hoax or Fact:
Mixture of hoax and facts.
The story shows a photograph of a woman claiming it to be that of the legendry Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi. It also comes with an explanation of how and when the picture is taken and discovered later. The facts of this story are however mixed. Firstly, the picture can not be that of original Rani Laxmibai, because such a photograph technology was not prevalent in those days.
Picture below shows the real Rani Laxmibai.
Pictures in those days indeed looked in same tone, in brownish yellow color on print out paper. Rani Laxmibai is clearly seen in her traditional Marathi dressing, along with her legendry sword. Also, the picture is quite similar to imaginary paintings and drawings of Rani Laxmibai that we always had. Refer mage section.
Johnston & Hoffman, English men took this photograph of Rani Laxmibai when they visited Jhansi in 1850, while she was 15 years old. It is belived that they called himself German photographers for getting the permission of Rani, because she would not encourage Britishers.
Jaipur native Ambar Lal, who likes to collect historical things, bought this picture of Jhansi Rani Laxmibai in the year 1968 for one and half lac rupees. Vaaman Thakre, his friend, got a copy from him and enlarged it to share with the world.
Therefore, it is quite evident that the picture shown in the message is not that of real Jhansi Rani Laxmibai.