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Uda Devi and 'Maharaja' Bijli Pasi

2nd July, 2024 History

Uda Devi and 'Maharaja' Bijli Pasi

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  • Awadhesh Prasad, newly-elected Samajwadi Party MP from Faizabad, honored 'Veerangana' Uda Devi and 'Maharaja' Bijli Pasi, prominent figures of the Pasi (Dalit) community during his oath in Lok Sabha.

Uda Devi: The Brave Heroine of 1857 Mutiny

  • Background: Born in Ujirao, Lucknow, Uda Devi served in Begum Hazrat Mahal's royal guard during the 1857 Mutiny.
  • Contribution: Known for rallying people against the British and leading a significant clash near Gomti River.
  • Legacy: Commemorated annually on November 16, especially revered among Dalits for her martyrdom.

Maharaja Bijli Pasi: A Medieval Icon

  • Historical Significance: Ruled parts of Uttar Pradesh during medieval times, with his fort's ruins standing in Lucknow today.
  • Cultural Icon: Recognized with a statue in Lucknow, plans for fort renovation under UP government's tourism development.


Uda Devi Pasi (1830-1857):

  • Background: Indian woman freedom fighter during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
  • Affiliation: Member of the women's squad under Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh.
  • Resistance Role: Participated in the armed resistance against the British East India Company.
  • Dalit Veerangana: Recognized today as a Dalit warrior of the 1857 rebellion.
  • Marital Connection: Wife of Makka Pasi, a soldier in Hazrat Mahal's army.

Dalit Contribution in 1857 Rebellion:

  • Historical Context: Often overshadowed by upper caste narratives like Jhansi Ki Rani's, Dalit fighters like Uda Devi played crucial roles.
  • Legacy: Remembered as a symbol of Dalit resistance and bravery in Indian history.

Role Under Begum Hazrat Mahal:

  • Enlistment: Reached out to Begum Hazrat Mahal to join the armed resistance.
  • Formation of Women's Battalion: Assisted in forming and leading a women’s battalion under Begum's command.

Battle Contributions:

  • Active Resistance: Participated in battles against British forces in Awadh.
  • Final Stand: Intensified her efforts after the death of her husband in the conflict.

Maharaja Bijli Pasi:

  • Identity: King from the Pasi community, historically attributed to ruling parts of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Historical Evidence: Limited historical evidence exists about his reign.
  • Commemoration: Honored with a commemorative stamp by the Government of India in 2000.
  • City Foundation: Credited with founding the city of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh according to the stamp.
  • Political Context: Rose to prominence during the fragmentation of northern India before major empires declined.


Q. Discuss the role of Dalit resistance movements and their leaders in challenging social injustices and promoting equality in Indian society. Illustrate your answer with examples from different periods of Indian history.