August 09, 2021
Tatya or Tantiya Tope, originally known as Ram Chandra Pandurang Rao launched a bold fight against the English East India Company. He was a close playmate of Nana Saheb and was held in deep affection by the Peshwa Baji Rao. Since childhood, he had a martial bent of mind. He learnt the use of gun and sword and was a good horseman. For a short span of time, he is said to have served the artillery regiment of the Bengal army under the East India Company. Because of his temperamental independence and capability as an able organizer, he was not deemed fit for the said role.
He played an important role in the battles for the defence of Cawnpore, which were launched while General Havelock's force was advancing from Allahabad. The force of Tatya Tope was defeated by Sir Colin Campbell on 6 December 1857. Later he had to combat a face-to-face battle with Sir Hugh Rose at Koonch. He fought against the British Generals vigorously. His remarkable capabilities as a guerilla fighter placed him as one of the most outstanding military leaders of the world in this kind of warfare. Reckoned as a fighter of wonderfully organized strength and abilities, he was constantly chased by the British like a pack of hounds chasing a sharp-horned deer. Tatya's sudden attacks, most daring counter-strokes and miraculous escapes at the right hour not only baffled but befooled the most capable of British Generals and commanders. There has been lot of controversy around the issue if the real Tatya Tope was hanged at all at Sipri on 18 April 1859.