Nana Sahib

Nana Sahib

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Category: Social Work

Nana Sahib Profile

  • Name:
  • Nana Sahib
  • Father:
  • Narayan Bhatt
  • Mother:
  • Ganga Bai

Nana Sahib Biography

Nana Sahib is was a freedom fighter of India during India’s first struggle for independence during 1957. He, along with Tatia Tope, was able to defeat British force of General Windham to retreat from Kanpur. Nana Sahib was born 19 May 1824 as Nana Govind Dhondu Pant as the son of Narayan Bhatt and Ganga Bai. He was a Maratha aristocrat, who led the Kanpur rebellion during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. He was the adopted son of the exiled Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao II was entitled to a pension from the English East India Company. But British’s refusal to old age pension provoked Nana and his associates resulting in their struggle against British for the first time. Tatya Tope and Azimullah Khan were the close associates of Nana Sahib and along with them, he fought against British.  


Nana Sahib was born on 19 May 1824 as Nana Govind Dhondu Pant, to Narayan Bhatt and Ganga Bai. Nana Sahib's father was a well-educated Deccani Brahmin who later become a court official of the former Peshwa at Bithoor. In the third Maratha war against British East India Company, Baji Rao II, the last Peshwa of Maratha Confederation was exiled to Bithoor. Lacking sons, Baji Rao adopted Nana Sahib and a younger brother in 1827. Nana Sahib was the son of the younger sister of wife of Baji Rao second. After Baji Rao II was exiled to Bithoor, Pandurang Rao and his family also shifted there.


Governor General Lord Dalhousie put forward an annexation policy, Doctrine of Lapse under which Indian rulers were denied the right to adopt heir by their willingness. Thus East India Company was able to take the power of many kingdoms including Jhansi, Oudh and Nagpur. Nana Sahib was eligible for his adoptive father's continuing annual pension of £80,000 from the East India Company. After the death of Baji Rao II, the Company stopped the pension giving reason that Nana Sahib was adopted son only and hence he has no right to get pensions. It arose anger and protests of Nana and his associates against British.


Thus they began Indian Rebellion of 1857. Nana Sahib's forces attacked the British entrenchment at Kanpur in June 1857 and were able to defeat them in first attempt. However, his forces were defeated by the Company forces under Colin Campbell in the Second Battle of Cawnpore and Nana Sahib disappeared from screen. In September 1857, Sahib was reported to have fallen to malaria fever, but it doubtful. By 1859, Sahib was reported to have fled to Nepal. Many books have been written related to his disappearance. Yet, till now the mystery is not unfolded, where he has gone!

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Updated: January 28, 2018


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