The person galloped on April 18, 1859 was he the real Tatya Tope?
The person galloped on April 18, 1859 was he the real Tatya Tope?
NEW DELHI: Log on www.tatyatope.blogspot.com. There is a startling revelation. “The person galloped on April 18, 1859 was he the real Tatya Tope? And, so much so that in the long statement of Tatya Tope there was no mention, direct or implied, of Man Singh having betrayed him, nor were there any condemnatory remarks about him.”
On the basis of the declaration which Tatya Tope’s nephew, Narayan Rao Tope, father of Vinayak Rao Tope of Bithoor, the blog has raised doubts that the person hanged was some other man and not Tatya Tope. These doubts have also found certain historically accepted circumstances.
Quoting extract from a 636-page book “Nana Saheb Peshwas and the Fight for Freedom” authored by Anand Swarup Mishra and published by Information Department of Government of Uttar Pradesh in 1961, the blog says: “Shortly after the hanging of the alleged tatya Tope, his father Randuran Rao, along with the members of his family, was released from Gwalior Fort. They came to their home at Bithoor but the house hand been razed to the ground by the authorities and he had no place to stay not any helper to aid him. At that very time Tatya Tope came to Bithoor in the guise of a Sadhu and gave some money to his father. It was then that his father was able to put up a kuchcha house for himself and the members of his family.”
It further reads “in 1861, took place the marriage of the sister of Tatya Tope, by name Durga. She was married in a family of Varanasi. At that time also Tatya Tope came in disguise and gave money for the marriage. In 1862, Tatya Tope’s father and mother died and he was present in the guise of a sanyasi at their death bed.”
Quoting some English writers’ findings, the book further argued that the person hanged at Sipree (Shivpuri) was not Tatya Tope. The book reads: “After 1857, twelve persons of Tatya Tope family, including his father, were kept in Gawlior Fort pending investigation into their antecedents. His mother Rukmini Bai and his sister Durga were among the prisoners. There were found to be innocent and were released. Tatya Tope’s father and the members of his family there upon came to Bithoor to settle there. Due to financial difficulties the family broke up; three brothers went away to Nepal, two of them obtaining service under the Nepal Government, the third looked after the property of Sai Bai, widow of Baji Rao, who had settled in Nepal. Another brother of Tatya Tope, ram Krishna Pandurang reached Baroda in search of employment. There he met the Maharaja and said that he was the brother of Tatya Tope and wanted employment. The Maharaja, apprehending trouble with the Government, put the man before the Assistant Resident who took a written statement from him. Of the question, the officer asked, one was “where is Tatya Tope these days? This was in 1862. Now, when Tatya Tope hand been hanged in 1859, this question by a responsible officer would not have been asked if the man hanged was the real Tatya Tope.
Secondly, the answer, which Ram Krishna Rao had given to the Assistant Resident, was significant. He had said: “I do not know. Since the time we separated from Tatya Tope, we have never met him not have heard about him.” If Tatya had actually been hanged, the member of his family would not have been ignorant of his death.
In the same way in 1862 when Rao Saheb, the brother of Nana Saheb, was being tried at Kanpur, this question was put to him: “Where is Tatya Tope these days? This question was also significant, having been put after the hanging of Tatya Tope three years back. If no doubt had existed about the identity of the person hanged, what was the need for this question? the blog says.
There is a general belief that Tatya Tope was betrayed by Raja Man Singh is not free from suspicion. In the long statement (available with the Blogger), which Tatya Tope made after his capture, it was clearly stated that prior to surrendering himself to the British, Man Singh had made consultations with Tatya Tope. Further, the spies of Tatya Tope used to meet Man Singh in the British Cantonment, where he was held. “It is hardly possible to believe that the able and cautious Tatya Tope would so easily repose complete confidence in a person like Man Singh who was friendly with British army officers and under their full control,” the blog quoting book says.
“In the long statement of Tatya Tope there is no mention, direct or implied, of Man Singh having betrayed him, nor are there any condemnatory remarks about him. If it was a fact that Man Singh had betrayed Tatya Tope, then the latter would surely have said harsh things about the former friend,” it says.
Again, according to the procedure, which had been invariably adopted in the trials of mutineers, the trial of Tatya Tope should have been held at Kanpur, the district of his residence. There was no need for his trial at Shivpuri where he could not be properly identified. There was something suspicious about the whole affairs, the book quoting British analyzers says.
Khan Bahadur Khan, the revolutionary of Bareily was arrested in Nepal, but was tried at Bareily; Rao Sahib, the nephew of Nana sahib, was apprehended in Kashmir, but tried at kanpur; Moro Panth Thambey, the father of Rani Jhansi, was arrested in datia, but was taken to Jhansi for trial; Jwala Prasad had surrendered himself in Nepal, but it was at kanpur where his trial was held. Why then was tatya Tope, who was arrested in the jungle of Peron, tried at Shivpuri and why was he not brought to Kanpur where he could have been properly identified?
After the surrender of Man Singh the British officers had given him a promise that if he could get Tatya Tope arrested the Government would use their influence with the Gwalior Darbar in getting back his jagir. But after the arrest and subsequent execution of Tatya Tope the British did not fulfill his promise. How could this be accounted for? The blog says quoting the book.
The “Conflict of Evidence” says, “it refers to the conflict of evidence on the question whether this leader was actually hanged or whether some other person was taken prisoner under the name of Tatya Tope, was tried and hanged. There is no doubt that the circumstances of the arrest; the summary trial and the hurried execution do raised doubts about the real Tatya Tope having been hanged. In any case, the matter is a fit subject for further research.”