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Kittur Rani statue unveiled

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Warrior queen: President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others near the statue of Kittur Rani Chennamma, which was unveiled in the Parliament House complex on Tuesday.
Warrior queen: President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others near the statue of Kittur Rani Chennamma, which was unveiled in the Parliament House complex on Tuesday.

Special Correspondent

It has been installed in the Parliament House complex in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday unveiled in the Parliament House complex here the statue of Kittur Rani Chennamma, the legendary queen of the erstwhile princely State of Kittur who is remembered as one of the earliest rulers to have fought against the British tax collection system.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani and a galaxy of leaders from Karnataka led by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy were present on the occasion.

Vice-President Mohammed Hameed Ansari, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha K. Rahman Khan, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh, Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur, Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, Leaders of the Opposition in Legislative Assembly and Council N. Dharam Singh and H.K. Patil respectively also attended the function.

Union Ministers Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, Oscar Fernandes, H. Muniyappa and M.V. Rajasekharan, Karnataka Ministers M.P. Prakash, Katta Subramanya Naidu, H.S. Mahadeva Prasad and Sharanabasappa Darshanapur and BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and M. Venkaiah Naidu were among those present.

Born five decades before the renowned Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, Rani Chennamma was married to Raja Mallasurja of Kittur, a princely State in what is now Belgaum district. After the death of her husband, she made her adopted son Shivalingappa heir to the throne. The British East India Company refused to accept this and ordered the expulsion of Shivalingappa, citing a policy called the Doctrine of Lapse. Rani Chennamma then led an armed rebellion against the British. The resistance ended in her being put to death. She is venerated as an icon of bravery and women’s pride. She launched the rebellion in 1829, nearly three decades before the 1857 war of independence.

The statue was sculpted by Vijay Gaur and was donated by the Kittur Rani Chennamma Memorial Committee. A booklet containing a profile of the queen, brought out by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, was released on the occasion.

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