Picture Source – Google
Maharani Prafulla Kumari was the defacto ruler of Baster, by virtue of being the only daughter of Maharaja Rudra Pratap Dev.
Prafull Kumari Devi completed her post-graduate degree in anthropology at Cambridge University. She is known for being very sensitive as well as keen on human welfare. During her tenure, there were several architectural developments made, such as taking into consideration medical needs in Bastar, there was the foundation of Maharani’s Hospital, and another was the Methodist Church.
She was the only daughter of Bastar Maharaja Rudra Pratap Dev; therefore, the tribals accepted her as their queen, and she received the title of Maharani. She is also regarded as one of the first woman rulers of undivided Madhya Pradesh, but India was under British control during her reign. She was married to Prafulla Chandra Bhanjdev, son of Maharaja Dam Chand Bhanjdev of Mayurbhanj. She was famous as “Babi Dhani” in Bastar.
The Britishers also wanted Prafulla to be queen, so they forced her to be one to please her. There was a British conspiracy behind giving the title to the queen because they wanted to sell the area of Bailadila (famous for world-class lode ore) to the Nizam of Hyderabad.
Later, the British tried to appease the queen and make Prafulla Chandra work in their favor, but the queen didn’t agree with their idea. Angered by this, the British reduced the privy purse given to the king and queen. Afterward, it was announced that the queen had appendicitis and could be treated in London. She was sent to London for treatment, and at the same time, Dewan Hyde sent a secret letter to the queen’s doctor, stating that the queen would not be able to return to Bastar alive from London. This is how the British government had a clear hand in the assassination of the Queen.
The people of Bastar still remember the courageous Queen Prafulla Kumari Devi of Bastar in various contexts. Her statue is also installed at the Maharani Hospital, and the tribals who come for treatment usually go back by saluting the idol.
Story source: Source- Naidunia
Ruchi, SheSight Reporter