In 1857, the Rebels demonstrated bitterness towards foreign rule, even though this foreign rule would later try to improve India’s medical services. This was a new experience for the Indians. 62. Before 1757 all contenders in Indian politics were either Hindus or Muslims. In the case of Bahawalpur state he refused to interfere 80. The Revolt of 1857, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Uprising of 1857, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, the Sepoy Mutiny, are the different names for India’s First War of Independence against the British. The causes for the revolt of 1857 can categorized under:- Economic Causes Political Causes Social Religion Military Immediate causes. The British recruited from Oudh not because they regarded the Oudh Rajput or Brahman as suitable fighting material, but they did so because till 1845 the Hindustani was their best available choice. An interesting fact to be noted here is that the EEICs acquisitions from Oudh in 1801 comprised almost half territory which had initially been assigned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam to EEIC in 1765 i.e. Religious and Social Causes – Racism or racial discrimination used to be believed to be a major reason for the revolt of 1857 whereby Indians had been exploited and had been kept away from mixing with Europeans. Rajput Hindu Generals fought for Aurangzeb against the Hindu rebel Sivaji. These were the British, the Hindus and the Muslims. Fortescue thus said about this incident that; ‘And then followed one of those incidents which after endless explanation remain always mysterious. It was the viceroy Lord Wellesley’s decision and was approved by the Board of Directors. Number of historians argue that the revolt. Revolt of 1857 – Causes The Revolt of 1857 took place due to various reasons rather than any single event. 1. While the war of 1857 was a reaction of different sections of Indian society against policies of the British which included various aspects viz. Keeping in view the origins of the Oudh Nawab we see that his ancestors were the governors of the Mughal Emperor in Oudh. His arrogant and racist behaviour immediately alienated all those people who came into contact with him69. 75. Lord Dalhousie censured him and revoked his orders. The Governor General however never informed the King of Oudh that the treaty was entirely annulled60. Whether he was or not is a minor issue once we view Wazir Ali as a true patriot. But even then area east of west Punjab remained his area to be plundered. Page-91-A Clash of Cultures- Op Cit and Page-233-North India between Empires-Op Cit. 50. This disarming was as a matter of fact not carried out and thus prolonged the war of independence in Oudh till almost 1859. 79. The issue their religion being compromised must have been a huge affront and perhaps the last straw as these troops saw the EEIC and British officers enriching themselves over time. The last time they were deployed against a Muslim state was in 1774 during the Rohilla war. Mr. Cherry reportedly raised his voice during the course of discussion upon which Wazir Ali lost his temper and struck Mr. Cherry with his sword. In 1837, the Governor General Lord Auckland forced on Oudh a treaty by which it asserted its right to take over what remained of Oudh if the Company felt that the country was being mismanaged. He only informed him that he would not have to pay for his defence. 89. The causes of that revolt were- Social and religious causes- the Indians were dissatisfied because of the spread of english education and christian religion during that time. The human mind is not a computer and its mechanism is subject to various biases. The unhappiness of the sepoys first surfaced in 1824 when the 47th Regiment at Barrackpur was ordered to go to Burma. It is true that the British treated their native soldiers much better than most native soldiers were treated by native rulers. 37. Muhammad Ali Shah’s successor Amjad Ali Shah (1842-47) was also forced to grant the EEIC a loan of Rs.3,200,000 on his accession in 184262. Ibid. Page-200-A Popular History of India-Op Cit. The second was going across the Indus westwards which again in their opinion polluted the purity of their caste. After nearly tow hundred years of british east India company rule, an overwhelming revolt spread all over India. It was a mutiny of course, not a war of independence. 2. Thus after 1857 the British Government which assumed the Government of India decided to ally with the feudals whereas before 1857 their predecessor the EEIC were following an excellent policy of destroying feudalism in India. In the end, we may presume that the revolt of 1857 was the result of a culmination of popular dissatisfaction that had been simmering for a long time against the policies of the British in India – expansion, exploitation and economic drain and humiliation of the Indian spirit by advocating the white- man’s civilizing mission – factors of multiple dimension of direct and indirect, long run and short run … Pages 182 & 183-A Clash of Cultures-Op Cit. Till 1856, the British and EEIC armies used Brown Bess which was a muzzle loading rifle. Thus British government passed Government of India Act 1858 on August 2, 1858, according to which the power that the company enjoyed was snatched and a direct rule was established. The struggle in India prior to 1757 and even after 1757 was between individuals who were ‘Muslims’ or ‘Hindus’ by pure chance and who manipulated their followers or subjects in a certain direction guided and propelled not by any religious convictions but by personal whims and subjective designs. Despite repeated reminders Dalhousie’s suggestion were not even discussed by the EEIC Board of Directors for two years. The British who became a force to reckon within India after 1757 brought a totally new phenomena to India i.e., ‘slavery’ and ‘subjugation’. Sir John Shore, the Governor General received a divine revelation that Wazir Ali was an illegitimate son45! So the ‘Bengal Army Factor’ works both ways, it was instrumental in EEIC’s success in the first place and it was instrumental in the rebellion also. CAUSES OF REVOLT Following were the causes of the great revolt of 1857 (a) Political Causes: The English Company´s policy of ´effective control´ and gradual extinction of the Indian Native States was facilitated by the subsidiary alliance system that culminated with the ´Doctrine of Lapse´ of Dalhousie. Since the time it erupted, all historians have been engaged in the futile exercise of labelling the Uprising of 1857 with some descriptive word or other- such as mutiny , revolt … He did not understand the demoralizing effect which this action had on the soldiers of Bengal Army. Page-17-The Cambridge History of India-Volume VI-The Indian Empire-1858-1918-Edited by H.H Dodwell-Reprinted by S.Chand and Company-New Delhi-1987. 46. Oudh’s army also as per this agreement was to be reduced to less than one tenth of its previous size. One consequence of the mutiny was the establishment of direct British governance of India. The Revolt of 1857 exposed the danger involved in allowing a commercial organisation to rule over a country. Lord Macaulay a man who is very often grossly misunderstood and unjustly criticized in India and Pakistan was a matter of fact a great advocate of inclusion of Indians in the higher ranks by virtue of allowing them to compete in the open competitive examinations. The Bengal Army did fight for EEIC for hundred years but by 1857 it was no longer the force that it was in 1757. Page-239-Popular History of India-Op Cit.Page- 575- Cambridge History-British India – Op Cit 55. The EEIC was above all a commercial organization and thoughtless, unplanned impulsive expansion figured nowhere in the principles which guided its foreign policy in India. Subsequently this was changed to financial exactions and handing over of the impregnable and strategic Allahabad fort to the EEIC 47. Secondly, Punjab was a Muslim majority province and the Muslim potential soldiers of Punjab had no caste complications. It is of interest to note that Akbar the Mughal Emperor had also made an attempt to restrict this practice. But this was irrelevant because both the parties used religion just as one of the means to a personal or political end. Had he taken a resolute stand and resisted the EEIC’s unjust or unfair demands we could have said that he was a hero. The foremost cause of resentment in the people of Oudh against the EEIC was its extortionist policy from 1775 onwards. In 1842 he again loaned the EEIC 1,400,000 or 140,000 Pounds at 5% interest. Ibid. The first loan of 1.85 million pounds was taken in 1814. The Indian historian, Vir Savarkar was the first one to mention the revolt of 1857 as the first war of Indian Independence. It was the first great struggle of the Indians for freedom from British imperialism. Their daily rituals were complicated and conflicted with demands of military life. Page-73 & 74 – Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit. A History of the British Cavalry-1816-1919-Volume II The Marquess of Anglesey-London-1975.As a matter of comparison it may be noted that the East India Company in all its three armies had a total of 232,224 Natives out of which 188,286 were in infantry,30,923 were in Cavalry,while 4176 were in Artillery.Bengal Army Cavalry strength was 35,846 and Infantry strength was 138,666 (Pages-621 to 626-Report of the Royal Commission on the Organisation of the Indian Army as reproduced by Sir John William Kaye in his History of the Sepoy War in India-1857-1858-Volume III-London-1880. The 1857 war of Independence was the culmination of various political, economic, social and military causes which burst forth in the from of the cartridge controversy, finally resulting in the Indian Sepoy Mutiny where a soldier named Mangal Pandey was the first to break rank. But it was simply not cost effective being a barren, desolate and unproductive country . The Punjab infantry played a major role in the storming of Delhi. The dispersion of British troops and their being outnumbered overwhelmingly in 1857 was the final blow. It is in this context that an endeavour is made in these paragraphs to acquaint only the layman reader about the broad mechanics of Indo-Pak history. Page-116-Ibid. But there is one thing we know with certainty, that once the EEIC discovered that Wazir Ali was anti-EEIC and wanted to strengthen his army they immediately started digging facts to prove that Wazir Ali was a bastard, since the late Asif-ud-Daula was impotent! “The Revolt of 1857” Although hardly 700 out of total of this force of some 4,500 troops were Europeans 86, the psychological effect of this debacle on the sepoys was tremendous. Land deeds and titles of ownership were subjected to scrutiny and zealous young civil servants of the EEIC in a bid to emancipate the peasants annoyed the Talukdars (Jagirdars or big landlords). See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Page-38- A History of Delhi under the Later Mughals- Percival Spear-Kanishka Publishing House-Delhi-1988.The Pension was fixed at eleven and half lakh or 1.15 Million Rupees per year.The Marataha s were given the so called Mughal Emperor Rs 62,000 per month and in these terms the Mughal Emperor received a pension boost since the sum fixed by the English East India Company was larger! Given below are the chief causes of the 1857 War of Independence : Brownpundits Browncast episode 100: Creating a New Medina, Venkat Dhulipala, Book Review: Islamic Empires- Fifteen Cities that Define a Civilization. The British were different not because they were racists or fascists but because of the circumstances in which history had placed them. :- 03. We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. The period after the revolt saw major changes in British policies and in the administrative set-up of India. 1 Administrative Reasons for Failure of 1857 Revolt. For more than an year through sheer carelessness and negligence the allowances were not paid to pensioners which was part of the EEIC settlement terms. Amit Mishra But all these people had either plundered them and left or if they had stayed, they always allowed the native Indians to be a part of the dominant classes. 62A. 2.1 Superior British Army; 2.2 Limited Supplies and Lack of Modern Communication; 3 Political Reasons for the Failure of 1857 Revolt. 93. Sir Charles Napier, the Commander-in-Chief prophesied it and Dalhousie was very apprehensive about it and we can see this from following actions of Dalhousie :- (1) He gave detailed instructions to Outram, the Chief Commissioner of Oudh regarding disarming of the population of Oudh and dismantling of fortification. 69. 1857)ResultRebellion Suppressed,Final collapse of the Mughal Empire;end of Company rule … The fifth Englishman in that room managed to escape 49. 85. 91. From 1798 to 1856 their guiding principle of conduct was to somehow stay in power, however much Oudh is reduced in sovereignty or territory or in financial terms. (2) The Communication Factor. The year 1848 was an important year for India. (3) Dalhousie also realized that Indians felt excluded from the government and it was necessary to include Indians in higher policy formulation. Introduced by Lord Dalhousie. Dalhousie was a utilitarian and progressive man63. The activities of Christian missionaries were also very critically perceived by both Hindus and Muslims. Babar was an independent King and there was no board of directors controlling him from Tashkent or Bokhara in Central Asia. As a matter of fact the EEIC did start reducing their army after 1849 87. Apendix-H – Delhi – 1857 Sir Henry Norman-London-1858. There was however one subtle contradiction in all this. REVOLT OF 1857 Causes of the revolt of 1857 These are broadly categorized into four parts: Political causes: LORD DALHOUSIE: A. Doctrine of lapse. Causes of the Revolt 1857 However, the recent research has proved that the cartridge was neither the only cause nor even the most important. This was again perceived/viewed by High Caste Hindu soldiers as an attack on their religion. 53. The causes of the Great Revolt of 1857 and Sepoy Mutiny may be studied in the following heads: Political cause: Major political cause for the outbreak of the Revolt was the policy of annexation followed by Dalhousie. The EEIC forces retreat from Kabul in January 1842 shook the faith of the Bengal Army native soldiers in the invincibility of EEIC and the Britishers. 68. The tenure of Dalhousie was pathetic as far as concerns of the Indian natives are concerned. As a matter of fact, Lord Wellesley was planning to annex whole of Oudh state in September, 1801 when for this purpose he had sent his brother Henry Wellesley to the state’s Capital Lucknow 40. In fact, multiple causes i.e., social-religious-political- economic worked together to produce the rebellion. These honourable gentlemen graced the scene for a short duration and then left. But all said and done these Britishers were servants of a company which had its headquarters in London, where all policies pertaining to general operations, legislation, recruitment etc. But race is a very rigid barrier and is made more rigid by difference of religion. Their first founder King Babar could not hold his ancestral state ‘Ferghana’ in Central Asia. The Oudh Nawabs made the EEIC designs easier by gross mismanagement and debauchery. Unpopular revenue settlement Many of them married here, intimately mingled with Indians, took a deep interest in Indian history and made very positive contributions in the literary, social, educational and economic spheres. But all this was not registered by the Sepoy. It was only later on that other elements of society joined the revolt. The Britisher who came to India in 1757 or in 1847 was not always a racist. Pages-584 & 585-Cambridge History-British India-Op Cit. 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