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Homage to all those who were part of the events of 1857

  • Published
    11th May, 2022
Context

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to all those who were a part of the events of 1857 for their outstanding courage.

  • On May 10, in 1857 began the historic First War of Independence, which ignited a spirit of patriotism among our fellow citizens and contributed to the weakening of colonial rule.
About

The Revolt of 1857:

  • The first expression of organised resistance was the Revolt of 1857.
  • It began as a revolt of the sepoys of the Company’s army but eventually secured the participation of the masses.
  • Main events of the revolt: Soon there was a rebellion in the Meerut Cantonment. The Meerut Mutiny (May 9, 1857) marked the beginning of the Revolt of 1857. The Indian sepoys in Meerut murdered their British officers and broke open the jail. On May 10, they marched to Delhi.
    • Capture of Delhi:
      • In Delhi the mutineers were joined by the Delhi sepoys and the city came under their control.
      • Next day, on 11th May, the sepoys proclaimed the ageing Bahadur Shah Zafar the Emperor of Hindustan.
      • But Bahadur Shah was old and he could not give able leadership to the sepoys. The occupation of Delhi was short-lived.
    • Fall of Delhi:
      • The British finally attacked Delhi in September. For six days there was desperate fighting.
      • But by September 1857, the British reoccupied Delhi. Thousands of innocent people were massacred and hundreds were hanged.
      • The old king was captured and later deported to Rangoon where he died in 1862. His sons were shot dead. T
      • hus ended the imperial dynasty of the Mughals.
    • Centres of the revolt and leaders:
      • Delhi - General Bakht Khan
      • Kanpur - Nana Saheb
      • Lucknow - Begum Hazrat Mahal
      • Bareilly - Khan Bahadur
      • Bihar - Kunwar Singh
      • Faizabad - Maulvi Ahmadullah
      • Jhansi - Rani Laxmibai
      • Baghpat - Shah Mal
    • Nature
      • C. Majumdar and S.N. Sen— “Not an organised ‘national’ revolt”
      • C. Majumdar— “Neither first, nor National War of Independence”
      • D. Savarkar—“War of independence”
      • Eric Stokes—“Elitist in character”
      • Lawrence and Seeley—“Mere sepoy mutiny”
      • R. Holmes—“A conflict between civilisation and barbarism”
      • James Outram—“A Mohammedan conspiracy making capital of Hindu grievances”
      • Percival Spear—Three phases of the revolt

Timeline of the Revolt of 1857

Important dates

Events

February 1857 

Sepoys of the 19th Native Infantry refused to use rifles.

March 1857

The Native Infantry disbanded after Mangal Pandey injures 2 British soldiers.

April 1857 

Mangal Pandey is hanged and troops at Meerut refused to use greased cartridges.

May 1857 

Unrest in Ambala, troops slaughter Europeans and Christians as they reach Delhi. Bahadur Shah II was proclaimed as the Mughal ruler in Delhi. Jhansi state was captured by rebels and handed over to Rani of Jhansi.

June 1857 

Mutinies in Lucknow, Bhurtpore and Rohilkhand started.

July 1857

Unrest in the entire country. Nana Sahib was defeated in the first battle of Cawnpore. Lord Canning issued his ‘Clemency’ resolution stating that mutineers who aren’t convicted of murder should not be hanged.

September 1857 

Delhi captured and cleaned of rebel groups.

November 1857 

Kavanaugh escaped from Lucknow. Children and Women evacuated from Lucknow. British withdraw from Lucknow.

December 1857 

Tantia Tope was defeated in the third battle of Cawnpore.

April 1858 

Jhansi was captured by the British.

June 1858

Battle of Gwalior and Rani of Jhansi’s death.

August 1858 

Queen Victoria transferred the authority of India from the East India Company to the Crown.

April 1859 

Tantia Tope was executed after being found guilty of betrayal. 

July 1859 

Peace declared.

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