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Indian War of Independence 1857

The “Mutiny” as it was called by the British was, in fact, the first War of Independence against the British government in 1857. Starting from Meerut on May 10, 1857 on the issue of the cartridges made up of fat with the meat of pigs (and which needed to take into mouth before operating it) it broke out in the other parts of India. The soldiers (recruited by the British Government) refused to use this weaponry and revolted against the British Crown.

The East India Company came under a direct threat caused by a civil rebellion in Central India and Upper Gangetic Plain, Northern Madhyia Pardesh, Bihar and Delhi. Since the soldiers were militarily trained and higher in number, they took hold of the city of Delhi and pushed the English Army out. Bahadur Shah Zafar was made the King of India without knowing that he had the capability of the gigantic responsibility. The King was hailed by the masses and coins of his name were issued and he got popularity in the public. Bakht Khan was made the Commander-in-Chief after Mirza Mughal, the son of Bahadur Shah.

Before the War of Independence broke out, some incidents near Meerut and other places took places which echoed later for freedom from the British Raj. Parikshit Garh near Meerut revolted against the British Government led by Choudhary Kadam Singh with an army of 2000 to 10000. Maho Singh took hold of Bijnor while Bulandshahr also revolted on a small scale under the leadership of Walidad Khan. Mufti Nizamuddin, a religious scholar urged the people by his Fatwa to accompany Rao Tula Ram of Haryana. These events were the preludes of the imminent freedom movement which though ended in failure but gave a message of discontent with the British Crown.

The War brought some initial successes perhaps it was unexpected for the British Crown and they had no prenuptials to combat the revolt. Therefore, Madhyia Perdesh, Bihar and Hariana came under their detention but the Indian Army could not keep up the pace because it lacked the artillery. They were under the Crown by the end of the day. The British Army was equipped with higher level and number of artillery leading to their upper hand in Delhi where Bahadur Shah Zafar hid himself. Delhi was avenged of the soldiers of British Army in a brutal way by the British Army after their ‘victory’. Bahadur Shah Zafar was arrested and sent to Rangoon and his sons were beheaded and their heads were brought before Bahadur Shah Zafar as meals. Bahadur Shah Zafar died in his imprisonment.

The war ended up with the sweeping victory of the British Raj and the end of the 800 years rule of the Muslims on the Sub-Continent. The Victory in War gave them authorities to avenge the disobediences and they made the policies later on to deprive the Muslims of their due rights in India. They were denied their due share in employments, education, trade, and finance while the Hindus were given priority in these domains. Posts of ink fillers, koolies, and messengers were fixed for the Muslims as punishment for their audacity in 1857.

About SAIMA ASHRAF

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