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The Magna Carta of Indian Liberty (1858)

The East India Company faced a countless isolated revolts and a remarkable rebellion in 1857 which proved to be the most jerking for the Company. The Sepoy Mutiny as it was called by the East India Company was direct upshot of the guns given to the Indian soldiers recruited by the Company. The grease on these guns was made of the meat of the pigs and the soldiers were required to touch them with their teeth.

It outraged the Muslim soldiers for whom it was religiously forbidden. The revolt started from Delhi spilled over to the areas of Allahabad, Jhansi, Breli, Kanpur, Lukhnow, Banaras, and Jagdishpur. On account of being less organized and less equipped, the rebels had to face a defeat at the hands of the Company and also had to face the music. Bahadur Shah Zafar, who was made the King by the masses of India, was sent to jail in Rangoon whereas his sons were slaughtered and their heads were presented to him as meals. The Company got its hold on the whole of India and the Muslim monarch for 800 came to an end. The East India Company issued a declaration on November, 1858 which brought India under the British Crown. The Declaration consisted of these features:

  • The British Crown appointed a Viceroy for India to rule and control it.
  • Religious freedom was granted to the Indians by the Crown and an equal deal was promised to them.
  • Princes were authorized to adopt a son to inherit their states.

Treaties were regarded by the British.


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