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First war of independence: 1857
It is all well and good that Swami Dayanand launched this agitation against the British, but what about the moslems?

Aren't they foreigners too? What are they doing in India? How come he didn't say a single word against these barbarians?
During Swami Dayanand time first priority was get rid of British and christian missionaries. Muslims were third priority. Second was take back Hindus religion to vedantic based and away from suffi based. Muslims era tried to dilute Hinduism to some extent. During same time Roy, Vivekananda and other started reviving Hinduism.
It is wrong to say that swami Dayanand was not concerned about the Islamic threat. At a time when many Hindu authors were mushy about the whole business, Dayanandji in a Hindi tract demolished the pretensions of Islam. Unfortunately this Hindi text was banned in India. However, you can pick it up in some book stall if you scout around in the desh.

It is another matter that SD had peculiar views vis-a-vis main stream Hindu thought. However, to see the positive side of it, at least the Arya Samaj contributed to interest in the vedic texts amongst many North Indians who were losing touch with them.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Unfortunately this Hindi text was banned in India. However, you can pick it up in some book stall if you scout around in the desh.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
English version-
Complete book
LIGHT OF TRUTH/Satyartha Prakasha
<img src='http://www.britishempire.co.uk/images3/mutinycawnporebarracks.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
Kanpur barracks.
after the relief of the barracks. The relieving forces shown are from the 1st Madras Fusiliers
<b>The spirit of 1857 </b>
Subramanian Swamy
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mutiny Memorial:
On the way down from the Ridge, along Rani Jhansi Road is a strange Gothic tower that is a poor copy of the Prince Albert Memorial in London. This is the Mutiny Memorial – an octagonal, tapering tower built to commemorate the British and the Indians who fought on their side in 1857.

In panels around its base are recorded the <b>2,163 officers and men who were killed, wounded and went missing between 8 June and 7 September 1857</b>. Against a list of the encounters in 1857 are three columns: killed, wounded and missing. <b>All the officers and soldiers have further been categorized as Native and European</b>

The <b>Mutiny memorial was renamed Ajitgarh on the 25th anniversary of India’s freedom </b>and aptly converted into a memorial for the Indian martyrs who rose against colonial rule. A new plaque on the site attempts to set the record straight:

The ‘enemy’ of the inscriptions on this monument were those who rose against colonial rule and fought bravely for national liberation in 1857. In memory of the heroism of these immortal martyrs for Indian freedom, this plaque was unveiled on the 25th anniversary of the nation’s attainment of Freedom, 28th August 1972.
People who fought against the British in 1857 had many different motives. Some wanted to reinstall the Moghul Empire. Some wanted to stop the British take over of the Princely states. Some were fighting for their religion. Then there were others who were venting their frustration at the pay and living condition in the Bengal Army. Whatever be the reason for the uprising against the British these people did have a vague feeling that the British were outsiders and should go. There is thus some evidence for calling the uprising "war for independence".

There is also evidence against calling the uprising the "war for independence". A large section of people did not fight the British but in fact supported them. Sikh soldiers fought with the British. The intellectuals in Kolkata, Mumbai etc did not seem to oppose British rule. One reason was that many of these intellectuals were opposed to the reinstallation of the Mughal Emperor. Their thought was that the British rule was better than the Mughal rule.

It is thus not so easy to characterize the 1857 event. My personal position is that while the 1857 uprising is more than a mere mutiny, it is less than a "war for independence". Firstly, it is clear that the nation's intellectuals did not support the war. Secondly, the Indian soldiers who fought in the war did not think in terms of nation or independence but were feudal in outlook. This feudal and non-national attitude of Indian soldiers and their commanders is clear from their military strategy. Indian combatants fought a largely static battle trying to defend the cities like Delhi or Kanpur. Their strategy was not an All-India military strategy. I have not seen any awareness on the part of the Indian commanders that the long supply line of the British was vulnerable to attack. Indian commanders never moved out of Delhi, Meerut, Kanpur etc. They never attacked Kolkata or Mumbai and cut off the British supply line.
They should have occupied the ports and tried to take over the ammunition stocks of the British led army. Nana Saheb did try to move towards Nagpur but gave up when he did not get support from the country side. The point I am making is that the Indian commanders did not think in terms of a nation but more in terms if defending their local turfs. British on the other hand raced towards Delhi or Kanpur or Meerut from Kolkata with their supply lines stretching 7000 miles from a fog shrouded island off the main land of Europe. It would have to wait another 14 years before genuine nationalists like S.N. Bannerjee would emerge.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In a way, 1857 is more significant for Indian nationhood and history than even the 1947 "tryst with destiny." The British imperialists who understood the significance and import of that uprising ensured that it was ridiculed and downgraded as a "Sepoy mutiny," as a sporadic and limited uprising of soldiers ignited by obscurantist factors such as an aversion to `pig fat' in the cartridges. Marxist thinkers also tended to play it down as a "reaction." In a series of articles published in 1857, Karl Marx termed it as an army revolt, "a military mutiny"but of national proportion only because "the natives' apprehension" that the government might otherwise interfere with their religion. It was only in 1957 that the Marxist writer P.C. Joshi corrected the perspective.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

In 1857, First time in Indian history when Indians realized need to unite country against foreign religion and aggressor. Realization of nationhood was formed breaking religious boundaries. It’s a most significant period for Indians when they started planning and identifying their weakness and strength after failure of uprising against British. During same time revival of Vedanta was in full swing, which was to unite Hindus and decline of Mughal or Muslim culture and conversion. Elite like every country look for money or status but 1857 changed or sowed seed for change in their attitude.
I am watching the Chanakya serial and the resemblance is stunning except ofcourse the absence of Acharya VishnuGupta.. <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+May 20 2005, 04:08 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ May 20 2005, 04:08 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> gangajal,
In 1857, First time in Indian history when Indians realized need to unite country against foreign religion and aggressor. Realization of nationhood was formed breaking religious boundaries.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I wish this were true. The fact is that a very large fraction of India remained quiet or actually supported the British.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> It?s a most significant period for Indians when they started planning and identifying their weakness and strength after failure of uprising against British. During same time revival of Vedanta was in full swing, which was to unite Hindus and decline of Mughal or Muslim culture and conversion. Elite like every country look for money or status but 1857 changed or sowed seed for change in their attitude.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Yes, this part may well be true. 1857 might well have laid the seeds for change. I think what 1857 showed was that it would not be possible to defeat the British with old-fashion thinking.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I wish this were true. The fact is that a very large fraction of India remained quiet or actually supported the British<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
They remain quiet but very small number supported especially Sikhs. Reason for staying quiet doesn't mean they welcomed but it was a sign of society which was oppressed for long duration.
Lack of communication and organization capability, which was systematically destroyed by repetitive attacks of Muslims and atrocities on local population for over 800 years.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I am watching the Chanakya serial and the resemblance is stunning except ofcourse the absence of Acharya VishnuGupta.. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
There were many local level Acharya VishnuGupta during 1857 but they failed to evoke response to a level which could have toppled British Raj. Priest and their 'roti' campagin needed more time plus lack of weapons and orgainsation capability to wage modern war.
Indian historian failed to give recognition to local VishnuGupta, names like Swami Omanand, Swami Purananand, Swami Virajanand, Swami Dayanand are nowhere mentioned.

There is no cognizance of names like Nahar Singh, Rao Tula Ram, and of sacrifices of the men and women of the Jat Sarv Khap. There is no mention in our histories of how the headmen of the Panchayat of each village in South Punjab (Haryana) were hanged to death, and entire villages were burnt to the ground.
It was 1855. Haridwar was preparing for Kumbh Mela. Sadhus and sanyasis i.e. the clerics were heading towards Haridwar in droves, visiting cities on the way. This was the time when the East India Company, like a mischievous serpent was finding all ways and means of swallowing the remainder of the free principalities and kingdoms of the Indian subcontinent that were still not under its control. Not only were the people of India fed up of its treacherous actions and rebelling against them, there was among them, a revolutionary zeal to crush the fangs of the this venomous serpent. The troupes of Sadhus and devotees on way to the Kumbh Mela would, among themselves; talk about the treacherous deeds the East India Company perpetrated in their areas. In essence the English company’s treacheries had become the hot topic of conversation.

On his way to the Kumbh Mela, Maharishi Dayanand stopped at Delhi. On one day he was having his meal with a group of about 8-10 Sadhus on the banks of the River Yamuna. At the time a little child and his mother were passing by that way. As was customary, the mother stood by to pay her respects to the Sadhus. The child stared contemplatively on the Sadhus and had this to say –

“Mataji, our country is sinking under the tyranny and treachery of the Christian foreigners and priests and hundreds of thousands of our Sadhus are all the time busy feeding themselves. They don’t worry about the defence of their country or their religion. For them the stomach is their God and God their stomach.”

The priests were furious. Their tempers bubbled at boiling points. One Sadhu sprang to his feet and was about to hurl curses at the child whereupon the mother prostrated herself at the feet of the Sadhu wailing and begging for mercy. Dayanand could not stand it any longer. Springing up to his feet, first of all he calmed down the Sadhus boiling anger and then addressed the mother respectfully-
“Mataji, the boy speaks the truth. Your son appears to be the messenger of the gods. At the very least the child’s comments have opened my eyes.”

Introducing the boy Dayanandji wrote, “ Upon enquiry I have discovered that 28 years prior to that date, the boy’s father, a brave soldier and an Aligharh Zamindar (landed aristocrat), gave up his life bravely defending the Haathrath Castle against Lord Hastings’s incessant hail of bombarding shells. I placed my hands on the child’s head and blessed him.

From the above description it is obvious that the incident influenced Dayanandji profoundly. His ambition had always been to reform religion but after this incident Dayanand aimed also to awaken national consciousness among the people. In his autobiography Maharishi Dayanand has also acknowledged that at that very time, under the leadership of a Marathi Sadhu, a hundred pundits (priests), dressed as Sadhus, were travelling the length and breadth of India rousing among the people a national renaissance. Maharishi Dayanand had many secret consultations with the Marathi Sadhu.

Visiting the main centres on the way, Dayanand Ji arrived at Haridwar. He was only 33 then. He reached Haridwar long before the commencement of the Kumbh Mela. Of the five pilgrimage centres at Haridwar, he found Neel Parbat the most peaceful and picturesque. The centre also provided good facilities for yoga and companionship with yogis (practitioners of yoga).

Kumbh Mela started. Rudranand Ji, a Sanyasi from a place called Chandi, also on Neel Parbat, told Dayanand of the movement among the people to free India from foreign powers. The leaders of this revolutionary movement, he advised, were at Haridwar, and were going to visit them at Neel Parbat. From then on Maharishi Dayanand eagerly looked forward to meeting the leaders of the revolutionary movement.

A few days later five revolutionary leaders arrived at Neel Parbat looking for “the mahatma from Abu Shail.” ( Maharishi Dayanand had for many years practised yoga at Shail).

The five revolutionary leaders were-
 Nana Sahib, and his brother Bala Sahib
 Ajimullah Khan
 Tantaya Tope
 Vir Kuar Singh of Jagdishpur
These five leaders discussed in great detail the motives for the liberation of India, thus resolving many of their doubts and misgivings. In reply to one question from Nana Sahib Dayanand Ji had this to say- “ No foreign power has the right to rule another country. The English are foreigners. Their prosperity depends on exploiting India… They are like killer animals forcibly ruling over India. India doesn’t want this. To rob India of its love for honesty, goodness, and its ancient tradition is a sin of the worst order and to tolerate it an even greater sin. When the soul of India will cry out “We don’t want the English.” only then the English will be compelled to give up their hold on India. In a similar manner his fore- vision to a reply to one question from Ajimullah proved cent % correct. He said-

“Once again, in future, the result of national revolution cannot but be auspicious. This revolution will come a hundred years from the Battle of Plassey. Then the revolution will continue for a further hundred years. Victory is inevitable. A lot of sacrifices are yet to be made.”

Ajimullah Khan asked another question, “In what manner can we, with secrecy, spread the word of people revolt among the civilian population and the military. We seek your counsel on this matter.”

Advising on the mode of spreading the message of revolution among the civilians and the military, Dayanand explained, “I have already stated of the very ancient Sanatan tradition. To spread the message among the military and civilians the symbols of lotus flower and chapati (thin unleavened bread) are to be used.

Dayanand also explained in some great detail how the lotus flower and chapati would become the main carriers of the message of the revolution. Soon after this Ajimullah Khan met with great success in spreading the message of revolution using the symbols of lotus flower and chapatti among the general public and the military cantonments throughout the country. The main distinguishing feature of this silent message has been its total secrecy. The British did not get a clue of it till the very last.

Kumbh Mela procession was in progress. It pained him greatly to see assemblies of Sadhus and other clerics in the parade. He ruminated “ So much of happiness in enslaved India? Have these people forgotten that our motherland is in the clutches of foreigners and our sophisticated ancient traditions are being polluted by the foreigners. Don’t these people know that the foreign demon has seized our motherland in its clutches and is in the process of swallowing it completely? Don’t these people understand that if a thousand saints, Sadhus, ascetics, and mahatmas (i.e. the clerics) also took part in the coming revolution, and offered their services in sacrifice, the country will be saved from total destruction. I have made a firm resolution that during Kumbh Mela I shall aim to inspire people to rise to protect the nation and its traditions, its beliefs and cultures. I shall appeal to the people to be united and be ever ready to protect and serve the nation. I shall also request the ordinary people busy with their daily lives, and the different national figures who have come to this Mela to assist in this effort.

Leaders of some of the sects became very jealous of the spreading fame of Dayanand. They started the propaganda that the Sadhu who had arrived at Chandi Parbat was an impostor i.e. a fake (dissembling) Sadhu. They urged the public to chase him away from of Haridwar. This very interesting incident is very vividly described in “Autobiography of An Yogi” (page 204) thus-

… Full of curious anxious curiosity, Sadhus & sanyasis, ascetics, and the general pilgrims started coming to Chandi Parbat to see for themselves the impostor that I was made to be. Gradually and by day the number of pilgrims coming to see went up. Twice every day, in the mornings and afternoon, I would stand in front of the pilgrims and preach for an independent nation and for the protection of its independent creed. This was the starting point in my life for public speaking. The public, men and women, would stop, listen intently and then leave.

Soon afterwards Maharani Lakshmi Bai and Nana Sahib’s mother arrived at Neel Parbat to meet with Dayanand. Lakshmi Bai explained her plight regarding the English plot to grab her kingdom. Eyes swelling with tears, the Maharani repeated to Dayanand her firm resolve “Mahatama Ji, as long as I live I shall never ever surrender the land of my husband’s ancestors to the enemy. I shall die fighting but not hand Jhansi on a platter to the plundering band of thugs.

Complimenting the Rani on her firm resolve, Mahatama Ji said, “ I have already stated that no one can make the perishable body permanent. Those that give up their bodies fighting for their country and liberty don’t die. They shall be worshipped till eternity.”

In spite of all of Mahatama Ji’s protests, Lakshmi Bai presented to him a thousand rupees at the time of leave taking.

Before leaving Kumbh Mela, Nana Sahib once more came to Mahatama Ji for his blessings. Mahatama Ji had received, as presents, a sum of Rupees 2,633 from Maharani Lakshmi Bai and other princes, and the people. He gave to Nana Sahib the entire sum as blessings to be sacrificed for the defence of the nation.

He advised, “ Leading people and playing with fire are both fraught with danger. An ordinary little slip can lead to total destruction. All moneys given to me in the form of presents will be sent to you as blessings for the defence of the country.’

Nana Sahib and Lakshmi Bai spread among the pilgrims the news that the Mahatama Ji from Abu Shail staying at Neel Parbat is preparing to unite the sanyasis for the defence of their nation. After that, hundreds of Sadhus and sanyasis started arriving at Neel Parbat to meet with Dayanand ji. To all of them he gave the following message-

“ I urge you to get united under a central control. The country is our mother and liberty our father. We should be ready to defend them both. Lists of all the Sadhus who take this vow shall be prepared”. Whereupon the Sadhus said, “On inspiration from you we have already prepared a list of approximately 250 Sadhus. Whenever you wish, call upon us, and we shall be ready for the defence our country.”

Swami Ji spoke, “It is absolutely necessary to instil inspiration and awakening for the defence of country and its way s of life among the military and civilians using methods used in the ancient days and using the symbols of the lotus flower and chapatti throughout the length and breadth of the country, from the East to the West, and North to the South.

Agreeing to carry out my proposal, they left promising, “We shall network as we move on.”

On the spur of the moment I had said that is important that you should go in North India towards Meerut, in East India towards Berakhpur, in South India towards Velore. You must at all times keep in touch with Purohit Trishul Baba of the Yoga Maya Mandir in Delhi from where you will get news of the movement regularly and from where I will get news of your activities.

It is very evident from the above that Maharishi Dayanand had, for the 1857 revolution, started an organisation of the clerics (Sadhus). The focal point of the organisation was the yoga Maya Mandir in Delhi. This organisation roused national consciousness in all of India, rural and urban. But its most important contribution was the dissemination of the message of the impending revolution planned for the 31st. May to all the military cantonments. Under the pretext of prayer meetings, the priests of various orders would arrive at a military cantonment with flowers, incense etc. and in the course of prayer meetings, explain to the soldiers that the cartridges they were using had been polished with a mixture of cows’ and pigs’ fat with a view to destroying Hindu and Moslem religions and culture. Having given this information, a lotus flower was passed from hand to hand, under the pretext that it was Prasad. With the lotus flower in hand the soldiers took their vow for the revolution. Maharishi Dayanand was in constant touch with these groups of clerics and would himself personally journey from place to place. On one occasion, seated under a banyan tree in front of a military camp at Berakhpur, Maharishi Dayanand was doing yogic resonance. When the Indian soldiers at the camp learnt of his presence, they came out and met him and asked him many questions on the use of cow and pig fat on cartridges. This was the time when Mangal Pandey first established contact with Dayanand Ji and received his blessings.

During June, July and August of 1857 when Nana Sahib, Tantya Tope, and Ajimullah Khan were busy fighting the awesome war, Maharishi Dayanand stayed in the area between Kanpur and Allahabad, spending his time inspiring the rajahs and princes to support Nana Sahib.

Maharishi Dayanand exposed the deceitful pretensions of the Hindus, Muslims, and Christians in his incontrovertible sermons at Calcutta. Many turned against him. In spite of all the opposition and threats from them, Dayanand continued with his teachings. Impressed with Dayanand, one padre arranged an interview for Dayanand with the Vice Roy. The Vice Roy requested-

“In your sermons…Will you also tell of the many benefits made available through the British rule? And at the beginning of the speeches, in your supreme prayer, will you also pray for an undivided British rule over the country?”

Dayanand gave a stern and clear reply. He said, “I cannot accept your proposal. It’s my firm belief that for the unfettered political progress of my countrymen, and to gain equal status among the nations of the world, independence is necessary immediately. Every morning and afternoon I shall pray for the emancipation from the slavery of the foreigners.

The Vice Roy ended the meeting, gave out orders for strict watch over this revolutionary fakir, and instructions were issued to appoint secret agents to spy on him.

After the unsuccessful revolution by the soldiers, Maharishi Dayanand went on a tour of southern India. Nana Sahib too was in the area. Upon the availability of a letter in Nana Sahib’s own handwriting, it was then proven that Nana Sahib despatched Mora Pant Fadke, disguised as Nana Sahib, to Nepal. He himself, disguised as a Sadhu, departed for Saurashtra. Nana Sahib searched for Mahatama Dayanand of Abu Shail from place to place among the groups of roving Sadhus. He was finally rewarded. Returning from Delhi’s Yoga Mandir, one Sadhu told him that Maharishi Dayanand was on a tour of Southern India and added that Dayanand Ji would sojourn at Kanyakumari for some time. Soon after that Nana Sahib, Tantya Tope, and Durjaya Rao, disguised as Sadhus, met Dayanand Ji at Kanyakumari. Once again Dayanand instilled and motivated new inspiration in the hearts of these disappointed war heroes.

He said, “I am informed of events up to the defeat and the penetration into Nepal. There is no reason to lose hope or be disappointed. Both victory and defeat at war are very useful in the achievement of independence. You will be the inspiration in future for sacrifice, bravery, courage, fearlessness, and independence.

Nana Sahib received from Maharishi Dayanand the ashram of sanyas i.e. Nana Sahib received from Dayanand the vow of renunciation. Administering the vow, Maharishi Dayanand dubbed him Dibyananda (translated it means divine joy). After receiving inspiration from Dayanand, Tanya Tope, once again, launched struggle against the English.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+May 20 2005, 06:22 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ May 20 2005, 06:22 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> Indian historian failed to give recognition to local VishnuGupta, names like Swami Omanand, Swami Purananand, Swami Virajanand, Swami Dayanand are nowhere mentioned.

There is no cognizance of names like Nahar Singh, Rao Tula Ram, and of sacrifices of the men and women of the Jat Sarv Khap. There is no mention in our histories of how the headmen of the Panchayat of each village in South Punjab (Haryana) were hanged to death, and entire villages were burnt to the ground. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The atrocities commited by Havelock and co on their march from Kolkata to Delhi are well known. Apparently there was not a single tree that was not used to hang people.

I agree with you that a few people like Tantya Tope did have a nationalistic attitude.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->From: "Kalavai Venkat" <history_judge@...>
Date: Thu Jun 16, 2005  11:38 am
Subject: Re: The Mutiny of 1857  history_judge
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Dear Dr. C J S Wallia,

Ref msg # 76179.

<<<As I wrote before, the objective of the Mutiny in the Bengal army was to reinstate the authority of the Mughals in Delhi, an objective wholly repugnant to the Sikhs. Moreover, the Bengal army had only eight years earlier invaded the Punjab.>>>

Dr. Elst made some correct observations about Ranjit Singh. No matter how revisionists like to see him, the fact is that Ranjit Singh remained servile to the British. The British had taken some solid whipping at the hands of the Nepalis in 1816 CE. The Nepalis proposed a treaty with Ranjit Singh [which they again repeated in 1824 CE] and given the bashings that the British took in Burma in 1824 CE, any such pact would've weakened the British and actually strengthened Ranjit. But he declined and remained loyal to the British. Likewise, he declined to join forces with the Maratha [deposed] and the Bharatapur rulers in 1824 and 1825 CE respectively.

Of course, despite their outward shows of friendships � donating horses and going on a poaching mela � the British had no respect for Ranjit Singh. They actually aided and abetted the Wahhabi uprising against the Sikhs, which certainly weakened Ranjit Singh. Despite the death of Sayyid Ahmad at Bareilly in 1831 CE, the Wahhabis had proved to be formidable and treacherous enemies of the Sikhs. So, if at all the Sikhs had any animosity, it was towards the Muslims, who were also fighting the British in the mutiny. It was not against the practically defunct Mughal.

Contrary to what most revisionists like to believe, the origins of the Mutiny were in Vellore, Tamilnadu in 1806 CE. The British had banned the use of Hindu caste and religious marks, including wearing of the tilak or vibhuti on the forehead. Of course, the exiled family of Tipu Sultan was opportunistic enough to join hands with the mutineers. The substantial Muslim population of the Arcot district joined the mutiny once the Tipu Sultan connection was materialized. The British put the mutineers down.

The next phase of the uprising was in 1824 CE during the Burmese war. The Hindu soldiers at Barrackpur had been agitating against the unjust pay terms imposed by the British. The British reversals in Burma gave them the ideal setting to mutiny.

The 1857 Mutiny was merely a continuation of these two earlier revolts. Once again, the 1857 Mutiny started in the barracks of Dum Dum by the Hindu soldiers. The Muslims would join later. The trigger was again violation of religious code even though the discontent had been brewing for nearly 5 decades. Mangal Pandey made the first open call for the sepoys to unite for protecting their religious codes. In the ensuing dual, he knocked down the 2 British officers that combated him as thousands of soldiers watched. The sight of a Hindu soldier single-handedly fighting 2 horse-borne British officers and knocking them down set the adrenalin of the Hindu soldiers flowing. Till this point, the Mutiny was a Hindu affair � to be precise, remembering Ambedkar's repeated pleas of Mahar loyalty to the British, it was largely an upper caste Hindu rebellion motivated by religion and exploitative pay terms.

After Pandey was executed, the British disbanded the 34th NI and the 19th, the predominantly Hindu regiments. No Muslim regiments were disbanded. The disbanded soldiers constituted the ideal recruiting base for the Mutiny. So, the Mutiny started entirely as a Bengal regiment Hindu rebellion against the British on 2 considerations: religion and pay. They simply didn't have any vision for the long-

Even though the Bengal regiment Hindu soldiers had started the Mutiny in January 1857 CE, it would take them another 4 months to reach Delhi. The mutineers suffered some serious setbacks in Kanpur and Meerut en route. It was at that time that the proposals to declare Bahadur Shah as the emperor of India were heard for the first time. The reasons aren't hard to figure: Once the Mutiny spread to UP, a large number of Muslim soldiers joined.

So, the declaration of the powerless Bahadur Shah as the emperor of India was rather a late development. It was not at all part of the original vision. It is worth noting that the Sikh contingents hadn't supported the Mutiny even in its early stage from January to May. It is a travesty of facts to claim that this was due to the Bahadur Shah factor, as that simply didn't exist then. A better answer is that as evident from the policies and practices of Ranjit Singh, the Sikhs found it beneficial to be loyal to the British. Ravi Chaudhary may be right that the Sikh population may not have been disposed against the mutineers. But, we don't have a way of evaluating that unless someone familiar with the primary sources from Punjab can discuss them. It is clear that the powers that be among the Sikhs had been loyal to the British as discussed above.

PS: For an excellent discussion on this topic, please see "British Paramountcy and Indian Renaissance," Parts 1, 2 and 3, Ed. R C Majumdar, A K Majumdar and D K Ghosh. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Before calling it was just a revolt or a mutiny I suggest people should read what others have written.

Swamy on Savarkar: http://www.hvk.org/articles/0505/32.html

A Bnagladesh page : http://www.geocities.com/raqta24/bangla5a.htm

Kamat.com page on 1857: http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/itihas/1857.htm

and und so weiter.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There is no cognizance of names like Nahar Singh, Rao Tula Ram, and of sacrifices of the men and women of the Jat Sarv Khap. There is no mention in our histories of how the headmen of the Panchayat of each village in South Punjab (Haryana) were hanged to death, and entire villages were burnt to the ground.

Can you provide more details?
I am interested in what happened here.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Can you provide more details?
I am interested in what happened here.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Rao Tula Ram</b>

Raja Nahar Singh

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