Whereas if we compare this with lets say the Mughals we find that the third Mughal Emperor Akbar just about three decades after his grandfather Babar had established the Mughal Empire in India was freely employing Indians both Hindus and Muslims in all the ranks and appointments of his army and civil service. The unhappiness of the sepoys first surfaced in 1824 when the 47th Regiment at Barrackpur was ordered to go to Burma. Page-97- Red Year-The Indian Rebellion of 1857- London-1963. Main Leaders of Revolt of ‘1857 in India’ 24. Outram however did not carry out this order since he felt that it could be done after the summer. It is an irony of history that the east Asian tribes and races forced the west Asian nomads of Mongol and Turk origin to seek their barbaric design for plunder westwards and these central Asian people repeatedly invaded India. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Major Agha Humayun Amin (Retd0 was commissioned in March 1983 in 11 Cavalry (FF). If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. 1. 91. Causes of Revolt of 1857 Published: November 1, 2016 The various causes of the Mutiny of 1857 can be classified into several heads such as political, administrative, economic, Socio-religious, military and immediate causes. Pages 182 & 183-A Clash of Cultures-Op Cit. These were less loans and more of a forced exaction since the Nawab clearly knew that in case he refused a loan the EEIC may use force in order to make him pay. Page-97- A Clash of Cultures- Oudh, the British and the Mughals- Michael .H.Fisher-Manohar Publications-New Delhi-1987. This phenomenon was paradoxical, since the British intention in this case was positive but the landlord of that day had a much greater influence and, this the British agreed to accept at the cost of enlightenment of the people of the sub-continent after 1857. 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. The Mughals who came to India from Central Asia were exiles or political refugees. Political cause: Nana sahib was refused pension as he was the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II. Page-181-Ibid and Page-676-A Comprehensive History of India-Volume III-Henry Beveridge-Other details as cited in end Note 48.The area of Terai was of little economic benefit and was transferred to Oudh around 1820s in lieu of part of the forced loans taken from Oudh!Later the area was returned to Nepal for services against the Sepoy Rebels during the final capture of Lucknow in March 1858. This was so not because they disliked Central Asia but because it was not economically viable or safe to go and live there. The Revolt of 1857, also known as The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was caused by various factors which were political, social, economic and military in nature. The policy of annexation on part of the English East India Company was nothing but a logical outcome of superior military strength. The foremost cause of resentment in the people of Oudh against the EEIC was its extortionist policy from 1775 onwards. Private Letters 18th September 1848 and dated 12th May 1855-Private Letters of Lord Dalhousie –J.G.A Baird-Blackwood-London-1910. But alas! In this regard, they sharply differed from their predecessors the Mughals who were not really bothered about social or religious enlightenment. 46. These honourable gentlemen graced the scene for a short duration and then left. He had decided to stay in India and his descendants never thought like an Englishman of 19th century that one day they would go back and live in a palace or cottage in Central Asia. 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. These two loans were exorted to make up for the disastrous First Afghan War. The first important aspect of the whole affair is to broadly analyze the conduct of the races who conquered India. However, recent researches have proved that the cartridge was not the only cause for this revolt. Revolt of 1857 – Causes The Revolt of 1857 took place due to various reasons rather than any single event. India was a base for raw material which had to be transported to Britain. Heavy tax was imposed on opium which was a very frequently used drug. Page-299-Lawrence of Lucknow J.L Morison-London- 1934. English East India Company’s Resident to Nawab Vizier of Oudh- 16 March 1801- 580: 342-Home Miscellaneous Series -Common Wealth Relations Office-London 45. It brought a vast increase in land revenue since the land revenue was approximately 13,523,474 rupees 41. At its core, it was a Sepoy mutiny – with parts of North India, especially the civilian population of Avadh, taking part in hostilities. Subsequently geographical and logistical factors forced him to also act as a part settler and thus he made present ‘Punjab’ and ‘Frontier’ a province of his empire. He succeeded his father Asif-ud-Daula who ruled Oudh from 1775 to 1797 in September, 1797. In fact, the revolt of 1857 was the outburst of people´s feelings against, social, economic and political exploitation and hence participants from almost every field i.e. It was far more than a mutiny…. 53. Many causes led to the outbreak of Revolt of 1857. 51. Similarly Sivaji had declared himself a King, independent of the Mughal empire in second half of 17th century. These are his thoughts on the Indian Mutiny (aka “War of independence”). ….Stanley Wolpert . It can definitely be called 1st war of Independence. He did not understand the demoralizing effect which this action had on the soldiers of Bengal Army. Pages-295 & 296- The Punjab Chiefs-Volume One Sir Lepel .H. Even if the annexation of Oudh itself was not a negative step, the conduct of many officials of the EEIC alienated a vast majority of the populace. Page-138- A History of the British Army-Volume-XII-1839- 1852-Hon J.W Fortescue- Macmillan and Company limited London-1927. ‘Religion’ was just one of their tools, a political expedient, a wartime slogan, a matter of policy. The conduct of the EEIC officials was careless and irresponsible and in the process made the EEIC administration more unpopular. 78. Page-285- Life of the Marquess of Dalhousie-Volume II Lee Warner-London-1904. 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. News of British reverses in the Crimean War of 1856 also encouraged Bengal Army sepoys belief that the Britisher was not invincible. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Page-200-A Popular History of India-Op Cit. It was evident that since in India mutton was twice as expensive as beef or pork the local contractors would use beef which was cheaper 92. Before we proceed further it is important for the sake of posterity to examine various EEIC attitudes about missionary activity in India. Pages- 14 & 15-J.A.B Palmer- Op Cit. The probable reason why the viceroy’s brother agreed to only half the territory appears to have been partly a fear that complete annexation may be perceived as politically inexpedient being a violation of 1798 treaty between Sir John Shore and Oudh. Starting from the Aryans, Huns, Greeks etc. The British were ‘Christians’ by accident and religion was an insignificant factor in their list of priorities. After 1845-46 (First Sikh War) and 1848-49 (Second Sikh War) the EEIC found that they could recruit good soldier material from Punjab and trans Indus about whose fighting qualities in case of Sikhs the EEIC was convinced by virtue of the excellent fighting performance in the two Sikh wars. However from the political military or economic point of view it strengthened the EEIC’s position in northern India. 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). Books written after 1947 attempt to portray it as a struggle between ‘Hindus’ or ‘Muslims’ but it was never anything like that. There were political, economic, social, religious and military causes of the revolt. It was started by the sepoy of the company which arouses the gathered grievances of the people against the Company administration and of their dislike for the foreign administration . This also included Rohail Khand which had been conquered by the Nawab of Oudh by employment of EEIC’s Bengal Army brigade which the Nawab had hired in 1774 43. Mutinies started right from 1757 but these were over administrative, financial and caste matters and not to overthrow EEIC’s rule. The East India Company was there to stay. Thus Ghaziuddin Haider loaned the EEIC some 3.085 million Pound Sterlings during his reign from 1814-27 53. Thus a sepoy noted that ‘I used to be a great man when I went home, a servant would carry my bags, the rest of the village rose when I approached. In justice to Ahmad Shah Abdali it must be stated that Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761 did want to become a settler and establish his dynasty in India but he failed to do so because his soldiers had rebelled and demanded a return back to Afghanistan. Ibid. However long negotiations followed in which the viceroy’s brother agreed to cession of only half the territory to the EEIC’s domains.This annexation rendered Oudh politically geographically and militarily little more than a petty vassal state of the East India Company. The Mughals also could not maintain direct contact with their home country since they themselves had been expelled from their home country by the Uzbeks. The annual subsidy which Oudh had to pay was increased to 76 lakh rupees. But they started the process of annexation in 1775 when the Nawab of Oudh agreed to cede to the EEIC territories comprising Benaras, Jaunpore, Mirzapur etc. Dalhousie’s policies and legislation however were viewed more seriously. A major cause of the outbreak of the revolt was the fear among the people that the British government was determined to destroy their religion and convert Indians to Christianity. Sir John Fortescue’s opinion on this episode is worth quoting, ‘The sepoys thus saw the chief, who had observed equity on their behalf, rewarded by public disgrace’.91. 78. (4) The Organizational Factor. 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. Metcalf says Stokes undermines the assumption that 1857 was a response to general causes emanating from entire classes of people. But Babar’s descendants had no option but to employ Indians in their army and civil service keeping in view the dictates of their situation by virtue of logistical political and social necessity. Britain at this time was experiencing a population boom and India was an opportunity for many Britons who may have ended unemployed or in debtor jails had they stayed in Britain. Page-97- A Clash of Cultures-Oudh,the British and the Mughals- Michael .H.Fisher-Manohar Publications-New Delhi-1987. Page-249- A History of Persia-Volume II Brigadier General Sir Percy Sykes-Macmillan and Company Limited-Saint Martins Press-New York-1958.’Nadir was not content to remain a mere brigand’ in words of Percy Sykes.Leaders of third world countries are much bigger brigands in terms of white collar fraud and juggling with bank loans etc! 3. 69. We will examine the salient aspects which brought this change of perception in the Bengal Sepoy :- (1) The prime motivation of the Bengal Army soldiers in joining the army was economic. 72. On 18th September 1848 he in a letter said, ‘I have got two other kingdoms on hand to dispose of, Oudh and Hyderabad’. Saadat Ali Khan intrigued with the EEIC in late 1797 and a bargain was struck. One consequence of the mutiny was the establishment of direct British governance of India. Show More. The second was going across the Indus westwards which again in their opinion polluted the purity of their caste. The 1857 revolt is considered as the first serious attempt by Indians to end the British rule in India.It started as a movement in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, but continued long 90 years till India got her freedom. Pages-30 & 31- The Mughal Nobility under Aurangzeb- M Athar Ali-Oxford University Press-New Delhi-1997 33. Page 238- A History of the British Army-Volume-XIII-1852- 1859- Hon J.W Fortescue- Macmillan and Co-London-1930. This feeling that both Hinduism and Islam were in danger played a decisive role in uniting both the Hindu and Muslims. What follows is from Major Amin, unedited and unexpurgated. 34. He foresaw that a rebellion was possible. 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! Page 238- A History of the British Army-Volume-XIII-1852-1859- Hon J.W Fortescue-Macmillan and Co-London-1930. In 1849, Dalhousie appointed Sleeman as Resident of Oudh. There were two mutinies in the two respective regiments of Bengal Army over stoppage of allowances. 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. This last clause was in violation of treaty of 1801 by which the Company had agreed to defend Oudh in return for cession of half of its territory. Page-249- A History of Persia-Volume Two Brigadier General Sir Percy Sykes-Macmillan and Company Limited-Saint Martins Press-New York-1958. Origin of the Mutiny . It was a mutiny of course, not a war of independence. 73. Today we find historians very confidently asserting that there was no conspiracy in 1857 and it was a spontaneous act. These cartridges gave a simultaneous common ground to both to rationalize their hatred of the EEIC European. 36. It began when Indian troops (sepoys) in the service of Britain’s East India Company refused to use purportedly tainted weaponry. The British claimed that Wazeer Ali’s father Asafa ud Daulah was impotent and could not father a child and that either Wazeer was adopted or the illegitimate child of Asif as a result of liaision of Asif’s wife with a servant.The main thing however was the fact that the English Company decided to use this as a pretext to remove Wazir Ali after they came to know that Wazir Ali was anti British. But by and large, the common man perceived that his religion was in danger and thought that the EEIC aimed at converting all Indians to Christianity. Viewed from the political and strategic expediency point of view this treaty was a masterstroke. (4) The Muslim troops employed in the First Afghan war were demoralised because they were deployed after a long time against the Muslims. But after Buxar the EEIC did not annex Oudh because Lord Clive felt that it was too big to be practically controlled or managed by the EEIC, keeping in view the EEIC’s organization and potential at that time. Secondly, Punjab was a Muslim majority province and the Muslim potential soldiers of Punjab had no caste complications. The fourth and the most crucial factor which made the British racist and discriminatory and thus different from all previous invaders of India was the ‘Organizational Factor’. 64. 41. Page-136-A Clash of Cultures-Op Cit.The date of coronation was 18th Zil Haj or 9th October 1819.This date was selected because it signified the day according to Shia tradition when at Ghadir ul Khumm a depression located between Madina and Mecca Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) paused and revealed to his assembled companions that Ali would be the first Imam and political successor after the Prophet’s death. Sen describes it as "having begun as a fight for religion but ended as a war of independence." Dalhousie encouraged recruitment of troops from Nepal and Punjab. The Mahrattas were also against it and it was a practice mostly found in High Caste Hindus or Rajput landlords. Page-169 & 182-Ibid. UP and a bit of Bihar along with some chieftans of central India, and a helpless Mughal emperor. 82. ADVERTISEMENTS: Causes of the Revolt: a. 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. There was diverse reasons like political, economic, military, religious and social reasons for the uprising of revolt against the tyranny of British East India company. Pages-295 & 296- The Punjab Chiefs-Volume I Sir Lepel H. Griffin-Revised and Corrected by W.L Conran and H.D Craik-Civil and Military Gazette Press-Lahore-1909. In fact, multiple causes i.e., social-religious-political- economic worked together to produce the rebellion. Page-239-Popular History of India-Op Cit.Page- 575-Cambridge History-British India -Op Cit 55. The period after the revolt saw major changes in British policies and in the administrative set-up of India. In the long term, it laid the foundations for future war against the Mahrattas in the North and against Sikhs and Afghanistan subsequently. Had the British assimilated like the earlier conquerors their religion would not have been given much importance. There was rumour about an old prophecy that the company's rule would end after a hundred years. This observation was true not only for the king of Oudh but for almost all Indo-Pak rulers of that time and to a certain extent even those of today in many third world countries. Four features make it different: (1) The Third Religion Factor. Ibid. Lord Dalhousie censured him and revoked his orders. We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. Page-241-Lieutenant F.G Cardew-Op Cit. In 1857, the Rebels demonstrated bitterness towards foreign rule, even though this foreign rule would later try to improve India’s medical services. REVOLT OF 1857 Causes of the revolt of 1857 These are broadly categorized into four parts: Political causes: LORD DALHOUSIE: A. Doctrine of lapse. The civil servants, the governors, all ranks and appointments of any consequence were open to only the white man. He only informed him that he would not have to pay for his defence. Wazir Ali was claimed to be his son by Asif-ud-Daula and was generally acknowledged to be so by the vast majority in Oudh at least till 1797 when he succeeded his father Asif-ud-Daula as Nawab of Oudh in September 1797. These are his thoughts on the Indian Mutiny (aka “War of independence”). 79. 88. This was not true. The second loan was never repaid and instead a worthless part of Terai forest territory taken from Nepal was given to Oudh58. Further, they were also apprehensive about serving overseas since this meant a loss of their caste according to their beliefs. This was a signal for Wazir Ali’s armed retainers to attack which they did killing the Resident Mr. Cherry and four other Englishmen. A group of historians and writers has asserted that the Revolt was the result of a widespread and well-organized conspiracy. 38. 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. The revolt of 1857 is an important marker in Indian History, and is an area where questions have repeatedly featured in the Civil Services (Prelims) and Civil Services (Mains) Examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Pages- 8 ,9 ,10 & 11- The Mutiny Outbreak in Meerut in 1857 – J.A.B Palmer-Cambridge- 1968. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. It is also referred to as “First war of Independence”but ended up in a failure. The events of 1857 were unique both in terms of historical precedence and in terms of the socio-political sphere as far as India was concerned. As per the terms of service prior to 1856 the Bengal Army regiments could not be transported across the sea. 34. Revolt of 1857 is known as the biggest revolt by Indians against the foreigners, forcing them to leave our motherland India. New probabilities and possibilities opened for political leaders, religious thinkers and all those who held positions of power or patronage. Major General Syed Shahid Hamid (Retired)-Midas Books-Hippocrene Books-New york-1983. yet much less than a first war of Independence. Page-585-Cambridge History-British India-1497-1858-Op Cit. The increasing activities of the Christian missionaries and the actual conversions made by them were taken as a proof of this fear. Sleeman’s report was published in 1851. THE ATTACK ON SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. Page-138- A History of the British Army-Volume-XII-1839-1852-Hon J.W Fortescue-Macmillan and Company Limited, London-1927. Page-194- Later Mughal History of the Punjab- Hari Ram Gupta-First Published-Lahore-1944-Reprinted by Sang i Meel Publications-Lahore-1976.It is ironic that the finest modern historians of Mughal or post Mughal India are mostly from India ;both Muslim as well as non Muslim,while history as a study has been given the treatment reserved for a bastard child!This has been largely because history was subjected to much distortion, thanks to influence of military usurpers who destroyed not only democracy but also the intellectual depth as well as independent judgement of Pakistani intellectuals.