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Sepoy Rebellion

The Sepoy Rebellion Introduction Indian history of freedom struggle talks mainly about the non-violence measures used by Gandhi and his followers . Indians always take pride in the fact that they won independence not by guns , but by sheer determination and strong will power . However , when it comes to India ‘s freedom struggle , the mention of the Sepoy Rebellion has to be there .There have been numerous uprisings against the British rule . However ,the Sepoy Rebellion was the strongest one and it laid the foundation for the freedom struggle against a mighty British Empire . The Sepoy (native troops ) Rebellion is also regarded as the ‘First War of Indian Independence . Although the rebellion was confined to some particular places and was suppressed by the British forces , it raised the morale of the subdued Indians .A Brief History The British East India Company was in control of at least two-third parts of India when the rebellion broke out . Although the company initially aimed at expanding its business in India , lack of unity between the Indian rulers provided it with an opportunity to conquer the territories of the country . “The Battle of Plassey in 1757 and the Battle of Buxar in 1764 helped the Company expand its areas of control in India (Guha , 1999 : 27 .To control the trading operations in its occupied areas and carry out its expansion ambition , the East India Company needed a large contingent of troops . Not surprisingly , Indians became the largest part of the British forces in India . “The Company began recruiting native people as troops in 1667 . By 1857 , the Indian troops outnumbered the Europeans by a huge margin (Guha , 1999 : 28 .Although the Indians worked under the British administration , they were never happy with the treatment meted out to them . The reform process taken out by the East India Company did not go well with the average Indians and they viewed it as a conspiracy to destroy their culture and identity . The growing tension and discontent among the Indian troops sparked off small revolts several times before 1857 , but they were quickly suppressed . However , the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 took the mighty British Empire by shock and surprise .Immediate Cause The Indian troops were disgruntled with the British troops and the administration , which maintained a discriminatory attitude towards the Indians . “The immediate spark to begin the rebellion was caused by the introduction of the new Enfield rifles in the Army . Soldiers were required to bite a greased cartridge to load these rifles . There was a rumor that the cartridge was made of cow and pig fat . The Hindus , who worshipped cows as sacred and the Muslims , who considered pigs as unclean became furious at this revelation and rose up against the Company (Hathaway , 2001 : 45 . They accused the British of destroying their religion and attempting to convert them into Christians .Progress of the Rebellion “Mangal Pandey , a sepoy of 34th Bengal Native Infantry (BNI ,Barrackpore is regarded as the architect of the Sepoy Rebellion . On March 29…

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