1857 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

1857 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE [CSS/PMS]

“Mutiny(when soldiers refuse to obey orders), Revolt, Rebellion(people try to change the way their country is governed), National Uprising and war of Independence many names have been given to the events of 1857 to 1858. Historians can not even agree what to call it: the British call this event, the Indian Mutiny; Pakistani and Indian historians call it the great Revolt, the Indian Revolution, the National Uprising, the Great Rebellion of 1857, 1857 War of Independence or the First war of Independence. They began as a protest against the British by Company sepoys. By the 1850s the British were confident that their control over the Indian subcontinent was secure. But in 1857 war of Independence authority was challenged by a violent uprising. Although this attempt at revolution failed, its legacy was to inspire later generations to seek independence for their own countries. There is a lot of disagreement about the causes off and importance of the revolt.

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CAUSES OF WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

Anger over British control of their country had been growing over many years. The property of so many Indians was easily blamed on the British who exploited the Indians for their own profits. The destruction of the textile Industry to protect the textile manufacturing in England caused great resentment. In promoting the Christian religion western missionaries caused offence by criticizing Hindu, Muslim, and other forms of worship.

Muslim anger increased when the teaching of Arabic and Persian was completely excluded from schools. Local rulers were angered when their lands were taken away from them by the British. Under the doctrine of Lapse, any local kingdom without a male heir passed into the hands of the British. A year before the violence, there was outrage when the British seized Awadh (Oudh). Unfortunately for the British, many sepoys in their army come from Awadh.

Added to all this was the land tax that the British forced to all Indians to pay. Then there was the army: although they did not seem to realize it, there were growing problems for the British among their soldiers. Most soldiers were local men but the officers who commanded them were British. These officers considered themselves to be racially superior and often did not even speak the language of most of their men. To these important reasons other lesser grievances can be added. Once people have cause to hate their rulers, then almost everything that ruler does will be seen in bad light.

  • Taxes : People hated paying land tax, made compulsory by the British for all Indians.
  • Poverty: Many Indians were poor because the British filled the Indian market with cheap mass-produced goods.
  • Local Rulers : Local rulers had their lands seized by the British.
  • Religion : Christian missionaries insulted deeply held beliefs of all Indians.
  • Westernization : English education, the steam engine, and the electric telegraph threatened Indian culture.

POLITICAL

As the British extended their control, the local leaders saw their authority decline. Lord Dalhousie’s use of the ” Doctrine of Lapse” was particularly unpopular. The seizure of Oudh in 1856 convinced many Indian leaders that the British were simply greedy land grabbers.

The mistreatment of the Mughal Emperor was another cause of unrest. By 1857 the emperor had little power left, but was an important symbolic figure. Dalhousie’s decision to move the royal family from the Red Fort of Delhi to the more obscure Qutub Sahib was seen as a sign of disrespect.

At a lower level in society there was also resentment at the lack of opportunities for native Indians in the Civil Service. Added to this, English had replaced Persian as the official language of the administration and as the language in which education would be given.

RELIGIOUS & SOCIAL

As British Political control grew, so did the spread of British culture. We have already seen how the British considered it their duty to spread their “superior” Culture. In 1835 one English administrator talked of how a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.

Many of the British were more thoughtful than this, but in general the British treated the Indians as an inferior race. Indians and British did not generally mix as social equals and the British societies regarded themselves as small oases of culture in a largely uncivilized World. This arrogant attitude, coupled with the introduction of a new way of life with its railways, roads and telegraph, was unacceptable to many Indians.

Many Indians feared that Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism were under threat from British rule. The British always denied this, but they were not believed. It was probably not the case, but it was true that Christian missionaries came to India to convert the local population as well as set up schools. In these schools the missionaries taught Christianity and expected locals who worked for them to give up their religion and follow the Christian teachings.

ECONOMIC RHYMES

The British merchants made substantial profits from their trading in goods such as textiles. The British also followed a practice of imposing high taxation to ensure that they exploited India’s wealth to the full. Peasants and small landowners, in particular found it difficult to pay the increasing taxes and resentment grew. It was also true that some tax collectors were corrupt and kept some of the tax money for themselves. At the same time as they were imposing high taxes on India, the British were also keeping the salary of sepoys low, causing more resentment.

MILITARY REASONS

The revolt started over the issue of greased cartridge’s. However, there were more deep-seated reasons for discontent amongst members of the armed forces. Most of the soldiers in the East India Company’s army were Indian. The sepoys and sowars (cavalry) were almost exclusively India., but the officer class was almost exclusively British.

This caused great resentment. There were also regular that Muslims, Hindu and Sikh soldiers would be forced to convert to Christianity and that they might be sent to fight abroad, which was unacceptable to the Hindus. The use of Indian troops in Afghanistan had also proved unpopular as Hindu soldiers did not leave ” Mother India”. It was no wonder that one Indian observer in 1857 said ” all the native army is dissatisfied with the government”

EVENTS OF 1857 WAR

  • In January 1857 the British announced that they were introducing a new rifle with a paper cartridge covered in grease to keep the powder dry. Before the cartridge could be loaded, the end had to be bitten off. However, it was rumored that the grease on the cartridge was made from the fat of both cows and pigs. The sepoys were so angered by this that they refused to use the new cartridges.
  • In March a sepoy named Mangal Pandey defied his British officers and was executed. But the real trouble began two months later.
  • In May sepoys in Meerut refused to touch the new cartridges. They were court-martialled and put in prison, but their fellow soldiers broke into the prison and freed them. Meerut was sacked and British officers and other Europeans were put to death. Then the soldiers marched to Delhi and captured it. The Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II became to unifying symbol for the uprising, winning the support of both Muslim and Hindu.
  • The war spread quickly spread quickly and the British lost control of Mathura, Kanpur, Jhansi and Allahabad as well as Delhi. Lucknow was also taken and British rule ceased to exist throughout what is now called Uttar Pradesh.
  • However, the British proved to be too powerful to be defeated by an uncoordinated uprising across many areas. In September 1857 Delhi was regained. Bahadur Shah II surrendered peacefully, but his sons Mirza Mughal, Mirza Sultan and Mirza Abubakr were brutally murdered. Their heads were then presented to the Emperor as a lesson. Lucknow was also regained by the British in September 1857.
  • After the fall of Lucknow, the main centre of opposition was Jhansi. Here the sepoys were led by Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi. She was assisted by Tatya Topee, an Indian general of great ability. But in June 1858 the British killed Lakshmibai ( dressed as a man) in battle. Although Tatya Topee escaped, he was latter captured and executed

FIRST WAR OF INDEPENDENCE FAILED REASONS

The attempt to overthrow the British and expel them from India was unsuccessful. The British were to impose severe measures on the Indian for their disloyalty. Following are the reasons for the failure of war.

As Pakistani Historian S F Mahmud has commented:

The Indian Revolt failed ” for two main reasons, it was already too late and it was not coordinated.

LACK OF UNITY

Although resentment of the British was a single cause to fight for, the Indians were not coordinated or united in what they hoped to achieve. There was no general plan and no attempt to work together. In different places different groups fought for different reasons. Although the Mughal Emperor was something of a figurehead, most Indians princes did not want to see imperial power restored. Nor was there any real sense of national patriotism. India was too divided for such a feeling. For example:

  • The Punjab and Sindh had been conquered by troops from Bengal and Central India under the Command of British officers. so when those troops rebelled against the British, it is not surprising that Punjab was not interested in supporting them.
  • Some of the Indian Princes were interested only in restoring their own feudal powers. Sometimes their powers actually depended on the support of the British. This explains why the ruler of Kashmir sent 2000 troops to help the British win the war. His position was closely tied to the continuation of British rule.

Perhaps the only real uniting force in the war was was Islam. The Mughal Empire had been created by Muslims and they were keen to see Bahadur Shah regain his powers. The fact that Muslims were in the majority in the country and that it was mainly Muslim rulers and king that were being replaced by the British may also explain why they were more prepared than any other group to oppose the British. However, any degree of unity amongst the Muslims alarmed the Hindus and Sikhs who were not prepared to fight to restore power tot he Muslim Mughal Empire. these reasons may well explain why the British came to see the war of Independence as predominantly a “Muslim revolt”.

BRITISH STRENGTH

Perhaps the major reason for the failure of the Indians was that the British were too strong. Britain was one of the most powerful nations in the World at this time and its troops were experienced in warfare and highly in modern methods of fighting. They also had a good reputation for discipline on the battlefield.

The only hope the Indians had to defeat the British was that there should be a general uprising across most of India and for the Indian troops to act together. As it was, the British kept control in more than three quarters of their possessions. They were skilled diplomats and they knew that most of the Indian rulers were fighting to restore their own fights, not to establish a united India. So they found it easy to play the various groups off against each other. Although there were a number of serious uprising against the British, but being uncoordinated it was only a matter of time before the highly efficient British military machine restored order.

AIMS

The aims of the rebels were vague and confused. They mostly wanted to restore their old rulers and customs. Very few thoughts of a united India ruling itself.

LEADERSHIP.

No single leader came forward who could command respect and motivate people to join the rebellion. There was no coordination between different areas of unrest and no overall plan of action.

SIR SYED AHMAD:CAUSES OF THE INDIAN REVOLT.

It was not only soldiers who were dissatisfied. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in his 1858 book, “The causes of the Indian Revolt” explain the causes: The fact is that for a long period, many grievances had been rankling in the hearts of the people. In course of time, a vast store of explosive material had been collected. It wanted by the application of a match to light it, and that match was applied by the Mutinous army.

The single most important cause, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan states, was that Indians were not allowed to take part in political decisions- The Legislative Council contained only Europeans. As a result no one explained new British laws to the people, who as a result feared and misunderstood the changes the British were making.

[1] PIG FAT AND COW FAT.

There were 45,000 British and 232,000 Indian Sepoys in the subcontinent. As a result the soldiers grew proud and thought that British victories were due entirely to their skill. They no longer feared the British. The event which sparked off the uprising was the introduction of a new Enfield rifle in 1857. To load it the sepoys had to bite off the ends of cartridges. These ends were greased with fat from pigs and cows and for religious reasons neither Muslim nor Hindu men wanted the grease in their mouth. The British changed the cartridges but the damage had been done and in April sepoys at Meerut in Bengal refused to load their rifles.

[2] PUNISHMENT ON DISOBEYING.

As a punishment for disobeying orders these sepoys were put in prison. Other sepoys were furious and trouble began: I know that at the present moment an unusual agitation is pervading the ranks of the entire native army, but what it will exactly results in, I am afraid to say. I can hear the near approach of the storm, I can hear the moaning of the hurricane, but I can not say how, when, or where it will break forth.

May 5, five days before the uprising, a British Company officer wrote about the tense atmosphere in the army.

On 10 May the Meerut sepoys rose up. They killed any Europeans they could find and then marched to Delhi 60 Kms away. There they declared that the 82 years old Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, was restored to power. Suddenly it seemed possible that the British could be driven out of the subcontinent. Quickly the revolt spread through of the subcontinent. Quickly the revolt spread throughout northern India and, as it gathered strength, ordinary people joined it.

[3] THE LAST MUGHAL EMPEROR.

Bahadur Shah II (1775-1862 ) reigned from 1837 to 1858 at Shah Jehan’s Red Fort at Delhi. The British said that he was not to be called the Mughal Emperor but King of Delhi, and in fact he was more interested in music and calligraphy than in ruling.

Sir syed Ahmed Khan, himself from a family of Mughal nobles, stated in 1858 that ” no one ever had the slightest hope that the King of Delhi would revive the Empire. The eccentricities and follies of the King and of his house had lost him all respect in the eyes of the world.” Even so, the sepoy rebels declared Bahadur Shah their ruler. His son and grandson were shot dead by a British officer, Major Hodson, who boasted of putting a final end to the Mughal line. After the Revolt Bahadur Shah was exiled to Burma ( modern day Myanmar), where he died. It was a pathetic end for the last of a once mighty line of rulers.

[4] BRITISH IN SERIOUS SITUATION.

With European soldiers greatly outnumbered by sepoys, the British situation seemed serious. they tried to regain control and fought desperately at Delhi, Cawnpore, and Lucknow during the summer of 1857. Thousands of people were killed on both sides. Nana Sahib, a Maratha leader who rose up against the British, killed 200 British women and Children at Cawnpore. British soldiers were enraged, they fought fiercely and took savage revenge on Indians.

[5]ADVANTAGES FOR THE BRITISH

The British had several advantages in their struggle:

  • They called for 39,000 more soldiers to hurry from Britain.
  • They had the support of some loyal sepoys, as well as Gurkha and Sikh soldiers.
  • Apart from bahadur Shah and Nana sahib, no important Indian princes turned against them.

After a two month battle the British captured Delhi on September 20 and Bahadur Shah surrendered. But meanwhile nearly three thousand people were under siege at the Lucknow Residency Building, surrounded by thousands of Indians. It took the British five months to rescue them. By the time they did so in November, and had Lucknow back under control in March 1858, the rebellion was dying down. The British still had vistories to win, but now they had the upper hand. Peace was officially declared on July 8, 1858.

[6] REVOLT IN THE PUNJAB.

Although there was a revolt at Mardan near Peshawar in the Punjab, where 40 sepoys were executed by cannon fire, the region was not seriously affected.

  • The mutineers, who had cut off telegraph lines so that the British could not send soldiers, forgot to cut off the Punjab. The British already had a powerful army of 10,000 British troops there and were able to confiscate the sepoys’ weapon quickly.
  • Punjabi Muslims, who had been treated badly by the Sikhs, were treated better by the British and had less desire to revolt.
  • The British closed river ferries, making travel difficult.

BRITISH TREAT THE REBELS

The violence of 1857 war was dreadful, resulting in terrible cruelty on both sides. It is true that the rebels had committed terrible atrocities, but their violence was exaggerated by an almost hysterical press. British vengeance was terrible. Punishment was swift and brutal.

  • Hanging
  • Shout out of the mouths of cannon.
  • Burned alive.
  • Muslims were sewn into pig skins and hanged.

Muslims suffered the worst. They were blamed as the main trouble makers. The British were convinced that their strong faith made them determined to restore rule in India.

REBELS AFFECT THE BRITISH

The uprising gave the British a serious shock: they had not expected it It also cost them a great deal of money. Restoring their grip on the country cost at least 30 million pound. Trade and business was seriously disrupted for more than a year. No longer could the British authorities take the loyalty of the Indians for granted. In Britain, a small but growing number of people began to question whether or not they had any right to govern India.

EFFECTS OF THE WAR.

The failures of the war confirmed the British as masters of India. It had been intended to loosen the yoke of British control, but instead it tightened it. The British issued a proclamation at Allahabad in 1858 bringing the war to an end. In the proclamation the British recognised some of the grievances of the Indian people but, in practice, they paid little attention to their promises.

The British reaction to the war was to carry out brutal reprisals against the Indians. During the war there had been violent acts carried out by both sides. For example, in 1857 the Indians captured the city of Cawnpore. This was a base for the British army and for the East India Company. Two hundred British women and children were murdered by the Indians. In retaliation the British murdered anyone who was considered to be sympathetic to the Indian troops.

PROCLAMATION OF 1857

The British said they would:

  • Not interfere in the religious beliefs of the people.
  • Pay due regard to ancient property rights and customs.
  • Abide by all treaty obligations. Agree to no further territorial acquisition.
  • Guarantee the right to appointments in public service.

MAJOR CONSEQUENCES.

  • The earliest consequences of the Revolt was the complete reorganization of the army; the ratio of the British to Indian troops had been about 1:5 but now it was to be 1:2.
  • The administration was reorganized the company was abolished and India under “Crown Rule”. Power was handed over to the government of Queen Victoria and the Governor-General was given the new title of Viceroy.
  • The British realised that their lack of communication with Indians had been a major cause of the Revolt. Therefore some Indians became members of the Legislative Council of 1861.
  • Three new universities were started at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.
  • The British partly blamed Muslims for starting the Revolt because of the sepoy effort to restore the Mughal Bahadur Shah to power. As a result the relationship between Muslims and the British deteriorated.
  • Indians lost all hope of driving out the British. The tradition structure of Indian society began to break down to be replaced by a western style system. This created a large middle class, the nationalistic feelings of which were, in time, to result in independence from British rule.

QUEEN VICTORIA’S RULE

Queen Victoria, as India’s new ruler, made promises, including equal employment opportunities for Indians in the Indian Civil Service. But as the service entry examinations were held in England, for males between the ages of 17 and 22 only, by 1869 only one Indian had entered the service. Others joined in later but the British remained, at heart, unwilling to give Indians positions of responsibility. Another promise, which was carried out, was to Indian princes, who were assured that the government would not take over their territories. Even so the princes, of which there were more than 560, remained under British control.(https://eastwestknowledge.com/british-imperialism/)

BRITISH RULE

After the War of Independence of 1857 the East India Company was abolished. Now the British government would take full responsibility for all matters in India. A member of the British Cabinet, the Secretary of State for India, was given responsibility for the government of the country.

However, the direct responsibility was in the hands of the Governor-General now called the viceroy. He had over one thousand members of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) to help him administer the country. These ranged from highly paid judges to lowly paid junior administrators. Despite the proclamation of 1857, by 1870 only one Indian had become an officer in the ICS. As for the Indian princes, those who had shown themselves to be loyal were allowed to remain on their thrones. Yet they had little or no real power and were obliged to follow the policy laid down by the British government.

After the war Bahadur Shah was put on trial and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was sent to live out his years in Burma. In January 1877 the British Queen, Victoria, was appointed Empress of India. The Indian royal family had formally been replaced.

THE MUSLIMS.

The British considered that the Muslim community was largely to blame for the war nd it was to be many years before they once more began to trust Muslims. In the army the British began to recruit men mostly from groups such as Sikhs, Pathans and Gurkhas, who they thought were trustworthy.

The Muslims objected to British education and to the use of English, both of which they considered to be un-Islamic. But the British withdrew funding from Muslim schools and Muslim education fell into decline. It may well have been part of the British plan to keep the Muslims illiterate and thus prevent them from gaining public office. As a well-known British historian of India wrote at the time: There is scarcely a Government office in Calcutta in which a Muslim can hope for any post above the rank of porter, the messenger, filler of inkpots or mender of posts”.

In contrast the Hindus soon found favour with the British by adapting themselves to the new rule. They readily accepted British education in “English type” of schools. Thus the Muslims community suffered as a result of the War of Independence.

After the War of Independence the British took strong measures to ensure that their control of India was unchallenged. The East India Company was abolished and control of India now passed to her Majesty’s Government. In other words, the British government in London? In 1877 Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in magnificent ceremony in Delhi.

  • British rule proved unpopular with many Indians. They were largely excluded from governing India. A member of the British Cabinet, the Secretary of State for India, was in charge of deciding the policy for India, working with a fifteen-man council. In India itself, the policy was administered by the Governor-General (sometimes called the Viceroy), based in Calcutta. He was advised by an Executive Council and the every business of the British Raj was carried by the Indian Civil Service. In 1858 Queen Victoria had asked that ” our subjects of whatever race or creed be freely and impartially admitted to offices in our services”. However, by 1870 there was only one Indian officer in the Indian Civil Service. So the Indian People had little say in how their country was run.
  • In other areas also the British made sure that India was run in a way to benefit themselves, instead of putting the needs of the local population first.
  • After 1857, there were fewer opportunities for Indian soldiers in the British army, as the ratio of British to Indian soldiers was increased from 1:5 to 1:2. Recruitment from less “trust worthy” areas such as Oudh, was stopped.
  • Viceroy Lord Lytton ended import duties on British cotton goods entering India. These duties had made British goods experience and so the local cotton had sold easily. With the duties ended, British cotton was cheaper and local manufacturers found it harder to sell their goods.
  • In 1907, Bhikhaiji Rustom Cama, a Parsi from Bombay, attended the International socialist Conference in Germany. There she made a fiery speech attacking how India had suffered from the ” terrible tyrannies of British rule”.
  • The lack of opportunities for Indians led to wide-spread criticism of the British in newspaper articles written in regional languages. The British response was to pass the Vernacular Act of 1878, which placed strict controls on these newspaper. In the same year, the Britsh passed on Arms Act which made it impossible for won Indians to own weapons, to ensure that if there were another Indian uprising, it would be less effective.

In this environment it is not surprising that nationalist ideas began to grow in India.

  • In 1866 Raji Narayan Bose founded a society for the promotion of national feeling.
  • In 1867 the yearly Hindu Mela was started in Bengal.
  • Political groups also began to spring up, such as Sarvajanik Sabha founded in 1870. The most significant of all these was the Indian National Congress in 1885.

CHANGES IN THE SUBCONTINENT.

[1] A COLONIAL ECONOMY.

From 1800, India’s economy slowly changed to become a colonial one- run to provide profits for the British rulers. Various features helped it to be successful, including :

  • A strong government, supported by an efficient Civil Service and a powerful army.
  • A British style legal system which kept crime at low levels. Europeans ideas were introduced for example the idea of people being equal before the law.
  • Inventions such as the telegraph, railways and steamship helped to open up the subcontinent to the developing West. in 1851 the first electric telegraph line wasid in Bengal. By 1857 there were 4,000 miles of telegraph lines. In 1854 the introduction of a cheap postal service meant that nowhere was cut off from progress.
  • Metalled roads, built from 1836. The Grand Trunk Road across the northern subcontinent was repaired.

CHANGES IN AGRICULTURE.

The subcontinent was used by the British both as a supplier of raw materials and a market for goods produced in Britain. Throughout the period of British rule agriculture remained the main occupation. It was vitally important to the British because farmers were the main tax payers. In the 1850s over half of the money the British gained in India came from tax. Part of the money paid for further development in India this helped India progress but also helped the British increase trade and strengthen their rule.

Many farmers were subsistence farmers (growing crops to feed themselves), but so that the British could collect even more tax they encouraged to begin growing crops to sell. During American Civil war (1851-1865) the British could no longer buy American cotton. Cotton became so valuable that Indian farmers were in silver for it.

Millions stopped growing grain to grow cotton. But when the civil war ended in 1865 the market collapsed. Farmers could not sell their cotton and now India was not producing enough food. Between 1865 and 1900 there was a series of famines the first, in Oudh, killed a million people in 1865 and 1866. Then in 1896 bubonic plague, spread by infected rats from China, struck and killed many more people.

In order to increase food production and help prevent famines, more irrigation schemes were carried out which could turn dessert into grain producing land. In 1882 in the Punjab, for example the British began four canal Schemes.

  • Lower Chenab Canal System.
  • Lower Depalpur Canal System from the Sutlej River.
  • Multan Branch Canal from the Sidhnai section of the Ravi River.
  • Khadiar Branch Canal from the Chenab River in the Jhang district.

The growing of commercial crops, including jute, indigo, sugarcane tea, and coffee, began on plantations. Plantations grew rapidly. For example, the main tea growing areas were in the Assam hills of north India and the Nilgri Hills of South. By 1871 there were 300 plantations and by 1900 137,000,000 pounds of tea were exported to Britain every year. Indigo blue dye from Bengal and Bihar was exported to Europe until synthetic dyes replaced it at the end of the 19th century. Jute production began in Bengal, where by 1882 there were 20 mills employing more than 20,000 workers.

INDUSTRAIL REVOLUTION.

As early as the beginning of the 19th century the Industrial Revolution had spread from Britain to the subcontinent, the major area of development being Bengal. Here are some facts and figure.

  • The First Steam Engine, a 12 horse power machine, arrived in 1820 in Bengal, ordered by the missionary William Carey. This new machine of fire attracted large crowds when it was set up to drive a paper mill. By 1945, 150 engines were in use in Bengal.
  • Industrial development centered on Calcutta where by the mid 19th century steam engine powered factories produced goods such as cotton thread, rum, iron, mustard oil, paper, and biscuits. Steam engines also powered steamers, tugs and pleasure boats.
  • The World’s first railway line had opened in England in 1825 and the steel track for India’s railways, together with steam locomotives and carriages, was imported from there. In 1850 India’s first railway lines opened near Calcutta and Bombay. Trains quickly became popular.

NEW WAYS OF LIFE.

After the revolt, India’s economy expanded rapidly, largely due to the spread of the rail network. Railways took Indian raw materials such as coal and cotton to the ports, but also carried British made goods helped to destroy India’s handicraft industries but also allowed economic development in the subcontinent, which provided other jobs. For example, large factories were built; by 1886 there were more than 80 textile mills at Bombay. In order to provide fuel for steam trains the British mined coal in Bihar and Orissa. coal production went up from 500,000 tons in 1868 to over 6,000,000 tons in 1900. Railways were needed for reasons other than economic ones. (https://www.britannica.com/event/Indian-Mutiny)

  • For military purposes, the revolt had shown that quick transport for troops was vital.
  • To help relieve famine grain could quickly reach areas of food shortage.

By the mid of 19th century railways had comes west. For example in 1856 the Sindh Railway, latter called the Sindh, Punjab, and Delhi Railway, began. By the 1860s a line was being built from Karachi to Delhi, via Multan and Lahore. In 1862, a line between Lahore and Amritsar was laid. By 1869 there were more than 5,000 miles of rail track in the subcontinent and the start of the First World War in 1914 the total would reach 35,000 miles.

HISTORIANS SAY ABOUT 1857

If it had been a war of independence, the whole country would have risen with the civilian population joining as well.

Norman Lowe, Modern British History, Macmillan [1984]

People made great sacrifices and waged a heroic struggle to end foreign domination.

J Hussain, A history of the People of Pakistan [1997]

I think it can be described as a last convulsive moment of protest against the coming of the west.

Percival Spear, A History of India, Penguin [1956]

The Mutiny unreasonably and disastrously hardened British feeling against the Muslims.

Richard Symonds, The Making of Pakistan, Faber & Faber [1950]

Though the upheaval of 1857 failed to drive the British out of India, it succeeded in the limited purpose of making them acknowledge what had gone wrong and made them promise to behave more considerately in the future.

S.M Burke & Salim Al-Din Quraishi, The British Raj in India, OUP [1995]

The Indians had tried to overthrow the foreign yoke, but they had failed…… heavy punishment put a fear of the British in the people’s hearts.

S.F Mahmud, A concise History of Indo-Pakistan OUP [1995]
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