The Revolt of 1857 is also known as India’s first war of Independence. Make an evaluation of the support and opposition to the revolt from various part of India. (250 words)

The Revolt of 1857 is also known as India’s first war of Independence. Make an evaluation of the support and opposition to the revolt from various part of India. (250 words)

Approach:

  • Briefly introduce with the revolt of 1857.
  • Discuss the support and opposition to the revolt.
  • Conclude Appropriately.
Model Answer :

The Revolt of 1857 was a major uprising in India in 1857–58 against the rule of the British East India Company, which functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. Since it got support from a wide section of the Indian society, especially in the Northern plains, and dealt a big blow to the British prestige by capturing Delhi, it is often referred to as India’s first war of Independence.

Support to the revolt:

  • The revolt started from Meerut where Indian sepoys killed the British officers and reached Delhi where Bahadur Shah was installed as the King.
  • General Bakht Khan, led the revolt of Bareilly troops and brought them to Delhi.
  • In Kanpur, Nana Sahib, son of BajiRao II expelled the sepoys from Kanpur and proclaimed himself the Peshwa and accepted Bahadur Shah as emperor and himself to be his governor.
  • In Lucknow, Begum HazratMahal proclaimed her son Birjis Qadr as the Nawab of Awadh.
  • Rani LaxmiBai of Jhansi protested against the denial of rights to her adopted son, and fought against British.
  • In Faizabad, Maulavi Ahmadullah, native of Madras fought a large scale battle against a company of British troops sent to stop him from preaching sedition.

Opposition/Apathy to the revolt from various regions:

  • The Eastern, western and southern parts of India remained more or less unaffected.
  • Big Merchants, Zamindars of Bengal, many taluqdars of Awadh supported British.
  • Most Indian rulers also gave active help to the British. For example, Sindhia of Gwalior, Holkar of Indore, Nizam, Raja of Jodhpur, Nawab of Bhopal, other Rajput rulers, rulers of Patiala, Nabha, Sindh and other Sikh chieftains did not participate in the revolt.

While many Indians did rise against the British, there were many who fought for the British. The revolt was spontaneous and there was no unifying cause, but was fed by resentments born of diverse perceptions, including invasive British-style social reforms, harsh land taxes, summary treatment of some rich landowners and princes, as well as scepticism about the improvements brought about by British rule.

Subjects : History and Culture

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