Role of Various Classes in the Revolt Of 1857

Pratidhwani the Echo (I):108-114 (2012)
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Culturally the Indians were always “one”. The Titular Mughal Emperor was there to serve as a thread of unity among the Indians. The British showed disrespect to the Emperor which offended the Indians in General and the Muslims in special. India possesses its own economic system mainly based on agriculture and small industry. The foreign rulers were sending Indian raw-materials to Britain for feeding their new born industries and thus were exploiting Indian resources. The “Doctrine of Lapse” or “Escheat” policy destroyed the Indian Industries. Indian Artisans, craftsman etc. became jobless and the burden of farmland increased. Poverty grabbed seriously the people. The Indian soldiers were paid low-salaries (starting from Rs. 7 to the end of Rs. 9). Indian soldiers were ill-treated in Army by the English causing rise of discrimination in their mind. The number of Indians in Army was far larger than the British sepoys (ratio 6:1). Most of the Indian soldiers were belong to Brahmin and Thakurs of East-India. A general discontent existed among all the Indian soldiers. Such dis-satisfaction were intensified by the Lord Canning introduction of “General Service Act” which required by the sepoys to march anywhere of British Empire. It is obvious that Indian sepoys had natural love and respect their motherland and faith of their own religion. The introduction of Enfield rifle with the cartridges greased with the fat of cow and pig, obnoxious to both the Hindus and Muslims set the spark that enkindled the embers of discontent of the Indian sepoy stored in them for a long time.

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