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The Historical Background and Effects of the Revolt of 1857

The Revolt of 1857 is one of the most important events of Indian history. It was the first rebellion against the East India Company which took the massive form.

It is also known as the sepoy mutiny. As if it was started by a few soldiers but it got converted into a movement and got spread throughout the country. It became famous and received widespread support of people of India that converted it in to India’s first war of Independence. It was started on 10th May of 1857 in Meerut. Unfortunately, this massive movement could not go long and was withdrawn on 20 June 1858, due to fractional clashes and violence at many places in India. Mangal Pandey was the main leader of this mutiny. The main reason behind this movement was the induction of Enfield riffles in the army. It was rumored that there was cartridge of cow fat and pig fat. Being very sentimental about their religion both Hindu and Muslim soldiers protested against that. It was considered as the discrimination among the British and Indian soldiers. The behavior of British soldier was very bad against the Indian soldiers. They got afraid that it was the tactic of British to convert them into Christianity. Some of the leaders who supported the rebellion were- Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, Kunwar Singh of Bihar, Begum Hazrat Mahal of Lucknow, Bahadur Shah of Delhi and Nana Saheb and Tantia Tope from Kanpur. The reasons behind its failure were: the communication gap between the leaders of different parts of India; lack of central leadership; and limitation of weapons and finance. As its effect the rule of East India Company ended and many reforms were introduced in army to avoid in future mutiny. In spite of its failure it has a great importance in guiding the freedom struggle.

By: Anita Aishvarya

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