One of the landmark battles in the history of India is the Revolt of 1857. Several myths surround the Indian rebellion of 1857 which is popularly known as Indian Mutiny. When Lucknow was annexed in 1856, it became the root cause of the Indian Mutiny. It began on 10th May 1857 as a mutiny of Sepoys of the British army and the Sepoys in the Presidency of Bengal revolted against their British officers. Contrary to this fact, many people are not aware about the actual facts. Debunked here are top 5 such myths pertaining to the Indian Mutiny.
Revolt ignited because East Indian Company used Enfield Rifles whose cartridges were filled with pork and beef.
This is only a half-baked truth. As a general conception, to use cartridges filled with the pork and beef was against the law of both the communities Hindus as well as Muslims. But, this is not the actual trigger of the revolt. The main reason for the Revolt was the British opposition and interference to Hindu rituals like “Sati system” and “Verna System.” Usage of beef and pork in the cartridges came as a further blow. Also, the British rule broke down the village self-sufficiency, commercialize the agriculture and ordered de-industrialization which burdened the economy. So, apart from military grievances there were economic, social and religious causes as well.
70% of the total population participated in the revolt
Most of the North India was unaffected from this revolt and there are several Indians that boycotted the war as they support the British for removing the evils and unjustified Hindu rituals of the Indian society.
There were several major causes of the unrest among public:
Most of the common mass that participated in the revolt did not know why the revolt was initiated and the main cause of the revolt was their grudges on Landlords and Zamindars. They participated in the revolt to teach them a lesson and burnt their offices and homes.
Lucknow was the central place of 1857 Mutiny:
Kanpur was equally important. Kanpur was of little importance till about 1765. By the treaty of Faizabad, in 1775, the East India Company engaged to supply a brigade for the defence of the frontier of Oudh and Cawnpore was selected as the station for the forces with a subsidy being paid by the protected country (Oude) for the maintenance of the troops. In the year 1801 Lord Wellesley commuted this payment for the surrender of the district to the territory of the company, thus it gained an important barrier against the threatened invasion of the South from Kabul and Afghanistan. Cawnpore(Kanpur) rose to the central place then.
Cartridges were made from cow and pig fat:
Yes, the spark that triggered the mutiny was just a rumour! The new gunpowder cartridges for the Enfield rifle in February, 1857 was rumoured to be made from the beef of cow and pork of pig but it was done intentionally to cause unrest among both the communities.
On our exclusive curated tours-‘Revisiting Lucknow of 1857-58‘ and ‘Kanpur Mutiny Tour’ we take you to the actual sites and buildings that bore the burnt of mutiny and make aware of the facts behind the 1857 Revolt.