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  • RISING TIDE OF NATIONALISM

INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT – 05

THE  REVOLT OF 1857

Pressure was brought to bear upon Bahadur Shah in the form of an increased pension to surrender his imperial title in favour of an innocuous one, ‘King of Delhi’ but to no effect, Next the Company planned to end Mughal rule in Delhi and In 1849, Dalhousie actually proposed the removal of the house of Timur from Delhi for it was believed that the strength of the dynasty lay in its association with the city. What began as a fight for religion ended as a war of independence, for there is not the slightest doubt that the rebels wanted to get tid of the alien government and restore the old order of which the king of Delhi was the rightful representative.

The most important thing about the Revolt of 1857 was that it was a conjunction of a spirit of disaffection of the earlier age and the anticipation of freedom which the intial successes of the military ‘mutinies’ tended to excite. The famous Azamgarh proclamation which sets forth the views of the rebels in a convincing manner for the purpose of winning over the zamindars, merchants, public servants, and pundits and fakirs to their cause, proves the adequacy of the thesis of ‘Civil Disturbances’ of the earlier period and links up the mutiny and civil rebellion of 1857 in the eventual composition of a revolt. The sepoys were fighting for their estates, the masses for fear of conversion to Christianity and the Muslims in particular for the restoration of their old sway. Yet all in their own way were fighting against their common enemy the British.

RISING TIDE OF NATIONALISM

The failure of the outbreak of 1857 opened a new phase in India’s struggle for freedom. The idea of open armed resistance against the British was now at a discount though it was not altogether discarded as is evident from the Santhal outbreak (1855) in Bihar and The Indigo Disturbances (1859-2862) In Bengal The Wahabis too carried on a relentless struggle against the British, which could only be suppressed after the State Trials Of Ambala (1864), Patna (1865), Malda (September 1870) and Rajmahal (October 1870). 

Important leaders of the movement – Yahya Ali, Ahmadullah, Amiruddin, Ibrahim Mandal and Rafique Mandal were tried, convicted and transported for life. Similarly the Kukas in the Punjab, under their Guru. RAM SING put up a stout resistance against the British (1872), resulting in many casualties and the deportation of their Guru to Rangoon where he died in 1855.
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