Mutiny of Hydarabad

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Mutiny and Revolt 1857-58 muslins The English Company had been ruling more and more of India for a century since Clive's conquest of Calcutta in 1757. The British may have had economic success, but the people of India were suffering from ruined industries, oppressive land tax, and lack of education for most of the people. The law courts were not impartial; police were more feared than respected; and prisons were wretched. The large Indian population had become passive and had little influence on
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  Mutiny and Revolt 1857-58 muslins   The English Company had been ruling more and more of India for a century since Clive's conquest of    Calcutta in 1757. The British may have had economic success, but the people of India were sufferingfrom ruined industries, oppressive land tax, and lack of education for most of the people. The lawcourts were not impartial; police were more feared than respected; and prisons were wretched. Thelarge Indian population had become passive and had little influence on administration. English officialswere not very accessible to people, who could not present their grievances as they had before. Britishadministration was less personal, slower, delayed, and frequently changing. Most Indians did notunderstand English law, and Muslims particularly disliked the use of English instead of Persian in thecourts. Worst of all, Indians were systematically excluded from higher offices in government and themilitary. Even well educated Indians could not sit on legislative councils or be given covenantedservice.Economically British commerce exploited the Indians. High tariffs were erected in Britain againstIndian goods, while importation of English products into India was encouraged. The importation of British cotton goods ruined millions of Indians involved in manufacturing and trade. India was used asa cheap source of materials. Raw cotton exports went from 9 million pounds in 1813 to 32 million in1833 and 88 million in 1844. Wool increased from 3,700 pounds in 1833 to 2,700,000 pounds in 1844.Linseed increased more than a hundredfold in the same period. The importation of British muslins intoIndia went from 6 million yards in 1824 to 64 million in 1837. Millions of Indian artisans, spinners,   weavers, potters, tanners, smelters, smiths had to find work in agriculture because of the industrialrevolution and manufacturing capitalism in England. In 1852 the Inam Commission was set up torequire titles from land-owners, and in the next five years more than 20,000 estates were confiscated inthe Deccan, just as many Talukdars lost their property after Awadh was annexed.The Charter Act of 1813 had unleashed proselytizing Christian missionaries, and gradually Indianscame to fear that the British wanted to convert all of India to Christianity. Sayyid Ahmad Khancomplained that the famine of 1837 had been used to make orphans Christians, and some believed theGovernment was reducing people to poverty so that they would adopt Christianity. In 1839 Christianmissionaries petitioned the Company's government to stop supporting Hindu temples and casteregulations. The Religious Disabilities Act of 1850 made conversion easier by protecting converts fromforfeiting their property or civil rights. Conservative Hindus also resented the Widows Remarriage Actof 1856 that removed legal obstacles to marrying again.Many rebellions had broken out in various places since the end of the Maratha wars in 1818. Bhilsrevolted in 1819, 1825, 1831, and 1846. Rumors about the Burma War 1824-26 stimulated rebellions invarious places. In 1830 and 1831 revolts broke out in Vizagapatam and among the Singphos, Titu Mir,   and the Kols. Gumsur rebelled in 1835. Hindu College students began demanding more offices forIndians in 1843, and ten years later Ram-gopal Ghosh called for opening the civil service to Indians.Kolhapur revolted in 1844 as did the Khonds two years later. Moplah insurrections occurred four times  between 1849 and 1855. That year the Santals began a revolt that went on for two years. The Britishhad been fighting in the Crimean War, China, and against Persia over their taking of Herat inAfghanistan again, though by April 1857 the British envoys made peace with the Persians in Paris.The Company's army had English officers with natives called sepoys (from sipahi for soldier) as mostof the rank and file. The Indians in the army outnumbered the British by more than five to one; but allthe top officers were British, and most of the expenditures were for them. Sepoys complained of lowsalaries and little chance for promotion. Hindus objected that going outside of India violated their casterules, and Muslims did not want to fight those of their religion in Afghanistan and other places. TheMadras governor promised the Bengal army a special allowance for going to Sind; but this was notfulfilled because it was against Bengal regulations. In 1856 the new Governor-General C. J. Canningimplemented the General Service Enlistment Act requiring all new recruits to serve abroad; he did notthink it would cause bad feelings. In Awadh more than 60,000 troops had been recently dismissed withsmall gratuities, and ill Commissioner James Outram was replaced by the insensitive Coverley Jackson,who ignored complaints, delayed paying grants and pensions, treated Talukdars harshly, approvedheavy assessments on cultivators, and lived in the ex-king's palace. Henry Lawrence replaced Jacksonin January 1857.That month Brahmin sepoys at Dumdum became concerned that the new Enfield rifles required them to   bite open cartridges that were smeared with grease from the fat of hogs and cattle. Muslims areforbidden to eat pork, and Hindus do not eat beef. The rumor spread to Barrackpur, where theycomplained to General Hearsey. He let them use their own grease, and the Government approved.However, the Adjutant-General wired back that such concessions would increase the suspicion; he saidthat the sepoys had been using cartridges greased with mutton fat for years. The sepoys suspected thatcow and pig fat were being used in order to convert them to Christianity, and they began to set fire toofficers' bungalows at Barrackpur. On February 26 the 19th Native Infantry refused to acceptpercussion caps. The Governor-General ordered the 19th NI disbanded. On March 29 Mangal Pandeyof the 34th NI shot at two officers, tried to shoot himself, and was put in the hospital. Other sepoys said   that he had taken too much bhang (cannabis). He and another were tried and executed, and later manycalled the mutineers Pandeys. The 34th was disbanded, but discontent and acts of arson spread.On May 2 the 7th Awadh regiment refused to bite the greased cartridges. Commissioner HenryLawrence learned of threats to kill officers, and he persuaded the mutineers to lay down their arms.Rumors also spread that bone dust from cows was being put in flour and wells. At Mirat forty milesnorth of Delhi, 85 troopers from the Third Cavalry had refused to touch the cartridges on April 24.They were tried by a court martial and sentenced to ten years. On parade before other unarmed sepoys   they were stripped of their uniforms and shackled as armed British soldiers watched. On the Sundaynight of May 10 while the British were in church, sepoys from the Third Cavalry released theircomrades from jail. The 20th and 11th infantry regiments seized their muskets and killed Col. Finnis.After that, the sepoys and freed convicts killed Europeans, plundering and burning their houses. Thesepoys decided to go to Delhi, but the British commander did not pursue them. The Sepoys from Mirat  reached Delhi at dawn, entered the Red Fort, and proclaimed elderly Bahadur Shah II emperor. Delhi   had only three regiments of sepoys; they joined the mutiny, killed officers, and plundered Europeans,   who fled. A few British officers led by Lt. George Willoughby managed to explode much of theammunition magazine. The uprisings spread down the Ganges to Bihar and south to Gwalior, Jhansi,and Bundelkhand. The Madras and Bombay presidencies were fairly free of revolt, which wasconcentrated in Delhi, Awadh, and Rohilkhand.Bahadur Shah II at Delhi played both sides by protecting British fugitives and communicating secretlywith the British at Agra; he offered to help the British troops enter the fort if they would recognize hisposition. Bahadur became a virtual prisoner of the plundering sepoys who made him help them. Therevolt was chaotic as the cavalry and others demanded more pay. When the sepoys found that the   Emperor's advisor Ahsan Ulla had 52 European prisoners, they killed them with swords. Bahadur Shahwas deposed after a week on May 17, when prince Abu Bakr was elected. Bahadur still claimed to beking, but sepoys refused to serve under his commander-in-chief, Bakht Khan. A main motivation forthe revolt was religious, and proclamations were made to kill all the infidels. Hindus and Muslims triedto stay united but sometimes turned against each other. Gradually the anti-English fervor faded, andmagistrate Sayyid Ahmad was able to hold Bijnor for the British without any military forces.Lakhnau (Lucknow) learned of Mirat and Delhi on May 14. Henry Lawrence was able to suppress an   uprising on May 31, but the mutiny spread throughout Awadh. The Talukdars quickly acted to regaintheir lands and secure their forts. The last nawab was in British custody at Calcutta, but his queenBegam Hazrat Mahal and her son Birjis Quadr were chosen as the new rulers. They gave offices toHindus and Muslims while many local chiefs established independent kingdoms in Awadh and inRohilkhand. Henry Lawrence fortified his Residency at Lakhnau as a refuge for Europeans. WhileLawrence was ill, Financial Commissioner Martin Gubbins disarmed the sepoys and sent them home.Lawrence learned of it and managed to get some 600 sepoys to return. Lawrence tried to command thearmy, but on June 11 the military police joined the mutiny. Lawrence advised a defensive strategy, butGubbins urged an attack on the rebel army. Desertions caused Lawrence to order a retreat, whichbecame a rout. The Residency was besieged on June 30. Three days later Lawrence was mortallywounded by a shell, but 1,700 British soldiers, civilians, and the loyal sepoys held out against a rebelarmy that grew to 100,000. The Residency was relieved in September, but Lakhnau was not re-occupied by the British until March 1858.Rohilkhand had no British regiments and was taken over by mutineers in Bareilly on May 31. KhanBahadur Khan was the grandson of Rohilkhand's deposed nawab, and he had tried to warn the Britishcommissioner of the coming mutiny. He quickly joined the mutiny as Bahadur Shah's viceroy and   ordered all the English executed. He began organizing revenue collection and appointed Hindus as wellas Muslims. However, communal conflict erupted, and Hindu officers were despoiled. Sepoysplundered the rich and looted the shops. Khan Bahadur Khan governed Rohilkhand for nearly a year.He hired the poor, raising an army of 40,000 troops.  In Bengal only troops at Dacca and Chittagong mutinied. Several mutinies broke out briefly in Bihar   led by Kunwar Singh, but the Deccan was quiet except at Kolhapur. Mutiny attempts at Ahmadabad in   Gujarat and Hyderabad in Sind failed, and the one at Karachi was quickly put down. The mutinies weregenerally spontaneous and local without coordination. After killing and plundering, many sepoys wenthome with their loot; some mutineers set out for Delhi as the center of the revolt. Maulavi Ahmadullaof Faizabad had actually called for a holy war against the English infidels in January 1857, but theMuslims in Madras did not really act on this. So Ahmadulla went north. Sambalpur was ripe forrebellion because British annexation had raised their taxes from 8,800 rupees to 74,000. ImprisonedSurendra Sal was freed and led the revolt there that lasted until 1862.In the Punjab most of the sepoys were disarmed. At Lahore 600 Europeans disarmed 2,500 sepoys on   May 13. Some resisted at Firozpur. At Peshawar the 55th regiment fled; of the 120 caught 40 wereexecuted by cannons. John Lawrence was in Rawalpindi and worked to raise loyal troops to retakeDelhi. The English officers took control of the forts at Phillaur, Govindgarh, Kangra, Attock, andMultan. Gurkha regiments disobeyed and seized the treasury at Kasauli; but they returned to theirbarracks when their demands were met. News of the mutiny stimulated raiding by the Ranghar andGujar tribes. Lt. Col. John Nicholson and Frederick Cooper led forces that tracked down mutineers andexecuted hundreds of prisoners to deter revolt in the Punjab. Brigadier Hodson recruited 200 Punjabisfor each of 74 regiments; half of them were Sikhs. However, only Jat Sikhs were recruited, as the lowercastes were excluded; Mazhabis were hired to build roads and dig canals. By the end of August 1757 atotal of 34,000 Punjabi troops had been raised. Ahmad Khan led an uprising in Multan in Septemberthat lasted two months. George Lawrence managed to keep the Rajputana region under control.Before the telegraph wires were cut, Governor-General Canning got word of the mutiny on May 14. Hesummoned European troops from Madras and Bombay, and an expedition about to leave for China wascalled back. Col. James Neill brought the First Madras Fusiliers to Calcutta and was sent to disarmBenares and Allahabad. Hasty planning at Benares on June 5 resulted in some sepoys picking up theirarms and firing on approaching Europeans. Cavalry arrived during the confusion, but by evening all the   mutineers not killed had dispersed. News of this slaughter provoked a mutiny at Allahabad two dayslater. They waited until evening and then murdered six officers and eight teenage cadets. The Britishstill held the fort at Allahabad, and on June 11 Neill arrived to put down the insurgency withindiscriminate killing, plundering of houses, and burning of villages.Brigadier Archdale Wilson led troops from Mirat that managed to take the Ridge overlooking Delhi butdid not have enough men to attack the city. Believing the prophecy that the British would only ruleIndia for a century, on the centenary of the battle of Plassey (June 23) the sepoys attacked the British on   the Ridge but could not overcome them. More troops arrived from the Punjab, and more than twentybattles were fought. Nicholson arrived in August, and the siege train enabled them to storm and take theRed Fort on September 20. Bahadur Shah surrendered on the condition that his life would be spared;but Hodson shot three princes himself because he feared the mob would rescue them. A few days later21 more princes were hanged. The plundering of Delhi by the British, Sikhs, Pathans, and Gurkhas was
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