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Mangal Pandey

Why is it in the news?

  • Mangal Pandey, was hanged to death by the East India Company on April 8.

More about the news

  • Mangal Pandey hailed from the kingdom of Awadh, which provided a significant number of soldiers to the East India Company’s army.
  • He enlisted in the East India Company’s army at the age of 22, serving as a soldier in the 6th company of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry.
  • In 1856, the British treacherously annexed Awadh, leading to widespread resentment among the local populace.
  • The deposition of the Nawab and the confiscation of the villages of taluqdars during the land revenue settlement of 1856 fuelled outrage among the people.
  • During that period, Mangal Pandey refused to use the newly introduced Enfield rifle cartridges, as they were rumoured to be greased with animal fat, offending religious sensibilities.
  • On March 29, 1857, he mutinied and fired at his Senior Sergeant Major, an act viewed as defiance against British authority.
  • He was subsequently arrested, tried by a Court Martial, and hanged at Lal Bagan in Barrackpore.
  • Mangal Pandey’s actions inspired defiance among soldiers, including the 7th Awadh Regiment.
  • On May 11, 1857, Sepoys from Meerut revolted, refusing to use the new cartridges, killing their European officers, and marching to the Red Fort in Delhi.


Legacy of the Revolt of 1857

  • Mangal Pandey’s actions marked a turning point in British rule in India, leading to significant political changes.
  • The British Parliament passed the Government of India Act 1858, transferring powers from the East India Company to the Crown.
  • Queen Victoria’s Proclamation of 1858 promised support for native Princes and non-interference in religious matters, signalling a change in British policy towards India.
  • This proclamation was reinforced during the Delhi Durbar of 1877, where Queen Victoria assumed the title of Qaiser-e-Hind.

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