The man whose fire sparked the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857: Mangal Pandey

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Mangal Pandey's name has been etched in history as the man behind the events that led to the Indian rebellion of 1857.
Mangal Pandey's name has been etched in history as the man behind the events that led to the Indian rebellion of 1857.

Mangal Pandey’s name has been etched in history as the man behind the events that led to the Indian rebellion of 1857. He was a sepoy in the Bengal Native Infantry, a regiment of the East India Company.

The rebellion of 1857, starting with the Sepoy Mutiny, is considered as a first blow that came to shatter the British rule in India and the man behind it was none other than Mangal Pandey.

He was born on July 19 in the year 1827. He was executed on April 8, 1857.

HERE IS A BRIEF TIMELINE OF THE EVENTS WHICH SPARKED THE FREEDOM STRUGGLE:

  • Born in the year 1827, Pandey joined the East India Company army in 1849. At the age of 18, he witnessed a column of sepoy infantry on the march, which propelled him to join the company.
  • Majority of people in the army were Muslims and Hindus.
  • In August 1856, greased cartridge production was initiated in Kolkata, following a British design.
  • By January 1857, rumours had been taking rounds that the English cartridges were greased with animal fat.
  • This was further sparked during a fight when a low-caste sepoy taunted a high-caste sepoy for ‘losing his caste’ after biting the cartridge as they were greased with the fat of pigs and cows.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8X7oeOFrNw

  • There had also been rumours that the British were trying to destroy the religions of the Indian people.
  • In January, the Miltary Secretary ordered that all the cartridges were to be free from grease and that sepoys could grease them themselves using whatever mixture.
  • On February 26, 1857, the 19th Bengal Native Infantry (BNI) regiment became concerned, as the new cartridges which were being issued to them were wrapped in paper greased with cow and pig fat, which had to be opened by mouth thus affecting their religious sensibilities.
  • Pandey led a group of Indian soldiers to refuse the use of the cartridge.
  • On March 29, 1857, 29-year-old Mangal Pandey, angered by the recent actions of the East India Company, declared that he would rebel against his commanders, at Calcutta’s Barrackpore parade ground.
  • He started the revolt by attacking his British sergeant, Lieutenant Baugh.
  • After attacking him, Pandey even tried to shoot himself.
  • Mangal Pandey’s execution was scheduled for April 18 but was carried out ten days before on April 8.

 

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