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Old January 19th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #1

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How did the British attitude to the Indians change after the Great Rebellion in 1857


Before this time, the british were obsssed by Indian culture... What happened? How did the perspective betwen the two factions change?
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Old January 19th, 2012, 07:31 AM   #2

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What do you mean exactly by "obessed" with Indian culture?
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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:12 AM   #3

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Originally Posted by Thechristianphilosopher View Post
Before this time, the british were obsssed by Indian culture... What happened? How did the perspective betwen the two factions change?
Except for few scholars and enthusiasts, the British were not interested to indulge with the Indian culture. But the governor generals of the east India company brought social reforms like widows remarriage act, sati abolition, female infanticide prohibition act,etc. The east India company was forming alliances with the nawabs and Rajas who were powerful and had favourable situation in the war. The main cause of 1857 revolt was due to religious reasons. The company's army had both Hindu and Muslim sepoys.

The cartridges used in the rifles were rumoured to be made of out fat from Cow and pig, which hurt their religious sentiments.
Cow = sacred for Hindus
Pig= unholy for Muslims .

During that point of the Aryan theory was popular and the British favoured the loyal cast as warrior race and hostile ones as inferior race.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:22 AM   #4

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Before the 'Mutiney' or 'rebellion' ,whatever you want to call it, it was not uncommon for European officers to have Indian wives and have close ties to 'Indians' (of the 'right' class of course!) but the 'trauma' of what seemed a 'betrayal' pushed a wedge between the two, that was never really removed.

Now it is quite possible that this was happening anyway an the events of 1857 just quickened it--- as more Europeans ,especially wives, arrived with 'civilised (European) society' then being 'mixed race' started to become less tolerated.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:47 AM   #5

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Before the 'Mutiney' or 'rebellion' ,whatever you want to call it, it was not uncommon for European officers to have Indian wives and have close ties to 'Indians' (of the 'right' class of course!) but the 'trauma' of what seemed a 'betrayal' pushed a wedge between the two, that was never really removed.

Now it is quite possible that this was happening anyway an the events of 1857 just quickened it--- as more Europeans ,especially wives, arrived with 'civilised (European) society' then being 'mixed race' started to become less tolerated.
I was going to say - by the time of the mutiny, native wives had already become less common, and officers who were married to a native were comparatively rare. This is sometimes cited as a reason why HEIC officers had become more distant from the culture of the men they commanded and a contributory factor towards the mutiny.

As you say, this was partly because European wives had started to go over and live in India with their husbands.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 09:26 AM   #6

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The British were obsessed with the culture? It was British ignorance of the culture that allowed the Rebellion to occur. They were never interested in the culture, more interested in using it as a tool to provide themselves with perceived legitimate authority. I could go into more detail if required.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 10:29 AM   #7

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Before this time, the british were obsssed by Indian culture... What happened? How did the perspective betwen the two factions change?
Well the mutiny unfolded as ugly as it could be. Especially the slaughtering at Cawnpore. We are talking about unarmed women and children being killed. I guess the British after this though how can we trust them - or even like them?
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Old January 19th, 2012, 10:43 AM   #8

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Remember that the mutiny wasn't India-wide. It was largely confined to the Bengal presidency - the Madras and Bombay presidencies were mostly quiet.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #9

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I dont understand what you mean by obsessed? Yes many British men "went native", that is took local wives, but as colonization expanded to more than just ambitious or rejected men arriving in the country, then you had the likes of English ladies or preachers/missionaries also arriving in significant numbers. The gap between the locals and the British only increased after this.

As for the mutiny/rebellion/war of independence (whatever you want to call it), after it the British realized how vulnerable their position was in the country and they took effective steps to make sure that if there was another rebellion, they could break it down better. Hence the ratio of white soldiers was increased and locals from the "martial races" such as the Sikhs and Gurkhas were recruited. Had it not been for the aid of many local maharajahs such as Nepal, Kashmir, Hyderabad and the various Rajput states, the British may have fared war worse from this "rebellion".
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Old January 19th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #10
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The mutiny so frightened the British that the nightmare of revolt was to last till the last days of the Empire. I can not really recall the numbers of troops who mutinied but I don’t think it was large compared to the numbers of sepoys under British command. The massacres perpetuated by the Indians were equally compensated by the British massacres following the suppression of the mutiny. It was something that entered the British administrative mindset, how fragile their control of India was. When frightened and shocked the British looked more to there own and pulled apart a little from intermingling with the natives
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