Are right-wing Indians against learning about 1857?

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,608
USA
Two books I can recommend by modern historians are "The Indian Mutiny" by Julian Spilsbury and "The Indian Mutiny 1857" by Saul David. Both are reasonably priced on Amazon, but with the obvious duplication of facts, you probably need only one. The book," Our Bones Are Scattered", by the American writer, Andrew Ward, I highly recommend, but bear in mind it places most of its emphasis on the events at Cawnpore; however, it does touch on the wider aspects of the Mutiny also. At over 700 pages, it goes into great detail, a lot of it graphic, so you need a strong stomach, particularly in the description of the massacre in the Bibhigar (Lady`s House), and what those British officers saw when they looked into the well. Then there is "Daily Life During The Indian Mutiny" by John Walter Sherer, which is a contemporary account, also available on Amazon.

You may also be interested in this article on the Mutiny by the late highly respected Sikh academic, Ganda Singh.

Sikh Digital Library: The indian mutiny of 1857 and the Sikhs - Dr. Ganda Singh
Thanks for the book list. The article is very good. It mentions Indian leaders who believe that glorifying Sepoy Mutiny as the war of independence was/is not correct.
 
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kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,608
USA
Well, that and the fact that the British actively suppressed Indian views. That said, what do you mean by contemporary. By witnesses? There are infact writings. There are the Rebel Proclamations for instance. There are the Mutiny Papers, which include material by individuals such as Zafar's courtiers. More recently papers of Tatia Tope were published. Ghalib himself also wrote poetry about his time in the immediate aftermath of it. There is also an account by an individual (I think he was a Maulvi) who had been part of the Delhi College (Though I think more popularly/officially called the Anglo-Arabic College. Delhi College might be a Delhi University oddity) and later was a member of Zafar's court during the Mutiny, and was thus exiled. I forget his name though.

Lastly though, I want to emphaize the biggest source of all, one which I have repeatedly brought up. And which once again proves that you are simply not interested in reading or comprehending the points people make, simply in insulting them by calling them Nationalists or what not. I'm talking about the Mazha Pravas. An autobiographical account of the Mutiny in the regions of Jhansi and Bundelkhand as well as bits of Kanpur. By a Brahmin by the name of Vishnu Bhatt Godse was literally THERE during the siege of Jhansi. You don't get more contemporary than the account of a person who actively survived the events. But let me guess, you think his work is a Nationalist concoction too right?
What evidence do you have that the British suppressed Indians from writing their views or anything contemporary or books about the Sepoy Mutiny? The writings you have provided look rather measly and don't fit an event that Indians considered then as great and their "First war of Independence", do they? The claims made here about the Mutiny just don't seem to add up.
 

tornada

Ad Honoris
Mar 2013
15,380
India
What evidence do you have that the British suppressed Indians from writing their views or anything contemporary or books about the Sepoy Mutiny? The writings you have provided look rather measly and don't fit an event that Indians considered then as great and their "First war of Independence", do they? The claims made here about the Mutiny just don't seem to add up.
Since I haven't said anything about it being the First War of Independence, I won't even bother responding to it. When you have an actual valid comment to make, get back to me, ok? The Great Revolt was called the First War of Independence first by Sarvarkar at the beginning of the 20th century. As it not being "great"... Given that Parliament and British Society were in an uproar over it, and they actively feared the loss of the colony, I don't think anyone needs to justify as it being a "Great" event.

The "claims" made here about the mutiny, atleast by me, have been backed up by sources, both primary and secondary. If you have any contradiction to offer, get back to me with materials that support your case. So far all you've quoted is a pro-Imperial book on the Empire as a whole, which even then says little to support the various claims and positions you've taken. You've also admitted that you simply haven't read any specific material on the Mutiny itself, and have repeatedly failed to even look up the sources I've showed you. So I'm not sure why you expect any serious responses.
 
Nov 2008
1,283
England
:) I don't know. China is a serious challenge and so is Russia.
China may indeed be a fairly serious challenger in the future, particularly in the China Sea, and perhaps the Indian Ocean. The threat from Russia, however is only superficial. The Russian economy is really in dire straits and the major warships of the Russian navy are old and expensive to maintain.
 
Likes: prashanth
Nov 2008
1,283
England
Thanks for the book list. The article is very good. It mentions Indian leaders who believe that glorifying Sepoy Mutiny as the war of independence was/is not correct.
Yes, the article by the late, highly regarded academic, Dr. Ganda Singh certainly does provide a good counterbalance to the rather extreme, fanatical views put forward about the Indian Mutiny.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,608
USA
Since I haven't said anything about it being the First War of Independence, I won't even bother responding to it. When you have an actual valid comment to make, get back to me, ok? The Great Revolt was called the First War of Independence first by Sarvarkar at the beginning of the 20th century. As it not being "great"... Given that Parliament and British Society were in an uproar over it, and they actively feared the loss of the colony, I don't think anyone needs to justify as it being a "Great" event.

The "claims" made here about the mutiny, atleast by me, have been backed up by sources, both primary and secondary. If you have any contradiction to offer, get back to me with materials that support your case. So far all you've quoted is a pro-Imperial book on the Empire as a whole, which even then says little to support the various claims and positions you've taken. You've also admitted that you simply haven't read any specific material on the Mutiny itself, and have repeatedly failed to even look up the sources I've showed you. So I'm not sure why you expect any serious responses.
Do you consider it Sepoy Mutiny or First war of Independence?
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,324
India
Do you consider it Sepoy Mutiny or First war of Independence?
Yes, it was first war of independence. Sepoy mutiny is just a portion of 1857 rebellion. Lot many princely states participated with Bahadaur Shah Jafar proclaimed as the Emperor of India.
 

tornada

Ad Honoris
Mar 2013
15,380
India
Do you consider it Sepoy Mutiny or First war of Independence?
See, that's the problem. Its Either/Or with you. Why are these terms mutually exclusive?
The Great Revolt comprised many different groups. Each of these groups had different ambitions. Ambitions could overlap across groups, and ambitions were also specific to each group. For the Sepoys it was about pay, about religious identity and their customs being infringed upon, and also about political legitimacy. For sepoys and and people from places such as Awadh and Punjab, it was also about independence. For the Indian Princes and Rulers? They were hardly a single homogenous class. For Bahadur Shah Zafar it was about being dragged into the Rebellion, but for his court and family, it was about the authority and symbolic sovereignty that the British and the EIC, by treaty and even Parliamentary dictate, owed to them. It was about the Peshkash which had been denied since the 18th century, about the promises of Wellesley and Lake not kept by their successors, about the nominal sovereignty denied by Lord Hastings and successors.

For Lakshmibai it was about securing her own state, which the EIC officials looked to try and absorb, contrary to the principles of Indian Sovereignty. For Nana Saheb, it was about regaining the Peshwai which had been stripped from him and denied to him by the British but which was legitimately theirs and was recognized as such by his retainers, and by the local population. The latter two were also reluctant joiners, having attempted to achieve their aims through negotiation prior to the Rebellion. But in all of this, the blatant bad faith with which EIC officials acted cannot be overlooked. For example the outright lies of Metcalfe in the early part of the 19th century when dealing with Akbar Shah for example did not go unnoticed in the Delhi Court.

For the Talukdars of Awadh, it was about the illegitimate annexation of their territories, and their own community ties with the Rebels, most of whom came from upper class landed communities. For the Punjabis it was about the Military Occupation they existed under, and the recent memories of their hostile annexation following the death of Ranjit Singh.

Are you going to put a single label to all of these different motivations? Mutiny is a military term. Were the ordinary people of Punjab, the Talukdars of Awadh, the regular people of Gwalior and Jhansi, the crown princes of Delhi mutineers? How could they be? They were not in the military employment of the British. I can rebel against my country today. But I cannot mutiny. Were all parties uniformly seeking independence from British Rule? The Sepoys in Delhi certainly seem to have been. But Lakshmibai in her early days appears to not have been. Zafar certainly wasn't but his sons perhaps were.

The very fact that you want to reduce this event to a single motivational binary speaks to your refusal to understand the complexities of the event. The fact that you think it can only be a Sepoy Mutiny or A War of Independence suggests that you aren't interested in understanding it, just in labeling it.