Unveiling The First War Of Independence: The 1857 Revolution
We are as much a part of our history as history is a part of us. A historical narrative is often subjective and therefore, prone to possibilities of distortions. When we read history, we are often oblivious of the silent screams, the omitted toils, the perspectives of the oppressed. The invisible tears of the ones defeated and the presence of the ones lacking the authority of writing their history. The history of the Revolution of 1857, one of the most significant revolutions, was no different. In many accounts of British rule, authors believed in the fairness of the British Rule.
Introduction In Snippet
Such self-assuring benevolence left several significant facts and accurate reports of the revolution, known as The Sepoy Mutiny or The First Anglo-India War, either distorted or untold, while the names of the heroes unsung. In the history of Modern India, no political enquiry has gained as much attention as the 1857 Revolution. For the abundance of studies related to this crisis, ‘subcontinental’ as undermined by the Colonial writers. Above all there leap up numerous confusions regarding the causes, results and aftermath of this “Great Mutiny”.
Although the colonial school of historians have indulged in terming of the uprising as a mere mutiny of Indian troops. A more in-depth probe proves that the unrest had a scale of that of a national revolt. With people from every stratum of society, from the peasants to the Zamindars, participating in it. The introduction of Enfield rifles and the grease used in the cartridge is popularize as the immediate cause of the uprising. In addition it was not even a fact to count as a reason for the revolt.
For a long time, a collaborative attempt by the British Government to stab the cultural ethos of the Hindus of the country in particular and the whole nation in general. They tried to curb the cultural nationalism of India. Ramesh Chandra Majumder in his prominent work. The Sepoy Mutiny and the Revolt of 1857 mentioned that “There were some special reasons for bitterness in the relation between the two communities. Englishmen in general regarded the Indians as barbarians. Additionally, the Christian Missionaries held in open contempt the idolatrous practices of the Hindus.”
The very idea of the Indian subcontinent as an louche, primitive region and the Indians as illiterate savages attack the pride of the Indians and their identity and potentials were undermine. The shrewd attempt of the Christian Missionaries to convert the Indian Hindus and Muslims into Christians pounced on the bond among the Indians. The “Divide and Rule” policy was apply by the British in the backdrop of the socio-politico-cultural scenario of India, e.g. community-run education, the institution of marriage and the army. Consequently, the accumulated fury and dissatisfaction of the Indians reached the acme with the unrest of 1857, which gained its momentum as a united uprising to incorporate the sociocultural identity of the ancient Indian civilisation.
Herein it must not be lost sight of that the Leftist intellectuals contributed to strengthening the fault lines of the British administration. Toeing that idea, we come to the exquisite book by Parag Topé who, interestingly, revises history by remembering, deconstructing and re-establishing the facts how the Marathas and the Mughals joined together to dethrone the British and how that process culminated at the end of British colonialism in India. In addition the subterranean imperial strategies of dominance, the British Government subverted the hopes of people longing for freedom.
The Letter Of Tatya Tope
This cannot be understood without tracing the true nature of the war. Which was variously named as rebellion, uprising, insurrection, revolt or more famously ‘the Sepoy mutiny. In the book, Operation Red Lotus comes an unbiased account that emerges from various historical facts. Along with a detailed and critical study of Tatya Tope’s role in the struggle and his military acumen. That played a significant role in the strategic movements of the troops. The book breaks down the western account of the 1857 revolution. And in addition it tries to establish an accurate record of one of the most significant wars leading up to the freedom.
For the very first time, this revolutionary book brings to light the translations of the letters of Tatya Topé. And the prominent stance taken by Nana Sahib and Tatya Topé in setting up a parallel government. Apart from critical insight into hitherto unknown facts such as the ending of the war. The unknown people participating in the revolt and how the war was lost; Parag Topé sheds light upon the codes of the red lotus and the chapattis used in the war. He also unwraps the mystery tangled with the death of Tatya Topé. And destroys the myths and biased narratives related to the heroes and the events of this great rebellion.
To know history, we have to deconstruct history itself. In Bharat Gaathaa Series arranged by Bhavyata Foundation, we try to unravel the unknown facts, untold stories and unsung heroes. This Independence Eve, keep your eyes on our website to witness the untangling of the real history of the 1857. Along With Parag Topé as the speaker in the session 1857 War of Independence: Untold Story of the 1857 Revolution.