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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Mangal Pandey Jayanti – Spark of Revolt

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“Give a salute to this tricolor, from whom you are proud, always keep your head high, As long as there is life in the heart!” – Mangal Pandey

July 19 is observed as the birth anniversary of one of the greatest Indian soldiers, Mangal Pandey. The Revolt of 1857, which shook the British East India Company, was ignited 165 years ago by Mangal Pandey’s bravery and defiance. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid respect to Mangal Pandey, who started the 1857 War of Independence by firing the first shot. The legendary Mangal Pandey is a byword for bravery and tenacity. He inspired innumerable individuals and sparked patriotism at a pivotal time in our history. On the anniversary of his birth, we remember him. had paid respects to his monument earlier this year in Meerut.

He was an Indian warrior who fought injustice with bravery and valor. He was the driving force behind the Revolt of 1857, commonly referred to as the First War of Indian Independence.

On March 29, 1857, Mangal Pandey attacked British officers, starting the first significant episode of the Indian Mutiny, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny. In what is now eastern Uttar Pradesh state in northern India, Pandey was born in a town close to Faizabad, however some claim he was born in a tiny hamlet close to Lalitpur (in present-day southwestern Uttar Pradesh). He came from a wealthy, high-caste Brahman household with fervent Hindu ideals. According to some reports, Pandey enlisted in the British East India Company’s army in 1849 after being recruited by a brigade that passed by him. He was enlisted as a soldier (sepoy) in the 34th Bengal Native Infantry’s 6th Company, which had a sizable Brahman population. Being ambitious, Pandey saw his work as a sepoy as a stepping stone to greater success.

However, Pandey’s professional aspirations clashed with his religious convictions. A new Enfield rifle that required a soldier to bite off the ends of greased cartridges to load the weapon was introduced into India while he was stationed at the garrison at Barrackpore in the middle of the 1850s. There was a rumor that the lubricant was either pig or cow fat, which offended Muslims and Hindus, respectively. The sepoys developed the notion that the British had put fat on the cartridges on purpose.

There have been various accounts of the events of March 29, 1857. Pandey was promptly tried and given the death penalty.

His execution was scheduled for April 18, but British officials changed the date early to April 8 out of concern that a widespread uprising would occur if they waited until then. Later the same month, at Meerut, opposition to the usage of Enfield cartridges sparked a revolt that started the broader insurrection there in May.

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