The Great Rebellion of 1857
By Globus Press
The Great Rebellion of 1857 in India was much more than a âsepoy mutinyâ. It was a major event in South Asian and British colonial history that significantly challenged imperialism in India. In May 1857 soldiers of the Bengal army shot their British officers, and marched on Delhi. Their mutiny encouraged rebellion by considerable numbers of Indian civilians in a broad belt of northern and central India - roughly from Delhi in the west to Benares in the east. For some months the British presence in this area was reduced to beleaguered garrisons, until forces were able to launch offensives that had restored imperial authority by 1858. In India and Pakistan it has been termed as the âWar of Independence of 1857â or âFirst War of Indian IndependenceâÂ but it is not uncommon to use terms such as the âRevolt of 1857â. The classification of the Rebellion being âFirst War of Independenceâ is not without its critics in India.Â The use of the term âIndian Mutinyâ is considered by some Indian politicians as belittling the importance of what happened and therefore reflecting an imperialistic attitude. Others dispute this interpretation. In the UK and parts of theÂ CommonwealthÂ it is commonly called the âIndian Mutinyâ, but terms such as âGreat Indian Mutinyâ, the âSepoy Mutinyâ, the âSepoy Rebellionâ, the âSepoy Warâ, the âGreat Mutinyâ, the âRebellion of 1857â, âthe Uprisingâ, the âMahomedan Rebellionâ, and the âRevolt of 1857â have also been used. The objective of this book is to provide guidelines for students to understand the topic.