Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mutinees in Indian army, British Rule before 1857

Mutinees in Indian army were widespread rebellions against the British administration in the country. The Mutinee of 1857 which sparked off in Bengal and later spread to the whole of northern India has been correctly termed as the first organised fight for independence.As far as the army raised by the British East India Companywas concerned, there were several records of a number of mutinees both by Europeans and Indian troops.The causes behind the mutinees were always far and wide. Poor allowances and low pay rates have always been the cause of discontent.
In the year 1764 Bengal Sepoys rebelled for higher rates of pay and gratuities in the campaign against Mir Kasim. Major hecto Munro, the commander in chief , punished he offenders by blowing them off from mouths of the guns. In between 1765-1766, officers in Bengal Army rebelled against the British Government for more allowances.
In the year 1765, Robert Clive issued orders that double-batta be withdrawn except to the brigade stationed at Allahabad. The old single batta was to be issued to the troops in cantonments or in garrisons until they were recalled back within the Presidency. The rest of the army was to  receive single batta when marching or in the field and half single batta when in Catonments or in garrisons. While within the presidency officers were to receive no batta at all but free quarters in lieu. Doubl batta had been grated by Mir jafar to all officers of the company after the battle of plassey. His successor Mir Kasim continued to pay the allowance. On receipt of the latest order there were great dissatisfaction in all the cantonments and out-posts .They had their headquarters in almost all the out-posts namely Murshidabad, Munger, Allahabad, Surajpur and Benkipur. Even the civil  services contributed rupees one lakh and 40 thousand to aid the movement. Two hundred English officers  were determined to resign their commission unless their demands were fully met.As soon as  Lord Clive came to know of this he took immediate measures to meet the threat.Stringent measures were adopted and even India troops were employed to to force the Europeans into submission.Some officers were court-marshalled while others were deported. The majority were pardoned of promise of good behaviour. The European officers in the south also mutined openly at Masulipatam, Seringapatam, Hyderabadand other places when their Tent Contract.