Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mutinees in Indian army-British Rule (contd-2) before 1857

A year after the Barrackpur mutiny there was a short lived conspiracy (14 Oct 1825) when the Grenadier Company in Assam refused to march after complaining about the weather.Once again the ring leaders were sentenced to death and the others discharged.
Dissatisfaction about the terms of payments led to the disgrace of a native regiment at Sholapur when it refused to turn out for parade on 24 Nov 1838, Non-payment of Batta led to the mutiny of sepoys in Secunderabad, Hyderabad and Maligaum in 1848; some of the regiments were disbanded and others pardoned.
The religious sentiments of the sepoys were ruffled during the first Afghan War (1838-42). The Muslims resented the idea of fighting their co-religionists. Hindus feared that they would lose caste by receiving food from the Muslims in a foreign country.Moreover, they were short of provisions and often had to go without tgheir daily bath. They also resented having to wear jackets made of shep- skins.   A Hindu and a Muslim subadar were in fact, shot dead for articulating grievances. The Sepoys carried out orders in sullen discontent.
The 64th regiment at Sind in 1844 turned violent when denied full benefits of the First Afghan Empire. All the ringleaders were executed except one who was imprisoned for life.
The 6th madras cavalry was agrieved in 1843 when they were permanently posted at Jabbalpur on reduced allowance after having been brouht to the place on an understanding that they would be quartered there for a short time.
In 1849 Sir Charles Napier discovered that 24 regiments were awaiting an opportunity to rise in the Punjab. There was in fact, a mutiny at Govindgarh on 1 Feb 1850. Though quelled, Napier took the opportunity to raise the dearness allowance of the soldiers. This was disfavoured by the Governor-General, Lord Dalhousi, whereupon Napier resigned in protest. The smouldering discontent of the sepoys burst forth in the Great Revolt seven years later.