Friday, August 12, 2011

Causes of failure of rebellion of 1857

To make  a revolution successful four factors are essential;
1. Aims and objects,
2. Organisation and leadership,
3. Peoples' support and participation, and
4. Revolutioary Condition.
1. Aims and objects are associated with its programmes and policies. Though an anti-British feelings engulfed the whole of India but to abolish the British rule the sepoys had no definite programme of action.
2. No organised conspiracy against the British;  There were great Indian leaders such as, i) Bahadur Shah II, ii) Nana Sahib, iii) Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, and iv) Kunwar Singh.
None of the above leaders actually joined the mutiny of the sepoys at the beginning and that the first three of them denounced the sepoys and, according to their own statement, were forced against there will to join the ranks of the mutineers. The same thing appears to be true as regards Kunwar Singh. Dr. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar analysed the actions of the above persons. The evidence on the basis of which Nana Sahib and Bahadur Shah are regareded as the organizer of the rebellion of the sepoys and the ruling chiefs or Bahadur Shah is supposed to have entered into a conspiracy with Persia and Russia, would not bear a moment's scruitiny. Rani Lakshmibai's correspondence with the British authorities leaves no doubt that her sympathy was all along with the British until she found that  their unfounded suspicions about her could not be removed by any means. Neither she nor Kunwar Singh had any status at the beginning of 1857 which would enable them jointly or severally, to organize, a political conspiracy.
The utter lack of plan and organization, and even of cohesion among the different groups of rebels in neighbouring areas, clearly demonstrates that the outbreaks of civil population were not the result of a concerted plan of revolt but were merely sporadic in character.
A searching examination of many witnesses revealed the very interesting fact that nobody knew anything definite about either the object of the circulation of the chapatis   or the original source from which the idea originated. Some believed that it was intended as a preventive against epidemic or a propitiatory observance to avert some impending calamity. Some thought that the chapatis were circulated by the government in order to force Christianity on the people. There are other views also.
Sepoys Organisation;   After thorough investigation it was revealed that there was some communication amongst the sepoys of different areas. The action of the sepoys at Mirat seems to be the result of a previous understanding. This is supported by the following statement of Ahsanulla:
"The volunteer regiment (38th N.I.) of Delhi said, that before the breaking out of the mutiny, they had leagued with the troops at Mirat, and that the latter had correspondence with the troops in all other places, so that from every cantonment troops would arrive at Delhi. It was understood that letters were received at Delhi, from which it was evident  that had beforehand made common cause among themselves. The mutineers at Delhi also wrote to other regiments requesting them to come over. The draft of the letter was this,
"So many of us have come over here, do you also, according to your promise, come over here quickly". It was evident that in the first place there wa correspondence between sepoys of different parts of India regarding the greased catridges. The sepoys of Barrackpur threatened them saying, "if you receive these cartridges, intermarriage and eating and drinking in common shall cease between yourselves and us."
Secondly,expansion of mutiny within a month or two indicates some sort of previous negotiations and understanding.
'But the plan of the mutineers was not matured ', according to Ahsanulla.