The people attacked the Indian expropriators as ruthlessly as their colonial masters. The victims of the plunders were, more often than not, the bankers, traders, money lenders, and auction-purchasers who had dispossessed the peasants and traditional land-holders of their lands, taking advantage of the sufferings and helplessness of the agricultural classes due to the enhancement of rent. These exploiters, as a group, constituted the mainstay of the British authority. Thus the revolt of 1857-1858 was not only a war of independence but also a class-war waged by the people.A war of independence becomes more revolutionary when the oppressed people participating in it launch a simultaneous attack not only on the colonial power, but also on the native classes who exploit the people and support the alien government for their selfish motive of making profit. This is exactly what happened in 1857-1858.
Historians like Gautam Bhadra and Ranajit Guha point out that the leaders often emerged from the grassroot level. The courage and integrity of many of these freedom-fighters have been praised by even imperial historians. The rebel's class-consciousness was of a limited nature.The heroes of the 'War of Independence' had a great appeal for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the chief of the INA who adopted the slogan of the 1857-- " Delhi Cholo" for his own call to the soldiers of freedom.Though there were some drawbacks still this constitute the First War of Independence as depicted by the great philosopher Karl Marx.