Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Outbreak of Rebellion (1857-59) (contd-1)

A rumour was spread early in January, 1857 and the first outbreak was visible on 26 Feb, 1857at Berhampur, about 120 miles from Calcutta,  by the 19th Native Infantry (NI) who refused to receive their percussion caps for the parade on the folloing morning, an there was great deal of commotion among them.
The contagion spread and on 29 March , Mangal Pandey, a sepoy of the 34th NIat Barrackpur (near Calcutta), openly mutinied and calledupon his comrades to join him.Although they kept aloof, Mangal Pandey struck a blow at the adjutant , and when other European Officers rushed at him he was still taunting his comrades for not joining the fight for religion. He was overpowered after vainly tryingto kill himself, and was executed after trial along with the Jamadar of the Sepoys who stood by unconcerned. The 34th and 19th N>I>were both disbanded.    
It was soon evident that discontent and mutinous pirit had affected the sepoys of the whole Bengal army located in remort parts of India, and troubles arose as far as Ambala and Lakhnau. Within three months the rumour about the greased cartridges "had become an article of faith with nine-tenths of the sepoys of Northern India ". About the same time appeared the mysterious chapati (unleavened bread made of flour) which was widely distributed over a large area causing a vague sense of alarm.