Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Peoples' participation in Revolt 0f 1857 (contd-2)
Grave discontent was caused by the annexation of Avadh among all classes of people. The imposition of new and obnoxious duties such as those on stamps, petitions, food, houses, eatables, ferries, and opium which laid a heavy burden on the common people,-- mostly peasnts who were already suffering from heavy assessment of land-revenue. Nearly five to six hundred men of the three native regiments remained loyal, and next morning Sir Henry Lawrence, who had been given plenary in Avadh, had no difficulty in dispersing the mutineers who all fled after a few discharges from their guns and marched to Delhi.The same afternoon about five to six thousand muslims raised the standard of the prophet and attempted a rising of the civil population, but the police put them down. The talukdars of Avadh who had lost their lands by the new system of land tenure, immediately rose as a class and resumed the lands, which they had been taken away from them, by forcible auction sale.The talukdars had not only powerful motive but also a strong incentive to revolt by the strength and security of their position.Their numbers were great and they had a common cause to fight for.They were well armed and almost every Talukdar had a fort surrounded by dense jungles.It has been estimated that in course of the suppression of the outbreak, "1572 forts had been destroyed and 714 cannon, exclusive of those taken in action, surrendered. All classes of people joined the fray.
The rebellious spirit affected the civil population in Shahabad as in Rohilkhand and Avadh.The administrative machinary set up by Kunwar Singh must have collapsed after his defeat and fight. There was also a wave of ensurrections in Chta-Nagpur among the aboriginal tribes.
The punjab remained mostly unaffected by outbreaks of civil population.