The Rebellion of 1857 was among some of the major yet unsuccessful uprisings against British Rule that contributed in the course of bringing Independence to India. The rebel was actually against the East India Company that worked on behalf of the British Crown Rule.
Many mistakes the Rebellion of 1857 to be the first rebellion of the country against British Rule. But the truth is that many small regional rebellions had already occurred before the 10th of May of 1857. And all these small uprisings indicated that agitation among Indians had started throughout the country.
Some of the mentionable revolts that occurred before the Rebellion of 1857 are the Sanyasi Revolt, The Jungle Mahal Rebellion (1767), Nayak Rebellion, Chuad Rebellion, Santhal Rebellion, the Second Military Rebellion of Bengal (1795), the Vellore’s Rebellion (1803), the Great Rebellion of 1824, Mahikant Rebellion of Gujarat (1836), and Military uprising of 1855.
But it was the Rebellion of 1857 that recorded the most unified support from the Indian population. It was not one reason that caused such a massive uprising. Rather the people had multiple reasons to revolt against the British Government by then.
Some of the causes of the revolt were the Britishers looting Indians of their rightful properties like land and imposing an excessive amount of taxes on the people. The sense of fear among regional rules heightened with the introduction of the Doctrine of Lapse by Dalhousie.
The orthodox conservative families of India were also threatened when Britishers started banning some of the then social norms. Other than this, the Indians working in the military of the British Government were treated very poorly.
One of the major incidents that enraged the Indian people, including Mangal Pandey and his mates, was that the British made them use cow and pig fat covered bullets. These bullet covers were required to be broken using teeth, and the army did so. The British did this, knowing that it would be going against most people’s religious beliefs in India.
The Britishers imprisoned those who did not use those bullets and also hanged them. Thus such injustice gave rise to rebellions in several parts of India. And the Rebellion of 1857 did start in Meerut when the arrested soldiers broke out of the jail and killed several British officers.
The revolt was led by Dhan Singh Gurjar, who was a Katowal in the British army himself. The revolting soldiers went to Delhi to spread the notion of revolt. And they succeeded in doing so because the revolt started in other parts of India as well.
The Britishers were stunned since they were outnumbered compared to the number of Indian soldiers in the British Army who were all revolting. But the British Government wasn’t letting the satiation get the best of them so easily, so they played dirty politics by using several tactics.
Lord Canning ultimately suppressed the Rebellion of 1857. It was because the tactics of the British Government succeeded in creating a massacre as they lured Sikh and Madrasi soldiers in their favor.