TACTICS OF RULE Indian Voices from the 1857 Rebellion. Section III Part 3. Coohill’s Article. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a vastly important event in the history of the British Empire.
cow & pig fat
The British East India Company’s seizure of
Oudh caused the sepoys to plot the Indian
Rebellion. The unjust display of British
imperial power over a traditional northern
Indian kingdom unsettled many Indians,
especially those with social and economic ties
to the region. The rumor of greased rifle
cartridges only reached sepoys after news of
______’s seizure had already enraged them.
The Sirkar coincidentally sent groups of men from each regiment into different garrisons for instructions on how to use the new rifle. These men performed this drill until a report surfaced that the new rifle cartridges used cow and pig fat for grease. The men in our regiment wrote letters containing these facts to the rest of us. Soon, every regiment had heard about the news. Men pointed out that the Sirkar had never insulted our religion in forty years. The sepoys, however, still had the seizure of Oudh on their minds.
Some soldiers pointed out that the English strived to turn us all into _________________. These men asserted that the British instituted the greased cartridge in order to make this conversion happen. Both Muslims and Hindus experienced ______________ by using the new rifle cartridges.
We stopped to eat and rest for the night at a settlement just three marches from a camp at Mau. No travelers were present at the settlement, but two soldiers were. These men were returning home via ________ (Bombay). A few of us went to sit by the soldiers and chew betel. We talked about all kinds of topics, and the soldiers became quite friendly. The soldiers eventually told us that a revolution would occur in just three days. Killing and looting would inevitably result from the revolution. The soldiers warned us to return home, and we asked them to tell us exactly the news they had received.
The older of the two soldiers began to explain the events to us. He said, ‘‘The British have previously governed well, but they have recently become ______________.’’ Four or five months ago they sent us wonderful English guns. These guns pleased soldiers, for they used bullets the size of ___________ fruit and the balls flew 200 more paces than the old muskets. New guns and ammunition were distributed through Hindusthan. New cartridges, however, had to be bitten open. An ammunition factory has been opened at _____________(or Dum Dum) just four kosa from Calcutta in Hindusthan. One day, a ________ was taking water from a pond when a _______________a street-sweeper) approached the priest, asking to borrow his water-jug to drink. The Brahman soldier did not allow the Cambhar to drink, as the Brahman stated the water would become polluted. The Cambhar then instructed the Brahman to not talk so highly about caste superiority. The Cambhar explained that he greased the new rifles cartridges with cow and pig fat himself. The Cambhar asked, ‘‘What remains of your supposed purity when you open these cartridges with your teeth? Who needs the sham of purity in this situation?’’ The Cambhar and Brahman then began fighting. Many people, including soldiers, gathered around and heard all of these events. _____________soon spread that the new cartridges went against traditional religion.
The kind Major allowed me to perform ___________________ over my misguided son. He was the only
prisoner to receive such rites, as the rest were
thrown to the jackals and the vultures.
2. What do the young soldiers say about the new guns and bullets sent to them by the English?
3. How did the soldiers find out about the fact that the cartridge packets were made with cow and pig fat?
4. How did the soldiers in Godse’s story believe the British Parliament responded to the cartridge controversy? Was this accurate?
An initial confrontation ensues and their commander accepts their demands and withdraws the cartridges
He fails and is captured and executed on April 9th.
They are sentenced to 10 years hard labor, stripped of their uniforms, and humiliated.
The siege of Delhi ends with the British capture of the city, and the military tide turns against the rebels
Nana Sahib issues proclamation for all Indians to join the rebellion
The seizure of Oudh using the British policy of Doctrine of Lapse
The account he received from two soldiers he met near Mau.
The speed with which objections to the new cartridges spread amongst the sepoys.
The Indian belief that the British Parliament
had sanctioned the use
of the cartridges.
The encounter Pandurang and his cousin
had with rebel leader Tatya Tope who at
first believed the men to be spies.
The conditions of the rebel army—their confusion, disorganization,
The poor organization and fighting inefficiency of the Indian rebel
army, who lost even battles where they seemingly had the advantage
The decision he made to join Tope’s rebel army where there was suffering (not enough food, clothing, adequate shelter, etc.)
The British siege of Jhansi in April 1858 where a brutal massacre
Ram’s decision to stay loyal to the British government
Ram’s burial of his son’s body after his son was executed for rebelling against the British government.