The Mutiny of 1857 Ncert Class 8th



to show the mutiny

  • In 1856, Governor-General Canning decided that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be the last Mughal king and his descendants would be called princes.
  • The constant exploitation of zamindars for collecting more revenue and peasants for their land and labour by the British made them unhappy.
  • Indian sepoys were also not happy with their pay, allowances and conditions for service.
  • Many of the sepoy families or themselves were involved in farming and thus they were also unhappy with what was happening in the countryside.
  • The religious sentiments of people were also being hurt as at that time crossing the sea was believed as to lose one’s caste, and sepoys were told to travel to Burma.
  • Reforms in-laws like the abolition of Sati and widow remarriage, promotion of the English language was considered as a threat to the culture by Indians.
to show practice of sati
Sati practice
  • In 1830, Christian missionaries were allowed to function freely in its domain and even own land and property.
  • Indians who had converted to Christianity to inherit the property of his ancestors, which disappointed Indians.
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Christian Missionaries
  • All this led to mutinies at many places against Britishers, after almost a hundred years of conquest, the company faced such rebellions.


  • In March 1857, Mangal Pandey, a young soldier was hanged for attacking his officers in Barrackpore.
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Mangal Pandey
  • Sepoys of a regiment in Meerut refused to do army drill using new cartridges which were believed to be coated with the fat of cows and pigs, which was against the Hindu religion.
  • On 10 May 1857 soldiers marched to the jail in Meerut and attacked and killed British officers, captured their guns and set the building on fire.
  • The soldiers by all will want the end of British rule and in place put Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar as the ruler.
  • The soldiers reached overnight to Delhi where the regiments from Delhi also joined them and reached Red fort where they declared Bahadur Shah Zafar as their ruler.
to show bahadur shah zafar
Bahadur Shah Zafar
  • Bahadur Shah Zafar against his will accepted the demand of soldiers and wrote a letter to all chiefs and rulers of the country to come forward and fight against the British.
  • This call by Zafar as unexpected by British blessed the rebellion and brought more people against British rule.
  • Regiments after regiments mutinied and joined the other troops at nodal points like Delhi, Kanpur and Lucknow.
  • People of the towns and villages also rose up in rebellion and rallied around local leaders, zamindars to fight against the British.
  • Nana Saheb, the adopted son of late Peshwa Baji Rao, of Kanpur, gathered armed forces and expelled British garrison and proclaimed himself as Peshwa under emperor Zafar.
  • In Lucknow, Birjis Qadr son of deposed ruler Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was proclaimed new Nawab, Begum Hazrat Mahal ( her mother) took an active part in the uprising.
  • In Jhansi, Rani Lakshmi bai joined the sepoys and fought against British along with the general Nana saheb called Tantia Tope.
  • In the Mandla region of Madhya Pradesh, Rani Avantibai Lodhi of Ramgarh raised and led an army against the British.
  • to show rani avantibai
    Rani Avantibai Lodhi
  • In Bihar, an old zamindar  Kunwar Singh and in Bareilly a soldier Bhakht Khan joined the rebellion and battled with the British.
  • In Delhi, a large number of ghazis or religious warriors came together to wipe out the British.
  • The British were badly outnumbered by the rebels and were defeated in a number of battles, which made it rethink to suppress the rebellion and be back to rule again.
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