Newspaper Page Text
RACES AND RELIGIONS, UNITING AS IN THE SEPOY UPRISING
w IN 1857, THREATEN SPREAD OF ANTI-BRITISH REVOLT IN INDIA
Historic painting dealing with the great uprising of
1857?British blowing patriotic Sepoys from the guns.
Crude Acts of Tyranny Fanning the Flames of
With Their Fellow-Mires?Silkhs, Gurkhas,
and Others Slowing Signs of Disaffection.
General Unrest Is Making Soldiers Mo
Rebels Against tie Ruling Power?Ammu
nition and Anns in Plenty lave Been Made
Ready for the InSial Stroke.
By BASANTA KOOMAR ROT,
Noted Hindu Writer, Lecturer and Recognized Authority on India and
the Far East.
?)RE8S dispatches from India and England have
already begun speaking of the mysterious move
ments of British troops in India. General I/ord Raw
linson, the commander-in-chief of the British military
forces in India, has recently more than once gone on
record to say that he most decidedly expects uprisings
in India of rather serious character. Consequently he
is vehemently opposed to the reduction of military
expenditure in India that is daily growing more and
more militant, especially after the imprisonment of
Mahatma Gandhi, who did his utmost to keep .the
movement absolutely peaceful, at least for the time
being and until the opportune moment arrived.
Gandhi is more admired and
revered than followed in the land
of his birth. His failure to keep
India peaceful lands him into
prison today. And the tide of
militancy is rising so high that
the British government is con
sidering the suspension of civil
authorities, and the placing of
the entire country under strict
and stringent martial law, so
that every man, every woman
and every child may be sum
marily shot dead who dares to
show the least patriotic feeling,
and challenge, in thought, action
or word the political and military
supremacy of the British in In
SPIRIT OF REVOLT I)ERP.
It Is dally becoming apparent
that the spirit of revolt against
British rule la so deep seated and
widespread that an eruption can
not be long delayed. The forces
that developed India's war of Inde
pendence of 1867 are active again,
only In a more dynamically vital
way. The secret revolutionary ac
tivities which began lri Bengal and
In Maharashtra havs spread all
The disloyalty of the Indian
troops is dally becoming more evi
dent. During the Sepoy war of
II117 the Sikh princes and the Sikh
?oldiers sided with the British to
avenge their wrath against the
Mogul dynasty. But the Hindus
and the Mahommedans were united
as one In their opposition against
the British. Hindu generals and
Mohammedan generals, Hindu
troops and Mohammedan troop*
fought side by side against the
But the Liigbty Sikhs have at
last awakened from an Ignoble
dream It Is the Sikh soldiery that
has formed the principal bulwark
of British paramountry In India
and the East. And the British Em
pire in the East rests on the loy
alty of the Sikh. But the Sikh has
By experience?by suffering, sor
row w?cl Insult?the Sikh hasnt last
discovered that he is nothing more
than a willing slave to the Briton.
With the dawnlrtg of this con
sciousness he is showing signs of
revolt, and the British are taking
special care to preserve the loyal
ty of the Sikh. The Briton has
met with but little succea in
this attempt of his. Peaceful per
suasion has failed, and coercion
has already begun against the
Sikh, so much so, that even the
Sikh temple at Nankhan Sahel
has been outraged by the Briton.
Latest papers from India relate
stories how, about a month ago,
Hindu temples. Mohammedan
mosques and . the Sikh granth
were subjected to British out
Crude acta of British tyranny
are fanning the flames of revo
lution In India. The Sikh regi
ments are seriously affected.
The Ourkhas are the worst, na
tionally speaking. Wherever
there Is to be a filthy piece of
military work to be done, there
the Gurkhas are sent. They are
Mongolian In race and come from
the fo?5t of the Himalayas.
DEFY BRITISH . ORDE"
When 'the valiant Moplalis rose
last summer, the Hindu, Moslem
and Sikh soldiers could not be
trusted with the campaign
against them. It was the Oukhas
who fought against the Moplahs.
And such are, indeed, the cur
rents of thought in India today ?
that even a few amongst the
Gurkhas are showing signs of
revolt. Recently the members
of the outlawed National Volun
teer* were marching through the
streets of Calcutta In open defi
ance of British ordinances, and
these rebel* were Joined by a few
The story of the greaaed cart
ridge and the annexation of Oudh
were not the real cauaea of the
uprialng. The real cauae waa
India's desire to win India's In
dependence by ^throwing off the
Not only the Hindu and Mos
lem soldiers In the British army
of occupation mutlnod, but rose
also In open revolution, Emper
ors. Rajas. lUtnees. Ranua,
landlords, merchants, priests,
peasants and worklngmen.
Writes Justin McCarthy in his
"History of Our Own Times:"
"The fact was that throughout
the greater part of the northern
and northwestern provinces of
the Indian peninsula, there was
a rebellion of the native races
against English power.
"It was not alone the Sepoys
who rose In revolt?It was not by
any means a merely military
mutiny. ,? ? ? The quarrel about
the greaasd cartridges was but tho
chan * *pnrk flung in among all
the combustible material. If that
spark had not lighted it. some
other would have done the work.
The Mserut Sepoys found in a
moment, a leader, a flag, and a
cauae. and the mutiny was trans
formed ?nto a revolutionary war."
; nnnlaed and exploited
Lakithl Hal. Itann of Jhu?l, one
of the royal women lender* of tlio
by the same British, the various
wets and racea and province* of
India today have become more
united and Infinitely more resolved
to throw off the galling yoke of
British despotism. In 1867 the
people of Indta were not disarmed.
India used to manufacture can
nons, runs, rifles, bullets and gun
powder. India's soldiers were cap
able of handling huge cannons.
tl)ey wero supplied with the beat
of rlflea, and they were trained
Into being officers.
MHARMKI) BY BRITISH.
But ever since the war of 1867.
Indians have been forcibly dis
armed by the British. The manu
facture of arms and ammunitions
Is exclusively* controlled by tlio
Bven the military forces of the
Indian princes are under the direc t
control of the British government.
And Umi Indian soldiers la llut
India's women have been ever
warlike. Here bt presented Prin
cess ( hand Ulbl, the defender of
Aliinadnagar against All bar, the
great Mogul emperur, in 109).
British army are armed with in
ferior arms, and their movements
are vigilantly wa|ched by experts.
I personally know of many soldiers
who were and even today are
severely punished for attending
Indian patriotic meetings for the
boycott of British goods.
These ahd other disabilities, and '
the general unrest in India are
making rebels of Indian soldiers
in British employ. Consequently
they and the Indian revolutionary
leaders are now engaged In deriv
ing the moral from the struggle of
TWO HAVE JOINED HANDS.
Today, as around the saintly
personality of Mahatma Gandhi
the Hindus and the Mohammedans
have Joined hands, similarly In
1IB7 around the personality of the
Mogul Emperor Bahadur-Shah the
Hindus and the Mohammedans
united and rent the sky with
united war cry of Hara, Hara
(Hindu war cry), Din, Din (Mo
hammedan war cry)?Din, Din,
Hara. Hara. In 1167 India pro
duced only a few able generals.
The paucity of their number In
sured the failure of their fight
Kmperor ttahad.^. Shah was old
Kooman Singh, one of India's historic figures, who
fought valiantly against the British in the Sepoy
and feeble and lacking in cour
age. Nana Sahib wan a brave
ffiplomat, but not a great general.
Moulavi Ahmed Shah, an expert
loader in guerrilla warfare. Koo
mar Singh, the lion of Jagadl
sphur, wan an expert general and
At various encounters the Brit
ish generals had occasion to know
that, though his resources were
limited, as a military commander
he was more than a match for
them. Tantia Tope was the ablest
Indian military commander the
revolution produced. He was a
childhood friend of Nana Suhlb.
His power of organisation, quick
ness of decision and consummate
generalship remind onp of Na
poleon. Tantia, however, lacked
the luck for success which at
tended Napoleon's campaign.
INSPIRATION A WOMAN.
The unalloyed embodiment of the
very aoul of this great revolution
ary war.' kbwever, was a wonnn.
Queen I^akshmi Hal of Jhansi. As
the name of Joan of Arc la known
in France, similarly the name of
the Ilanee (queen) of Jhansi is
known In India. Such Is. the in
spiration of her example that shfr
la canonised In the hearts of the
people of India.
During festive occasions numer
ous songs are atill sung in her
honor. Here are the first two
linea of a song compoaad in 1158:
"Khub lari mardpni, aray Jhan
"Burjan burjan topain lagai dain,
gold chalai agmanee."
The aotig reads in transla
"Well fought the brave one, O the
Rante of Jhansi!
"Tha Gu.nt were placed in the tow
err, the magic bails were
"O, the Ranee of Jhanei, well
fought fie brave one.
"Wi the eoldiera were fed with'
sweets; she herself had mo
lasses and rice.
"O, the Ranee of Jhanei, well
fought the brave one.
"Leaving her palace, she fled to
the army, where she senrcned
and found no water.
"0, the Ranee of Jhanei, well
fovght the brave one."
The Itanee of Jhansl was born
In 1836. She was a cousin of
Nana Sahib Beshwa. Both ware
reared together In the same palace
of Bhramavarta, and both were
trained in the use of firearm* and
swords and In military science
under the same teachers. They
played and rode together, and to
gether they dreamed of a free
India. Her pet name at home was
She was married to Prince Oan
ffadhar Kao of Jhansl. Her hus
tiand suddenly died In 1861, and she
adopted Damodar as her son. The
British government arbitrarily de
nied her the right of adoption, and
forcibly announced the annexation
of Jhans. The Kane*, however,
denied the order of the British
government and declarnl: "1 will
not (rive up my Jhansi. Let him
take who dares."
After the fall of Delhi and Luck
now things looked gloomy for the .
revolutionists li^ the north. All
the important strongholds were
captured by the British only when
helped by the renegade princes and
their soldiers. So the revolution
ary leaders of Ou^h and Bohllk
hand decided to take, to guorlllu
warfare and Issued the following
"Do not attempt to tn*?t the
regular columns of the British In
open battle, because they are su
perior to you in discipline and they
have big guns. But watch theiv
movements, guard all the ghats on
the livers, Intercept th.'lr cominu
nlmtlons. stop their supplies, rut
up tbair dint* and po*U and k?-<
Another hUtorlc mm? from the
stirring days of 1*57. Nana Sahib
and hi* escort.
constantly hangtng about their
SEAT OF WAR SHIFTED.
While guerilla warfare was go
ing on In the north the principal
?eat of war shifted further south
The Queen of Jhansi wm prepar
ing to declare ouen war on the
British. Numerous revolutionists
from the north rushed to Jhansi,
and Jhansi, under the able leader .
ship of her twenty-thres-year-old
Queen and general, was well pre
pared to strike a blow against the
British for the Independence of
the motherland. The Ranee her
self looked after the fortifications
and placement of guns on the ram
parts of her forts. Both men and
women worked together for the
manufacture of gr?ns and ammuni
tion, and both men and women
were drilled to Join the ensulnc
engagement begun. .
At last on the 10th of March
1858, the British troops, under
General Sir Hugh Rose, encamped
fourteen miles away from Jhansi
The engagement began on th*
24th Regular fight thickened
the next day. The British were
helpless before the Ranee s gun
ners. like Oneam Kahn find
Khuda Baksh. '"The Queen her
self led the whole army. On
every rampart and every gale,
she was moving about actively,
she was standing where guns
were being planted and moved
Into position; she was busy se
lectlng clever gunners, and she
was to be found everywhere. In
spiring heroism even In the cold
sn.ENCED Ql'EEN'8 GUNS.
Thus re-enforced, the British
(vegan their assault again on
April 3. and succeeded at last
In silencing the guns of the
Itanee. The southern gate fell
first and the British entered
Jhansi. The Ranee, with about
1.500 men. rushed toward .he Brlt^
lsh and with her sword mow*!
down the British soldiers, and
-at last escaped through the
British lines by a clever ruse.
One maid and about fifteen horse
men formed her bodyguard. She
galloped at full speed, and ths
? Mahratta Queen wan as much
at ease galloping a horse as In
the zenana listening to her fav
KILTED MAID'S SLAVER.
Her maid was killed by an Eng
lish soldier, and quietly she killed
the English soldier. At last, by
sheer force of superhuman valor
she broke through the British
lines, and galloped her horse. Sh*
was followed by several English
soldiers. When she wan about to
be out of the reach of the enerfiy
soldiers her new horse refused 10
jump over a narrow rill. The Bng
lsh soldiers soon attacked her. at"!
single-handed, she fought again
them all for a long time, killii
several. At last a chivalrous Er
llah soldier struck her from bshli .
and the right side of her hi., i
with the right eye was cut op. .?
Another English sword struck l> >
on the chest
'Thus the Ranee of Jhinsl. Th
Illustrious Lakshi Bal, died flghtl"
for ths Independence of her rw
try. As Princess Chand RIM d
feVided Ahmednanar against 1
mighty Mogul Ei?p*ro. Akhor w
ths Ranes of Jhansi defended tl"
honor of India against the BrlU-?
Jhansi was anncied ahd the ft*'
Vws killed. b?it her mewwy "'lit
r . Mullioi'S of UUrtii u .a