Ans. The response of the other Indian soldiers in Meerut was quite extraordinary. On 10 May, the soldiers marched to the jail in Meerut and released the imprisoned sepoys. They attacked and killed British officers. They captured guns and ammunition and set fire to the buildings and properties of the British and declared war on the firangis.
Ans. The British also tried their best to win back the loyalty of the people. They announced rewards for loyal landholders would be allowed to continue to enjoy traditional rights over their lands. Those who had rebelled were told that if they submitted to the British, and if they had not killed any white people, they would remain safe and their rights and claims to land would not be denied.
Ans. The Company decided to repress the revolt with all its might. It brought reinforcements from England, passed new laws so that the rebels could be convicted with ease, and then moved into the storm centres of the revolt. Delhi was recaptured from the rebel forces in September 1857. Lucknow was taken in March 1858. Rani Lakshmibai was defeated and killed in June 1858. Tantia Tope was captured, tried and killed in April 1859.
Ans. Sitaram Pande was recruited in 1812 as a sepoy in the Bengal Native Army. He served the English for 48 years and retired in 1860. He helped the British to suppress the rebellion though his own son was a rebel and was killed by the British in front of his eyes. On retirement he was persuaded by his Commanding Officer, Norgate, to write his memoirs. He completed the writing in 1861 in Awadhi and Norgate translated it into English and had it published under the title From Sepoy to Subedar.
Ans. Main provisions of the Act of 1858 were:
i. Powers of the East India Company were transferred to the British Crown in order to ensure a more responsible management of Indian affairs.
ii. A member of the British Cabinet was appointed Secretary of State for India and made responsible for all matters related to the governance of India.
iii. The Governor-General of India was given the title of Viceroy, that is, a personal representative of the Crown.
Ans. They were unhappy about their pay, allowances and conditions of service. Some of the new rules violated their religious sensibilities and beliefs. Those were the days many people in the country believed that if they crossed the sea they would lose their religion and caste. So when in 1824 the sepoys were told to go to Burma by the sea route to fight for the Company, they refused to follow the order, though they agreed to go by the land route. They were severely punished, and since the issue did not die down, in 1856 the Company passed a new law which stated that every new person who took up employment in the Company’s army had to agree to serve overseas if required.
Ans. The Company even began to plan how to bring the Mughal dynasty to an end.
i. The name of the Mughal king was removed from the coins minted by the Company.
ii. In 1849, Governor-General Dalhousie announced that after the death of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the family of the king would be shifted out of the Red Fort and given another place in Delhi to reside in.
iii. In 1856, Governor-General Canning decided that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be the last Mughal king and after his death none of his descendants would be recognized as kings – they would just be called princes.
Download to practice offline.