Sepoy rebellion started in 1857 because the Indians were dissatisfied with rapid westernization that was being installed by the British East Indian Company. Being a strongly traditional community with fully operating systems that were religiously derived, it was hard to assimilate changes especially on their social lifestyles.
After the turn of the 19th century, the British East India Company interlink with the local rulers was only meant for trade purposes, however it expanded its territories and established military systems that forced the Indians to change their religious affiliations to Christianity ideals which was viewed as part of civilization . The sepoys Sepoys were native Indian soldiers that served in the East India Company as agreed between the British and the Indian leaders.
Mostly, it involved the troops from Bombay, Mandras, and Bengal which had about 257, 000 sepoys by 1857 . Notably, the sapoys expressed their dissatisfaction with most of the military life in India. After they assisted the British to capture Punjab and Awadh, their pay was never raised as earlier promised. To add to that, they never received extra pay for their services as they were not being considered part of the foreign mission by the company. Besides, the soldiers revolted as they never wanted other castes to be considered in the recruitment.
During late 1856, British East India Company recruited soldiers from Brahmins and Rajputs castes which were largely considered as warrior castes and segregated by others . As indicated earlier Indian castes formed the main identity for the people. As a result, separation of the people from the system for a long time was considered to be part of the overall denial for their identity. When the company embarked on sending the soldiers outside the country, they were therefore totally opposed and ready to defend their identities.
To add to that, personal affiliation to faith and beliefs has been referred to be one of the main aspects that added more weight to the rebellion. After training to become a soldier in the British East India Company, the riffles for the army used cow and pig fat in the lee-enfield cartridges. Since inception, the Muslims and Hindus had held their faith so strongly to easily break without a any rebellion on any intrusion . With the rifles requiring breaking the cartridges with teeth for loading, the Hindu and Muslims considered tasting beef or pork to be against their religious demands.
As soldiers in the British East India Company, sepoys also wanted their previous system of autonomy restored to ensure harmony and coexistence between them and the British. As a result, the punitive measures that were used by the company of hanging the offenders was viewed to be too harsh and unacceptable. When Mangal Pande was captured and hanged along with Jemadar, the company denoted that it was a collective punishment . This angered most of the sepoys who saw themselves as the next victims.
Supporters and non-supporters Sepoy rebellion's reactionary nature was depicted by the community reaction. Notably, not all the rebels agreed on everything mostly because they originated from different castes. However, most of the Indians were strongly against the rule of the British as it was ruthless and executed the people by hanging. Of greater impact was the later introduction of the Christianity ideals which were being superimposed to the totally Hindu and muslin communities.
Therefore, most of them supported the rebellion as they saw a chance of social, religious, and economy restoration to them . In May 1857, the European cantonment was attacked and Christians were slaughtered in totality and their houses burnt down. Notably, the British troops never responded. To add to that, the community insisted on restoration of Mogul and Maratha emperors who had been overthrown by the British. Whereas most of the communities fought for restoration of their social leadership systems, the Muslims fought basically for religious purposes.
Millennarian Ahmedullah Shah called for jihad against the British which was forcing them to assimilate new faith . Notably, the Muslim separate view of the war was considered to be part of a new ideal as they did not want the resilience of the Shiite rule. Notably, most of the southern parts remained passive to the war. Some castes like Sikhs of the Punjab were not happy with the return of Mongul and Maratha emperors and therefore opted to remain in the British side.
Therefore, the rebellion sprouted a new ideal where varying castes revoked their previous hatred and took sides in the war against the British rule. Though the British took long to respond to these attacks, its stern action suppressed the rebels with strength which they affected with great fear of hanging the captured rebels as other people watched. Conclusion Sepoy rebellion of 1857 was largely linked to the demands for respect of the local people's way of life which was under great threat from British East India Company.
However, the system changed to take the long time castes hatred which made some communities to support the British in fighting Indians. By the end of the rebellion, greater objectives than the anticipated had been achieved as the British embarked on a reform program. Most of the Indian higher castes as well as the rulers were incorporated into the government and the East India Company abolished. Besides, land grabs were halted and religious tolerance established. It marked a new beginning.