Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What was '1857'?

Historians and leaders and freedom fighters have termed '1857' inter alia as 'mutiny', 'sepoy revolt', 'first war of independence' . In India, the term "First War of Independence" was first popularized by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his book The History of the War of Indian Independence.

So recently I was asked my opinion about it - I had given it much thought when I first started my research- and the conclusion that I reached was that it was a bit of all . It started as 'mutiny' or sepoy revolt but gradually became 'First War of Independence' as simple as that. Let there be no doubt about its being the 'First War of Independence' because till that time it was perhaps the largest most widespread, most horrendous and one of the longest lasting wars in recorded history of mankind.

Truth is simple though sometimes clever academicians make it deliberately complex to show their 'scholarship'.


  1. Maybe the right word is Ghadar, more than anything else.

    The more I have thought about this subject, wasn't this more the last gasp of resistance than the first effort at independence? Or maybe, as you say, it started as a mutiny, but then become that last gasp of resistance? War of Independence still doesn't make that much sense; doesn't that idea have more than a little retrofitting our view of history (be it Indian or Pakistan, for that matter) onto the past?

    Nice to meet you, by the way.

  2. First of all I must thank you for reading my very offbeat and in all liklihood tedious and boring blog....Ya I agree with you .... our perspective about history changes and I guess that is very natural... but you must remember or rather I must inform you that my view is unique regarding that event and I think it is the only one that explains the whole series of events....but academicians do not take kindly to absolutely new theories coz they have a very limited vision in general and vested interests that they must keep in mind always... I have no such constraints being technically only an amateur historian though I have done more original research than professors in our local university...