Indian Voices from the 1857 Rebellion

The Indian Mutiny and Rebellion, which broke out 150 years ago this month, was the greatest revolt against British imperialism of its century. Joseph Coohill uncovers some Indian accounts of what happened and why.

The Indian Rebellion – or Mutiny – of 1857 was one of the most significant events in the history of the British Empire.  Indian soldiers in the army of the East India Company in Bengal rose up  against their officers, captured and killed many civilians, and nearly overthrew British rule in northern India. Although there is an abundance of first-hand narratives of the year-long Rebellion from Britons and other Europeans, Indian historical voices are largely silent. Apart from official proclamations from the Rebellion’s leaders, few original Indian accounts survive, and many historians have pointed out that this is an ­obvious example of history being written by the victors.

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