Mangal Pandey was an Indian soldier who played a key part in events immediately preceding the outbreak of the Indian rebellion of 1857. Mangal Pandey was sentenced a death penalty for rising against British Rule On 8th April 1857.
Here are some of the interesting facts about Mangal Pandey.
Mangal Pandey was born in a Hindu Brahmin family in Nagwa village from Balliya district of Uttar Pradesh on 19thJuly 1827.
Mangal Pandey joined the British in the year 1849, at the tender age of 18 and became a soldier with the 6th Company of the Bengal Infantry.
During his office at the Bengal Infantry at Barrackpore, the British introduced a new type of cartridge which was, apparently, made of cow and pig fat. Now, both the Hindus and the Muslims couldn’t use the cartridge, as they had to tear it off with their teeth, for religious reasons. It was Pandey who led a group of Indian soldiers to refuse the use of cartridge.
Mangal Pandey had actually sensed a ploy of the British—to create a rift between Hindus and Muslims to ease their dominance. Although many people term his rebellion as a portrayal of his “Dharma” as a Bhumihar Brahmin, a lot of people see this as a genuine effort to stop the atrocities of the British.
Out of his stubbornness or nationalistic zeal or religious ideology, Mangal Pandey was so much angry and disappointed that, after revolting, he had even vouched to kill the first English person he sees.
Mangal Pandey kept his promise, and fired at Lieutenant Baugh. Although he missed his shot, Pandey was able to overpower the Lieutenant with a sword—so much was the zeal that, it is said, the Lieutenant and Major Hudson had to run back to save their lives.
It was essentially Mangal Pandey’s efforts that spread the Sepoy Mutiny from Barrackpore to Meerut, Delhi, Cawnpore and Lucknow.
It was due to Mangal Pandey’s genuine efforts that later the British contemplated their action and ordered the soldiers to use their own greasing (of ghee) over the cartridges. In fact, to solve this dilemma, Lord Canning even sanctioned the proposal of Major-General Hearsey.
Mangal Pandey, for his rebellious act, was imprisoned and sentenced a death penalty, Mangal Pandey was tried at the Military court where he was asked the names who participated in the “crime”. And, he, like a true nationalist hero, kept mum which cost his own life.
Although he was scheduled to be hanged on April 18th, 1857, his death was rescheduled without any prior notification and was carried out 10 days beforehand.
It was due to the conglomeration sparked off by Mangal Pandey that the East India Company finally lost all the confidence of the British Empire and the colony of India went under direct rule of Queen Victoria.
Pandey’s so-called treachery made him quite (in)famous among the British, so much so that he gave birth to a new English word! “Pandy” is a word in English Language which has been derived from his surname, and it means “Traitor”. Although it was quite colloquial in those days, it has slowly become obsolete.
Reference – topyaps.com
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