Mangal Pandey: The July 19 Ballia-born hero
- July 19th is observed as the birth anniversary of Mangal Pandey.
- Mangal Pandey was the one who started the 'First War of Independence.'
- He rebelled against the EEIC and was issued a death penalty on April 8, 1857.
The first struggle for Independence in the nation against the East India Company was started by the July 19-born liberation warrior Mangal Pandey. He has left behind an inspirational legacy. In 1984, the Indian government published a commemorative postage stamp in his honour. Furthermore, a film based on the life of Mangal Pandey was released in 2005. Mangal Pandey: The Rising, a film by Ketan Mehta.
Who was 'Mangal Pandey'?
Mangal Pandey emerged as a great hero in the events that led up to India's first significant revolt against the British Empire in 1857. He was born on July 19, 1827, in the Ballia area of Uttar Pradesh. In the 6th Company of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry, Pandey joined the British East India Company in 1849 as a sepoy (soldier).
Many people's grievances against British authority became stronger during the 1850s. While the British East India Company's policies were destroying the traders' and craftsmen's industries, the rural populations were suffering from a severe tax burden.
What did the Britishers do?
Pandey rebelled against the Crown as the British issued new cartridges that allegedly contained animal fat. According to reports, the cartridges included cow and pig fat, which offends both Muslims and Hindus.
The British originally denied using any animal fat, but Pandey and other troops' doubts became deeper and finally resulted in a revolt. Pandey inspired his fellow sepoys to rebel against the British Empire in response to atrocities committed while they were in power.
The revolt of 1857
Pandey attempted to start a rebellion against the British officers on March 29, 1857, while he was stationed at a garrison in Barrackpore. The subsequent struggle left Lieutenant Baugh, who had challenged the sepoy and attempted to stop him, wounded. Pandey fought 'Sergeant Major Hewson' and 'Baugh'. The assault on the British officers by Pandey served as inspiration. Later, a revolt began at Meerut, which finally resulted in the Revolt of 1857 also known as the 'First War of Independence.'
After the event, Pandey was tried and given a death-by-hanging sentence. In court during the trial, he testified that he rebelled on his own free choice and was not influenced by any other sepoys. On April 8, 1857, Pandey was sentenced to death.