Focus: GS I- History
Why in News?
Prime Minister has paid tributes to freedom fighter, Mangal Pandey on his birth anniversary.
About Mangal Pandey
- He was born on July 19, 1827, in a town near Faizabad, what is now eastern Uttar Pradesh state in northern India, although some give his birthplace as a small village near Lalitpur (in present-day southwestern Uttar Pradesh).
- He was from a high-caste Brahman landowning family that professed strong Hindu beliefs.
- He joined the army of the British East India Company in 1849 and he was made a soldier (sepoy) in the 6th Company of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry, which included a large number of Brahmans.
Rebellion against East India Company
- He revolted against the East India Company for introducing cartridges that were greased with animal fat as it hurt the religious sentiments of the soldiers.
- Eventually, this movement of rebels reached other parts of India and which led to a mass revolt against the government.
- The movement of protest and rebellion came to be known as the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, also known as the First War of Independence.
- On March 29, 1857, Pandey and his fellow sepoys rose up in rebellion against the British officers and even attempted to shoot them. As a result of this, he was executed on April 7, 1857, in Barrackpore.
- On May 6th, the entire 34th Bengal Native Infantry was disbanded ‘with disgrace’. This was carried out because an investigation ‘revealed’ that the soldiers had not restrained a mutinying soldier.