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Mangal Pandey Birth Anniversary

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.

February 2024