Free Online Test Series for BPSC Mains Examination : General Studies (Paper - I) - 19 November 2019

Online Test Series for BPSC Mains Examination

General Studies (Paper - I)

BPSC Syllabus:

  • (Modern History, Current Affairs and Statistics)

Q. On the whole, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the so-called First National War of Independence of 1857 is neither first, nor national, nor a war of independence'. Considering this statement.

Model Answer:

The revolt of 1857 was the result of the policies of the colonial rule and the negative impact of various sections of the country. The incompatibility of the evidence present in reference to the rebellion and the contradictory claims of the then historians gave birth to a dispute about its nature.

A section of historians regards it as merely a rebellion; on the other hand, the second class considers it the first expression of the consciousness of the freedom of the mass struggle at the national level. Among the existing differences, RC Mazumdar has accepted the so-called first national struggle. Mazumdar Sahib, in his view, argues that before 1857, there has been a long history of mass movement and revolt.

After 1757, the colonial rule continued to expand its territories and in this action they had to face many regional conflicts because this regional power grew and took a broad form, in which Bhil, Kutch, Baghero and Ramseo of western India were there. If there is a rebellion then that is the rebellion of Sanyasio Colo, Tamar, Chero Bhumij and Santhalo in Eastern India and Bengal, South India’s leading to the rebellion of the Diwan Velu -thampi king of Vizianagaram and Travancore.

RC Majumdar has argued that rebellion of 1857 was not national but said that the expansion of the rebellion was limited. Its expansion was not all-Indian. Participation of every section of the society was also limited, even from the geographical point of view, the views of the rebels / leaders seem narrow, they give greater emphasis to their inherent feudal interests and regional interests, such as the Queen of Jhansi fought on the issue of succession and Nana Saheb for the right for his pension.

Apart from this, RC Majumdar has also refused to accept it as a freedom struggle because all the rebels were not meant to establish an all-India pattern, but to provide momentary fulfillment of their interests so that they could retain their power. There was no clear goal of rebellion, from which it could appear that if the rebel were successful in the rebellion then what would be their future? There was also a lack of planned program in the rebellion, as well as the absence of any well-organized organization, due to which RC Majumdar refuses to accept it as the freedom struggle.

In the interpretation of the above arguments, RC Majumdar points out some facts –

  • The rebellion of 1857 is typical in the tradition of revolts that take shape in the background of dissent against colonial rule, whether it is in its origin or in extreme parlance.

  • Together, he also argues that the rise of the rebellion occurred in the form of a military revolt, even after it has changed in its nature.

Although many other historians criticized his view in which Ashok Mehta and V.D Savarkar were main. Ashok Mehta has considered the revolt of 1857 as National and V.D Savarkar has considered it as well planned struggle for freedom.

The revolt of 1857 was the first revolt of freedom struggle because almost all the sections of the society took part in it like farmers, landlords, common people etc. And it was much elaborated and vast as compared to its previous revolts. It was expanded till Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai etc. Where people of all the sections were present. It can be measured from its intensity that within one day the army arrives from Meerut to Delhi and declares Bahadur Shah Zafar as his emperor and expands revolt under the leadership of his commander and gradually becomes involved in regional powers. The leaders of Awadh, Kanpur, Gwalior Jhansi, Mathura, Mirzapur, Aara, Jagdishpur etc. gave it their leadership.

It would also be meaningful because it was in national interest, even though the regional interest was at the center of this rebellion, still the interests of everyone were working to connect one another. A kind of interlude is also seen in it. The rebels of one area were not only influenced by the activities of other areas, but they continued to have constant cooperation and dialogue. All the rebels were suffering from a deep dissatisfaction against a common enemy. During this rebellion, a coalition of religious tolerance is found. There is unprecedented unity among Hindus and Muslims, whose replica is seen in acceptance as a Mughal emperor. The rebellion was as widespread as it was.

If we look at it as a freedom struggle, then it clearly shows that slowly there was anxiety for freedom in public consciousness. In many places the public started the revolt before the soldiers and where the army was not deployed, the public raised its flag. General Citizens also began to understand the exploitation of the British.

This revolt became the inspiration for further revolts. Based on the latest findings, the revolt of 1857 can be considered as the earliest manifestation of Indian nationalism. It contained all the elements that existed for expression of nationalism. The suppression of this rebellion was done more cruelly.

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