Flying the Flag of Revolution, The Indian Struggle for Independence

Flying the Flag of Revolution, Part 5 – British Tyranny Descends on India

execution

The 1857 uprising had had ended unsuccessfully, but there was one issue that could not be overlooked.

At that time, there was much division among the various peoples and regions of India. The land was divided into more than six hundred princely states, each with its own independent ruler. They had long coexisted in relative peace, although some tensions brewed among them.

In September of that year, the British army took control of Delhi. Before long, their triumph turned into tyranny.

In order to defeat India, Britain spent over a year attempting to crush the states, but in the end they could not succeed. In the ensuing chaos, some local rulers fled deep into the jungle where they eventually fell prey to wild animals and snakes, while others were mysteriously murdered.

This was soon to be followed by unspeakable horrors all throughout the country. The brutal events that unfolded were so terrible that they would make even the bravest men shudder with fear.

Countless innocent Indian civilians were bayoneted by the furious British troops, as the soil of India was dyed red with blood. Thousands more were tied to cannons, and in a most gruesome and ghastly spectacle, their bodies were blown into fragments that were sent flying through the air.

The Anglo-Saxons preach so honourably about their humanitarianism, and yet they relentlessly committed the most outrageous atrocities against Indians, without mercy.

A general in the British Army who marched from Allahabad to Kanpur boasted about the gory sights that he encountered on his route. From every single tree that lined the road hung the corpses of Indian men, women and children of all ages. Their bodies were left brutally strung up from the branches for all to see, as a symbol of the great military prowess of the British forces.

It was a scene from hell.

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Flying the Flag of Revolution, The Indian Struggle for Independence

Flying the Flag of Revolution, Part 3 – Fighting Against British Rule

The uprising that had begun at Awadh soon spread to Meerut, and before long the effort was blazing throughout northern and central India. British authorities initially believed that the disturbance could be easily suppressed, but the movement proved to be far greater than they had anticipated.

According to British history books, this incident is known as the Indian Rebellion of 1857. However, such a name gives an inaccurate portrayal of these events. In reality, what unfolded here was a brave and valiant battle against British rule, and a fight to end their relentless control over India.

During this time, Hindus and Muslims did not work in isolation to free themselves from the evil grip of the British East India Company, but rather, all the citizens of India came together as one. As united compatriots with a common goal, they took up arms and fought side by side against the British. It was a truly magnificent event that to this very day gleams like a jewel, ornamenting the pages of Indian history.

In the early stages of the battle, the Indian mercenaries completely annihilated the British officers, and on the 11th, three mercenary units went on to occupy Meerut. All involved fought with great vigour, and their spirits soared so high that they could touch the clouds.

The units that took Meerut installed Bahadur Shah at Delhi as the king of India, and his sons as the commanders-in-chief of his forces. The struggle continued on in this manner for some months, with fierce battles being fought in various locations.

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Flying the Flag of Revolution, The Indian Struggle for Independence

Flying the Flag of Revolution, Part 2 – The War of Independence Begins

The Indian soldiers working for the British discovered that they had been deceived into using ammunition cartridges greased with the fat of cows and pigs. This was an intolerable offense, in outright disregard of the Hindu reverence for cows and the Islamic attitude towards swine. The Indian soldiers were understandably incensed, and they soon launched a mutiny.

At that time, the commander-in-chief of the British army was Major-General George Anson.  He believed that the impudent Indian soldiers could be easily suppressed, and the moment that the revolt was launched, he attempted to extinguish their uprising with a single blow.

However, the reality was that the people of India had been burning with anger and indignation for so long, and their resistance was not easy to contain. In the end, the effort at Awadh was successfully stamped out by a man named Brigadier-General Henry Montgomery Lawrence.

Little did he know that this incident was only one small spark of a much larger flame.

Just one week later, on the 10th of May, another uprising was launched at Meerut, fourty-two miles away from Delhi. In the blink of an eye, the effort had spread throughout the north, and before long had reached central India.

This marked the beginnings of the First War of Independence, and the Indian people’s courageous fight against British rule.

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Flying the Flag of Revolution, The Early Years, The Indian Struggle for Independence

Flying the Flag of Revolution, Part 1 – Deceived into Biting Cow Fat

In the last several sections, I spoke about my childhood and early involvement in the struggle for Indian independence. Before going further into my own role in the effort, I would like to go back in time and discuss the events that led up to the present revolutionary movement.

In 1857, our country was faced with a dire situation. It was as though India was a milk cow and the British East India Company was a farmer, relentlessly squeezing her dry, down to the very last drop. We all eagerly waited for the day when we would finally have the chance to rise up against their tyranny.

Then, in May the 7th Special Operations Squadron at Awadh suddenly launched a movement and flew the flag of revolution for the first time. Their uprising was triggered by rumours of a most outrageous offense. It was said that the British had been supplying Indian soldiers with the tallow of pigs and cattle, and that they had been unknowingly using this to grease their ammunition.

(Author’s note: Not only were the soldiers required to handle the ammunition, but they also needed to bite open the cartridges in order to release the gun powder, creating a most egregious situation.)

It is common knowledge that in Hinduism, cows are revered as holy gods. They are so highly venerated that they are even referred to as the mother of India. To kill these heavenly creatures and extract their fat is an unspeakably sinister crime. Moreover, in Islamic tradition the Quran gives strict warning in regard to swine.

These animals were so central to Hinduism and Islam, and yet they were being slaughtered and the people of India were being deceived into using their grease-laden cartridges. Upon hearing this grave news, it is entirely understandable and only natural that they would immediately be triggered into a furious outrage.

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