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The Rebellion Spreads

The British were pushed out of Delhi after the Sepoy Mutiny. Rebellion spread to other states also.
  • Regiment after regiment rebelled against the British.
  • The people of the towns and villages also rose up in rebellion and rallied around local leaders; zamindars and chiefs who were prepared to establish their authority and fight the British.

Let us look at the Indian rulers who rebelled against the British

  • Nana Saheb of the Maratha kingdom
  • Birjis Qadr of Lucknow
  • Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jansi
  • Nana Saheb of the Maratha kingdom

Nana Saheb

  • Nana Saheb was the adopted son of the late Peshwa Baji Rao of the Maratha Kingdom.
  • Nana Saheb gathered armed forces and expelled the British garrison from the city.
  • He proclaimed himself the Peshwa and declared that he was a governor under Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Birjis Qadr of Lucknow

  • Birjis Qadr was the son of the deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh.
  • His mother Begum Hazrat Mahal took an active part in organising the uprising against the British.
  • He became the Nawab of Awadh during the Mutiny and acknowledged the authority of Bahadur Shah Zafar.
Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jansi
  • Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jansi joined the rebelling Sepoys and fought the British along with Tantia Tope, the general of Nana Saheb.

Tantia Tope, like other freedom fighters, was one of the great heroes who fought courageously for India’s freedom in 1857. Tantia, the name of terror for the English, was the one who shook the established niche of the British Empire. He was constantly fighting to win over the whole of India but unfortunately he was betrayed by one of his friend. The British caught hold of him and hung him to death on April 18, 1859. He is considered as one of the important freedom fighters of India.

The British were greatly outnumbered by the rebel forces. They were defeated in a number of battles. More and more states joined in the rebellion. This shook the confidence of the British, consequently many new Indian leaders came to power.

Let us list out the new class of leaders during the rebellion

Ahmadullah Shah
  • Ahmadullah Shah was a Maulvis (a respected Muslim teacher) from Faizabad.
  • He raised a huge army of supporters and came to Lucknow to fight the British.
Bakht Khan
  • Bakht Khan Rohilla was a commander-in-chief of Indian rebel forces in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British East India Company.
  • He took charge of a large force of fighters who came to Delhi and became a key military leader of the rebellion.
  • In Delhi, a large number of ghazis or religious warriors came together under the leadership of Bakht Khan to wipe out the white people.
                                                                  Kunwar Singh

Kunwar Singh

  • Babu Veer Kunwar Singh (1777 – 1858) belonged to a Rajput royal house of Jagdishpur, in Bihar state.
  • At the age of 80 years, during India’s First War of Independence (1857-58) he actively led a select band of armed soldiers against the troops under the command of the British and also recorded victories in many battles.
  • In his last battle, fought in April 1858, near Jagdishpur, the troops under the control of the British Raj were completely routed.

To honour his memory and his contribution to India’s freedom movement, the Republic of India issued a commemorative stamp on 23rd April, 1966.


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