India's Impact On Indian Society

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IMPACT OF THE SEPOY MUTINY ON INDIAN POLITY AND SOCIETY By Isha Naravane Introduction The events of 1857 loom large in Indian History. Some consider it the first great war of independence, others a mere mutiny and some say it was a revolt against existing conditions. Whatever be the case, the most singular consequence for India’s army was how the British now viewed their armed forces in India. Whether the British ruled it as a trading company or as a nation, the use of force and military might was still necessary to occupy and subjugate the subcontinent. The Revolt of 1857 led to a re-organization of the Indian army and this article highlights some of the socio-economic and cultural impacts of this re-organization. The soldier is also a product of his socio-economic, cultural and political landscape. The recruitment of natives for the British Indian army on a large scale, their training in modern warfare methods, the salary and rewards given to native soldiers all had an impact on the environment where the soldiers came from, on Indian rulers who fielded armies on the battlefield, and on agrarian communities who ultimately shouldered the revenue burden for maintenance of armies. Salient Features Impacting Post-Mutiny Re-Organisation The events of the 1857 uprising all over India are well-documented. This paper will discuss those which are pertinent to large scale re-organisation of political and military systems. Composition of the Bengal Army – the Primary Mutineers.

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