Mangal Pandey was a soldier of the English army during the English rule. Initially, Mangal Pandey had great respect for his British owners. But gradually when the behavior of the British became violent towards the Indian people, by the way, Mangal Pandey started furiously in his mind. Mangal Pandey became even more fierce against the British when they came to know that the British government was giving them such cartridge that contains the fat of cow and pig. They thought that the British wanted to corrupt their religion and they revolted against this point. Due to rebellion, they were arrested and hanged.
After the execution of Mangal Pandey, revolt broke out in whole of north India, in which the rule of the East India Company was badly shaken.
Birth and parents
Mangal Pandey was born on July 19, 1827 in Nagwa village of Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. His father’s name was Dinkar Pandey and mother’s name was Azharani.
Mangal Pandey had a fracture and three brothers. Bhan had died in 1830 but the descendants of his brothers are still alive.
How did Mangal Pandey recruit British Army?
Once, Mangal Pandey had come to Akbarpur with some work. At the same time, the army of East India Company was going from Lucknow to Banaras. Mangal Pandey stood up on the banks of the road to see the march of the army. A military officer urged Mangal Pandey to be admitted to the army after seeing strong and healthy, due to his being born in a poor Brahmin family, forced him to work in the British army.
On 10 May 1846, he was admitted to the army of East India Company at the age of 22. They only got 7 rupees a month’s salary. His duty was in the 34th Bengal infantry.
Cow and pig fat cartridge
The policies of the East India Company to grab the states and then the conversion policy by Christian missionaries had already created hatred towards the British rule in the minds of the people, and when the company’s Army unit’s ‘Nifield P. 53’ gun in the new cartridges If the use started, the matter got worsened. These cartridges had to be opened by mouth before putting them in the gun, and such news spread among Indian soldiers that cow and pig fat were used to make these cartridges. In his mind, it became home that the British were amazed to corrupt the religion of Indians because it was impure for both Hindus and Muslims.
Now the hatred towards the British in the mind of the Indian soldiers was steadily rising and their doubt was confirmed when the Bible written in Hindi and Urdu were distributed among them free of charge. Indian soldiers thought that the British wanted to change their religion.
Indian soldiers approached the British officers with their concerns and advised them not to use cow and pig fat in cartridges. A staunch Hindu soldier named Mangal Pandey openly oppose those cartridges.
Events of 29 March 1857
Mangal Pandey’s mind was going on growing in anger in the minds of the British, the rest of the soldiers of his platoon did not hate less than the British, but Mangal was very angry with the fatty cartridges.
At noon on March 29, 1857, Mangal Pandey began to provoke all the soldiers of his platoon for revolt. They told the Indian soldiers that now the time for revolution has come and they will destroy whatever they see, right there. When the British officer Lieutenant Bog was aware of this, he immediately reached the horse with his gun to see all the Majraara.
When Mangal Pandey saw Lieutenant Baugh coming, he shot his gun with a gun, but shot him on a bog horse, which caused the garden and horse to collapse. At that time, Mangal Pandey was about to strike a bomb with his sword that a Muslim soldier Shaikh Patlu caught Mangal Pandey from behind.
Another British officer Husson arrived in this and ordered the Christian Ishwari Prasad to help Sheikh Patelu in catching Mangal Pandey, but Ishwari Prasad started to freeze because he was also on the side of Mangal Pandey. The rest of the Indian soldiers were standing – standing watching all of Majra, but no one was supporting Mars and nor the Englishmen.
Only then a big British officer, General Joyce Harey reached there and ordered that any soldier who refused to catch Mangal Pandey should be shot immediately. In such a situation, when Mangal Pandey felt that he would not be able to escape the clutches of the British, he tried to commit suicide by shooting but somehow he was saved.
Mangal Pandey was arrested and prosecuted. He was told in the court that he should tell the names of those who went with him in the rebellion and kept rebellious views like him. Mangal refused to name his colleagues. The greed was also given to Mars that if he apologizes, he will not be punished, but Mangal Pandey ji refused to apologize for any kind.
In the end, they were sentenced to death in the so-called crime of attacking their senior English officers and provoking rebellion among soldiers.
Mangal Pandey was to be hanged on 18th April 1857, but due to continued protests, he was hanged on 10th April i.e. on 8th April.
Ishwari Prasad was also hanged on April 21 due to disobedience of British officers.
All the soldiers of the platoon which were in Mangal Pandey were suspended, as the British suspected that they all had thoughts like Mangal Pandey and could revolt against them at any time.
On the other hand Sheikh Purki was promoted to the post of havildar.
Fierce revolt broke out across India
When the palace of Mangal Pandey reached the other parts of India, the resentment of the people became pervasive. As a result, on May 10, 1857, the army camp in Meerut was rebellious and this revolt was seen and spread throughout northern India.
Several rebellions (including India’s first freedom struggle) also included many king-princely states, farmers and laborers, including soldiers and shocked the British rule. This rebellion gave clear message to the British that ruling in India is not as easy as they understood.
But due to many traitors, India failed in the first freedom struggle. About 21 princely states helped the British to suppress the revolt.
Due to the revolt, the East India Company lost their faith in England and the English rule was imposed by ending the East India Company in India.
Mangal Pandey at the present time
The Government of India issued a postage stamp in honor of Mangal Pandey on October 5, 1984.
At the place where Mangal Pandey attacked the British officers and where they were hanged, now a park has been built, named ‘Shaheed Mangal Pandey Maha Garden’.
In 2005, ‘Mangal Pandey: The Rising’ was released by famous actor Aamir Khan.
Mangal Pandey is also mentioned in Jedi Smith’s first novel ‘White Teeth’.