Today, July 19 in the history marks the 192nd birth anniversary of one of the greatest Indian soldier Mangal Pandey. Born in 1827, Mangal Pandey was the sepoy in the Bengal Native Infantry's 34th Regiment of the British East India Company. Described as a traitor and mutineer by the Britishers, Pandey is a hero in modern India. His action against British officers set off the first war of Independence in India, Indian Mutiny, Great Rebellion or Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. Facts About the Indian Freedom Fighter Mangal Pandey.
On March 29, 1857, Mangal Pandey attacked British Sergent and also injured a lower-ranking officer. For this act, he was arrested and sentenced to be hanged. Later, it was revealed that he was angry with the introduction of the new Enfield P-53 rifle spread. It was rumoured that cartridges were greased with fat from cows and pigs and the soldiers had to bite it off to remove the cover. Did You Know the Indian Rebellion of 1857 Was Started on May 10 by Mangal Pandey?
Cows are considered sacred in Hinduism while pig meat is considered as haram or forbidden in Islam. Hearing that the fat was deliberately used, the fearless Mangal Pandey decided to take action against the officers. He shot down his British Sergeant Major and then injured another officer. Sensing that his arrest was unavoidable, he shot himself in the chest but the wound was not severe and he survived.
Pandey's brave act spread like fire all over the country and triggered a series of revolts. When the rebellion broke out, there were around three lakh Indian soldiers in the British East India Company. In 1857 the revolt started when Bengal soldiers mutinied in Meerut, attacked British officers and marched to Delhi. On reaching the capital, they declared Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar as their ruler.
On June 20, 1858, however, the movement was seized as it didn't have an organised leadership, which hampered its spread across the country. Fearing more outbreaks in the future, Mangal Pandey was hanged on April 8, 1857, ten days before the scheduled execution date.