Why Sikhs did not join in 1857 mutiny in large scale?

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Waffen SS, Feb 18, 2014.

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  1. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    I think it was a big mistake for Sikhs. Mughals persecuted Hindus too, still Hindus fought against British under Mughal, if Sikhs fought against British it would be much better.

    There were some small scale mutinies in Punjab, but were quickly crushed. Overall Sikh soldiers of British, remained loyal.

    Those who say 1857 revolt was step to return to Mughal days, to them Mughals ruled India before British came. India was not under foreign rule since 1192 AD. Muslims from West Asia and central Asia came, fought and ultimately became Indians and forgot their original motherland. And British did not liberate India from Muslim rule.

    @Singh, @Ray, @rock127, @Blackwater.
     
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  3. Truth Finder

    Truth Finder Regular Member

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    1) It was a mutiny of North India. In the East or West or in the South, it had almost no effect. Nizam, Gurkhas and the intellectuals of Bengal, Bombay and Madras Presidency opposed the mutiny. Again,those North Indians did not help the Sikhs in their wars against the British. Many Hindu and Muslims opposed the mutiny also. It was not a freedom movement at all. There was no nationalism then. It was viewed as a counter-revolution of some Kings and princes by those people who were opposing it at that moment.

    2)There was almost no mughal influence after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. Then the Marathas rose and became the most powerful power in the sub-continent. But, after the fall of Marathas in 1810s, India was highly a divided country and each ruler ruled his/her area accoring to his/her wish.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
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  4. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    It needs quite some explaining... from internal fights/decline of Sikh Misls after Ranjit Singh to lack of proper support from Rajuts/Hill warriors/Marathas.

    We all are to be blamed.
     
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  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Because earlier on the same independence fighters were in league with the british against the sikh empire.

    divide and rule, desi neeche angrez upar!
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Q. Why Sikhs did not join in 1857 mutiny in large scale?
    A. For the same reason that many Bengalis worked for the Calcutta Police CID and carried out operations against the freedom fighters.

    I.e.:
    • Some joined for a job.
    • Some joined for loyalty.
    • On the other hand, some chose to remain loyal to the land.
     
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  7. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    These Mutineers were the same soldiers who fought against the Sikhs, earlier.
    Mutineers were fighting under the Islamic Mughal Banner, which would have been anathema for the Sikhs.
    Many of the "Kingdoms" established post-fall of Ranjit Singh's empire owed their existence to the British.

    Sikhs, Gurkhas?, Dogras, Pathans and Punjabi Muslims fought with the British against the Mutineers
     
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  8. Sukerchakia

    Sukerchakia Regular Member

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    More than a couple of reasons:

    Purabiya (Bengali and Bhojpuri speaking) soldiers who rebelled during 1857 were employed in the Company's native regiments of Bengal and Madras and took an active part in the two Anglo Sikhs wars in the 1840s. Hence the Sikhs didn't really wish to support them as these Purabiyas were happy to be a part of occupying British forces only 10 years back.

    Once victorius, the British didn't treat the Sikh armies disrespectfully but absorbed them into their own army with good rank and status. They appreciated the Sikh and Pashtun fighting qualities (evident in battles like Chillianwala). This is evident from the official British accounts of the Anglo-Sikh wars. I have gen. Charles Gough's book named 'The Sikh Wars and the Annexation of the Punjab'.

    India was a loose entity at that point in time and hence cross-regional solidarity was a hitherto unknown concept.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    @WaffenSS,

    Read history carefully and you will realise who aligned with who and why and what was the environment and necessities that dictated the alignments.

    Further, while I do not vouch for the veracity of this, you may read it in your spare time.

    http://www.csas.ed.ac.uk/mutiny/confpapers/Chanda-Paper.pdf

    And yet, there are other papers/ comments/studies which give divergent views.

    Now, which one are we to take as the 'Gospel'?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
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  10. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    Please feel free to mention me.

    So Sikhs then took a wrong decision. They should have understood it was actually British who brought their empire down, Sepoys were just soldiers of British. Real enemy was British.

    Sepoys were common men and common men dont get inspired by Nationalistic attitude unless their basic requirements are not fulfilled.

    It was very possible to create a Sikh empire(after mutiny) with mughal Emperor as nominal haed and same in Maharashtra and other areas of India.
     
  11. Sukerchakia

    Sukerchakia Regular Member

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    Actually, hind sight is a beautiful thing. :)

    You make a good point about Sikhs recognizing their real enemy - British. But as India was a loose entity, nationalistic bonds were non-existent. Their countrymen - Marathas had come rampaging up North and East only a century earlier. I am sure they didn't realize the fact that they were invading lands of their own countrymen.

    Another reason that I should have added in my earlier post is that after MRS' death, the Khalsa Army was a disjointed group with factions led by the MRS' widow, Sardars - i.e erstwhile Generals and Dogras. Of these the latter were the first to forge alliances with the British and in fact the current King of J&K traces his direct lineage from the same Dogra generals employed in MRS army. So the point is the SIkhs weren't politically united or astute to take a decision at the collective level. If they had been smart they'd have avoided battle with the eager Company troops and consolidated the Lahore Durbar's territory towards the west and given up trans-Sutlej areas to the British as per MRS treaty with them.
     
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  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    What exactly is 'Nationalistic'?

    In 1857, each region had its own Ruler who applied its policy to suit its own 'Raj's' interest. Not everything could thus be interpreted as 'Nationalism' as would be applied in today's context.

    One of the reason for the 1857 Uprising that coalesced many rulers, was what they felt was against the customs and traditions of succession, when Dalhousie applied his infamous Doctrine of Lapse, a cover to usurp their Raj into the British Indian Empire.

    Thus, it was self interest and nothing to do with 'Nationalism', as would be applied today.
     
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  13. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    Nationalism is a feeling within inner heart that this country is ours. Very few people have genuine nationalism. Most people are not.

    :hmm::okay:

    Yes, there were rulers in various area indeed, but they were more like Zamindars or local kings, Mughal Emperor was legally Emperor Of India, he was nominal head, even Marathas in their highest stage did not disobey him.

    As for most people joined due to self-interest, I ask was all people in Gandhiji's movement nationalistic? I mean when those poor farmers and other poor people joined in Gandhiji's movement were they nationalistic? Were those Indian capitalists who joined in Gandhiji's movement nationalistic?

    No.

    Poor people joined because there life was miserable, Indian capitalists supported Gandhiji because Colonial government was obstacle in their process(British always preferred British industrialists), so despite this if Gandhiji's movements are called Nationalistic then how and why 1857 revolt cant be called nationalistic?

    If your basic requirements are fulfilled very people then will struggle for their country and humanity.
     
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  14. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    There was never a vision of a united india as it exists today back in those days. They could not and did not conceive of this nation therefore, nationalism does not even enter into the conversation.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Marathas obeyed the Mughals?



    Against the British


    East India Company rebel sepoys
    Seven Indian princely states
    Mughal Empire
    Gwalior factions
    Rani Laxmi bai, the deposed Maratha ruler of the independent state of Jhansi
    Nana Sahib Peshwa, the adopted son of Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao II
    Followers of Birjis Qadra, the son of the deposed Nawab of Oudh
    Some Indian civilians, notably retainers of talukdars (feudal landowners) of Oudh and Muslim ghazis (religious fighters)

    British Side

    British Empire
    East India Company loyalist sepoys
    Native irregulars
    East India Company British regulars
    United Kingdom British and European civilian volunteers raised in the Bengal Presidency

    21 princely states

    Ajaigarh
    Alwar
    Bharathpur
    Bhopal
    Bijawar
    Bikaner
    Bundi
    Hyderabad
    Jaipur
    Jaora
    Kapurthala
    Kashmir
    Kendujhar
    Jodhpur
    Patiala
    Rampur
    Rewa
    Sirmur
    Sirohi
    Udaipur

    India, as we know now, did not exist.

    So, how does one show nationalism to a non existent entity?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  16. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    What exactly do you want to say?

    Nationalism is a modern idea from Europe, yes modern sense of Nationalism(borrowed from Europe based on language) did not exist, but this country is ours, not for some people who came from far distance, the will to uproot foreigner British rule and instead positioning local rulers, does not it indicate they wanted to get rid off Foreigners? And wanting to get rid off foreigners, does not it mean they had a feeling that this country is theirs? What do you call it?

    What exactly is national flag? Republic of India's National flag is tricolour, Mughals had different, National flag evolves with the change of Government.

    Mughals ruled most of India(some them even now are not Indian territory) and Mughal flag was hoisted through out their empire, and hoisting any other flag with out their permission was considered offence, so?

    For Marathas after 1720's Mughal Government weakened, if Marathas wanted they could have displaced Mughals, but they did not. You know in 1770's Marathas positioned Mughal emperor and crushed some anti-Mughal rebellion?

    Even Mughal emperor was called Emperor of India up to 1857, all though Company ruled practically.

    When transportation system was very primitive then it is very natural people of different area would unite under banner of local lords and local lords in turn unite under any bigger banners.

    Delhi was capital of India, and yes, not always rulers of Delhi had control over other parts. So many regional states were established only to be annexed again by next powerful ruler from Delhi in future.

    Example-Alauddin Khilji expanded Sultani rule to South India defeating Hindu rajas(1290's AD.), all most after his death, South again became separated from Sultani rule this time by both Hindu and Muslim kings, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq again captured south, but just within 10 years Harihar and Bukka established Vijoynnagar, in north Bahman Shah established Bahmani state, Bahmani state broke up, Vijonagar collapsed, again South was conquered by Mughals.(17th century)

    It was struggle between regionalism and unity.

    May be we can see the same in Republic of India, 60 years are a very short time in perspective History(Akbar alone ruled 49 years!!!)

    India was created by British, it is the worst work British did to rewrite India's history.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Just that:

    India, as we know now, did not exist.

    So, how does one show nationalism to a non existent entity?

    Therefore, your quest for an answer on Why Sikhs did not join in 1857 mutiny in large scale? and linking with Nationalism is misplaced since I reiterate that there was no Nation called India.

    There was a 'Sikh Nation' and they showed 'nationalism' to that entity, even if in today's context that does not appear very comfortable.

    But then, that was yesterday, and today is today and we cannot juxtapose today's sentiments and yardsticks to judge yesterday's events.
     
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  18. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    I gave you several proves that India existed, but not always united due to lack of powerful central power. Now your call.

    Harshabardhana was called "Sokolottor Pathnath" meaning lord of North, his kingdom was most powerful in northern India, indeed, but his kingdom never crossed India's boundary, still he was called that, how a king can be called "Sakolottor Pathnath"(land of North) when his kingdom was just barely big to cover North areas of India only, instead of covering to North Pol, still he was called, because not in this perspective that he was ruler of Northern World but hence his kingdom was North India's powerful so, he was called Lord of Northern India.

    So how a king can be called Lord Of Northwhen his kingdom is just most powerful only in North India? So it is obvious to gain this title Harsabardhan just had to capture large area of Northern India, not whole areas covering to North Pol.

    Your call.

    After Fall of Tipu Nana Saheb commented "Tipu is finished, the British power increased, thewhole of East is already theirs . Poona will be now next victim, evil days seem to be ahead. There seem to be no escape from destiny".

    We know Tipu and Mysore fell in 1799 AD. By then Company was ruler of East India. So why Nana said the whole of east is already there's when China, Burma and Japan and Eastern countries were not colonized yet by British? When British territory was just within East India? So it is obvious Nana did not say this from this perspective, but he said because Eastern India was already British.

    Now please tell me if India did not exist then why Nana said "East is already theirs" this despite knowing Burma and Eastern world is not ruled by British? So he clearly meant Eastern India as East.

    Can you understand this 2 examples?

    If you still dont acknowledge, then dont.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is not my call.

    It is what history shows.

    To include your own commentary - Harshabardhana was called "Sokolottor Pathnath" meaning lord of North, his kingdom was most powerful in northern India, indeed, but his kingdom never crossed India's boundary, still he was called that, how a king can be called "Sakolottor Pathnath"(land of North) - which proves India was never the political India of today!

    North does not include today's South of India, or does it?

    If it doesn't, you yourself prove that India as of today did not exist!
     
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  20. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    I am amazed that you could not understand these simple things, or you just dont want to admit you are wrong?

    When you referred my post's part then why you did not refer whole part?

    For more simple text- I again explain when an King can be called Lord Of North just because his kingdom was most powerful in north India, then it indirectly indicates India as a country existed, that's why Harshabardhana was called Lord Of North all though his kingdom did not cross India's border, but was most powerful in North India, so he called that.

    I cant explain in any more simple text.

    After fall of Tipu and Mysore in 1799, Lord Wellessely said "I drink to the cropse of India" all though Mysore even never ruled entire South India itself, still he said that because he actually meant Tipu was biggest treat to British expansion in India, if India was not India then how?. How this sense came? If India was not India then he why commented such this? That's why British at first felt it was necessary to defeat Tipu sooner than Marathas.

    http://physlab.lums.edu.pk/images/7/75/Tipu_tft.pdf

    I am not going to give any more explanation, because you are not worthy of it.

    If India was not India then British would simply consider various Indian kingdoms like just another 5 Asian kingdom, but they did not. It indicates that all though in 18th century India was not united even foreigner British understood this difference between Indian kingdoms and another 5 Asian kingdom.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I cannot control your amazement as I cannot control your understanding of history.

    Things are simple, but you tend to complicate it with some fabulous convoluted and bizarre pretzel like interpretation.

    The issue is simple.

    You have asked why did the Sikhs not side with those who rebelled against the East India Company, implying that as Indians, they were not nationalistic.

    The answer is simple.

    There was no India as we see it today.

    Each Princely State had their own interest.

    They did what their Princely State's interest were.

    In today's context, you can draw the conclusion, if you wish to flog a dead horse that was not there in the past, that all those who did not side the Rebels (or freedom fighters, if you wish) were not nationalists.

    But the reality still remains that there was NO India as an entity as we have now and the Princely States followed their own Kingdom's self interest.

    For better understanding contact Madhaorao Scindia on why some joined and others did not.

    You are right that I am not worthy of your convoluted meanderings promoting a misplaced nationalism that refuses to see the reality of history.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
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