Mangal Pandey

Mangal Pandey birth anniversary: Honoring his contribution to the Indian freedom struggle


The Indians’ desire for independence was initially sparked by the great “Sepoy Mutiny” of 1857. The period saw a number of illustrious and memorable events that were crucial to the liberation cause. Without mentioning Mangal Pandey, the 1857 Uprising against the British would not have been successful, and the history of the Indian Independence Movement would be lacking.

Who was Mangal Pandey?

On July 19, 1827, in a town close to Faizabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Mangal Pandey was born into an affluent Brahman family. Pandey enlisted in the British East India Company’s army in 1849, serving at Barrackpore as a sepoy in the 6th Company of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry.

A new sort of Enfield rifle that required men to bite off the ends of the cartridges to load the weapon is thought to have been introduced by the British while in Barrackpore. There was a rumour that the cartridge’s lubricant was either pig or cow fat, which was against the religious beliefs of both Muslims and Hindus. The use of it in the cartridge incensed the sepoys.

Pandey made an effort to rally his fellow sepoys against the British on March 29, 1857. When restrained, he tried to shoot himself after attacking two of those cops. He was finally overcome and taken into custody, though.

Pandey was found guilty and given the death penalty. He was scheduled to be hung on April 18, but the British decided to reschedule his execution to April 8 out of concern for a widespread uprising.

Following resistance and uprising against the usage of Enfield cartridges in Meerut later that month, a bigger insurgency began after his death. The entire country was quickly consumed by the insurrection. Due to this, the uprising in 1857 came to be known as the First War of Indian Independence. The rebellion attracted close to 90,000 soldiers. Although the British were forced to retreat in front of the Sikh and Gurkha forces, the Indian side suffered losses at Kanpur and Lucknow.

The British Parliament enacted a law to dissolve the East India Company in the wake of the 1857 Mutiny. India was immediately made a royal colony by the Queen. The spark that led to India’s eventual freedom 90 years later was lit by Mangal Pandey.