The following article, “Elaborate The Causes of the Mutiny of 1857 And Its Effects On Muslims.“, is written by Mahad Zulfiqar, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.
- ✓The East India Company began to usurp the control of Indian territories.
- ✓Muslims and Hindus, to get rid of the British domination, launched a rebellion against the British, which is known as the Mutiny of 1857.
2- The situation prevalent at that time
- ✓The Indian subcontinent was under the control of the British East India Company
- ✓The oppression of Indians was on the rise due to British policies
3- Causes of the Mutiny of 1857
- ✓Social causes
- Unfair treatment of Indians
- Abolishment of Indian cultural laws
- Threat of the spread of Christianity
- Change in the education system
- ✓Economic causes
- Conversion of India into a supplier
- Rise of Unemployment
- Destruction of small local industries
- Imposition of taxes
- ✓Political causes
- Doctrine of lapse
- Disrespect of local kings
- Dishonesty in British policies
- Removal of Indians from high positions
4- Effects of the 1857 mutiny on Muslims
- ✓Social Affects
- Increase in racial animosity
- Rise of nationalism
- Oppression of Muslims
- End of land capturing
- ✓Economic Affects
- The new era of plundering started
- Economic exploitation of the masses
- Destruction of infrastructure
- Excessive use of Indian resources
- ✓Political Affects
- Dissolution of east India company
- Formation of a new government structure
- Start of the policy of consultation
- The policy of divide and rule
5- Critical Analysis
Answer to the Question
The 17th century’s commencement is attributed to the rise of the East India Company, which began usurping control of Indian territories and becoming a cause of the Mughal downfall. After its arrival, the company implemented policies that tightly gripped the system. Muslims and Hindus collaborated to resist British domination, leading to a failed rebellion. Causes paving the way for this revolt included the unfair treatment of Indians by the British, changes in India’s education system, and rising unemployment. The East India Company’s occupation also destroyed local industries by replacing their products with British goods. Removal of Indians from high positions and dishonest policies were major factors behind the 1857 mutiny. Undoubtedly, it impacted social, political, and economic conditions, leading to the dissolution of the East India Company, the oppression of Muslims, and the “divide and rule” policy.
Causes of the Mutiny of 1857 And Its Effects On Muslims
Socially, after their occupation, the British began humiliating Indians and considering themselves superior. They oppressed and exploited them in various aspects of life, including public disrespect, dishonouring women, and physical assaults. They also abolished local Indian laws based on their culture under the guise of social reforms. Hindus and Muslims were unhappy about this. The East India Company also empowered missionaries to convert people to their religion, operating in schools, colleges, offices, and hospitals. They changed the traditional education system, making the English language mandatory. Consequently, leaders of Hinduism and Islam actively spread hatred for the British. Hence, the social conditions created by the East India Company were a significant factor behind the Indian mutiny of 1857.
The Britishers destroyed India’s flourishing economy, turning it into a desert. The subcontinent, once known as the golden bird, became a supplier for the British. After the Industrial Revolution, they extracted cheap raw materials from India to produce expensive finished goods. This led to peak unemployment as many industries were shut down, forcing Indians to buy British products. Consequently, both small and large-scale industries producing traditional items were destroyed. Additionally, the British imposed high land taxes, reaching 60-70 per cent of farmers’ income, detrimentally affecting them and causing a decline in agricultural productivity. Thus, the economic exploitation by the East India Company provided impetus for the war of 1857.
Politically, the British stirred anger among local people with their policies. The Doctrine of Lapse, a notorious doctrine focused on annexing princely states, was initiated by Lord Dalhousie. This policy led to the exile of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, from the subcontinent. They seized territories and disrespected the rulers, seizing their wealth and considering themselves superior. This fueled intense hatred for the British among the Indian people. Soon after their occupation, they announced the policies of “law and order” and “equality for all,” which were dishonest as the British never considered Indians equal. Indians were not allowed higher jobs, and their salaries were much lower than those of white people, contradicting the equality policy. Finally, Indians in higher positions were replaced by the British. In short, all the political decisions by the East India Company caused animosity and urged Indians to launch a revolt against the British.
Effects of the Mutiny of 1857
The War of Independence had long-term impacts on the society of the Indian subcontinent. Racial animosity surged after the British government assumed official control. Post-war, they believed loyalty couldn’t be expected from Indians as their trained army personnel were involved in the revolt, leading to a sense of safety only within their community. Additionally, the mutiny fueled the rise of nationalism, with Muslims and Hindus eager to rid themselves of the British and manage their affairs. Hindus, aiming to protect themselves, shifted blame for the war onto Muslims. The British treated Muslims with contempt, oppressing them to prevent any resurgence. The land-capturing movement initiated by the East India Company ended, and the British government introduced systematic reforms, abolishing such practices. In summary, the aftermath of the 1857 mutiny altered societal conditions in the Indian subcontinent.
The impacts of the 1857 war can also be observed in the economic sphere of the subcontinent. First, with the British officially in charge of the government, they continued to plunder India’s wealth without any checks. They freely took cheap raw materials from the continent. Second, economic exploitation, especially of Muslims, commenced. The British believed Indians to be disloyal and hypocritical, fearing future revolts, leading them to eliminate opportunities for economic uplift. Third, the infrastructure suffered due to the mutiny as the British used advanced weapons, cannons, and heavy artillery. This not only harmed infrastructure but also claimed the lives of nearly one million people—additionally, the British excessively utilised Indian economic resources, taking high salaries from the subcontinent’s reserves. Therefore, the mutiny of 1856 had a lasting impact on the subcontinent’s economy.
This war also impacted the political conditions of the subcontinent. First, the end of the 1857 mutiny led to the dissolution of the East India Company. After the war, the company was destroyed, having utilised all its resources. Moreover, after its dissolution, the British government assumed official control of the subcontinent, starting a new era of British colonisation. Second, the British implemented a consultation policy and allowed the representation of Indians in their legislative council. This policy differed significantly from that of the East India Company, which did not permit Indians to present their opinions. Third, the British introduced the policy of divide and rule. They believed unity among Indians was dangerous for their control; consequently, they created divisions and fragmented Indians into different societies. In short, the impacts of the Indian mutiny gave birth to a new political structure in the subcontinent.
Critical analysis of the situation reveals that the mutiny and a failed revolt worsened the plight of the Indians. Moreover, Muslims were the most affected segment of society, and their condition deteriorated significantly after its end. Many British government policies were against Muslims, aiming to subordinate them in the community. However, the impacts of the 1857 mutiny served as an impetus for the creation of Pakistan as Muslims realised the need for independence not only from the British but also from hypocritical Hindus. Thus, the consequences of the 1857 war became a turning point in the history of Muslims.
In a nutshell, the revolt of 1857 proved to be an essential event in the history of the subcontinent. There were several malfunctions in the policies of the East India Company, which served as catalysts for the revolt. As a result, the British government officially took charge of the subcontinent and made many suppressing policies. Consequently, it created a sense of nationalism and pushed the leaders to eliminate Britishers. This revolt left an impression on the minds of the Indian people and paved the way for future national movements.
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