Q. 94.5( 2 Votes )

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Answer :


The Revolt of 1857, also known as the First War of Independence was an important event in Indian history. Many social, economic, political and military reasons were behind the revolt, the immediate cause was the introduction of cartridges coated with the fat of cow and pig in the army regiments. The revolt started in many centres and to ensure unity in fighting, important leaders had to come in the forefront.


To ensure unity in fighting the British, the rebels required proper leadership and organisation. This required a leader under whom they could fight in the revolt. One of the first movement to ensure unity came from the sepoys of Meerut who rush requested the old Mughal emperor to accept the leadership of the revolt. This trend of the development of new leaders continued in many fighting centres.


The important leaders of the struggle were ranis, rajas, nawabs and taluqdars, but it was not limited with them. Ordinary men and women and even religious men had an important role in the movement. They were the carriers of messages of the rebellion from place to place. These local leaders urged the peasants, zamindars and tribals to revolt against the unfairness of the British rule.


In Kanpur, Nana Sahib, the successor to Peshwa Baji Rao II was considered as the leader of the sepoys and the people of the town. In Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai was the leader of the struggle. In Arrah, Kunwar Singh a local zamindar was the leader while in Awadh, Birjis Qadr, the young son of the displaced Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was the leader. In Lucknow, many religious leaders and prophets who supported the destruction of British rule became the leaders. Local people also urged people to fight in the rebellion. Shah Mal organised the villagers of Barout in Uttar Pradesh, Gonoo, a tribal cultivator of Singhbhum in Chotanagpur, became the rebel leader of the Kol tribals. Thus the people were brought together under different leaders to ensure unity in the movement.


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