Answer :

The British addressed the revolt as ‘Sepoy Mutiny’. They disregarded the mutiny as the unorganized attempt by the Indian Sepoys. The Sepoy Mutiny was a aggressive and very bloody unrest against British rule in India in 1857.

The reasons for the failure of this Great revolt were:

1) Ideological reasons

• Absence of collective mind for freedom

People were frustrated because of many reasons but they did not attain a united conscience which may have helped in contributing to the war. Most of the people in the upper strata of society behaved as though they had no regard to the freedom struggle.

• Lack of willingness to change

The privileged class and those with the consideration of the British were inflexible in their present condition. They did not realize the need for freedom.

2) Military reasons

• Strong opposition

The military force of the British was so firm that the Sepoys couldn’t make a lead in the struggle. The Britishers had the provision to expand their army and also to use advanced armed techniques.

• Absence of military forces

The Indians fought from their limited provisions. But they defended as much as they could. Another reason for the failure is the disorganization of Indian army. They lacked the advantage of the modern Railways and the Telegraph but the British had it.

3) Social reasons

• No substitute to British rule

Feudalism prevailed in the British time. As divide and rule was the policy of the British, they nurtured Land Lords and tried maximum to disintegrate Indians. Therefore, the common people did not recognize the exact or obvious alternative for the system of feudalism.

• Lesser range of the revolt

The revolt did not spread to larger areas. The revolt of the sepoys spread only from Barrackpore to Meerut and thence to Delhi. It did not stretch to south or North india.

• Lack of participation of all people

The elite classes did not participate in the revolt. It was because they enjoyed the privileges from the British. The princes and the educated classes stepped back from the revolt.

4) Administrative reasons

• Lack of planning

The revolt of 1857 had an immediate reason. Eventhough there were numerous social, religious, political and administrative frustrations of Sepoys as reasons; the revolt bursted out because of the introduction of greased cartridges to the Sepoys. The issue was a religious and emotional factor. Therefore the war came out as the unplanned shot by the Sepoys.

• Absence of adequate leadership

Hakim Ahsanullah (Chief advisor to Bahadur Shah II),Begum Hazrat Mahal, Birjis Qadir, Ahmadullah (advisor of the ex-Nawab of Awadh),Nana Sahib, Rao Sahib (nephew of Nana), Tantia Tope, Azimullah Khan (advisor of Nana Sahib) and Rani Laxmibai were the leaders of the revolt. But the areas of the revolt were scattered around a limited areas like Delhi, Lucknow, Jhansi etc, and it lacked satisfactory leadership competence.

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