During the early 19th century many revolts and mutinies broke out across the nation against the British. All such revolts lead to the major revolt of the 1857 called the first war of Independence.
Here we will discuss:
- What was Vellore Mutiny?
- What Caused the Vellore Mutiny?
- Outbreak of the revolt
- What are the Outcomes of this Revolt?
What was Vellore Mutiny?
Vellore Mutiny was one of the earliest revolts that broke out in the early 19th century during the British era. It was also viewed as a prelude to the 1857 first war of independence. Though it lasted only for a day it brutally shook the British Empire. It was the first major revolt that bothered the British deeply. Lord William Bentinck was the Governor of Madras then. The cavalry and artillery of Arcot were used to subdue the Vellore revolt.
What Caused the Vellore Mutiny?
There are many reasons for the outbreak of Vellore Mutiny. Some of the significant causes are:
- The disregard British had for the religious sentiments of the Hindus and Muslims was a major trigger point for the people of Vellore. Hindus were prohibited from wearing any religious marks on their body while on duty and the Muslims were ordered to shave off their beard.
- As discussed in Britannica the traditional head gear was prohibited and round caps were made mandatory for all the workers. Al this made the workers and sepoys doubt the British that they were being converted into Christianity.
- John Craddock was planning to change the uniform of the military personnel which was against the sensibilities of religious Indians.
- Some of the sepoys have protested against these orders of the British officers and they were taken to the fort and severely punished. They were brutally scourged.
- Apart from all this, the sons of Tipu Sultan who were imprisoned in the Vellore palace have also instigated the revolt.
Outbreak of the Revolt
The Vellore Mutiny broke out on 10th of July 1809. The mutiny started off by sepoys killing 14 of their British officers and 115 Englishmen of the 69th Regiment. The mutiny sparked at the midnight and by the dawn the Vellore Fort was captured by the sepoys.
The flag of Mysore Sultanate was raised over the Fort and Tipu’s son Fateh Hyder was declared as the king. Though the British general escaped from the fort he alerted the British force in Arcot.
The British force at Arcot was headed by Sir Rollo Gillespie arrived at the fort. The British force was able to take back the fort again. All the Indian soldiers who extended their support for the rebellion were shot dead. In total 350 soldiers were killed and 350 more were injured.
What are the Outcomes of this Revolt?
A mutiny was considered a serious act of defiance by the British. People who involved themselves in a revolt were given grave punishments. Some of the serious outcomes of this revolt were:
- The three Madras regiments who were a part of the mutiny were disbanded immediately.
- A trail was conducted and the sepoys who were found guilty were punished b blowing them off the canons, and some were shot dead.
- The British officials who ordered for changes in military dress code that led to the revolt were called back to Britain.
- The order for change of the dress code was taken back. The punishment of flogging was abolished for Indian soldiers.
- The British have realised the importance of religious sentiments of Hindus and Muslims. They have learnt that changes in rules with respect to their religious practices must be dealt with utmost care and concern.
- The family of Tipu Sultan who were imprisoned in the fort were moved to Calcutta.
- Many theories state that the Vellore Mutiny and the 1857 revolt – The first war of independence have many similarities.
Mutinies and revolts of this nature were regarded as serious offences b the British and the people involved were seriously punished. Though the revolt lasted only for a day it had serious impact on how British viewed Indians. Not just this revolt but many other revolts in other parts of the country have set the alarm bells ringing in the minds of the British officers.
This revolt was aimed to dethrone the British from the commercially high position and to reinstate the Mughals back in the rule. Series of such revolts broke out taking Vellore Mutiny as precedence. All such revolts have eventually led to the outbreak of the 1857 revolt. Many parallels were drawn between these two revolts that took place 50 years apart. The reasons for the outbreak of both the revolts have been the same like disregard for the religious sentiments of the hindu and muslim soldiers. The attempt to reinstall a Mughal ruler was the intention of the mutiiers of both the revolts.
Though they had many similarities Vellore Mutiny was restricted to just a small place but the 1857 revolt has spread across the country. But were the outcomes for the 1857 revolt any different?