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Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
Outlook.com

Footsoldier, Footnote

Right time, right place. It was 1857 that made Mangal Pandey, not the other way round.

Footsoldier, Footnote
Jaychandran
Footsoldier, Footnote
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
San sattavan and Ghadar, the one standing for the digit 57 in the Gregorian calendar, and the second an allusion to the World Turned Upside Down, can refer only to 1857. It cannot be 1757 or 1957 by any stretch of the imagination, historical, literary or filmic. There has not been any such year in our recent past for a long, long time. Those who died or lived through it, of course, experienced it in all its gory materiality.

What a summer it was: the Company bahadur’s sepoys mutinied at Meerut on May 10th and trooped all the way to Delhi, banging furiously at the rajghat darwaza of the qila-i-mualla, gaining entry, killing and driving out the British officials and civilians from that nominally Mughal city. A small group of Britishers clutching for dear life on the Flag Staff on the city’s northern Ridge, biding their time and awaiting reinforcements from the Punjab, which allowed them in mid-September to recapture, pillage and destroy so much of the city that was Shahjahanabad.

News of the fall of Delhi, starched with rumour, precipitated mutiny and ‘civil...

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