UK historian pens new book on 1857 uprising

Updated on May 11, 2007 02:43 AM IST
This book brings to life the impact of the revolt on marginalised Indian communities across North India and examines the 'mass jail break' in detail.
HT Image
HT Image
IANS | By, London

A new book by a British academic offering a fresh alternative to popular accounts of the 1857 war of independence is just released.
In "The Indian Uprising of 1857-8: Prisons, Prisoners and Rebellion", University of Leicester historian Clare Anderson brings to life the impact of the revolt on marginalised Indian communities across North India.

Recent debates commemorating the abolition of the slave trade have only scratched the surface of raising public awareness and understanding of Britain's history as an imperial power.

The history of the empire at a popular level is still mainly told through the experiences of British officials and settlers rather than those of the marginalised or colonised peoples.

This May marks the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of widespread military mutiny and civil rebellion against British colonial rule across northern India.

Taking a new perspective on the events of 1857, sometimes called the 'mutiny' or 'rebellion' and acknowledged as the biggest challenge the British Empire faced in the mid-19th century, Anderson examines one of its most interesting features - the mass jail-breaks that accompanied and fuelled rebellion.

In what was probably the biggest mass jailbreak in history, rebels badly damaged over 40 prisons and set free over 20,000 prisoners. Anderson examines why prisons became a target for attacks, the penal crisis that ensued, and the resulting permanent colonisation of the Andaman Islands.

Drawing on contemporary British correspondence and descriptions as well as on Indian accounts, the focus is firmly on the lived experience of Indian communities and on histories of colonial repression and resistance.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • File photo: A Russian military convoy is seen on the road toward the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia region, southeastern Ukraine.

    Shelling near Ukraine nuclear plant: India calls for mutual restraint

    India has expressed concerns over shelling near the fuel storage of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, as the Russian offensive continues for over five months. The shelling at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is under Russia's control since March, came ahead of a United Nations Security Council meeting on Thursday to address concerns regarding the facility's safety.

  • Only the Russians' full withdrawal... would guarantee nuclear safety for all of Europe,  Zelensky said in his daily video address.

    Ukraine war: Zelensky urges world to react on Russian-controlled nuclear plant

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the international community to force the Russian army to leave the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after multiple strikes hit the compound. This statement came after Ukraine accused Russia of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant again on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported. Ukraine's interior minister said that Kyiv is making contingency plans to face any scenario at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, including evacuating people from the area.

  • A bank employee leaves the Federal Bank of Lebanon, after being held hostage by an armed customer demanding the return of his bank deposits, in the capital Beirut's Hamra street.

    Hostage standoff at Beirut bank ends with gunman's arrest

    A gunman demanding a Beirut bank let Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, a 42-year-old food-delivery driver withdraw his trapped savings to pay his father's medical bills took up to 10 people hostage in a seven-hour standoff Thursday before surrendering in exchange for what a family lawyer said was $35,000 of his money. A 42-year-old food-delivery driver, Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, was promptly arrested and taken away by police as he walked out of the bank. Some bystanders hailed him as a hero.

  • Nunay Mohamed, 25, who fled the drought-stricken Lower Shabelle area, holds her one-year old malnourished child at a makeshift camp for the displaced on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. (File image)

    Somalia’s worst drought in 40 years displaces 1 million people

    Somalia's worst drought in more than 40 years has internally displaced 1 million people since the dry conditions struck in January 2021, according to the United Nations. This year alone, an estimated 755,000 people fled their homes in search of water, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement on its website.

  • File photo of Sri Lanka's then president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    Ex-Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrives in Thailand

    Former Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived in Thailand Thursday evening following his departure from Singapore. Rajapaksa was granted entry into Thailand following a request from the Sri Lankan government, NewsWire reported. He left Singapore on Thursday after nearly a month's stay in Singapore. Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced the official resignation of Rajapaksa on July 15. Sri Lanka has been facing its worst economic crisis since its independence.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, August 12, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now