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The Synthesizing Role of The I.N.A. Martyrs' Memorial: Moirang & The Indo-Japanese Peace Cenotaph: Lotpaching (Red Hill)

Manindra Singh Mairembam

Related Notes of Interest while on this topic

3. Genesis of The Freedom Struggle - National Spectrum:

The first spark of fire which will demolish the British empire in India was kindled in 1857 in what is called the Sepoy Mutiny. The immediate cause of this great landmark was of course the introduction of the Enfield rifle cartridge, which had as a matter of fact a veneer of the lard of ox or hog. And both Hindu and Muslim sepoys feared that they would lose their caste if they bit the cartridge. But beneath this immediate cause, there were an array of very important factors. Colonial rule had ruined the Indian trade and industry through its mercantilist policy favouring export by India of raw materials to, in return of finished goods from, UK. The British adopted even an oppressive agrarian policy and impoverished farmers to extreme penury. So much so, the proverbial truism that the farmer leaves behind debt for posterity, and the son born in debt dies leaving behind cumulated debt for his sons.

As a conquering nation with a worldwide empire where the sun never sets, the Britishers were at their zenith of imperial ascendancy. This very fact filled them with enough pride. Most English officers in India had been arrogant and used to regard Indians as barbarians. Some of them expressed their repugnance finding Hindus worshipping images of God (called idols by the British) to help focus attention on Him much in the same way one uses diagrams in science to focus understanding and reasoning. And quite naturally orthodox Christian missionaries of those days used to openly ridicule idolatry. The inevitable volcanic eruption took place on 29 March 1857. One Mangal Pandey of the 34th Infantry became the first martyr. The mutiny did not affect south India. Bengal was marginally affected. Only Dacca and Chittagong in East Bengal (then a part of India) were affected. Assam was not at all affected, but Manipur, despite its great distance from Uttar Pradesh, was affected to some extent. Prince Narendrajit, a cousin of the reigning king Chandrakirti, joined the mutineers of the 34th Native Infantry. They advanced upto the western frontier of Manipur where 400 troops of Manipur engaged them. Narendrajit was captured and most of the mutineers killed.(See Chpt 2: Note 10.)


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