The Mutiny at the Margins series takes a fresh look at the revolt of 1857 from original and unusual perspectives, focusing in particular on neglected socially marginal groups and geographic areas which have hitherto tended to be unrepresented in studies of this cataclysmic event in British imperial and Indian historiography.
Chapter 3: Popular and Public Indian Memorials
Popular and Public Indian Memorials
THE story of Ganga Baba, a local hero of the 1857 revolt, is very popular in the villages adjoining Bithoor in Uttar Pradesh, and old women tell it to their grandchildren. The version recorded here was narrated to Professor Narayan by Bhagwanti Devi of Duari, located in the district Kanpur Dehat of North India. The second story is that of the Banyan Tree, and was related to Professor Narayan by the famous Dalit writer Mr K. Nath from Arya Nagar, Kanpur. This tale is also found inscribed on the memorial stone, placed below the famous tree in Nana Rao Peshwa Park, Kanpur.1
Gangu Baba was a youth living in a nearby village. It was said ...