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 9: Commemorations in 2007
Commemorations in 2007
THE 150th anniversary of the Great Indian Uprising brought forth a greater variety of responses than the anniversary of 1957. Extremists within the Sangh Parivar (the group of nationalist organisations inspired by the ideals of Hindutva) even articulated a critical view of the sepoys who revolted in 1857. In the following extract, Prafull Goradia, a former MP from BJP, who resigned in 2004 to join the revitalised Jana Sangh (reregistered as Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh), begins with the assumption that ‘the Muslims’ were the primary enemy of ‘the Hindus’ in India, and that Hindus should therefore be grateful for the efforts of the British to reduce Muslim political and social hegemony. By contrast, L.K. Advani, a senior leader of ...