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 5: An Indian Rebel Manifesto: The ‘Azamgarh Proclamation’
An Indian Rebel Manifesto: The ‘Azamgarh Proclamation’
THE rebel manifesto below was published in the Delhi Gazette on 29 September 1857, and is commonly known as the ‘Azamgarh Proclamation’. The author was most probably Firoz Shah, the grandson of the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah, who fought against the British in Lucknow and Awadh (Oudh). A fascinating piece of propaganda, the proclamation is geared to give the impression of a Mughal-led rebellion with significant support from the mercantile classes. It is suspiciously quiet on the role of the average Indian peasant and sepoy. It has been argued that the proclamation seeks to place itself within a tradition of Mughal rebellion, casting back to a time before the breakdown of ...