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 6: A Subaltern-Rebel Document: ‘Advice of the Royal Army’
A Subaltern-Rebel Document: ‘Advice of the Royal Army’
THE ‘Advice of the Royal Army’ Pamphlet, found among John Kaye's Mutiny Papers, is a translated document proclaiming on behalf of the forces of Bahadur Shah Zafar the reasons behind their uprising. Though it shares similarities with other ‘rebel’ proclamations issued during the émeute, it is by far the longest at 124 pages. Its length allows the authors to discuss the perceived causes of the rebellion in great detail. However, rather surprisingly, this pamphlet has hardly been referenced in any writing on the event.1 The document stands out for its piquant understanding of hegemonic power and class-based abuse of that power, thereby challenging the established ideas of the rebels ...