Sepoy Research Paper

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In the late 1700s-1800s, during the decline of the Mughal Empire, the British East India Company took advantage of the “military fiscalism” present in India. Soldiers would pay taxes to their kings and conquer more land for him, raising more soldiers in the process. Because the British were limited in how many of their own troops they could send to India, they created sepoy regiments of native Indian soldiers, but trained them in the European style. Through the enforcement of a subsidiary system, the kings were forced to surrender their control over their armies, and in this way, tens of thousands of soldiers and officials become employees of the British East India Company. The Company expanded its territories and annexed many native states, …show more content…
Most of the sepoy recruits were from “higher” castes. The soldiers and their government had an attitude of implicit trust, even though the pay was less than that of the Bombay and Madras Armies. The soldiers performed exceptionally well in battle and were rewarded with honors and batta, or extra pay. Many believed in the invincibility of the Company. However, this notion was quickly lost following the First Anglo-Afghan War, where a large massacre of the British army occurred in Kabul. In addition, the sepoys began being posted in unfamiliar lands with decreasing pay. Due to all of these factors, the bond between the sepoys and the Company was broken, and mistrust for the British arose. As the attitudes of the British became more intolerant and unconcerned, the government and sepoys grew …show more content…
Due to all of these rumors and lack of action, other grievances came out as well, such as the annexation of Oudh unnecessarily, the cut in pay, and the presence of missionaries, whose attempts to devalue Hinduism personally hurt Sitaram’s religious superiority as a high caste man. All of these thoughts that went through Sitaram’s mind probably mirrored those of any sepoy in those turbulent times. One misstep by the Company, such as apathy over the cartridges, set off a chain of events, as latent complaints were triggered. Sitaram, despite feeling discontent and disturbed, continuously wrote of the “salt” of the Company that had been his life and protection for so many years. He refused to lose faith in the iqbal of the Company. He felt a deep connection to the Company, as he had been with them for so long. All of his life’s work was investment in the Company, and he saw the Company’s gain and loss as his own personal gain and loss. This intense faith is quite curious compared to many of his peers who were able to cross the psychological boundary and strike their

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