A drawing of Battle of Lucknow
30 July 1857
The British used the term “Sepoy Mutiny” for 1857. For the nationalist philosopher and politician Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, 1857 was India’s first war of independence. In the Indian context, Savarkar was right. The Indian sepoys (most were Hindus from present day Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) thought that they were fighting the British, but what they inadvertently achieved was the end of Delhi’s Islamic order.
The dethronement and banishment of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar marked the end of the old order and the commencement of the new age in which the Hindus would slowly reclaim their land and their ancient culture.