Today, April 8th in Indian history is the 163rd birthday of the freedom fighter Mangal Pandey, who played an important role in instigating the 1857 Indian rebellion (also known as “The First War of Indian Independence’’).
In order to ensure the freedom of the next generation, many Indian soldiers gave their lives in the name of independence. One such freedom fighter is Mangal Pandey. Mangal Pandey was born on July 19, 1827 in the Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh and played a key role in the events immediately before the outbreak of the Indian rebellion in 1857 or the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857.
Pandey was the sepoy or sipahi in the 34th Bengal Native Infantry (BNI) regiment of the British East India Company.
On March 29, 1857, Mangal Pandey attacked British officers in Barrackpore, North Kolkata.
When the British called him a traitor and mutineer, Pandey is said as a hero of modern India. However, Mangal Pandey was detained and hanged by the British on April 8, 1857. To commemorate his contribution to India’s freedom struggle, the Indian government issued a commemorative stamp in 1984 to commemorate him. It is depicted in several movie works, one of which is the movie “Mangal Pandey: The Rising” directed by Ketan Mehta, played by actor Aamir Khan.
Here are some of the interesting facts about Mangal Pandey’s life:
- When Mangal Pandey joined the Indian Army in 1949, it was first drafted in the Bengal Army. However, he was later transferred to the 5th company of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry (BNI).
- Initial, Mangal Pandey was set to be hanged on April 18. However, the date was changed due to increased tension at the time. Eventually, he was hanged on April 8, when the situation seemed to be unhealthy.
- The main reason why Mangal Pandey betrayed the British Raj was the newly launched “Enfield P-53” rifle at the time. It is said that the bullet cartridge used in the rifle is covered with cow fat and pig’s skin- Hindus and Muslims cannot use for religious reasons, respectively.
- In 1984, the Indian government issued a stamp bearing his image in memory of Mangal Pandey.
- In addition, there is a park called “Shaheed Mangal Pandey Maha Udyan” in Barrackpore to commemorate Mangal Pandey’s mutiny site.