The Kanpur Massacres Of India

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In “’Satan Let Loose upon Earth’”: The Kanpur Massacres in India in the Revolt of 1857”, Rudrangshu Mukherjee offers a very interesting perspective on EIC rule in India. He begins the essay by offering horrific images of the British ravaging India, and exploiting the natives of the country. Mukherjee writes, “It was an era of brutal floggings and of Indian women being forced to become mistresses of white men; of recalcitrant elements being blown from cannons so that their bodies were effaced and the onlookers covered with blood and fragments of flesh. British rule thus visibly manifested itself by marking the body of the Indian” (Mukherjee, 94), which serves as a grim look at what tragically transpired in this country when the EIC took over.…show more content…
By opening his essay up with such vivid descriptions of EIC brutality, and with how the natives felt about the EIC presence, Mukherjee grabs the attention of the reader and shows that not only were the British unwelcome, but they were unwelcome for good reasons beyond mere stubbornness on the native’s behalves. In another intriguing way of showing the Indian perspective on EIC control of India, Mukherjee also incorporates what the Indians actually said during this time. One of the natives says, “If the religion of a Hindoo or Mussalman is lost, what remains in the world?” (95), which shows that the natives were willing to stick together and defend their country from EIC power, even though the Hindu and Muslim religions are two separate entities. It is also noteworthy that Mukherjee relates that some of the natives even tried to coexist peacefully with the…show more content…
The British decided to assert their power and authority through acts of violence, and the British also wanted to take over the native culture and infiltrate their own ideas and values into the Indian’s lives. Mukherjee writes, “The British had not only conquered India but had also, in the process of consolidating their power in the first half of the nineteenth century, violated all that was held sacred and dear by the people of India … This created an atmosphere of fear and distrust in which anything associated with Christianity was an object of suspicion and hatred … The uprising of 1857 thus displayed a very strong religious fervor” (94-95). With this suspicion and hatred, rumors started forming about the intentions of the British, and the natives could not just sit idle and watch the EIC have their way on their lives and culture. Mukherjee explains, “There was among the people and the sepoys a deep-seated belief in the existence of a deliberate British plot to overthrow caste and religion … In north India in the summer of 1857, there were rumors about the cartridges of the new Enfield rifle being coated with the fat of cows and pigs; about flour being polluted by bone-dust; about forcible conversions to Christianity; about the intentions of the British to disarm the sepoys; and about the end of British rule at the Centenary of Plassey. All these circulating together aggregated into one gigantic
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