Talk:Indian Rebellion of 1857

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Wikipedia India pages is totally compromised by the presence of jingoist writers[edit]

If this mutiny was pro-'India' (which was never there till 1947), then all the others who supported the British rule including the majority people of this geographical area (Sikhs, southerners, and even the Gurkhas) should be anti-nationals. What kind of an idiotic history writing is this? If NCERT textbooks are to be copied into Wikipedia, then what kind of an encyclopedia is this?

The other mistake in this article wording would be the use of the word 'European' when actually the word 'British' would have been more appropriate. The words 'Europe' and 'British' are understand as antonyms in many locations in history. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:22, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

'India' and 'Indian' implies the modern state of India whilst those locals on both sides came from what is now Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Burma and Afghanistan. The use of 'British' is troublesome as a substantial minority of the Europeans, military or civilian, in the Company's employ were not British or being from what is now the Republic of Ireland would not count be seen as. Also 'British' helps expand the false belief that the rebellion happened under the Raj. (talk) 14:11, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

The contention about the term 'India' is not understandable! India the nation and India the subcontinent are different. The explanation given seems to be some nonsense with no connection to the query.

As to the argument about the word, 'European', of employees of the Company being from non-English origin: The Company is generally and intelligently understood as British. If the nationality of the employees are being taken into account, then the Company should be mentioned as 'Indian Subcontinent' company or even as 'Indian' company. For most of its employees were from the subcontinent. However, it would be most unintelligent manner to define a company by employee-nationality.

As to the Irish element and such talk, Ireland was fully a part of Britain, in the same manner the areas of current-day Pakistan and Bangladesh were part of Indian subcontinent. Nowhere in the history of British-India, does one identify the people from those places as Pakistanis and Banglaeshies. Even though in the case of British-India, it would have been more apt to mention each population by their traditional name, such Tamils, Travancoreans, Bengalies, Mugals, Kashnmiris, Malabaris, Mysorians, Marathas etc. instead mentioning them all as 'Indians' whenever anyone of them stand against the Company.

It is seen in the article that anyone who stood against the Company rule was 'Indian' and anyone who stood with the Company is either one of the mentioned groups or European!

It has been noted that elsewhere on Wikipedia, even Scots are not mentioned as British, but as Scots. As if Scotland is a different nation. If that be case, who is a British? If the word British is to mean only people from England, it might be a terrific use of national identification by Wikipedia.

As to the rebellion, it was a small mutiny that took place under the Company 'raj'. How anyone who knows anything about the history of the subcontinent will get false beliefs is not understood, other than that Indian-Wikipedia is creating false definitions to create confusions. In this article, the minor group of rioters are mentioned as 'Indians' while the huge content of populations like the Sikhs, Pattans, Madras, and many independent kingdoms like Travancore etc. who literally stood on the company's side, are mentioned by their traditional names. It would be more correct to mention the rioters and mutineers by the minor group identification, instead of placing them on the other huge number of populations who lived and live in the subcontinent.

Is there something wrong with the common administrators of Indian pages on Wikipedia. These pages have a smell of an Indian government propaganda page.

SIGNED -- (talk) 09:05, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

No,you stupid,republic of India was founded in 1947,not India,learn history.07:42, 19 March 2013 (UTC)Ovsek (talk)

Keep your 'you stupid' to your self. If this is the way you want to teach history, keep that for your own children. There was no 'India' known to any native person inside the Indian peninsula, before the formation of British-India. It would be quite difficult to come across such claims of being an 'Indian' in any of the writings of old. Moreover, 650 small time kinddom,and at at least a few thousand kings. Most of them could not travel even 10 kms beyond their territory. Then what 'India' are you talking of. Keep your NCERT Text for Indian public exams. However, they do not suit the inside of an encyclopedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:15, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Use of the term 'Indians' is also not acceptable. It seems to suggest that all people who lived in the Indian peninsula were 'Indians', and that all these 'Indians' were supportive of the rioters. It is not true. Only a very insignificant percentage of the population had any support for this mutiny, led by low rank soldiers of the East India Company army in Bengal. Even in this army, many did not support. Most civilians did not support, other than the aristocracy that had lost its power. Most parts of peninsula did not supp A mutiny has ro ort this rioting. Sot it is an unreasonable thing to use the term 'Indians' for the rioters. It simply adds everyone to a group, to which most did not belong. If the rioters are Indians, then what are the others? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:08, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Sepoy mutiny was just a minor military mutiny. However, the Englishmen who came to this geographical area was overwhelmed by the size of the place to imagine that it was a revolt that was taking place all over the geographical area. Truth is that most of the population stood by the British rulers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 23 February 2013 (UTC) Remove this p please.Slatersteven (talk) 12:46, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't know about the title of this section, but the above editors have a point. India was not a single unit, then or now (included Pakistan then at best). The Rebellion is known universally in the English-speaking world outside of India, as the "Sepoy Mutiny." Student7 (talk) 21:19, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
@Student7: You may want to take a look at the Nomenclature and Historiography sections of the article for a discussion of the topic. Abecedare (talk) 21:46, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

I find the naming of this article offensive and racist. A mutiny has to be against your own government. Since the british were a foreign power in India, the only way to describe the events of 1857 is a war of independence. Why is it racist? Because a mutiny assumes an event where people were unhappy with their own government, and were revolting against one aspect of governance. Whereas in 1857 we were trying to throw of british enslavement of India. Calling it a mutiny is a white European perspective, that belittles the event, and the people who fought and died for that Independence. It would be like calling the American Revolution the American Mutiny. it belittles the event. Dark knight212 (talk) 02:45, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Aftermath section[edit]

This section contains a characteristic excerpt from a letter written by Edward Vibart (then 19 years old) to his uncle. The original text was taken from the introduction to William Dalrymple's book, The Last Moghul. Later on in the text he gives a fuller version of the letter, commenting that it "oscillated between bloody bravado and flashes of awareness at the horrors he was committing." I have two concerns:

  • The letter was written while fighting was still in progress in Delhi - possibly it does not belong in the Aftermath Section, and
  • The fuller text makes it clear that Vibart's orders were limited to a particular area (between the Delhi Gate and the Turkman Gate), but it's quite clear from Dalrymple's book that a massacre of the (male) civilian population of Delhi was indeed official army policy. It is thus misleading as to the content of the specific source (Vibart), but nevertheless fully representative of the attitudes of the times (in the absence of a brief and to the point statement from another reliable source).

Here's the fuller text:

‘I have seen many bloody and awful sights lately, but such a one as I witnessed yesterday please God I pray I never see again. The regiment was ordered to clear the houses between the Delhi and Turkman Gates, which are the two gates that we have to hold, and the orders were to shoot every soul. I think I must have seen about 30 or 40 defenceless people shot down before me. It was literally murder and I was perfectly horrified. The women were all spared, but their screams, on seeing their husbands and sons butchered, were most terrible.
The town as you may imagine presents an awful spectacle now … heaps of dead bodies scattered throughout the place and every house broken into and sacked – but it is the [ordinary] townspeople who are now falling victims to our infuriated soldiery.
You can easily fancy with what feelings I visited all my old haunts yesterday, I went to all the old remembered places, and almost [succeeded in] imagining that nothing had taken place; but on looking around, the delusion was soon expelled for the marks of cannon and musketry were to be seen on all sides, telling but too well the mortal conflict that had been raging here not long before. A little further on you would come across a heap of dead bodies in the last stage of putrefaction, or some old woman in a state of starvation, and you could not help wondering how you could ever delight in bloodshed and war. And a few yards further on still some [of our] drunken soldiers would reel past, exciting your pity not unmixed with disgust. Wherever you go, you see some unfortunate man or other being dragged out of his hiding place, and barbarously put to death.
Heaven knows I feel no pity – but when some old grey bearded man is brought and shot before your very eyes – hard must be that man’s heart I think who can look on with indifference. And yet it must be so for these black wretches shall atone with their blood for our murdered countrymen – my own father and mother – sister and brother all cry aloud for vengeance, and their son will avenge them. Yes! He shall be seen in the fight, and shall never shrink [from bloodshed,] for God have given him both strength and courage.

Compare this with the abbreviated version previously used:

The orders went out to shoot every soul.... It was literally murder... I have seen many bloody and awful sights lately but such a one as I witnessed yesterday I pray I never see again. The women were all spared but their screams on seeing their husbands and sons butchered, were most painful... Heaven knows I feel no pity, but when some old grey bearded man is brought and shot before your very eyes, hard must be that man's heart I think who can look on with indifference...

I was left with the feeling after reading Dalrymple's excellent book that much of the present article could do with revision - he manages what looks to me in 2013 like a good neutral point of view - but I don't think Dalrymple would appreciate his book being mined quite so extensively. Thomas Peardew (talk) 07:21, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

If we can avoid long quotes all the better, but if you believe one has been reproduced in such a way as to give an inaccurate impression of the whole feel free in changing it.
It is also dangerous to rewrite a whole article based on one book, more so if like Dalrymple's it has an openly stated agenda. Rsloch (talk) 12:00, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Casualties and Losses[edit]

Do we have any facts on the total number of casualties and losses for all sides? We could then put it in a box at the top of the page like they do with the articles on other wars.--Lord Don-Jam (talk) 16:34, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

I had the same question, and it has appeared a few times in the Archives. I am, however, too new to this page to begin addressing it directly myself. Here's a Guardian piece that suggests a consensus, "Conventional histories have counted only 100,000 Indian soldiers who were slaughtered in savage reprisals..." in light of much higher figures proposed. Here's a paper arguing "we will never have a precise figure for the British civilian dead." Here's a book summary calling the number of British casualties, in comparison to wars both contemporary (Crimea, US Civil War) and future (World Wars of the 20th century) "surprisingly small, small enough for the dead to be listed almost individually in contemporary reports." It appears that page 572 of Raj : the making and unmaking of British India by Lawrence James goes into the subject and maybe someone has access to that text. I find one source saying, without citation, "Modern estimates put the death toll at 15,000" but that's just after citing Niall Ferguson so I am especially hesitant to trust it. This site has figures of around 10K but I do not know how trustworthy it is. There is a wonderful table in this Defence Journal article but, again, I am uncertain how reliable it is. My hope is that this note, and some of the sources I present, might help or inspire someone with the resources to fill in this important information. Czrisher (talk) 16:57, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Place by Gurjars[edit]

An editor has persisted in gratuitously inserting Gurjars in a subtitle. The article is otherwise structured by places, not tribes. To attribute specific places to a tribe seems WP:UNDUE and appears to violate the WP:KISS rule. Student7 (talk) 18:01, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

This now appears to be WP:SOAPBOX for tribes. Student7 (talk) 19:53, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Linking in subtitle[edit]

WP:MOS prohibits linking (or any boldfacing) in subtitles. This should be observed here, as well. If you wish to change the rule, please state the reasons here and also discuss on the policy page. Thanks. Student7 (talk) 18:01, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Scarequotes and tendentious details about rifling[edit]

(copies from Student7's discussion page) I've undone your latest edits on the Rebellion page as it looks as if you have misunderstood where the material is in the article. I understand your motives, and agree with them, but I don't think it worked in this case. (talk) 10:27, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Not too sure what you mean by "understand my motives and agree with them." Let's take the easy one first.
There are WP:SCAREQUOTES around the word "native." The unit was either native or it wasn't. There is no reason to call attention to the word by inserting quotes around it per Wikipedia's Manual of Style.
The second part: is it worth distracting the reader from the Rebellion by telling someone interested in history the details of a weapon that was used? This seems WP:TRIVIA to this article, while it may be important in the article about the weapon itself. Telling the reader that there were significant differences in weapon capability, is important, but the details are best left elsewhere for those interested primarily in weaponry and not in history. (It's sort of like telling a reader that John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln with a revolver. Then describing the revolver in detail, which detracts from Wilkes jumping on the stage, shouting something and galloping off into the night. And it being part of a general plot. The high level stuff is important. The details of Booth's revolver can be left for another time or another article). Student7 (talk) 19:52, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Note that WP:STATUSQUO applies here. It is up to the editor adding the new material to defend why the reader should be distracted by lengthy explanations that have little to do with the article. Student7 (talk) 19:43, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Diff of disputed edit.
Isn't the problem easily remedied by changing native (which does have a colonialist ring to it) to Indian? Abecedare (talk) 19:51, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Have copyedited the paragraph. Still needs to be sourced though. Abecedare (talk) 20:04, 17 May 2015 (UTC)