Mangal Pandey was an Indian soldier who played a key part in the events immediately preceding the outbreak of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Born in Uttar Pradesh on July 19, 1827, Mangal Pandey joined the British East India Company in 1849 and is said to have started a rebellion while posted in Barrackpore.
Today marks the 164th anniversary of Mangal Pandey’s martyrdom.
The reason is usually attributed to the British introducing a new type of Enfield rifle that required soldiers to bite off the ends of the cartridge to load the gun.
The rumour was that the lubricant being used in the cartridge was either cow or pig lard.
The Hindus who consider the cow holy were appalled, while Muslims, consider the pig unholy and hence were furious with its use in the cartridge.
He Joined the Bengal Army in the year 1949 and was a private soldier in the 5th company of the regiment.
It was on March 29, 1857, Mangal attacked the British Officers in Barrackpore, North Kolkata.
Initially, 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.
Due to his attack on two British soldiers, Mangal Pandey was hanged to death on April 8, 1857, at the age of 29.
As an honor to Mangal Pandey’s contribution in Indian Freedom Struggle, the Government of India issued a commemorative stamp in 1984 as a tribute to him.
In addition, there is a park called “Shaheed Mangal Pandey Maha Udyan” in Barrackpore to commemorate Mangal Pandey’s mutiny site.
A film based on the sequence of events that led to the Mutiny was made and released on August 12, 2005 by the name of Mangal Pandey: The Rising.
The life of Mangal Pandey is all about patriotism, bravery and courage.
Mangal Pandey as an Indian Free Fighter is remembered as a symbolic revolutionary for initiating the first war of independence against the East India Company.