Examine the causes for the outbreak of Vellore Mutiny of 1806.
Several causes are attributed to the Vellore Mutiny. Indian sepoys had to experience humorous difficulties when they went to serve in the Company’s army.
The Sepoys were forced to serve under the Company since their earlier patrons (the native chieftains) were all disappearing from the scene. The strict discipline, practice, new weapons, new methods and uniforms were all new to the sepoys. Anything new appears to be difficult and wrong for a man who is well-settled in the old way of life for a long time.
Sir John Cradock, the Commander-in-chief, with the approval of Lord Williafn Bentinck, the Governor of Madras, introduced a new form of’ urban resembling a European hat. Wearing ear rings and caste marks were also prohibited.
The sepoys were asked to shake the chin and to trim the moustache. The sepoys felt that these well designed to insult them and their religious and social traditions.
There was also a popular belief that this was the beginning of a process by which all of them would be converted to Christianity.
The English treated the Indian sepoys as their inferior…There was the racial prejudice. This was the psychological base for the sepoy mutinies in India during the company’s rule.
The sepoys once served the local chieftains. The chieftains were their our kinsmen but now they served under the foreigners. They can never forget their original loyalties.
The Vellore uprising was preceded by a series of protests by the Indian troops. In May 1806, the 4th Regiment rose in revolt against the new turban. The commander-in-chief took severe action the sepoys who were found guilty were punished with 500 to 900 lashes. Before the mutiny secret associations were formed and meetings held in which Tipu’s family took part.
On July 17th 1806 a sepoy of the 1st Regiment named Mustapha Beg, secretly informed his commanding officer, Colonel Ferbes, that a plot had been planned for the extermination of the European officers and troops. But this was not taken seriously.
On the eve of the Mutiny at Vellore Fettah Hyder, the first son of Tipu, tried to form an alliance against the English and sought the help of the Marathas and the French.
Fettah Hyder received secret information through one Mohommed Malick. Besides, Princes Fettah Hyder and Moiz-ud-Deen in particular were active in planning the execution of the Mutiny.
Thus, there was the desire to revive the old Muslim rule in this region. The sepoys were aware of the tragic and of Puli Thevor, Khan Sahib, Kattabomman, Marudu Brothers, Tipu Sultan and others. Hence there were ill feelings about the British in the minds of the sepoys. All these led to the rebellion.