QUESTION: Several factors led to the Revolt of 1857. With reference to this, explain the discontentment of Sepoys
ANSWER: The Indian soldiers were unhappy because of their low salary and poor prospects of promotion and working conditions. All the high ranks in the army were reversed for the British only.
The British officers maintained a social distance from Indian soldiers. They held a derogatory opinion about the soldiers and treated them like menial servants. Also, the Hindu sepoys of the Bengal Army had to cross the Sindhu river during Anglo-Afghan War (1839- 42) which were forbidden by their religion. The immediate cause of discontentment among sepoys was the introduction of Enfield Rifle with cartridges that were greased with the fat of cows and pigs. The cows are regarded sacred among Hindu and Muslims regard pigs as unclean. The above factors together led to the feeling of discontentment among sepoy, which proved instrumental in the sepoy mutiny of 1857.
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