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The Azamgarh Proclamation - It has the seal of Karim ul Shuja Bahadur Son of Mohammad Dara Bakht Son of Bahadur Shah Badshah Ghazi (It is most probably issued by him or Mirza Firuz Shah)

The Azamgarh Proclamation - It has the seal of Karim ul Shuja Bahadur Son of Mohammad Dara Bakht Son of Bahadur Shah Badshah Ghazi (It is most probably issued by him or Mirza Firuz Shah)

Secret Papers


March 31, 2023 at 6:10:01 AM

National Archives of India,Delhi

The Azamgarh Proclamation - It has the seal of Karim ul Shuja Bahadur Son of Mohammad Dara Bakht Son of Bahadur Shah Badshah Ghazi (It is most probably issued by him or Mirza Firuz Shah)


August 26, 1857


July 19, 2022 at 8:00:00 PM


Mohammed Abdulkarim


Mughal Library Copyright WaterMark.png



This proclamation is issued by

Mirza Muhammad Karim Al-Shuja Bahadur,

son of Mirza Muhammad Dara Bakht Miran Shah,

The Crown Prince Bahadur, son of

Abu Al-Zafar Siraj Al-Din Muhammad Bahadur Shah Badshah Ghazi,

with his seal Affixed.


Aug 25, 1858

Al-Arba`a (Wednesday)


"It is well-known to everyone that in this era, the people of Hindustan, including both Hindus and Muslims, are suffering under the tyranny and oppression of the deceitful, infidel, and treacherous English.


Thus, it is the bounden duty of all wealthy individuals in Hindustan, particularly those connected to any of the royal families and considered the leaders and guardians of their communities, to risk their lives and property for the greater good of the public. To achieve this noble goal, several princes from the Mughal Royal family of Delhi have spread across various parts of India, Iran, Turan, and Afghanistan, working tirelessly to realize their cherished objective. One of these princes, leading an army from Afghanistan and other regions, has arrived in India to accomplish this benevolent mission.


I, the grandson of Abul Muzuffer Sarajuddin Bahadur Shah Ghazi, Emperor of Hindustan, have come here to eradicate the infidels residing in the eastern part of the country and to liberate and protect the poor, helpless people now languishing under their oppressive rule. With the support of the Mujahideens or freedom fighters, I have raised the standard of Mohammadi and encouraged the Hindus, who were once subjects of my ancestors and have been and still are instrumental in the destruction of the English, to raise the standard of Mahavir."


Several Hindu and Muslim chiefs who have been working diligently to eradicate the English presence in India have joined me, participating in the ongoing uprising in Hindustan. It is highly likely that I will receive support from the west very soon.


Hence, for the public's information, this Proclamation, comprising several sections, is being circulated. It is the imperative duty of everyone to carefully consider and adhere to it. Those who are eager to join this common cause but lack the means to sustain themselves will receive daily provisions from me. Let it be known to all that ancient texts of both Hindus and Muslims, the writings of miracle-workers, and the predictions of astrologers, pundits, and rammals unanimously assert that the English will no longer hold any ground in Hindustan or elsewhere.


Therefore, it is incumbent upon everyone to abandon any hope of the British rule continuing, ally with me, and earn the favor of the Badshahi or imperial government through their individual efforts to promote the common good, ultimately achieving their respective goals...


No one should be misled by the supporters of the British government to believe that the current minor inconveniences typically associated with revolutions will persist once the Badshahi government is firmly established. If anyone is wronged by a sepoy or looter, they should approach me with their grievances and receive redress from me. Furthermore, any property lost during the prevailing disorder will be compensated from the public treasury when the Badshahi government is securely in place.



Regarding Landlords (Zamindars) - It is clear that the British government, in making zamindary settlements, has imposed excessive taxes and has disgraced and ruined several zamindars by auctioning their estates for unpaid rent. Furthermore, when involved in a lawsuit, even with a commoner or servant, respected zamindars are summoned to court, arrested, imprisoned, and humiliated. The high cost of stamps and other unnecessary expenses in civil courts, along with prolonged litigation, only serve to impoverish the disputants. Additionally, zamindars face annual taxes for schools, hospitals, and roads.


Under the Badshahi government, such exploitations will cease. Instead, the tax burden will be lighter, the dignity and honor of zamindars will be preserved, and each zamindar will have full authority within their own territory. Disputes will be resolved quickly and inexpensively according to the Surah and Shysters. Zamindars who support the current war with their resources and manpower will be permanently exempt from paying half the revenue. Those who contribute only financially will be exempt from paying one-fourth of the revenue in perpetuity. Furthermore, any zamindar who has been unjustly deprived of their land during the English government and personally joins the war will have their zamindary restored and be excused from paying one-fourth of the revenue.



‘Regarding Merchants - It is evident that the unfaithful and deceitful British government has monopolized the trade of valuable goods, such as indigo, cloth, and other shipping items, leaving only the trade of trivial items to the people. Even in this, they take a share of the profits through customs, stamp fees, and other charges. As a result, people only have a nominal trade.


In addition, merchants face taxes on their profits, such as postage fees, tolls, and contributions to schools. Despite these concessions, they are still subject to imprisonment and disgrace based on the complaints of unscrupulous individuals. Under the Badshahi government, all these fraudulent practices will be eliminated, and trade in every item, without exception, both by land and sea, will be open to the native merchants of India. They will have access to government steam vessels and steam carriages for free transportation of their merchandise. Merchants without their own capital will receive assistance from the public treasury.


It is, therefore, the duty of every merchant to participate in the war and support the Badshahi government with their resources and manpower, either secretly or openly, depending on their position or interest. They should renounce their allegiance to the British government.


Regarding Public Servants: is no secret that under the British government, natives employed in civil and military services receive little respect, low pay, and have no significant influence. All the high-ranking positions and benefits in both departments are exclusively reserved for Englishmen. Natives in the military service, after devoting most of their lives, only achieve the rank of subahdar (the pinnacle of their aspirations) with a salary of 60 or 70 rupees per month. Those in the civil service obtain the position of sudder ala with a salary of 500 rupees per month, but without any influence, jagir, or additional benefits.


Under the Badshahi government, however, natives in the military service will be granted positions equivalent to colonel, general, and commander-in-chief, which are currently held by the English. Similarly, native civil servants will receive positions corresponding to collector, magistrate, judge, sudder judge, secretary, and governor, such as wuzeer, quazi, safir, suba, nizam, and dewan, with salaries in the range of lakhs of rupees, along with jagirs, khilluts, inams, and influence.


Natives, whether Hindus or Muslims, who fall fighting against the English, are believed to attain heaven, while those killed fighting for the English will undoubtedly be condemned to hell. Therefore, all natives in the British service should prioritize their faith and interests, renouncing their loyalty to the English and siding with the Badshahi government to obtain salaries of 200 or 300 rupees per month for now, and be eligible for high-ranking positions in the future. If they cannot openly declare their opposition to the English for any reason, they can still harbor ill-will towards their cause and remain passive observers of the ongoing events, without actively participating. Simultaneously, they should indirectly assist the Badshahi government and do their utmost to drive the English out of the country.


All the sepoys and Sowars who have, for the sake of their religion, joined in the fight against the English and are currently in hiding, either at home or elsewhere, should present themselves to me without any delay or hesitation.


For now, foot soldiers will be paid at a rate of three annas, and Sowars at eight or twelve annas per day. Later, they will receive double the salary compared to what they get in the British service. Soldiers not in the English service and participating in the war against the English will receive daily subsistence money according to the rates mentioned below for the present. In the future, foot soldiers will be paid at a rate of eight or ten rupees, and Sowars at a rate of twenty or thirty rupees per month. Upon the permanent establishment of the Badshahi government, they will be eligible for the highest positions in the state, as well as jagirs and gifts.


              Matchlock men                                2                                  Annas-a-day.


              Rifleman                                          2  1/2                               do.


              Swordsmen                                      l  1/2                               do.


              Horsemen, with large horses           8                                     do.


              Horsemen   with a small horse.        6                                     do.



Regarding Artisans. - It's clear that the Europeans, by introducing English goods into India, have displaced weavers, cotton-dressers, carpenters, blacksmiths, shoemakers, and others, monopolizing their trades and leaving many native artisans in poverty. However, under the Badshahi government, native artisans will be exclusively employed in the service of kings, rajahs, and the wealthy, ensuring their prosperity. Therefore, artisans should abandon the English services and support the Mujahideen (religious freedom fighters) in the war, thus securing both worldly and eternal happiness. 



Regarding Pundits, Fakirs, and other learned persons. - As the pundits and fakirs are the guardians of Hindu and Muslim religions respectively, and the Europeans are enemies of both religions, it is crucial that they join the ongoing war against the English, which is rooted in religious conflict. If the pundits and fakirs do not participate in this holy war, they will be deemed guilty according to the principles of the Sharia and the Shastras. However, if they join, they will be rewarded with rent-free lands once the Badshahi government is firmly established.




Let it be known to everyone that any individual from the aforementioned groups who continues to support the British government after the circulation of this proclamation will face severe consequences. Their estates will be confiscated, their property looted, and they, along with their entire family, will be imprisoned and eventually face execution. This declaration is made during the Azimghur on 16, Mohurrum 1275 Hijri, corresponding with Bhadobady Tij 1265 Fasli.


* This proclamation appears to be an old document, referring to a time when there was conflict between the British government and local populations in India. The language and references to historical events and dates indicate that it is not a contemporary proclamation. It is essential to understand the historical context when interpreting such documents.


SOURCE: and Footnotes;

  1. The Indian Empire: Illustrated" is a series of volumes published by The London Printing and Publishing Company during the mid-19th century. The exact number of issues or volumes in the series might vary, as it was not a strictly defined set. These volumes typically included illustrations, descriptions, and accounts of the history, people, culture, and geography of India during the British colonial period. The detailed illustrations and narratives aimed to provide readers with a better understanding of the Indian subcontinent and its diverse culture.

  2. This proclamation is known as Azamgarh Proclamation as it was found in the attacks against the freedom fighters in Azamgarh in papers of Raja Jailal Singh the Nazim of Azamgarh was elected the spokesperson of the freedom fighters and as their Chief.  Also this proclamation was reported in many publications such as Charles Ball, History of the Indian Mutiny, Vol. 2 (London: Printing and Publishing Company, 1859), pp 630-32.



In this appeal to the people , to whom, as distinguished from the army, it was specially addressed, there was doubtless much of truth mingled with error; and, coming from the highest authority at the time, impressed with the royal seal and titles of the king himself, it confirmed and strengthened the sense of injustice which the natives were already too prone to believe they suffered under. In Oude, the germinating cause of mischief was of another and a loftier character. The people had beheld the sudden prostration of their country, which, by the arbitrary will of strangers, had been reduced from the rank of an independent state to the position of a mere province of Bengal: they knew their king to be a prisoner; their royal family dispersed, and their nobles and chiefs despoiled of wealth and power. In Europe, much less than this would have been held to warrant patriotic resistance to the death; and, in Oude, a natural feeling of indignation, and a resolve to avenge the wrongs of their native princes and of their country, became an inevitable consequence of the proceedings of the Company's govern­ment. In addition to these causes of discontent, a kindly-intentioned, but ill-explained or understood, reform in the tenure by which land was held, which followed immediately upon the annexation, had the effect of unsettling the minds of the ryot, while it incensed the talookdars, or feudal chiefs; and sufficient time had not yet elapsed for the enlightenment of the people as to their true interests. In the resistance of a whole people to an act by which their nationality was destroyed, and the throne of their king had been shattered into fragments, reflecting men could see much that distinguished the rebellion in Oude from that which had left its dark and bloody stains upon the soil of Bengal. On their part the Oudians were unquestionably in the position of men struggling for the independence of their country and the defense of their homes. On our side, it was undeniable that we were fiercely striving to tighten the grasp of recent aggression…”




SOURCE: Charles Ball, History of the Indian Mutiny, Vol. 2 (London: Printing and Publishing Company, 1859), pp 630-32.


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