Freedom Struggle In U.P Vol.2
Mirza Firuz Shah
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S.A.A. RIZVI & M.L. BHARGAVA
Publisher and Place:
Oxford University Press
Royal Mughal Ref:
The basic cause Of and the strongest stimulant to, revolt in 1857 in the case of Awadh was a consciousness, on the part of the people, of the loss of their freedom following the annexation of Awadh to the British empire. The plea, of a "mismanaged native rule in Awadh", advanced by the British authorities in justification of the policy of annexation of Lord Dalhousie seemed least convincing to the people. Hardly had the British rulers been in authority in Awadh for fourteen months, when they found people writhing under discontentment and disposed to shake off the foreign yoke. A large number of documents and excerpts have been repro duced in the First Volume of the Series dealing with the background, nature and origin of the freedom struggle, which clearly bring to the fore that the people of Awadh, be they landlords or common people, could not reconcile themselves to the so-called 'benign government' of the East India Company Lord Canning, the then Governor General of India, found to his great dismay and chagrin that even those Taluqadars, who were substantially benefited under the Summary Settlement, joined the ranks of the revolutionaries and were most active in challenging the authority of the British rule. He wrote to the Chief Commissioner of Awadh on March 31. 1858 that No chiells have been more open in their rebellion than the rajas of Churda, Bhinga, and Gonda. The Governor-General believes that the first of these did not lose a single village by the Summary Settlement and certainly his assessment was materially reduced. The second was dealt with in a like liberal manner. The rajah of Gonda lost about thirty villages out of 400, but his assessment was lowered by some 10,000 rupees No one was more benefited by the change of government than the young rajah of Naunpara. His estates had been the object of a civil war with a rival claimant for three years, and of these he was at once recognised as sole proprietor by the British government, losing only six villages out of more than a thousand. His mother was appointed guardian, but her troops have been fighting against us at Lucknow from the beginning The Rajah of Dhowrera, also a minor, was treated with equal libera lily. Every village was settled with his family; yet these people turned upon Captain Hearsey and his party, refused them shelter, pursued them, captured the ladies. and sent them into Lucknow
The Advisory Board for the History of Freedom Movement in Uttar Pradesh published the first Freedom Struggle in Uttar Pradesh comprising the source-material on the “Origin and Nature of the Struggle of 1857-59”, on 15th August 1957.
The material, that subsequent researches brought forth to light after the publication of the aforesaid volume, indicated that four separate volumes on Freedom Struggle in ‘Avadh’, ‘Bundelkhand’, ‘Eastern U. P.’ and ‘ Western U. P.’ could also be brought out. In accordance with this revised plan, the second, third and fourth volumes, on Freedom Struggle in Avadh, Buna'elkhand and Eastern Districts were published on 15th August I958, 26th ]anuary 1959, and 15th August I959, respectively. The volume relating to the Western Districts and Rohilkhand is being published now.
The present volume, like the previous ones, unfolds many important aspects of the struggle, bringing to surface the popular nature of the movement, the role of many heroes who had hitherto been consigned to oblivion and in some cases not judiciously depicted. the organisational aspect of the movement is also reflected herein.
This volume being the last of the series on the source-material for the Freedom Struggle in U. P. 1857-59, completes the work on this important phase of the struggle in the State. The sixth volume of the series will comprise general index and chronology of all the five volumes. The study of other phases of the Freedom Movement has also been started and volumes of source material relating to the subsequent phases of the Freedom Movement down to 1947, will be published in the course of next few years.
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