Saturday, 29 July 2017

Mutiny Memorial, Delhi - poignant reminder of British misrule in India

Mutiny Memorial, Delhi ytimg.com 
Mutiny Memorial, Delhi Inditales

India, in the past, did not get her freedom overnight from the oppressive British rulers, in particular, the East India Company. Poor pay, racial discrimination of  Indian soldiers, exploitation of Indian natives and their lands were very much there. People were pushed to the edge of exasperation and countless courageous people wanted to protest against the EIC 's misrule. What started out as a small revolt against the British officers in Meerut cantonment over the use of  new rifles that had to be handled with greased cartridges coated with pig and cow's fat, snowballed into a huge rebellion that shook the British Empire in 1857. Commonly called the “First battle of Independence, ”thousands of soldiers lost their lives in the rebellion. Though Indian mutineers did kill the British, many British officers became trigger-happy and shot dead countless people. Many were blown before the powerful cannon.  Their heroism and sacrifice is what the Mutiny Memorial now commemorates.

Located on the Rani Jhansi Road, Kashmiri Gate in Delhi, the memorial was originally built by the British in 1863 in memory of those officers and soldiers  of the Delhi Field Force martyred in the uprising. It was on 15th August 1972, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of India’s Independence, the Mutiny Memorial was converted into a memorial of the Indian Soldiers  who lost their lives, braving against the British during the tumultuous period. It was renamed as “Ajitgarh” (place of unvanquished) and the names of the martyrs of this first major revolt against British subjugation were also etched at the memorial.


Built in the Victorian Gothic Style, the
Mutiny Memorial is an octagonal tapering tower rising 33 meters high from a two-tier platform, and its ornamental facade made up of red sandstone is quite impressive. Lowest tier consists of seven faces, containing memorial plaques. One face has  a staircase  to  get to the  top. The memorial stands majestically close to Ashoka pillar  and its appearance is enhanced by the surrounding  lush greenery  called  the Kamala Nehru Ridge Forest, Lots of people visit this memorial that connects the young generation with our horrible past under the merciless British yoke.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutiny_Memorial