India’s strive for freedom is a significant chapter in the nation’s history and grasps a value higher than any significant event of the past.
The Ministry of Tourism as part of introducing ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ webinar series to honour the memory and honour nation’s most important day lined up a series of five webinars that would collectively touch the theme comprehensively of a freedom movement, places related to it and the pioneers who had a remarkable involvement in helping India attain its independence.
The Ministry of Tourism organized a webinar on “Memoirs of 1857 -A Prelude to Independence “on 8 August 2020. The first in this series of ‘Independence Day’ themed webinars and is the 45th among overall Dekho Apna Desh webinars.
Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is an effortful endeavour which merchandises India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat and is continuously spreading enthusiasm of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat through the virtual podium.
The Webinar conducted by Ms. Nidhi Bansal, CEO of India City Walks & India with locals and Dr.Soumi Roy, the Researcher and Story Teller and was moderated by Ms Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism.
Highlights of the webinar
The Webinar took a virtual concert of the saga of our independence, and the first war campaign of India’s independence fought in 1857. The threads of events kept following until we attained complete independence in 1947.
The presenters illuminated the monuments that bore the brunt of revolt. From Delhi, Kanpur and Meerut, to many other cities across the country, the presentation showed viewers the story of its worth sacrifice and bravery.
The presenters showcased the reasons that sparked the revolt such as pathetic socio-economic conditions, problems of land and revenue management, destruction of resources, poor status of Indians in administration, Doctrine of Lapse, abusive treatment of Bahadur Shah Zafar, incorporation of Oudh, prejudiced Police and Judiciary, and discrimination with the Indian militaries.
Dr. Gilbert Hadow in March 1857, an army surgeon employed for the East India Company, wrote the following lines describing a strange movement stirred in 1857, in a letter to his sister in Britain
“There is a most enigmatic affair is going on the whole of India, and no one seems to know the meaning of it. It is not known where it got originated, by whom or for what purpose, if it is supposed to be connected to any religious ceremony or society. The Indian papers are full of imagination to know what it concludes. “
This called for the “Chapati movement”, and the entire chapati ‘movement’ left the British Empire shook of assault.
The speaker spoke the role of Mangal Pandey, where an Indian soldier of the British army, one of the key figures behind the organized rebellion against Sepoy or India’s First War of Independence in 1857.
The Webinar seized the succession of the revolt after the outbreak of the mutiny in Meerut and how the rebel reached Delhi. Soon, the rebels captured large areas of the North-Western Provinces and Awadh (Oudh).
Raja Nahar Singh, king of Ballabgarh, who restrained Delhi’s borders from Britishers and kept Delhi liberated for over 120 days.
The presenters showcased various sites associated with the First War of Independence and how one could experience the trail of 1857 in the following places:-
a) Barrackpore- It is a cantonment area and Mangal Pandey Cenotaph and park.
b) Gwalior- The mesmerizing Gwalior Fort where Rani Laxmibai sought shelter while fighting with the Britishers as well as known for Samadhisthal of Rani Laxmi Bai.
Museums connected with the revolt of 1857 which witnessed showcasing the valour and struggles in Museum on 1857
Agra- Famous for Agra Fort, Agra college library, which is one of the oldest libraries.
Kanpur- All the saint’s memorial church describes in the cantonment area, Nana Rao Park, Sati Chaura ghat.
Meerut- Known for St John’s Church, British Cemetery, Parade ground.
The seat of power- Delhi where there are two trails i) Kashmere Gate ii) The Northern Ridge trail.
Ms. Rupinder Brar concluded her remarks and spoke about Ministry of Tourism’s Incredible India Tourist facilitator programme which will also monitor for transforming and encouraging the citizen with knowledge about the destinations, historic places and story trails.
The saga of India’s freedom movement can’t be an epic without referring to the remarkable contribution made by the Indian National Army headed by Subash Chandra Bose.
These museums merchandise the weapons, vehicles and aircraft used by the Indian military over the years. We salute the courage of each Indian Army personnel and recall the pride and their indomitable spirit and sacrifices in making India a safe country.
Written By- Mousami Jena
Image courtesy: Google