Biography of Mangal Pandey

Indian Freedom Fighter Mangal Pandey Biography

Mangal Pandey had played the principal role to swell up the Sepoy Mutiny by his dauntless acts.

Mangal Pandey was born on19th July, 1827, in Akbarpur Tehsil in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. He had spent his childood in Suhurpur. His father, Divakar Pandey, by profession was a peasant. Mangal Pandey also had a sister, who had later expired in the famine of 1830.

Mangal Pandey grew up to become a staunch Hindu with strict religious beliefs. Later, he joined as a soldier in the Bengal Native Infantry (BNI). He was part of the 34th Regiment, in the 5th Company. Mangal was a zealous careerist and viewed his role as a `sipahi` (soldier) for future bright prospects.

However, with the passage of time, his respect and deference for his English masters diminished with stray happenings in the country. The Company rulers had, on occasions, displayed cruelty towards native women and men.

Later, the introduction of the P-53 Enfield Rifle and the greased cartridge issue wholly turned the tables for the British forces, as Mangal Pandey to revolt till death.

Mangal Pandey 5th Company was garrisoned in Barrackpore during his first show of defiance, leading to the legendary movement of the Barrackpore Insurgency. Mangal Pandey had urged his compatriots to join him in his crusade.
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Mangal Pandey was known was titled as `Shaheed` meaning a martyr. He was the first sepoy (soldier) to rise up against the Britishers.

Early Life of Mangal Pandey

Mangal Pandey had spent a quintessential village life during his childhood in Akbarpur Tehsil. He had his all-time companion Nakki Khan, the son of the village Maulavi.

They belonged to the typical village middle-class, with his father serving as a peasant. Mangal Pandey was yet to become enlightened in British policies and politics.

A young Mangal had remained witness to two remarkable incidents, which was to transform his life forever and alter his view of the British masters.

Role of Mangal Pandey in British Regiment

Mangal Pandey was 22 years old when he joined the Bengal Native Infantry (BNI) in the 34th Regiment. However, his joining in the army was entirely unplanned.

During his visit to Akbarpur, a regiment that was marching towards Varanasi recruited him on the road. He willingly gave his consent. However, his move was not entertained by his friend Nakki Khan although his father, Divakar Pandey, had agreed to it impassively.

Role of Mangal Pandey In Barrackpore Unrest

The Barrackpore Unrest was primarily a joint venture of the 34th Native Infantry, 2nd Native Infantry and the 19th Native Infantry. Mangal Pandey was part of the 34th Native Infantry. It was in Barrackpore that the first news of natives arising to revolt had reached the British generals.

Mangal, along with his trusted band of followers in the two remaining regiments had decided upon to revolt against the callousness of Lt. Wheeler. He was pivotal in inciting men from different parts of the country to unite and make the call a success.

Mangal was furious about the issue of the greased cartridge in Barrackpore, which at first was taken as a rumor by all. He was the sole man to opt for extreme measures to stand alone in his crusade. Things were not that much promising in the passing stages of the unrest episodes, and Mangal had cause to feel downcast. In spite of several threats from English rulers, he did not budge.

Role of Mangal Pandey in Calcutta-Patna Conspiracy

The Calcutta-Patna Conspiracy was planned in gigantic proportions beginning from Bengal and reaching the extremities of northern India. Mangal Pandey, in the beginning was not interested much to join such outcries, he was too engulfed in his private issues.

However, his boyhood companion, Nakki Khan had induced him to the problem. Gradually, after meeting several zamindars from Bengal, Mangal was convinced that the conspiracy could be turned into a huge one. Men from Patna and other parts of Bihar started to collaborate with the ousted Maharajas of the princely states like Baji Rao or Nana Sahib.

In his enterprises, Mangal Pandey had several allies to assist him. The Walliullah-ites (also known as the Wahabis) were such a bunch noted for their valiancy.

Mangal`s rebelliousness and his uprisings were condemned and Mangal was put on trial. The court declared him guilty and he was hanged till death on 8th April 1857, leaving behind him the tremendous chain of freedom fighting.