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The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857,

in the town of Meerut, and soon escalated into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to present-day Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, northern Madhya Pradesh, and the Delhi region.[3] The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region, [4] and it was contained only with the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858.[3] The rebellion is also known as the India's First War of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, the Revolt of 1857, the Uprising of 1857, the Sepoy Rebellion, and the Sepoy Mutiny. Other regions of Company-controlled India such as Bengal, the Bombay Presidency, and the Madras Presidency remained largely calm.[3] In Punjab, the Sikh princes backed the Company by providing both soldiers and support.[3] The large princely states of Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, and Kashmir, as well as the smaller ones of Rajputana, did not join the rebellion.[5] In some regions, such as Oudh, the rebellion took on the attributes of a patriotic revolt against European presence.[6] Rebel leaders, such as the Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi, became folk heroes in the nationalist movement in India half a century later;[3] however, they themselves "generated no coherent ideology" for a new order.[7] The rebellion led to the dissolution of the East India Company in 1858. It also led the British to reorganise the army, the financial system and the administration in India.[8] India was thereafter directly governed by the crown as the new British Raj.[5

The 150th anniversary


The Government of India celebrated the year 2007 as the 150th anniversary of "India's First War of Independence". Several books written by Indian authors were released in the anniversary year including Amresh Mishra's "War of Civilizations" a controversial history of the Rebellion of 1857, and "Recalcitrance" by Anurag Kumar, one of the few novels written in English by an Indian based on the events of 1857. In 2007, a group of retired British soldiers and civilians, some of them descendants of British soldiers who died in the conflict, attempted to visit the site of the Siege of Lucknow. However, fears of violence by Indian demonstrators, supported by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, prevented the British visitors from visiting the site.[152] Despite the protests, Sir Mark Havelock was able to make his way past police in order to visit the grave of his ancestor, General Henry Havelock.[153]

In popular culture
Ketan Mehta's Hindi film, Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005) is about the life of Mangal Pandey, an Indian soldier who is known for his role in rebellion. The historical play 1857: Ek Safarnama by Javed Siddiqui is set Rebellion of 1857, which was also stage at Purana Qila, Delhi ramparts by Nadira Babbar and National School of Drama Repertory company, in 2008.[154]