The Revolt of 1857 A.D. profoundly influenced the relationships between the English and the Indian rulers and caused fundamental changes to the administrative process of India.
The English brutally smashed this rebellion, it did touch their consciences, and they realized that it was for their benefit to end this rule by the East India Company in India as soon as they could. If they didn’t, they’d be forced out of India by a different successful revolution.
Most significant consequences of revolt of 1857 A.D.
1. Transfer of power
2. Collaboration between the Indians in the Administration
3. Modification in the title of Governor-General
4. The restructuring of the Indian Army
5. Untrust towards the Indians
6. The difference between Hindus and Muslims
7. Modification of the Policy toward the Indian States
8. Expanding of Western education
9. Feeling of Nationalism
Transfer of power
While following the passing of the Regulating Act, the British government began to establish its authority over the East India Company; actually, the Company continued to govern until 1857 A.D. The Revolt of 1857 A.D. highlighted the demerits and shortcomings that the Company exhibited. In the aftermath, the British Parliament adopted the Act of 1858 A.D., which came to known as the Act of the Transfer of Power. As per this Act, there was an Administration of the Queen established in India to replace that of East India Company. This meant that it was that the Indian Council replaced the Court of Directors. It was supervised by the Secretary of State for India. This way, it was decided that the Government of England assumed power over the Company.
Collaboration between the Indians in the Administration
The Indians were removed from the administration by the English. They were terribly offended by it. So, the Act of 1861 A.D. was passed, and the policy of seeking the cooperation of the Indians was adopted. Henceforth the English began to enlist the support and cooperation of the Indians in the administration.
Modification in the title of Governor-General
As a result of the revolt, alteration regarding the titles of Governor-General of India was implemented. After the Revolt of 1857. A.D. and passing of the Transfer Act of 1858 A.D. concerning his relationships towards the Indian rulers, the Governor-General began to be named Viceroy of India.
The restructuring of the Indian Army
The Indian Army was reorganized. This army from the Crown was unified with the army from the Company and was renamed the Army of the Emperor. The numbers of English officers and soldiers raised as well. The Indian army was arranged according to provincialism and caste to ensure that, in the event of another revolt in India, the newly organized force could face one another in the name of religious or caste distinctions as well as their unity and affection towards the people might be done away with. Therefore, the English eliminated collaboration between the population as well as the military. The people who were caste-blind had no support for the army. Neither did the army have any feelings towards those who belonged to other groups. Furthermore, artillery was the most important component of the army, and the English maintained it within their power.
Untrust towards the Indians
After the Revolt of 1857 A.D., the trust of the English in the Indians was totally shattered, as they started to question their integrity. The English soldiers were envious of the Indians, and at the start of the uprising, they began to doubt the Indians who were fighting for their side. Therefore, the English had stopped appointing Indians to significant posts. In the wake of this, a feeling of inferiority grew within the Indians.
The difference between Hindus and Muslims
As a consequence of the defeat of the revolt, tensions and suspicions arose between Hindus and Muslims when both began to view each other as at fault for failing to carry out the revolution. Since the Muslims participated in the rebellion more vigorously than Hindus, they were crushed ruthlessly by the English. Following an end to the uprising and the subsequent execution of the revolt, the English executed 24 princes. In the same way, Muslims were more savagely subjected to economic exploitation than Hindus.
Modification of the Policy toward the Indian States
Following the Revolt in 1857 A.D. Queen Victoria declared that the native states would be included in the English empire. The policy implemented by Lord Dalhousie, the Doctrine of lapses, would no longer be enforced, and the rulers of the native states were allowed to adopt a child if they desired.
Expanding of Western education
The English, to gain dominance over Indians and establish their control over the Indians, supported the expansion of English education. A university was established in India in 1858 A.D. so that the Indians could abandon their customs and traditions and switch to studying English legal and administrative systems. Besides, the English also understood that they made an error by destroying their relationships with native rulers as it was extremely difficult to gain the support of the population; however, it was not too difficult to gain the approval and cooperation of either indigenous ruler.
Feeling of Nationalism
It was the British government, on the one hand, that attempted to win the trust of the people of India by offering them services for their administration. On the other hand, they tried their best to squash the nationalism-related feelings that were rumbling within the hearts of the citizens because they thought that if the sentiment of nationalism were not repressed, the nation would find it very difficult for them to sustain their rule over India. To achieve this, they adopted the two strategies below:
(a) Expansion of Western Education.
(b) Spread of Christianity.
It is true that the English government did this prior to the onset of the revolution; however, they now paid particular attention to this issue and aimed to get the young people of India more Westernized in order to let all nationalist sentiments that might lurk in their souls.
It is clear that the Revolt of 1857 A.D. was a turning event in the development of India. Without a doubt, the British government was able to crush it with the force of its resources and power; however, the anger and nationalist sentiments continued to be fuelled in the people’s minds. A longing for freedom was burning in the heart of the patriotic Indian people. This was a turning point for the nation’s movement as well.