July 19 marks the birth anniversary of Mangal Pandey, an Indian soldier who played a pivotal role in the events immediately preceding the outbreak of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Born in 1827, the freedom fighter was the sepoy in the Bengal Native Infantry’s 34th Regiment of the British East India Company. He also spearheaded the Revolt of 1857, also known as the first war of Indian Independence.
Lesser known facts about Mangal Pandey:
During Mangal Pandey’s service in the Bengal Infantry at Barrackpore, the British launched a new type of cartridge which was made up of cow and pig fat. Due to religious reasons both Hindus and Muslims were unable to use the cartridges for religious reasons. It was Mangal Pandey who headed the group of Indian soldiers to stop the use of the cartridge.
According to records, it is believed that Mangal Pandey became so furious at this new move that he vouched to kill the very first Englishmen he would see.
Keeping the vow, he fired at Lieutenant Baugh, however he missed the shot. Later, he overpowered the Lieutenant with such a fury that he had to run for his life from the site.
For act of rebel, he was imprisoned and sentenced to death
The place where Mangal Pandey opened fire on the British Officer and where he was later hanged is named as ‘Shaheed Mangal Pandey Maha Udyan’.
Quotes by the freedom fighter:
When you protect your country, religion is protected itself
Till today you’ve seen our loyalty, now you will see our anger
It’a a fight for freedom, freedom with past for coming future
The gun is a very unfaithful lover, anytime it can change its direction, there is no trust
Give a salute to this tricolour, from whom you are proud, always keep your head high, as long as there is life in the heart
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