Revolt of 1857 in Assam | Causes and Impact of Revolt of 1857 in Assam | Role of Maniram Dewan in revolt of 1857 in Assam
The Revolt of 1857 is known as the first war of Independence of India. It had far reaching impact all over India. But what is the impact of revolt of 1857 in Assam.
This blog post will discuss the impact of the Revolt of 1857 in Assam which shook the very foundation of British rule.
BRTISH RULE IN ASSAM
The British, by defeating the Burmese, took possession of Assam. They established their own administrative set up in disregard to the aspiration of the Assamese people. And they became masters of Assam and
Onwards from 1757, the expansionist policies of the British East India Company made the India people angry. The policy of conquest, economic exploitation and administrative changes had directly or indirectly affected all the people.
These policies of the British compelled the Indians revolted against the British in many parts of India. This led to the Revolt of 1857. As in other parts of India, the people of Assam also joined the revolt.
Unfortunately, the revolt failed to achieve its aim. But it sowed the seeds of the freedom struggle. The Revolt of 1857 is also known as the First War of Indian Independence.
REVOLT OF 1857 IN ASSAM
The Revolt of 1857 was neither a sudden event nor was it confined to some particular areas. It was started by the sepoys of a British regiment. But it spread to all sections of people including the peasants, labourers, artisans, tribal, aristocrats, etc.
The people of Assam had initially looked upon the British Government as saviors but later on their attitude was changed towards them leading to the outbreak of rebellion in this region.
CAUSES OF REVOLT OF 1857 IN ASSAM
The circumstances that led to the revolt of 1857 or the causes of revolt of 1857 are listed below.
- Treaty of Yandaboo of 1826
- Purandar Singha as puppet king of British
- Annexation of State of Matak in 1839
- British expansionist policy
- Emphasis on collection of taxes
- British economic policies
- British social and religious reforms
The causes of revolt of 1857 in Assam are discussed below.
Treaty of Yandaboo of 1826
After the Treaty of Yandaboo on 24 February, 1826, the nobles of Assam had lost their former power. So, they were greatly dissatisfied with British rule. They started their rebellion under the leadership of Dhananjoy Peoli Phukan and Gomdhar Konwar, etc.
Purandar Singha as puppet king of British
Purandar Singha was formally installed as a ruler of Upper Assam as puppet to the Company on April 24, 1833. But it was annexed in 1838 under British rule. So, the people of Upper Assam had been dissatisfied with the rule of the Company.
Annexation of State of Matak in 1839
By the treaty of 1826, the British had appointed Bar Senapati, the Chief of the Morans of Matak and a new treaty was imposed on his successor Maju Gohain. This treaty was not liked by the Moran tribe on religious grounds. The British Government annexed the state of Matak in November, 1839.
British expansionist policy
The British followed an expansionist policy and annexed the different states of the North-Eastern region one after another without any regard for the feelings of the people of Assam.
Emphasis on collection of taxes
The new government was solely concerned with the collection of taxes but did not pay heed to the miserable economic condition of the ryots.T heir condition deteriorated as the extortion of the government went on increasing.
British economic policies
Moreover, the British economic policies greatly irritated the people of Assam. The British started tea plantations in Assam. The British imposed the policy of “waste land regulation” a tactic of depriving the local people of the benefits of setting up Tea plantation
British social and religious reforms
The British social and religious reforms created suspicion among the orthodox people of Assam. The activities of the government officials and Christian missionaries created fear among the Hindus and Muslims that their religion was in danger. British attitude of racial discrimination was also resented by the Assamese people.
ROLE OF MANIRAM DEWAN IN REVOLT OF 1857 IN ASSAM
The rising of 1857 A.D. did not leave Assam untouched. Maniram Dewan was the main face of the Revolt of 1857 in Assam.
MANIRAM DEWAN OF ASSAM
Maniram Dewan was the Tehsildar of Upper Assam under British rule in Assam. During the reign of Purandar Singha in Upper Assam Maniram had served as the Sheristadar in the Revenue department.
Maniram was unhappy when Purandar Singha was deposed in 1838 and the territories of Upper Assam were annexed to the British dominion. After that Maniram joined the Assam Tea Company at Nazira as its Dewan.
He established tea gardens in Singlo at Sivasagar and Chinamara at Jorhat.
MANIRAM DEWAN AND REVOLT OF 1857 IN ASSAM
However, he was also dissatisfied with the planters. He started two gardens of his own at Jorhat. But he was deprived of the benefit of getting waste lands at concessional rates like the European planters.
By that time the Revolt of 1857 broke out at Meerut, Delhi, Lucknow and Kanpur. Maniram thought the possibility of organising a similar type of revolt in Assam for overthrowing the British Goverment.
Maniram wanted to take full advantage of the situation. So, he provoked the young prince Kandarpeswar Singha to take up arms against the British.
At that time, there were two regiments in Assam, the First Assam Light Infantry stationed at Dibrugarh and the Second Light Infantry stationed at Guwahati.
Most of the sepoys of the First Assam Light Infantry stationed at Dibrugarh were from Western Bihar. These sepoys were against British rule. To fight agfanist the Bristish, Maniram Dewan was greatly helped by Madhu Mallick, who was a Bengali Mukteer and many others.
However, till August 1857, the sepoys of Assam remained passive, but restless. It was because the associates of Maniram in Assam were waiting for his signal to mobilise against the foreigners. But before Maniram could come to Assam to take the lead, a few of his secret letters were intercepted by the British government.
Maniram was arrested in Calcutta, detained for a few weeks in the Alipur Jail and then brought to Assam for trial. Along with Maniram many of his associates were also arrested. He was publicly hanged in 1858.
IMPACT OF REVOLT OF 1857 IN ASSAM
The revolt of 1857 marked a turning point in the history of Assam and of India. It led the British to change the system of administration and policy of the Government.
- The company rule was abolished and the direct responsibility of administration was taken by the British crown.
- Era of annexation and expansion came to an end. The British promised to respect the dignity and rights of the prices/rulers of Assam.
- Assam was governed as a part of Bengal by the British till 1874. Later it was brough under Chief Commissioner having headquarter at Shilliong.
The impact of revolt of 1857 in Assam was immersive and the shook the very pillar of British rule in India. In this post, I have extensively discussed the cause of Revolt of 1857 in Assam, role of Maniram Dewan in Revolt of 1857 in Assam and the impact of it in Assam.
Maniram Dewan led the revolt of 1857 in Assam. Piyoli Barua was also another leader who was in forefront with Maniram Dewan.
What were the causes of revolt of 1857 in Assam?
The causes of revolt of 1857 in Assam
1. Treaty of Yandaboo of 1826
2. Purandar Singha as puppet king of British
3. Annexation of State of Matak in 1839
4. British expansionist policy
5. Emphasis on collection of taxes
6. British economic policies
7. British social and religious reforms
Who was the first freedom fighter of Assam?
Maniram Dewan was the first freedom fighters of India
Who were the main leaders of the revolt of 1857?
The main leaders of Revolt of 1857 in Assam are
1. Maniram Dewan
2. Piyoli Barua
3. Madhu Mullick
4. Kamala Baruah
5. Dutiram Baruah
6. Marangi Khowa Gohain
7. Fomund Ali
8. Bahadur Gaon Burha