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(1857–58) Widespread rebellion against British rule in India begun by Indian troops (sepoys) in the service of the English East India Company. The mutiny began when sepoys refused to use new rifle cartridges (which were thought to be lubricated with grease containing a mixture of pigs' and cows' lard and thus religiously impure). They were shackled and imprisoned, but their outraged comrades shot their British officers and marched on Delhi. The ensuing fighting was ferocious on both sides and ended in defeat for the mutineers. Its immediate result was that the East India Company was abolished in favour of direct rule of India by the British government; in addition, the British government began a policy of consultation with Indians. British-imposed social measures that had antagonized Hindu society (e.g., a proposed bill that would remove legal obstacles to the remarriage of Hindu women) were also halted.
Variants of INDIAN MUTINY
Indian Mutiny or Sepoy Mutiny
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Indian Mutiny, visit Britannica.com.
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