War of Independence 1857, was the last event fought and served by Indian Muslims and Hindus together. After it both the nations started thinking on separate lines due to defeat in this war.
Hence if the had gained victory in it they might started lliving together again. But the history has to take a new turn.
War of Independence 1857:
The main causes of War of Independence may be enumerated as follows:
1) British came in India with the purpose of trade by setting up East India Company with the permission of Mughal King Jahangir, in 1719, Farkh Sair gave this company tax-less trade facilities in subcontinent which srengthened its position. But this company soon started bringing different states of India against each other by assuring them the future kingship of India. Many states went on against each other and fought against each other by thinking that East India Company would help them which it didn’t. in this way East India Company captured many states of India. But this whole process of East India Company wasn’t comprised on few years but decades of planning’s. So much so that in the end India didn't remain under the control of one Mughal King but many states had declared themselves independent with the back of East India Company. But East India Company never remained faithful to any of them.
2) The attacks of Nadir Shah (Afghan Emperor) in 1739 on Delhi, the capital of India in Mughal Period had weakened the entire structure of the Indian Government. And making use of these attacks many Governors of the states declared themselves indpendent. In this way several states under Mughal control came into being in India besides the presence of Mughal Government. British played an important role in bringing these states against each other. They with the help of minister Mir Jafar of Bengal defeated Siraj-ud-Daula in Plassi and captured Bengal. They defeated Tipu Sultan with the help of Marhattas and captured the territory of Maysore. They brought Sikhs in Punjab to weaken the Mughal Empire and after that they threw away both the Sikh's and Mughall's government.
These events were enough to bring against British the locals, who had been facing the tyrannies of British in different states.
The War of Independence started from Meerut on 11th May, 1857. Infantry and mounted soldiers started from Meerut, they killed the British officiers and burnt the barracks and reached Delhi.
The background to this was that on 29th Mar. A Hindu Brahman soldier, Mangal Pandey fired on English Seargent, who fired back on Mangal Pandey. When another English soldier tried to help his partner, the local soldiers threatend him and asked him to get back. When Col. Herasi came with soldiers to control the stuation, Mangal Pandey was arrested and was sentenced to death by military court. He was hanged on 18th April.
The soldiers of Meerut came in anger when it was tried to train them on new guns which were used or fired after removing a type of fat being obtained from pig and cow. This was unacceptable to both Hindus and Muslims as it damged their religious sentiments.
Freedom fighters from all parts of the subcontinent also joined in at Delhi. The Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar (a renowned poet also) was compelled to lead the freedom fighters. The freedom fighters proclaimed that he was the Emperor of whole of India.
A grand procession was taken out and civilian and ministries and other dignitaries took the oath of allegiance to the Emperor and vowed to give their lives for the cause of freedom.
The Emperor issued his own coins and issued his sons to key posts. But his sons were not much capable about military tactics. Besides, the Emperor's own courtiers were in collusion with the British and conveyed every news to them.
General Bakht Khan came from Rohelkhand with 14,000 troops and joined the army and most of the command of the freedom fighters remained under his control. He was a very brave, wise, capable, loyal and military planner. He with his tactics inflicted many losses to British. But mutiny of courtiers was enough to corrupt all plans.
Moreover the British called Sikhs, at that time the rulers of Punjab, to help British. Sikhs helped British against freedom fighters.
But this was not the attitude of each and every Sikh. Many Sikhs also laid their lives for war of independence. As Bhai Maharaj Singh and Radha Krishin Brahman were arrested by declaring them traitors.
Besides the shortage of military equipments, the freedom-fighters had the upper hand in war against British before British received fresh garrison of 25,000 soldiers from England and Sikh Governor of Punjab also sent 7000 soldiers in favour of British. Moreover, Maulvi Rajab Ali and Hakeem Ahsaan Ullah Khan, the disloyal courtiers of Emperor and loyals of British, set the amours on fire. This caused a great setback as fighters were already getting short of weapons.
In the month of September, the British forces attacked the Delhi with great preparation. They broke the surrounding wall of the city & entered in. The battle lasted for six days b/w freedom-fighters & British army. British forces were successful at last.
Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, left the fort & took refuge in Humayun's tomb, but was arrested and tried in court. He was sentenced to deporation & was sent to Rangoon where he spent his last days in helplessness. He died on 11th Nov'1862. His son & heir apparent, Prince Mirza Jawan Bakht & Queen Zeenut Mehal also died in Rangoon after few years.
British inflicted great cruelties during & after the war, they massacred the freedom-fighters mercilessly. They chopped off the heads of Royal Princes & presented them to the Emperor on a plate on 1st April (saying that this is your breakfast) (and said they made the Emperor a fool) (after this event 1st April is remembered as April Fool and it was celebrated even at that time by British) (Many people celebrate it even today). British hanged thousands of innocent people or killed them by gunfire. Properties were looted & ladies were molested & children were taken on bows and arrows.
Majority of these people were Muslims as British thought that they had taken the Government from Muslims & Muslims were the real guilty of war. So in order to punish Muslims, British used & brought up Hidus against them which the Hindus did. This caused the great rift b/w Muslims & Hindus & Muslims felt themselves alone among Hindus and English.