spirit of mutual accommodation it evoked in both the communities. Though
religion heightened the appeal of the revolt, its content remained
predominantly political. Its leaders were temporal, not spiritual, spokesmen
of society.
    This revolution, however, was an attempt to return to the earlier and
traditional relations. In fact, it can be said that it was the decaying reactionary
elements, the discontented princes and feudal forces which led the
opposition. They were joined by the common people who were groaning
under the burden of over taxation, rack-renting and social humiliation. The
revolt was a feudal upheaval. The rebellion, thus, could never become an
authentic all encompassing popular uprising, though it supplied a vent to all
those who were discontented or in debt.
Significance of the Revolt
The revolt was a glorious landmark in our history in as much as Hindus and
Muslims fought shoulder to shoulder against a common enemy. It left an
indelible impression on the minds of the Indian people and thus paved the
way for the rise of a strong movement.
    After the revolt, the British rule underwent a major transformation in its
policy. It started protecting and fostering the princes as its puppets.
Reactionary social and religious practices were jealously guarded and
preserved against the demands of progressive Indian opinion for their reform.
After the initial harsh treatment of Muslims, rulers began having a more
favourable attitude towards Muslim subjects.
    The direct result of the revolt was the end of the Company’s rule and the
passing of the responsibility of Indian administration into the hands of the
British Queen.
Aftermath of 1857 Revolt
Conservatism of New Royal Government After the rebellion had been
put down, the new royal government of India that replaced that of the East
India Company promised that it had no intention of imposing ‘our
convictions on any of our subjects’. It distanced itself further from the
Christian missionaries. A stop