|Maharana Swaroop Singh, reign 1842- 1861Eternal Mewar|
The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 was, no doubt, a violent and serious rebellion against the harsh British rule in India. Unfortunately, in Europe and in the west this revolt was purposely portrayed as a senseless, unreasonable and bloody uprisings by Indian soldiers spurred by falsehoods about insensitivity to religious sentiments by the EIC. The Vellore mutiny (of Tamil Nadu headed by the sons of Tipu Sultan)) on 10 July 1806 was the first instance of a large-scale and violent mutiny by Indian sepoys against the East India Company, predating the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 by half a century. However, the 1857 uprising that began as a small mutiny on 10 May 1857 in the garrison town of Meerut developed into a series of mutinies and rebellions across many parts of north India and it later came to be known as the first war of independence. At many places like Kanpur, Lucknow and Delhi, the rebels in thousands attacked the British officials and a few hundred British officers, women and children were killed during the rebellion. Countless British families, fearing danger to their lives, took refuge in many places and were protected by their friends and also by the royal members of the princely states.
|1857 sepoy Mutiny Getty Images|
Maharana Swaroop Singh ascended the throne in 1842, after the death of his predecessor Maharana Sardar Singh who had no son and before his death, he formally adopted his brother Swaroop Singh as his nominated heir. Being a good administrator, Maharana Swaroop Singh took the responsibility of bringing economic reforms to revive the bad financial conditions of Mewar. He developed a cordial relationship with the East India company and its officials. When needed, he never failed to support the British living in Mewar and surrounding areas and prove his loyalty to them. During his reign, a crucial and difficult situation developed as a result of the Sepoy rebellion going on in other parts. The repressive British rule, harsh taxes and the discrimination faced by the Indian soldiers in the army (thousands of soldiers were killed mercilessly in retaliation by the British forces) had impacted his state as well, leading to a tense situation. The British, working in his region, were facing threats and before situation getting worse, they sought the help of Swaroop Singh, a man of amicable disposition.
Numerous European families fled from Nimach and sought asylum. Maharana Swaroop Singh with a view to protecting them from imminent danger to their lives, arranged for their safe stay in the lake palace that can be approached only by boat. To avoid taking risk and to protect his guests, the Rana had all the town’s boats destroyed so that the rebels won't have an access to the island palace and cause trouble to the innocent Europeans. Swaroop Singh helped repulse mutiny at Nasirabad, Neemuch and Nimbahera by sending his troops, thus earning the trust of the British Company. The Europeans enjoyed the generous hospitality of the ruler within the safe prescient of Jag Mandir palace till the rebellion was put down later by the British forces in June 1958.
After the Independence of India from the British rule, on 15 August 1947, at the initiative of Maharana Bhupal Singh, the Mewar kingdom merged with the Indian union in 1949 along with other princely states of Rajasthan.