MANGAL PANDEY – A WORLD of CONFLICT
The essential characteristic of “drama” is CONFLICT”
WHO is the “ENEMY ???
The following lists the “tangled web” of those in conflict in the movie.
SOLDIER vs SOLDIER
Mangal vs East India Company Redcoats (to be hung for treason)
Brits/Indian Sepoys vs Mughals” (Muslim invaders from Afghanistan)
Gordon/Mangal vs Mughal/Muslim snipers in Afghanistan
Hewson vs waiter vs . Mangal vs Gordon vs officer hierarchy
Company command vs Gordon vs Mangal (raking Heera “out of turn”)
MANGAL PANDEY vs GORDON (who “wins”?)
Sepoys vs Sepoys (stay loyal or rebel?) Sepys vs Redcoats (Rangoon regiment)
Gordon vs Company (which side does Gordon ultimately take?
BRITISH vs INDIA
Company/military leadership vs Mangal
“MODERN”/”NEW” Britain vs. “ANCIENT/OLD”/ India
British global empire vs. Indian “fragmentation” (geography/language religion)
British “divide and conquer” vs Indian cultural conformity
Enfield Rifle Cartridge vs. Hindu Beliefs
technology & science vs “traditions” (“superstition”?)
British military HIERARCHY vs Indian CASTE System HIERARCHY
British “rights”/egalitarianism vs SATI & SLAVERY
East India Company vs Sepoys (“bite the bullet” cartridge)
“FACTS” vs “FEELINGS”
British military power strength in numbers and “cause”
British pride-ARROGANCE Indian Cultural Pride (wishful thinking)
leads to rebellion-destruction rebel “unity” results in disunity, defeat
power//profits) brings pain Mangal’s bravery crushed by Rangooon Regiment
INDIA vs INDIA
CASTE STSTEM ccaste vs caste; hierarchal “superiors” vs “inferiors”))
Sepoys/”Brahmin” elite vs. lower castes (caste vs caste)
“untouchables” vs Indian society (Naimsukh vs Mangal)
HINDUS vs MUSLIMS (India vs Pakistan today)
British/Muslim “minorities” vs Hindu majority
SATI (man vs woman/ this world vs next world)
SLAVERY (Humans/women [Heera] vs Humans/women [Lol Bibi])
Mangal vs Heera (“DIAMOND”, THE SLAVE PROSTITURE)
Sepoys vs Indian Princes (control after rebellion?)
Mangal vs Mangal – Revolutionary “visionary“ or reactionary fool?
BRITISH vs BRITISH
England (the rich Kents) vs Scotland (Gordom the soldier/servantGordon)
Protestants vs Catholics
English HIERARCHY (English class/”caste” system)
“superiors” vs “inferiors”
East India COMPANY vs COMPANY
Company GREED vs Company CORRUPTION
(Chinese opium trade) vs private selfishness (Kent vs auditor Lockwood)
Was “the Company” a )many headed HYDRA MONSTER / MACHINE ???
CONCLUSIONS and REACTION
1)What ultimately happened to the British East Company in India? Why?
Briefly explain. Who was the ultimate “enemy” of the Company?
___2)GORDON was a “TRAITOR” and/or a “FOOL” for doing wjat he did.
He “slept with” and ultimately sided the Indian “enemy”. Gordon was ultimately a “LOSER”, a “REBEL without a CLUE”. By siding and fighting against the East India Company, he foolishly “bit the hand that fed him”.
___3)GORDON was a HERO” for doing what he did, doing :”the right thing” ,
even when it meant risking his own life and well-being, making himself an “outcaste”.
“The Company” was the real “traitor” to both British and Indians.
Gordon saw past the “facts” and told “the truth”.
___4)MANGAL PANDEY was a “HERO” who sacrificed and “victim-ized” ___
himself to unite and inspire “his people” to fight for their political independence.
Better to “die hard” for freedom than live weakly under “tyranny”.
Patrick Henry was right – “Give me liberty, or give me death”.
Mangal courageously lives it.
___5)Mangal Pandey and his rebellion/revolution was ultimately a FAILURE.
The Sepoy Rebellion did end Company rule of India.
Pandey did get his “payback” after Company lies and betrayal
due to the bullet cartridge animal grease.
However, the Rebellion did NOT achieve Indian independence.
Mangal realized that Indians were victims, making “outcastes” of themselves in their own history. It took British ideals of INDIVIDUAL freedom and “dignity” to realize that. British “tyranny” was bad.
Indian “tyranny” was arguably worse..
The Indians continued to be victims of themselves after Pandey’s death.
The Rebellion failed due to Indian disunity and dysfunction.
When the British left India in 1947, India proceeded to fight
a civil war between Hindus and Muslims.
One million Indians died as a result.
Relations between Hindu India and Muslim continue to be a “disaster” even today. Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu who considered him a “TRAITOR” for seeking peaceful co-existence with Muslims.
Indian pride and independence were natural and sympathetic desires.
These “FEELINGS” also need to recognize the “FACTS”.
Whatever “PROGRESS” brought about by the end of British “imperialism” has been far outweighted by the PRICE paid and the myriad PROBLEMS created by INDIAN NATIONALISM .
Mangal Pandey’s “The Rising”, Indian history and Britain’s role in it is interesting, entertaining and educational, but is ultimately a “TRAGIC’ MESS.