Sunday, January 20, 2013

Syed Ahmed Khan on the Causes of the 1857 Revolt

Syed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898) is an important figure in the history of India, Muslim separatism is sometimes traced to his influence.   But here the focus is on the events of 1857.  Wiki tells us:
Born into Muslim nobility, Sir Syed earned a reputation as a distinguished scholar while working as a jurist for the British East India Company. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, he remained loyal to the British and was noted for his actions in saving European lives. After the rebellion, he penned the booklet Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind (The Causes of the Indian Mutiny) – a daring critique, at the time, of British policies that he blamed for causing the revolt. 

Several English translations of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan's booklet are available here.  One should read these, of course taking the author's loyalties into account, just as one would with Niall Ferguson.