Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri





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'Karnataka Goddess of Courage - Kittur Rani Chennamma' by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri



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Published in Deccan Herald as an article in 1960s.


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'Karnataka Goddess of Courage - Kittur Rani Chennamma' 


  Dr S. Srikanta Sastri


  'Karnataka Goddess of Courage - Kittur Rani Chennamma'



                                     Dr S. Srikanta Sastri

                         (Published in Deccan Herald as an article in 1960s.)


With the disappearance of the two most formidable opponents of the British, the Marathas and the rulers of Mysore, Haidar and Tipu, the way for the consolidation of British power became clear by about 1820 A. D. The East India Company found itself in a position of paramount importance and proceeded to enforce a new Rule of Law, caring little for the sentiments and aspirations of the people. The history of the British in India has been divided into five periods by Michael Edwards. First, there were the Elizabethan Adventurers who established precarious trading stations with the favour of the Moghul emperors and local rulers. Then came the period of interference in the affairs of the local rulers trying to eliminate the French and other European powers. This lasted down to about 1820 A. D. Next the pretence of trading was given up and also the policy of neutrality in religion. An evangelical revolution was inaugurated and freedom was given to various Christian missions to convert the people. This culminated in the Mutiny of 1857. After 1857 down to 1908 there was conscious imperialism, Victorian capitalism and exploitation. And lastly the forces which the British themselves had invoked resulted in the long-drawn-out struggle for national independence.


The Mutiny has been termed as the first war for national independence or as essentially a religious revolt, as a slave revolt against tyranny, etc. There were various contributing factors but it is an acknowledged fact that the ‘greased cartridges’ touched off the incidents at Meerut. Cornwallis began the policy of estrangement of the Indians. The Charter Act of 1813 removed the ban on missionary activities. The evangelical revolution began with Bentinck’s reforms in 1830. The English imagined that they had acquired a moral mission.  

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