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Sepoys on the Move
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The Empire Builders
For God and Country

This landmark judgement came as a shot in the arm for those who were championing the cause of civil liberties in India.
Thomas Anstey was clearly much ahead of his time when he challenged the validity of Regulation III of 1818 which provided for detention of a citizen without trial, since such regulations violate the fundamental rights of the citizen.
The questions he raised then continue to be debated to this day.

The Gracious Proclamation of Queen Victoria

On 1st November 1858, Lord Canning read out Queen Victoria's proclamation in Allahabad. The proclamation, which came to be looked upon as the 'Magna Carta' for India spelled out the liberal principles by which India would be ruled under the Crown.
"We hold ourselves bound to the Natives of our India territories by the same obligations of duty which bind us to all our other subjects, and those obligations, by the blessing of Almighty God, we shall faithfully and conscientiously fill," the queen had declared.
The queen also promised, "…our subjects, of whatever race or creed be freely and impartially admitted to offices in our service…"
Were these promises kept?
Regarding admission of Indians to all offices, Viceroy Lord Lytton, in a confidential memo to the Secretary of State wrote: "Every Indian, once admitted to government employment is entitled to expect and claim appointment in the fair course of promotion to the highest posts in that Service. We all know that these claims and expectations never can or will be fulfilled…."
As the years rolled by Indians came to realize that the queen's pledges would never be redeemed unless they agitated for them. Individual liberty and equality would never be handed over to them on a platter; they had to fight for their rights.
The queen's proclamation, however, provided Indians with a shield against the charge of sedition for which one could be deported or hanged. Demands for equal opportunities, or for representation in legislative councils and even for Home Rule could now all be interpreted as demands for the implementation of the queen's pledge.

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