With the help of specific examples examine the nature of Indian leadership that emerged against the British in the revolt of 1857.
The Indian rebels looked forward to various people in their struggle against the British. They approached those people who had been leaders before the British occupation of India. After the armies of Indian rebels reached Delhi, they looked forward to the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar to resume the leadership of the revolt. His acceptance of the leadership gave a kind of legitimacy to the revolt. Nana sahib joined the revolt in Kanpur, while Rani Laxmibai was forced to assume the leadership of the revolt in Jhansi. In Awadh, the revolt was led by Begum Hazrat Mahal and her son.
Several local leaders also lead the revolt. Kunwar Singh in Bihar, Shah Mal in Uttar Pradesh and Gonoo, a tribal in the Chotanagpur Plateau, assumed the leadership of the revolt in their territories. Thus, the Indian leadership which emerged during the revolt not only consisted of royal figures but also of local people who were followed by their community.