The original Urdu edition of 1859, and its history

Title page of the 1859 Urdu edition.

Source: Cause of the Indian Revolt: Three Essays, ed. Salim al-Din Quraishi (Lahore: Sang-e Meel Publications, 1997), p. 13 (of the Urdu part of the book).

The text itself, from the same source:

*Introduction* == *First cause* == *Second cause* == *Third cause* == *Fourth cause* == *Fifth cause* ==

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"As soon as Sir Sayyid reached Muradabad, he began to write the pamphlet entitled The Causes of the Indian Revolt ( asbaab-e ba;Gaavat-e hind ), in which he did his best to clear the people of India, and especially the Muslims, of the charge of Mutiny. In spite of the obvious danger, he made a courageous and thorough report of the accusations people were making against the Government and refused the theory which the British had invented to explain the causes of the Mutiny.

When the work was finished, without waiting for an English translation, Sir Sayyid sent the Urdu version to be printed at the Mufassilat Gazette Press in Agra. Within a few weeks, he received 500 copies back from the printers. His friend warned him not to send the pamphlet to Parliament or to the Government of India. Master Ramchandra's younger brother, Rae Shankar Das, who was munsif in Muradabad and a great friend of Sir Sayyid, begged him to burn the books rather than put his life in danger. Sir Sayyid replied that he was bringing these matters to the attention of the British for the good of his own people, of his country, and of the Government itself. He said that if he came to any harm while doing something that would greatly benefit the rulers and the subjects of India alike, he would gladly suffer whatever befell him. When Rae Shankar Das saw that Sir Sayyid's mind was made up and nothing could be done to change it, he wept and remained silent. After performing a supplementary prayer and asking God's blessing, Sir Sayyid sent almost all the 500 copies of his pamphlet to England, one to the Government, and kept the rest himself.

When the Government of India had the book translated and presented before the Council, Lord Canning, the Governor-General, and Sir Barthold Frere both accepted it as a sincere and friendly report. The Foreign Secretary, however, severely attacked it, calling it 'an extremely seditious pamphlet'. He wanted a proper inquiry into the matter and said that the author, unless he could give a satisfactory explanation, should be harshly dealt with. Since no other member of the Council agreed with his opinion, his attack did no harm.

Later, Sir Sayyid was invited to attend Lord Canning's Durbar in Farrukhabad, and happened to meet the Foreign Secretary there. He told Sir Sayyid that he was displeased with the pamphlet and added that if he had really had the Government's interests at heart, he would not have made his opinion known in this way throughout the country, but would have communicated it directly to the Government. Sir Sayyid replied that he had only had five hundred copies printed, the majority of which he had sent to England, while one had been given to the Government of India, and the remaining copies were still in his possession. Furthermore, he had the receipt to prove it. He was aware, he added, that the view of the rulers had been distorted by the stress and anxieties of the times, which made it difficult to put even the most straightforward problem in its right perspective. It was for this reason that he had not communicated his thoughts publicly. He promised that for every copy that could be found circulating in India he would personally pay one thousand rupees. At first, the Foreign Secretary was not convinced, and asked Sir Sayyid over and over again if he was sure that no other copy had been distributed in India. Sir Sayyid reassured him on this matter, and the Foreign Secretary never mentioned it again. Later he became one of Sir Sayyid's strongest supporters.

Many official translations were made of the Urdu text of The Causes of the Indian Revolt. The one undertaken by the India Office formed the subject of many discussions and debates. The pamphlet was also translated by the Government of India and several members of *arliament, but no version was offered to the public. A translation which has been started by a Government official was finished by Sir Sayyid's great friend, Colonel G. F. I. Graham, and finally published in 1873."

Source: Hayat-i-Javed (A Biography of Sir Sayyid) by Altaf Husain Hali (1901), translated by David J. Matthews (New Delhi: Rupa and Company, 1994), pp. 92-95


"Having reached Moradabad, he wrote a pamphlet on the causes of the Indian revolt, in which he has cleared the people of Hindustan--and especially the Muslims, on whom fell all the suspicion of the English--from blame for the rebellion. And in this dangerous and delicate time, with extreme courage and freedom he has mentioned all the charges that used to be in people's minds against the Government. And those ideas that generally used to prevail in the minds of the English--he has refuted them, and declared them to be incorrect.

He probably began to write this pamphlet as soon as he reached Moradabad. After finishing it, without waiting to have an English translation of it made, he sent it for printing to the Mufasliyat Gazette Press in Agra, and in 1859 five hundred printed copies reached him. When Sir Sayyid resolved to send them to Parliament and the Government of India, his friends forbade him. And Master Ramchandra's younger brother, Ra'e Shankar Das, who at that time was a munsif in Moradabad and was Sir Sayyid's extremely close friend, said to him, 'Burn all these books, and don't by any means put your life in danger'. Sir Sayyid said, "To make clear all these matters to the Government, I consider to be a benefit to the country and the [religious] community [qaum] and the Government itself; thus if it would be beneficial to the rulers and the people both, then even if some harm would come to me, that's acceptable." When Ra'e Shankar Das saw Sir Sayyid's stubborn determination, and when no effect was achieved by his own persuasion, then tears came to his eyes and he fell silent. Sir Sayyid first performed a supplementary prayer, then asked God's blessing, and at once sent off almost all the 500 copies in a single parcel to England. And he sent one copy to the Government of India, and kept some copies in his own possession."

-- ;hayaat-e jaaved , by Altaf Husain Hali (New Delhi: Taraqqi Urdu Bureau, 1982), pp. 93-94; literal translation by FWP.


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