World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Bakht Khan

Bakht Khan (1797–13 May 1859) was commander-in-chief of Indian rebel forces in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the East India Company.

Background

Bakht Khan was a Pashtun related to the family of Rohilla chief Najib-ul-Daula, from a branch of the Yusufzai tribe. He was born in Bijnor in Rohilkhand and later became a subedar in the army of the East India Company, gaining forty years of experience in the Bengal horse artillery and seeing action in the First Anglo-Afghan War.He also was a part of rebellion of 1857.

The rebellion

By the time Khan arrived at Delhi on July 1, 1857, the city had already been taken by rebel forces and the Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar had been proclaimed Emperor of India. The emperor's eldest son, Mirza Mughal, also called Mirza Zahiruddin, had been given the title of chief general, but this prince had no military experience. This was the time when Bakht Khan along with his forces arrived in Delhi on Wednesday 1 July 1857. With his arrival the leadership position did improve. Bakht Khan's superior abilities quickly became evident, and the emperor gave him actual authority and the title of Saheb-I-Alam Bhadur, or Lord Governor General. Khan was virtual commander of the sepoy forces, although Mirza Zahiruudin was still the commander in chief.

Bakht Khan faced many problems which needed his immediate attention. The first and foremost problem was financial, to solve which he obtained from the Emperor authority to collect taxes. The second problem was the logistical one of supplies, which became more and more acute with the passage of time and even more so when British forces assaulted the city in September. The British had many spies and agents in the city and were constantly pressurizing Bahadur Shah to surrender. The situation around Delhi proceeded to deteriorate rapidly; Bakht Khan's leadership could not compensate for the rebels' lack of organization, supplies and strength on the part of their monarch. Delhi was besieged on June 8. On September 14 the British assaulted the Kashmiri Gate and Badur Shah fled to Humayun's Tomb before surrendering to the British, against Bakht Khan's pleas, on September 20, 1857.

Bakht Khan himself fled Delhi and joined rebel forces in Lucknow and Shahjahanpur. In 13 May 1859 he was mortally wounded and died. He was buried in the Graveyard of Nanser, now in Nanser Distt Buner (KPK) Village, Pakistan.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.