The 1857 Indian Uprising in Irish Ballads: Voices of the Subaltern
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This chapter examines the representations of the Indian Uprising of 1857 in Irish nineteenth-century broadside ballads, dealing both with a largely neglected genre and with little explored cultural perspectives in postcolonial assessments of this crucial event of imperial history. The ballads provide us with unique access to the opinions of the less well-educated, whose voices are perceived only as faint echoes in texts produced by the middle classes. Assessments of the "mutiny" were diverse, ranging from solidarity with the sepoys and their cause, to condemnation of the rebels and, by extension, all Indians. Significantly, the events in India were generally linked with national politics. This demonstrates the way in which India served as a canvas onto which contemporary Irish political issues were projected.