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Prior to the rebellion of 1857, the British had attempted to impose western beliefs, customs, and values. Many Governor- Generals had imposed western laws on Indians without regarding traditional customs and values <ref>Bandyopadhyay, p. 321</ref>. There were laws that granted Indian women rights that were similar to those enjoyed by Western women, which were greatly resented by many conservatives. Moreover, many traditions were outlawed such as that which forbade a Hindi widow to remarry. In particular, the introduction of western education was resented. The British after the Mutiny were very wary of enacting policies that could have been considered to be western. Prior to the rebellion the East Indian Company and British officials supported the activities of Western Christian Missionaries, which was very controversial. In the aftermath of the Mutiny the British were reluctant to do anything to offend the religious feelings of the Indians <ref>Washbrook, D. A., "India, 1818–1860: The Two Faces of Colonialism", in Porter, Andrew (ed.), Oxford History of the British Empire: The Nineteenth Century, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press (2002), pp. 395–421 </ref>.
The road to independence==== The Indians never staged a revolt on the scale of the Mutiny again, possibly because of the British army’s brutal repression and the immense loss of life between 1857 and 1859. In the wake of the rebellion, London was clearly deeply worried about its position in India after the defeat of the Sepoy Rebellion. The British were a tiny minority in the sub-continent and the revolt demonstrated to them how weak was their control over the country. Queen Victoria on the advice of her government-issued the proclamation to the "Princes, Chiefs, and People of India’ (1858). This stated that Indians were to have the same rights and parity of esteem with the Empire’s other subjects. In effect, Indians were offered equality with Britain’s other subjects. This helped to win over many Indians and they quietly collaborated with the British. However, the Europeans did not treat the Indians as their equal and the natives were still treated as inferior and subject people. The failure of the British to honor the terms of the proclamation was to anger many Indians’ and this was to play an important role in the growing calls for independence that were becoming louder by the 1890s. The Mutiny is very important in the history of the Indian independence movement. Nationalists were later inspired by it and saw it as a precursor of their own struggle. Many in particular were inspired by the fact that Muslims and Hindus fought the colonists and had a common aim.
The Indian Mutiny was perhaps the greatest challenge to British rule during the Raj, and it shook their confidence in their ability to control the sub-continent. In the aftermath of the conflict that could have cost tens of thousands of lives, there were great changes to the way that the British administered India. The East India Company was dissolved, and direct rule was initiated, and this was by Queen Victoria’s adoption of the title Empress of India. The British overhauled the government of India and willing more willing to collaborate with local elites. They also were very careful to appear not to be imposing western norms and values on Indians. This policy did reconcile many Indians to the foreigner. The Mutiny or the First War of Indian Independent as it is known in India became a symbol that inspired many to seek national determination.