The British had kept themselves aloof from the Indian people. Their behaviour was arrogant and they treated the Indians as inferiors. The needs, wishes, and desires of Indians were unknown and unvalued. In 1835, Persian language was replaced by English as official and court language. English education was started in schools. Social status of Muslim was greatly affected and gradually lost, and suffered economically. High posts were reserved for British. Then the Hindus were selected for lower administrative jobs because of their education. Lowest and most inferior jobs were given to Muslims.
2. POLITICAL CAUSES:
The British annexed the territories through forceful annexations and through wars. In 1843, Sindh was annexed and Punjab was annexed by the British in 1849. But the forceful annexation of Oudh in 1856 created much unrest among the people. Oudh army was disbanded and taxes was imposed which enranged the public.
Doctrine of the Lapse was enforced in 1853. Under this rule a number of Hindu states whose rules died without a male heir, were taken over by the British. Pensions and title of the state rules were discontinued. It created great unrest among the public.
3. RELIGIOUS CAUSES:
Missionary activities were going on openly with the government support. Facilities were offered to attract people towards Christianity and forceful conversations also took place.
The immediate cause was the case of greased cartridges which were issued for newly introduced rifles. The cover of the cartridge was to be removed with the teeth before loading into rifle. The cartridge cover was created with animal fat. Hindus and Muslim soldiers both refused to use these because they feared that the animal fat was either the fat of cow or pig. The British officers punished and jailed the soldiers. The result was a contingent of military garrison at Meerut revolted. They killed their British officers and matched towards Delhi. Thus the War of Independence 1857 started.