Heena

Heena is a Research Assistant working with Michaela Dimmers and a PhD student. Her PhD research examines the anti-colonial resistance of 1857 from the perspective of the rebels. She is examining the efforts of the rebels to establish an administration at Delhi during the period of revolt, specifically from May to September 1857. She is attempting to understand the aspirations of the rebel leaders, their vision for India after the British, their strategies of mobilization and the classes sought to be mobilized and the type of polity or the polities they have envisioned after their victory, which by now have remained merely at the secondary level of narration.

To analyze the administration of Delhi, she is looking at three types of sources: mutiny papers, official English documents, and the indigenous accounts.  The Mutiny Papers include actual documentations for the daily happenings of the city, the efforts of the King, princes and his officials to restore the confidence of the people and to establish a semblance of authority in the city and its environs after the collapse of British rule. The data from these papers is to be supplemented by the English sources, especially Russell's My Diary in India, which he maintained meticulously for the period, and other memoirs of the English officials. Exactly for this period, we are fortunate to have large number of the issues of Dehli Urdu Akhbar, edited by Maulavi Mohammad Baqar, which provides us the perspective of informed citizenry, about the course of rebellion, and the efforts of the Rebel Government. Thus, drawing on these three types of the source material will help arrive at a conclusion closer to the reality and will help us to reconstruct the Civil and Military Administration of the city of Delhi from 11 May to 14 September 1857.

Heena completed her M.phil at the University of Delhi. Her dissertation was entitled Indigenous Discourse of the Uprising of 1857: A Study of Two Urdu Weekly Newspapers from Delhi and Lucknow (Dehli Urdu Akhbar and Tilism-e Lucknow).