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The Skull of Alum Bheg: Wagner unfolds chapter of 1857 uprising in Sialkot

The skull of Alum Bheg should perhaps stay in England to remind 'civilised' Englishmen how their forefathers dealt with recalcitrant colonial subjects

The Skull of Alum Bheg

Rudrangshu Mukherjee
Skulls can speak. Hamlet tells Horatio in the famous Gravedigger Scene (Act V, Scene 1), “That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once… .’’ Kim Wagner, in this remarkable book, cannot make the skull of Alum Bheg sing but through the only remains of the poor man, he unfolds a chapter of the great 1857 uprising in Sialkot.

The words “poor man’’ in the previous paragraph are used advisedly since Alum Bheg, because he was a rebel, was blown from the mouth of a cannon in 1857. This was a standard mode of punishing rebels that the

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First Published: Apr 27 2018 | 11:11 PM IST

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