What was Wahabi Movement?

This movement, centred around Patna was an Islamic revivalist movement, whose stress was to condemn any change into the original Islam and return to its true spirit. The movement was led by Syed Ahmed Barelvi. The movement was active since 1830s but in the wake of 1857 revolt, it turned into armed resistance, a Jihad against the British. Subsequently, the British termed Wahabis as traitors and rebels and carried out extensive military operations against the Wahabis. The movement was fully suppressed after 1870. British also introduced the term “sedition” in the Indian Penal Code 1870 to outlaw speech that attempted to “excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India”. Thus, this movement marks the beginning of sedition law in India.

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