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Controversy over £5 note revives 1857 Sepoy Mutiny memories

  • Published at 10:52 pm November 29th, 2016
Controversy over £5 note revives 1857 Sepoy Mutiny memories
The £5 note, which sports the British face of stubborn determination in the face of overwhelming opposition – Winston Churchill – admittedly contains traces of animal fat, beef tallow to be precise. The new £5 note is made of polymer, the first of its kind in England. Their polymer structure is supposed to be cleaner, more secure and durable than conventional paper notes. The use of animal fat to offend groups is nothing new to the British government, as the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny shows. According to many historians, the British introduced a new weapon – the Enfield rifle – whose cartridges had to be bitten off before loading. The cartridges were greased with cow and pig fat, which ignited the simmering anger within Muslim and Indian members of the army. The bumbling move by the Bank of England has successfully managed to infuriate not only Hindus, Jains, and Shikhs this time around, but they have also earned the ire of vegetarians and vegans. The backlash from vegetarians and vegans has grown to be increasingly vocal on social media. The outrage has also given many feminists the opportunity to reprise their grievance against the Bank of England featuring Churchill on the note instead of Elizabeth Fry, a social reformer. Protesters have launched a petition on Change.org demanding the tallow be removed from the £5 notes. It has garnered nearly 20,000 supporters as of this report being written. As of yet, Bank of England has not responded to anything other than queries to confirm whether the note actually contained animal fat. The note’s sturdy build makes it unlikely to be scrapped in face of opposition.