The Chapati Movement

- April 24, 2020


In March 1857, thousands of unmarked chapatis were distributed to houses throughout India by police chowkidars at night. People who accepted the offering, prepared more chapatis and continued the chain. Around 90,000 policemen participated, making the chapatis travel up to 300 kilometres every night, which was faster than the fastest British mail. 

Nobody knew where or how the movement originated, but the Indian flatbread had many a British general worried.

When brought to their notice, the British overlords were terrified. They immediately started an investigation. Several speculations were made. However, even today, nobody really knows what the reason behind the ‘Chapati Movement’ was, even those who participated in it were unaware of its origin and objective.  

Years later, J W Sherar in the book ‘Life During the Indian Mutiny’ admitted that if the objective behind the movement was to create an atmosphere of mysterious restlessness, the movement had been highly successful.