Bigger India

John Nicholson: The Sadistic British Officer Who Was Worshipped as a Living God in India

Nicholson is forgotten today but at the time he was one of a celebrated band of British officers in India, like Herbert Edwardes, James Abbott, Reynell Taylor and the Lawrence brothers (Henry and John), whose adventures made them national heroes.

It does not fall to many of us to be worshipped as a living god, but that was the fate of John Nicholson, a 19th century British army officer in the service of the East India Company. Nicholson – the subject of a new book covering his life and times – served for much of his career on the disputed and perilous northwest frontier of India and it was there that his fearsome reputation led to the creation of a religious cult dedicated to the veneration of the great god “Nikal Seyn”.

Read it at The Conversation

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