Explained: Four tribal revolts President Murmu invoked in her inaugural speech

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: Four tribal revolts President Murmu invoked in her inaugural speech” published in Indian Express on 25th July 2022.

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President Droupadi Murmu scripted history by becoming the country’s first tribal and only the second woman to occupy the country’s highest constitutional office.

Addressing the nation after being sworn in, she invoked four tribal revolutions that she said had strengthened tribal contribution to the freedom struggle.

What are the four tribal revolts invoked by the President?
Santhal Revolution

The Santhal rebellion was a rebellion against both the British East India Company (BEIC) and the zamindari system by the Santhal

The rebellion took place in 1855 in Bhognadih village in present-day Jharkhand.

Reason for the revolt: The seeds of the revolt were sown in 1832 when the East India Company created Damin-i-koh region in the forested belt of Rajmahal hills, and invited the Santhals to settle there. Over the years, Santhals found themselves at the receiving end of exploitative practices aided by the British.

Leaders of the revolt: The Murmu brothers – Sidho, Kanhu, Chand and Bhairab – were among those who led the revolt. 

Result of the revolt: After the rebellion broke out in 1855, both sides continued clashing till the uprising was crushed in 1856. The British defeated the Santhals using modern firearms and war elephants in decisive action in which both Sidho and Kanho died.

Paika Rebellion

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Kol revolt

Kol rebellion was a revolt of the adivasi Kol people of Chhota Nagpur against the British in 1831. 

Reason: The reason for the revolt was the gradual takeover of tribal land and property by non-tribal settlers who were aided by new land laws. The simmering discontent over the economic exploitation of the original inhabitants led to an uprising.

Leaders of the revolt: The revolt was led by Buddhu Bhagat, Joa Bhagat and Madara Mahato among others. The Kols were joined by other tribes like the Hos, Mundas and Oraons.

Result: The tribals fought with traditional weapons taking the battle to colonial forces who finally overpowered them with modern weaponry. 

Bhil Uprising

The Bhil uprising of 1818 was one of the first British resistance movements taken up by any group or tribe in the country.

Reason: The uprising started after the British intruded into the Bhil territory in Maharashtra’s Khandesh region.

Leaders: The revolt was led by their leader, Sewaram and was brutally crushed using the British military might.

This uprising again erupted in 1825 as the Bhils sought to take advantage of reverses being suffered by the British in the First Anglo-Burmese war.

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