Explained: What was the Pal-Dadhvav massacre, whose centenary the Gujarat govt is observing?

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On March 7, the Gujarat government marked 100 years of the Pal-Dadhvav killings, calling it a massacre “bigger than the Jallianwala Bagh”.

What is Pal – Dadhvav massacre?

Pal – Dadhvav massacre took place on March 7,1922 in Pal-Chitariya and Dadhvaav villages of Sabarkantha district, then part of Idar state (present-day Gujarat).

On this day, villagers from Pal, Dadhvav, and Chitariya had gathered on the banks of River Heir as part of the ‘Eki movement’ led by one Motilal Tejawat.

The movement was to protest against the land revenue tax (lagaan) imposed on the peasants by the British and feudal lords.

However, the British Paramilitary force was on the hunt for Tejawat. They heard of this gathering and reached the spot.

Nearly 2000 Bhil Tribals under the leadership of Tejawat lifted their bows and arrows. But the Britishers opened fire on them. Nearly 1,000 tribals (Bhils) fell to bullets. But Tejwat was taken safely from there, and later he returned to the spot to christen it ‘Veer Bhumi’.

Recognition of Pal-Dadhvav massacre 

The Pal-Dadhvav massacre was brought into focus at the Republic Day parade this year. 

The Republic Day tableau featured a seven-ft statue of Tejawat, inspired by the statue at the memorial. A song describing Tejawat as ‘Koliyari no Vanio Gandhi’ was also sung at the tableau.

Source: This post is based on the article “Explained: What was the Pal-Dadhvav massacre, whose centenary the Gujarat govt is observing?” published in Indian Express on 10th Mar 2022 

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