paika-rebellion

In News: President of India laid the foundation stone of a memorial dedicated to the 1817 Paika Rebellion against the British in Odisha's Khordha district on September 27-28.

Background

  • In April 2017, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Paika Rebellion, the Prime Minister honoured descendants from 16 families that were associated with the uprising. 
  • In July 2017, the Odisha government decided to formally ask the Centre to declare the rebellion as the “first war of independence in Indian history”. 
  • In May 2018, after a review of school textbooks, the NCERT introduced a page on the Paika rebellion in the Class-8 history textbook. 
  • In December 2018, the Central Government released a stamp and a coin to commemorate the rebellion.

Paika rebellion of 1817

  • Paikas had been recruited since the 16th century by kings in Odisha from a variety of social groups to render martial services in return for rent-free land (nish-kar jagirs) and titles
  • After entering Odisha in 1803, the British introduced new revenue settlements, due to which many Odia proprietors ended up losing their lands to absentee Bengali landlords.
  • Changes in the currency and revenue systems meant the Odias had to pay taxes in silver, which was more expensive for them, and resulted in their further marginalisation and oppression.
  • In 1817, some 400 Kondhs, who belonged to the state of Ghumsur, banded together to revolt against the British. 
  • Bakshi (Commander) Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mahapatra Bhramaraber Ray was the military chief of the then Khordha Raja, who roused and led Paikas (peasant militia) and Kandhs (tribals) in a military attack on the British in 1817.
  • During the course of the rebellion, government buildings in Banapur were set on fire, policemen and British officials were killed, and the treasury was looted. 
  • The uprising lasted for a few months but was eventually crushed by the better-equipped and trained forces of the East India Company. 
  • After seven years of evading arrest, in May 1825, he surrendered in Cuttack and was granted a pension till he died in 1829.

Some Pre 1857 Rebellions:

  • Sepoy -Vellore mutiny in 1806, Bengal mutiny in 1764 etc.
  • Tribal - Santhal rebellion, Munda Rebellion, Kol Mutiny etc.
  • Civil - Ramosis uprising, Sawantwadi revolt, Poligar Revolt etc.