In News: Recently a book called ‘Fear of Lions’ was released which is based on the satnami revolt.
About the revolt:
- The Satnami rebellion was a rare anti-caste movement in South Asian history that took place in 1672.
- The revolt triggered when a Mughal soldier killed a Satnami and later on was killed by satnamis.
- The killing of the youth may have been the immediate trigger, the reasons for the revolt were to do with the growth of the Satnami sect.
- The entrenched caste structure of the era forced marginalised groups to join the fold and they protested against the high taxation policies.
- Their rise was seen as a threat by the supporters of the Mughal administration, the upper castes.
- Mughals sent their army however Satnamis maintained a strong position and attacked Narnaul, the main township in the area and destroyed the Mughal garrison.
- They even set up their own administration.
- Next, they marched towards Shahjahanabad (old Delhi), armed with the latest European-designed muskets that their leader had taught them to make.
- However when Aurangzeb himself took personal command and sent 10,000 troops with artillery to crush the Satnamis, the revolt got over.
- Originally, they were a militant sect of Hindu Worshippers.
- They were founded by Saint Birbhan at Narnaul, Haryana in 1657.
- The major religious activity of this sect is to chant and meditate the true names (Sat-Nam) of God, specially Rama and Krishna.
- Pothi is the religious granth of Satnamis.
- This sect is thought to be an offshoot of Ravidasi sect and comprises lower strata of the Hindu society, particularly, leather workers, sweepers, carpenters, Goldsmiths etc.
- The followers of this sect abstained from liquor and meat and used to have shaved heads , thus called Mundiyas.