Odisha Government on 19 July 2016 decided to celebrate the bicentenary (200 years) of the 1817 Paika revolt against the British Empire in 2016. For the purpose, the state will organise a series of events in Odisha and at national level.
The decision was taken at a high level meeting held under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Ashok Chandra Panda.
Decisions made at the meeting includes
• An Amar Jyoti Pillar will be installed at Barunei hills, the site from where the rebellion began.
• The Paika revolt will be documented by bringing historical facts to the fore.
• Khurda fort will be conserved and protected and a road leading to it will be developed by the state government.
• Odia girls will be educated about the tricks of Paika akhada (a form of self defence) and the best performing girls will be honoured with Rani Sukha Dei award (Queen Sukadei fought with the British forces).
About Paika revolt
• The Paika revolt is termed as the first war of India’s Independence by many historians.
• Paikas (a martial race) had first raised the banner of revolt against the British Raj on 29 March 1817 at Barunei near Khurda. They rose due to several social, economic and political reasons.
• The Paiks rose in rebellion under their leader Bakshi Jagabandhu and, projecting Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Oriya unity.
• Subsequently, the revolt spread to Ghumsar in Ganjam and Kujang, Kendrapara and Kanika in the undivided Cuttack district.
• Historians from Odisha claim the Paika revolt should be acknowledged as the first war of Independence, and not the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
Besides, the state government also decided to organise Kalinga Baliyatra in 2016. The Yatra will be organsied to commemorate the sea voyage to Bali Island in Indonesia, which was held in 1992 when Biju Patnaik was chief minister.
The event will be organised by the state tourism department in collaboration with the Indian Navy as part of the centenary celebrations of the legendary leader.
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When: 19 July 2016