The President of India Pranab Mukharjee on 20 July 2017 inaugurated the bicentenary celebration of the Paika Rebellion of Odisha organised by the Union Ministry of Culture.
During the inauguration, President Mukherjee said that the “Paika uprising was in the nature of a rebellion by people of Odisha. It was aimed at upholding the rights of the Odia people and sovereignty of Odisha. Paika Rebellion was not only the rebellion of Paikas, it was a National War waged by ordinary people at the grassroots level who resented the dispossession of their Sovereign of his rights and the consequential repressive measures that followed. As we celebrate 200 years of the Paika Rebellion, it is time to remember the great history of our country and pay respect to our great heroes.”
About Paika Rebellion
• The Paika Rebellion was an armed rebellion against the British East India Company's rule in Odisha in 1817.
• The Paikas rose in rebellion under their leader Bakshi Jagabandhu and, projecting Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity.
• The rebellion quickly spread across most of Odisha before being ruthlessly put down by the company's forces.
• The Paikas were the traditional landed militia of Odisha. They served as warriors and were charged with policing functions during peacetime.
• The rebellion had several social, economic and political reasons. The Paikas were alienated by the British regime, who took over the hereditary rent-free lands granted to them after the conquest of Khurda. They were also subjected to extortion and oppression at the hands of the company government and its servants.
• The Paikas were led by Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra Bhramarabar Ray, the former bakshi or commander of the forces of the Raja of Khurda.
• The uprising spread rapidly across Odisha, and there were several encounters between the British and Paik forces, including at Cuttack, where the latter were quickly put down. By May 1817, the British managed to reestablish their authority over the entire province.
• In May 1817, the British posted judges to Khurda to sentence the captured rebels. The rebels were awarded sentences of death, transportation and long-term imprisonment.
Who: Pranab Mukharjee
When: 20 July 2017
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