The Paik Rebellion to be named ‘First War of Independence’ in history books

Oct 30, 2017 15:41 IST
The Paik Rebellion to be named ‘First War of Independence’ in history books

The Paik Rebellion of 1817, also called the Paika Bidroha, will be known as the ‘First War of Independence’ in the history books of students from the next academic session onwards.

The information was shared by the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar on 22 October 2017 while attending a function marking the bicentenary of Paika Rebellion in Bhubaneswar.

"Paika Bidroha will find a place as the First War of Independence against the British Rule in the history books. The students should learn the factual history of 1817," Javadekar said. He also added that the Union government has allocated Rs 200 Cr to mark the occasion across the country.

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Background

The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 led by leaders including Rani of Jhansi, Tatya Tope has been until now regarded as the first war of Indian Independence.

The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, had earlier in a letter to the Centre, urged that it should recognise Paika Bidroha as the First War of Independence against the British rule as it took place four decades before the revolt of 1857.

Paika Rebellion

• The Paik Rebellion, also called the Paika Bidroha, was an armed rebellion against the British East India Company's rule that took place in Odisha in 1817.

• The Paikas were the traditional landed militia of Odisha. They served as warriors and were charged with policing functions during peacetime.

• The conquest of Odisha by the East India Company in 1803 and the dethronement of the Raja of Khurda led to fall in the power and prestige of the Paikas.

• The Paik rebellion had several social, economic and political reasons.The Paiks 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 Paik rebellion was led by Bakshi Jagabandhu, former commander of forces of the Raja of Khurda and the last King of Khurda, Raja Mukunda Deva.

• The rebellion enjoyed widespread support in Oriya society with feudal chiefs, zamindars and the common people of Odisha participating in it.

• It quickly spread across most of Odisha before being ruthlessly crushed by the East India Company.

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