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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Santhal Rebellion (1855- 56): Jharkhand History- JPSC


Main Slogan: "Do or die, British leave our soil"

  • The Santhal persecuted (victimized) by the Zamindar of Birbhum, Dhalbhum, Singhbhum, and Bankura started settling in in the Santhal-Pargana region, known as DAMIN-E-KOH, from 1790 AD

  • This rebellion by the Santhal became one of the most talked-about in the history of Jharkhand, as it had imposed a large number of casualties (fatality) on the company and its loyal landlords, servants, and officials. Thus, peasant oppression was a leading cause of the rebellion.

  • The Santhal tribes also dependent on agriculture and forest, but the zamindari system started ejecting them from their land.

  •  The British-backed zamindars were completely exploiting the zamindars and at the same time, the company had increased agricultural taxes so much that the Santhals were unable to pay it.

  • Apart from this, the movement of outsiders had forced and restricted these Santhals to their own land. The Santhals were caught in the exploitation cycle of moneylenders and landlords of livelihood. 

  • These people used to give loans at a high-interest rate and then used to do mental and physical exploitation in the name of recovery. This led to the practice of bonded labor in intuitions. The bonded-labor was also called 'Kamiya' or 'Kamyoti'

  • These people were competing for suicide as the exit route from this harassment trap as there was no option available to the Santhals.

  • In such a difficult situation, ordinary people wished only for the incarnation of God. Even God did not ignore the call of such people and two young men named Sidhu-Kanhu came to protest against such gross harassment of the Santhals. Both of them dared to revolt for the Santhals' day night and encouraged them to unite.

  •  In 1855, thousands of Santhals held a meeting under the leadership of Sidhu, Kanhu, Chand, and Bhairava, the four sons of Chunnu Manjhi of Bhognadih (Sahibganj), in which they took an oath to fight a fierce battle against their oppressors.

  • Sidhu and Kanhu added new energy and enthusiasm to the oppressed people. They unitedly warmed the dikus to live their lands. The British and their loyal employees, officers, and landlords were the 'dikus'

  • Declarations were made of disobedience to the government, to establish their own government in the DAMIN-E-KOH region and not to pay rent.

  • Meanwhile, ferocious Daroga Maheshlal Dutt of the Dighi thana was killed and most of his armed musketeers were hacked to death by  Sidhu & Kanhu Panchketia. Soon, they assassinated the daroga of Kurhurrea thana.

  • Two days after the warning, the Santhals selectively started killing their exploiters. The rebels plundered the mahajanas of the prosperous Barhet Bazar. The mansion of the zamindars of Amber was burnt. The rebels attempted to capture the Maheshpur Rajmahal. Officers and zamindars were their main targets, the houses and shops of those who were outsiders were demolished. Kanhu cut down with his own sword a naib sazawal or collector of revenue named Khan Sahib.

  • It was an open-armed rebellion, which spread from Kahalgaon to Rajmahal. This rebellion also spread to Birbhum, Bankura, and Hazaribagh in 1856.

  • Seeing this, the company became worried and attempts were made to hold peace talks with the Santhals through negotiations. But the anger of Santhals had crossed the limits of patience and they were not ready to hear anything. 

  • The Santhals had taken an oath to exterminate or eliminate the British and their supporters from their lands. The British officers were being killed. Whenever an Englishman appeared, he would be piled there. The Santhals had become revengeful. Incidentally, they also killed British women and children.

  • The uproar of Santhal stirred the English administration. The company ordered the army to suppress the rebellion by giving it a free hand. The British also showed great cruelty towards the Santhal and their villages. The English army began to unite day and night against the leaders of the Santhal and it was successful in this. 

  • Most of the Rebel leaders were either killed or imprisoned. Chand and Bhairav were killed by bullets. Sidhu and Kanhu were caught, they were hanged in Barhet (Sahibganj)

  • This rebellion nevertheless had some success, as the Santhals either killed or drove away most of the British and their supporters from their region.  Those remaining were living under the shadow of terror for a long time.

  • The father of this rebellion Sidhu and Kanhu became revered by the people of Jharkhand and are still remembered as the Jan-Nayak of Jharkhand. The stories of Sidhu and Kanhu are still an inspiration for the people of Jharkhand for honor and power. 

  • The Santhal rebellion in the Santhal Pargana region was suppressed till January 1856 AD, but the government accepted the bravery of the Santhal. The government hard to accept the conditions laid in administrative changes. 

  • As a result of this Santhal rebellion on 30 November 1856 AD, the Santhal Pargana district was duly established and Ashley Eden was made the first Collector

  • Every year in the state in memory of this rebellion 'Hul'= Santhal 'Viplava Day' is celebrated on 30 June.



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