Paika Revolution

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Paika Revolution

  • The Centre through a written reply in the Rajya Sabha Thursday said the Paika rebellion cannot be called the first War of Independence.
  • Since 2017, Odisha has demanded that the rebellion of Odisha be declared as the first war of Independence.
  • At present, the Indian Mutiny or Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 is called the first war of Independence against British Rule.

About Paika Rebellion(Paika Bidroha):

  • It took place in 1817 nearly 40 years before the first sepoy mutiny.
  • Paikas were mobilised under the leadership of Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar
  • The Paikas were peasant militias of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha who offered military services to the king in return for rent-free land (nish-kar jagirs) and titles
  • The British established themselves in Odisha when the East India company dethroned the King of Khurda, Raja Mukunda Deva in 1803.
  • The king planned a rebellion against the British in 1804 and roped in the Paikas for the same.
  • But the plan was discovered by the British who confiscated his entire territory.

Reasons for Rebellion:

  • The Paikas lost their estates when the new colonial establishments and land revenue settlements of the British came into force.
  • The continuous interference in the economy and revenue systems led to exploitation and oppression of the peasants and farmers eventually triggering a rebellion against the British.
  • Over the next few months, the revolt continued but was eventually overpowered by the British army.

Outcome of the Rebellion:

  • Initially the East India Company struggled to respond; but they managed to put down the rebellion by May 1817.
  • Many of the Paik leaders were hanged or deported.
  • Jagabandhu surrendered in 1825 and died in jail four years later

Demand of Odisha:

  • To declare the Paika rebellion as the first war of Independence
  • According to the state cabinet’s proposal, the rebellion was described as a mass agitation and the first struggle for freedom in the country against the foreign rule in which the people of Odisha had actively participated.

Centre’s response:

  • The Centre had considered the proposal and examined the matter in consultation with the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) under the Ministry of Education.
  • The Union Government has declared that the Paika Rebellion cannot be called the first War of Independence as per the ICHR recommendations
  • However it have considered that the rebellion which started in 1817 continued till 1825 “is one of the beginnings of popular uprisings against the British in India”