Tuesday, July 16, 2024

President Droupadi Murmu, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, others pay tributes to martyrs of Santhal rebellion – N.F Times

Bhubaneswar: President Droupadi Murmu, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee paid homage to the martyrs of the Santhal rebellion on Hul Diwas. The 1855 uprising led by Sidho and Kanho Murmu against British rule is commemorated for its historic fight against injustice.

In a message posted on her official X handle, President Droupadi Murmu said the ideals of those revolutionaries will always remain a source of inspiration for all of us countrymen.

“I pay my respectful tribute to all the immortal fighters of the Santhal rebellion on ‘Hul Diwas’. The immortal stories of sacrifices of heroes like Sidho-Kanho, Chand-Bhairav and Phoolo-Jhano who fought a historic war against injustice are written in golden letters”, the President said.

Union Home Minister said that the saga of valour of the Hul revolutionaries will continue to inspire future generations to serve motherland since due to the valour and sacrifice of these revolutionaries, Santhal Pargana became an inspiration for the struggle for water, forest and land.

“On the occasion of Hul Day, I pay my homage to the immortal sacrifice of all the tribal heroes. To protect the motherland, self-culture and tribal identity, heroes like Sidho-Kanho, Chand-Bhairav and heroines like Phoolo-Jhano sacrificed everything while fighting against the British,” the message read.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reminded how her government has honoured the two heroes of the Santhal Rebellion by incorporating their names in one of the state universities.

She was referring to the Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University (SKBU), a public state university located in Purulia district of West Bengal.

“Heartfelt respect to all my tribal brothers and sisters on the occasion of Hul Diwas. The struggle of Santals under the leadership of Sidho-Kanho against the tyranny and exploitation of the ruler inspires us to raise our heads to protest injustice,” her message read.

June 30 marks the 169th anniversary of the Santhal Hul, one of the earliest peasant uprisings against the British.

Santhal Hul of 1855 was a revolt against imperialism led by four brothers, Sidho, Kanho, Chand, and Bhairav Murmu, along with sisters Phulo and Jhano. June 30 is the 169th anniversary of the beginning of the revolt, one of the first peasant uprisings against British colonial oppression.

The Santhals also fought against the upper castes, zamindars, darogas, and moneylenders, described by the umbrella term ‘diku’, in an attempt to safeguard the economic, cultural, and religious aspects of their lives.

In 1832, certain areas were delimited as ‘Santhal Pargana’ or ‘Damin-i-Koh’, which comprises present-day Sahibganj, Godda, Dumka, Deoghar, Pakur, and regions of Jamtara, in present-day Jharkhand. The area was allocated to the Santhals displaced from Birbhum, Murshidabad, Bhagalpur, Barabhum, Manbhum, Palamau, and Chhotanagpur, all areas the Bengal Presidency.

While the Santhals were promised settlement and agriculture in Damin-i-Koh, what followed was the repressive practice of land-grabbing and begari (bonded labour) of two types: kamioti and harwahi.

The Murmu brothers, who saw themselves as acting on the Santhal God Thakur Bonga’s divination, led around 60,000 Santhals against the East India Company and engaged in guerrilla warfare that continued for almost six months before being finally crushed on January 3, 1856. More than 15,000 Santhals were killed, and 10,000 villages were laid to waste.

The British hanged Sidhu to death on August 9, 1855, followed by Kanhu in February 1856. The insurrection ended, but the impact it left was everlasting.

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