It is essential for students to learn the factual history of 1817, said Javadekar.
The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javadekar has declared that Paika Rebellion (Paika Bidroha) of 1817 will be termed as First War of Independence against the Colonized or British rule in history books from the next academic session.
Before this, 1857 Sepoy Mutiny was acclaimed as the First War of Indian Independence, but Paika Bidroha existed before it.
Javadekar made the first announcement on Sunday at the event by marking the bicentenary of Paika Rebellion and further added that the Centre has granted Rs. 200 crore for commemorating the idea across the country.
“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,” he said at a press conference.
What is Paika Bidroha (Rebellion)?
The Paika Rebellion was an armed revolt against the British rule over East India Company in Odisha in 1817. The Paikas were the traditional army of Odisha. They used to serve as warriors and performed policing functions as well as owned rent-free lands given by the Kingdom of Khurda for the military service. They were objected for the land revenue policies and humiliated by the Britishers.
Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar, the military chief of King of Khudra led the army of Paikas against the forces of British East Indian Company in 1817. During the revolt, Paikas attacked British power, setting ablaze police stations, administrative offices, and treasury during their march towards Khudra.
Initially, the Britishers were taken aback and tried to regain their lost ground. Many battles and revolutions happened where Paikas has managed to earn some victories but Britishers finally defeated them within three months.
Some Paik rebels fought a guerilla war till 1819 but were captured and killed. Baxi Jagabandhu was finally arrested in 1825 and died in captivity in 1829. Presently, Paika Bidroha enjoys their cult status in Odisha but did not get enough attention at the national level.
Javadekar’s New Policy
Earlier, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had urged that ‘Paika Bidroha‘ should be recognized as the First War of Independence against the British rule as it took place four decades before the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, which has so far been regarded as the first war of Indian Independence.
Now, Paika Rebellion will be considered as the First War of Independence against the British Raj and from the next academic session, it will be included in the history books.
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