BIRSA MUNDA (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – History)

News-CRUX-10     12th June 2024        
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Context: The Jharkhand Governor and Chief Minister recently paid tribute to tribal icon Birsa Munda on his death anniversary.

Birsa Munda

  • About: He was an influential Indian tribal independence activist and a revered figure among the Munda tribe.
  • Born: on 15 November 1875
  • Leadership: Birsa Munda played a pivotal role as the leader of a tribal religious millenarian movement that emerged in the late 19th century within the Bengal Presidency, which is now part of Jharkhand.
  • Significance: Operating during the British Raj, Birsa Munda's efforts made him a notable figure in the history of the Indian independence movement, contributing significantly to the struggle against colonial rule.
  • Geographical Focus of the Revolt: The rebellion primarily unfolded in the Munda belt, specifically in Khunti, Tamar, Sarwada, and Bandgaon, showcasing the concentrated resistance against British rule in these regions.

oBirsa motivated tribal communities by raising awareness about their cultural heritage and rights. He led organized uprisings that targeted bazaars, government officials' residences, and prominent traders' homes.

  • Title: His leadership during the rebellion earned him the title "Bhagwan" or "Birsa Bhagwan" among his followers, symbolizing his revered status.
  • Legislative Impact: His struggle led to the passing of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act in 1908, safeguarding tribal land rights from non-tribal exploitation.

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