The Paika Rebellion was fought by the Paikas of Khudra in Odisha. It was led by Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhara. The rebellion was fought against the British in 1820s.
What is the issue around Paika Rebellion now?
The Union Government of India has recently refused to accept Paika rebellion as the first war of independence. In 2017, the Odisha Government demanded that the Odisha rebellion be declared as the first war of independence. Currently, the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 is called the first war of independence.
What is Paika Rebellion?
Paika rebellion took place in 1817, which is 40 years before the first sepoy mutiny. The Paikas were the peasant militias. They offered military services to Gajapti rulers in Odisha. In 1803, the British East India Company dethroned King of Khurda, Raja Mukunda Deva. In 1804, the king planned a rebellion against the Britishers and involved the Paikas in to it. However, the Britishers learnt about the plan and confiscated the entire territory. The Britishers suppressed the Paika farmers through their revenue systems. This triggered the rebellion under Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar in 1817. During the rebellion, the government buildings were set on fire and policemen were killed and British treasury was looted. Bakshi died in 1825 in prison.
What is the Centre’s stand?
The Central Government consulted the Indian Council of Historical Research. The ICHR is not operating under Ministry of Education. According to ICHR, the rebellion cannot be called as the first war of independence. However, considering its significance the GoI has decided to include it in the curriculum of Class VIII history textbook of NCERT.
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