Jharkhand celebrates anniversary of Birsa Munda and 17th State Formation Day
On November 15th, Jharkhand celebrated the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Birsa Munda and 17th state formation day. Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar on November 15, 2000 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee led NDA government.
About Birsa Munda
The name of Birsa Munda (1875-1900) is cherished in India as one of the great freedom fighters. He is often referred by Jharkhand’s tribal residents as “Birsa Bhagwan”. He led what came to be known as “Ulugan” (revolt) or the Munda rebellion in areas of modern Bihar and Jharkhand. He raised his voice against the transformation of the tribal agrarian system into the feudal state around the Chhotanagpur area. The Mundas were the frustrated tribal people who resorted to rebel several times in 1789, 1807, 1812, 1819 and 1832 in Bihar & modern Jharkhand. These revolts were because of the undue interference by the administration and the attitude of the landlords.
In 1900, at the age of 25, Birsa Munda was captured by British and put into prison. He died most probably because of the torture in prison. During his short life, he managed to mobilise and led tribals to a revolt which shook the British Empire. Today, Birsa Munda is a venerated figure in Bihar and Jharkhand. His name decorates the airport of Ranchi and Birsa Institute of Technology, Ranchi. The followers of Birsa Munda are called Birsait.
Mahasweta Devi’s 1979 Sahitya Akademi Award-winning book, “Aranyer Adhikar” which means “Right to the Forest” was a novel based upon the Munda Rebellion.