What is Pagri Sambhal Jatta Movement?
Context in Current Affairs: The ongoing farmer protests against the recently legislated farm laws is similar to the farmer protests in 1907. The farmers then protested against three British laws namely Punjab land colonization act, Doab Bari act and the Punjab land alienation act.
In 1879, the British government constructed a Canal to draw water from the Chenab river to Lyallpur (now Faisalabad, Pakistan). The canal was called the Upper Bari Doab canal. This was done to setup settlements in an uninhabited area. Also, the Britishers promised allotment of free land with several amenities. This included ex-serviceman from Amritsar, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur as well. Therefore, the peasants from these districts left behind their land and property and settled in the new areas to make the barren land fit for cultivation. The hardworking farmers quickly made the land fertile. The British government enacted three laws that ultimately declared the Britishers the master of the land and denied the ownership rights of the peasants. The laws reduced the farmers to sharecroppers. They could neither build houses nor fell trees on these lands. The laws also said that if the eldest son died before reaching adulthood, then the land will become the property of Government and not reach the younger son. This led to the Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement
Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement
In 1907, Bhagat Singh’s uncle Ajit Singh Sandhu spearheaded a movement against the laws. This was later called the Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement. Pagri Sambhal Jatta was a song composed by Banke Dayal. He was the editor of Jhang Sayal. The song soon became the anthem of the movement.
Ajit Singh wrote An Autobiography called “Buried Alive”.
Bharat Mata society
It was also called Mehboobane Watan. It was an underground organisation formed by Ajit Singh and his Associates. The main objective of the organisation was to re-enact the revolution of 1857.
The Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement began to spread from the peasants to the Army. And thus, the British government withdrew its laws. It also returned the ownership of the land to the peasants.