Birsa Munda, tribal freedom fighter, who opposed British colonialism
Birsa Munda, a tribal chief, was born on November 15, 1875. He fought a war against the British Raj at the end nineteenth century. He belonged to the Munda tribe and spearheaded the protest against the British with his most famous tribal movement — the Munda Rebellion or Ulgulan, meaning “Great Uproar”.
The young freedom fighter started the ‘Birsait’ faith as a challenge to the conversion activities of the British Raj and their oppression of tribal communities. The state of Jharkhand was established on his birthday in 2000 in recognition of his contribution to the national freedom movement.
Munda was captured by British forces in 1900. He died when he was just 25 and was put behind bars in Ranchi. The young rebellion mobilized the tribal community against colonial rule. His struggle was instrumental in the introduction of laws concerning the land rights of tribal communities such as the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act in 1908.
Five facts about Jharkhand
- Jharkhand is the 28th state in the country. Jharkhand constitutes the plateau of Santhal Parganaand and Chhotanagpur
- Shortly after the country’s independence in 1947, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha demanded a separate state, the turmoil continued until the state was formed in 2000.
- The state is rich in mineral resources such as iron ore, copper ore, coal, uranium, mica, silver, granite, bauxite, limestone, and dolomite.
- The name Jharkhand derives from the words “jhar” meaning forest, and “khand”, meaning land. Thus, the word Jharkhand means the land of forest or bush.
- The state is the 15th largest state in the country with an area of approximately 79,716 km2. Jharkhand is famous for its scenic hills, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries.
Also read: Gujarat: FIR against 9 for converting tribal Hindus to Islam