Freedom fighter Birsa Munda’s birthday to be celebrated as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas on November 15


India will celebrate the birthday of Birsa Munda, the tribal freedom fighter, as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas on November 15.

Birsa Munda fought courageously against the British colonial system of exploitation and led a movement against British oppression by calling for ‘ulgulan‘(revolution).

He is revered as Bhagwan by tribal communities across the country.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Nov. 15 Janjatiya Gaurav Divas declaration dedicated to the memory of the brave tribal freedom fighters so that future generations may know their sacrifices for the country.

The government has scheduled week-long celebrations from November 15 to 22 to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of glorious history of tribal peoples, culture and achievements.

India’s struggle for freedom has been reinforced by several movements of tribal communities such as Santhals, Tamars, Kols, Bhils, Khasis and Mizos to name a few. The revolutionary movements and struggles organized by the tribal communities were marked by their immense courage and their supreme sacrifice.

Tribal movements in different parts of the country against British colonial rule linked with the struggle for national freedom and inspired Indians across the country. However, the general public is not very aware of these tribal heroes.

As per the Prime Minister’s speech on Independence Day 2016, the government sanctioned 10 museums of tribal freedom fighters across the country.

The declaration recognizes the glorious history and cultural heritage of tribal communities. The day will be celebrated annually and would recognize tribal efforts in preserving cultural heritage and promoting Indian values ​​of bravery, hospitality and national pride.

The Tribal Freedom Fighter Museum in Ranchi, where Birsa Munda breathed his last breath, will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister.

As part of the celebration, several activities have been planned jointly with the state governments and the theme of each activity is to showcase the achievements of the tribes in the struggle for Indian freedom, various welfare measures taken by the government of India in education, health, livelihoods, infrastructure and skills development.

The events will also showcase unique tribal cultural heritage, their contributions to the struggle for freedom, practices, rights, traditions, cuisine, health, education and livelihoods.


Thelma J. Longworth

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