EARLY ERA OF REVOLUTIONARIES IN CHHATTISGARH
Actor, Film Producer & Director
Author: Johar Gandhi
Reference study: Tribal freedom fighters: Their role and contribution in India’s struggles for independence.
Keywords: Tribal Revolutionaries, Indian independence movement, Freedom Struggle, Johar Gandhi, Indian, Chhattisgarh
Citation: Hashmi, Amir (2021). Johar Gandhi (The Journey of Mahatma Gandhi in Chhattisgarh). New Delhi, India: Meer Publication. ISBN 979-8778794061
Chhattisgarh, formerly part of the Central Provinces & Berar is one of the regions that play a major part in the history of the independence struggles of India. The demesne has a chronicle of revolutions and agrarian struggles routed by the tribal movements that led to advancements in indicators relating to the independence movement of India, there isn’t important to show when it comes to nonstop and strong struggles against foreign occupation. Still, history books haven’t given due credit to some gallant struggles against the pioneers, which were sustained over long ages, at great mortal cost. The credit for this goes to the ethnical communities of the hills of what’s the moment the state of Chhattisgarh. This study is an attempt at landing this lost or forgotten history that hasn’t been honored or recorded with due significance. Tribal struggles have passed during different time ages, against different raiders, with differing objects. Although there’s some record available about three distinctive cases, further exploration is challenged to meat out the exact period, places, and participants in these throes and the results that were fulfilled. Chhattisgarh has different tribal communities. These are stories of resistance, continued agitations, and community insurgences.
The untold stories of the freedom struggles in Chhattisgarh recorded on the pages of history have never been discussed in any meaningful way. However, Chhattisgarh gave strength and unconditional support to the successful Indian freedom movement. This study will critical analysis the Johar Gandhi, the reminiscence book of record of the freedom fighters of the diverse land of erstwhile Central Province of British India.
The stories of freedom fighters of Chhattisgarh, and how they have walked the path of freedom struggle by sacrificing their own homes, giving up precious lands and property with the belief that the country will one day be free. Many areas of Chhattisgarh have now been merged with other states of India, and many families who could be the witness of freedom fighters migrated to Pakistan after the partition in 1947. There is no information about many of the agitators who were involved in the Indian freedom movement from Chhattisgarh.
This study conducts research and tries to find the relatives of freedom fighters, historians, and the available documents and literature. Their last descendants have ended in many families, some have left the state, and unfortunately, some have their descendants today but the heroic saga of their ancestors is not known as a result of the race of life, poverty, illiteracy, and efforts to erase history.
Review of Literature: There is several liberal arts work on “Early era of revolutionaries in Chhattisgarh” some of the important books and articles are as under:
For the contents of the study, I am grateful to the following organizations, individuals, publishers of books, and periodicals, and I am also grateful to those whose names I have not written but who have contributed directly or indirectly to the study.
Sabarmati Ashram Patron and Memorial Trust and Museum, Navjiban Trust and Gujarat Vidyapeeth Library, Gandhi Memorial Fund and Museum, National Archives, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, National Gandhi Museum, The Indian Council of World Affairs Library, Research and Reference Department of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for the research and reference facilities, Govt. of India, and Govt. of Chhattisgarh.
After ending the Halba rebellion of 1774, the Maratha ruler Diwans and the British completely engulf the flags of their authority on the land of Bastar, and they started celebrating this victory by atrocities on the tribals of Chhattisgarh. Unlimited harvesting of forest woods, taking work from the people here, excessive unnecessary taxes were collected on them. The interference of these tribes in their home, and the forest was not liked at all, but in 1779, the organization of Halba was completely broken after seeing the conspiracy of Ajmer Singh, the king of Dongar. The effect of the death of the king was that for many years no one thought it appropriate to blow the trumpet of rebellion in Dongar or the surrounding area.
Seeing the ease of movement in the 1820s, the newly appointed Captain Pebe chose Paralkot as his stronghold, at that time he was Raja Mahipal Dev, who belonged to Ajmer Singh’s lineage but was a supporter of the British. The Abhujmadi tribe was mainly in Paralkot, they could not tolerate the atrocities on them, eventually in 1824, Gaind Singh, leading all the Abhujmadis, called for the British free Bastar, which was known as the Rebellion of Paralkot, whose original purpose was to be free Bastar To from outsiders.
There were 165 villages within the Paralkot Zamindari, the Paralkot was the headquarters of the Zamindari. Paralkot, situated on the banks of river Kotri, is a forest-dwelling village near the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, where three rivers meet. With the help of mountains and dense forests, the British were eluded for a year, which the British could not understand. The tribal forest became a strong weapon in front of the English guns. Thousands of forest dwellers started attacking by ambushing the English officers and Maratha employees with bows, arrows, and spears. Along with men, women were also participants in this rebellion, wherever the enemy could be seen, he would have been put to death.
Their meeting was held in Ghotul where the strategies of rebellion were made. Abujhmadia used to come out in groups of five to five hundred. Some are led by women, some by men. And Gaind Singh kept leading them in a planned manner. “Gotul” is a spacious tribal hut surrounded by earthen or wooden walls. It is an integral part of Gond and Muria tribal life in regions of Chhattisgarh and the neighboring areas in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh in India. Abujhmad is made up of two words, ‘Abujh’ meaning “that which cannot be understood,” and ‘Maad’ meaning “mountain” in Gondi. The Zamindari of Paralkot (Bastar) used to come to the Abujhmad area of Bastar.
Angered by the presence of non-tribals in the tribal area and their arbitrariness, on January 4, 1825, after leaving the village, caves, and mountain ranges, the tribals gathered at Paralkot. They were armed with their traditional weapons. British superintendent of Chhattisgarh Agnew had to intervene directly. Despite all the atrocities, and lack of weapons, Abhujmadi Gaind Singh did not consider it appropriate to bow down, Agnew called a large army from Chandrapur. The combined forces of the British and the Marathas laid siege to Paralkot on 10 January 1825 and surrounded Paralkot from all sides, the traditional weapons of the Abujhmadis failed to withstand the modern weaponry.
Gaind Singh was arrested and with his arrest, the agitation came to a halt. Ten days after his arrest, on January 20, 1825, Gaind Singh was hanged in front of the palace of Paralkot. Gaind Singh became immortal as the first martyr in the history of Chhattisgarh. But the soil of Dakshin Kosal, present-day Chhattisgarh, lit up with the blood of its first martyr son, and this light further set fire to the piles of dry leaves of the rebellions.
When the Bhonsle dynasty of Nagpur was defeated by the East India Company in 1818. Then the state of Chhattisgarh passed into the hands of the British based on the treaty. With him, the British were lying in Chhattisgarh. Then they started looting the public by establishing their state system here. The Ahmadis who liked independence competed against him strongly. Which was led by Zamindar Gaind Singh of Parlakot.
Abujhmadis have the distinction of fighting the British for the first time in the country. Their leader, the Zamindar of Parlakot, organized the army of Abujhmadis and tried to drive away from the British army. Hundreds of Abujhmadis sacrificed their lives, but in front of the modern weapons of the British, the native guns and arrows command of the Abujhmadis could not be effective. Parlakot was surrounded.
Their leader Balsingh was arrested. He was hanged on 20 January 1825 in front of the palace of Parlakot. While leading the first freedom struggle of Chhattisgarh, he laid down his life and sacrificed his life. Gaind Singh, the Zamindar of Paralkot, has the title of Shaheed Shiromani.
The members of the Paralkot Zamindar family are leading a life of oblivion. The area of Bastar division which is adjacent to the border of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh is called Paralkot. This area is now the city of Pakhanjur, and there are villages of Bengalis who have migrated from Bangladesh.
- Revolt of Halba 1774-79
- Revolt of Bhopalpatnam 1795
- Revolt of Paralkot 1825
- Revolt of Tarapur 1842-54
- Revolt of Meria 1842-63
- Revolt of Lingagiri 1856-57
- Revolt of Koei’s 1859
- Revolt of Muria’s 1876
- Revolt of Queen Choris 1878-82
- Revolt of Bhumkal 1910
In the context of Chhattisgarh, the tribal movement means the movement of the tribals of Bastar because Bastar is a tribal-dominated area and almost all the tribal movements have taken place in this region’s Parganas. The rebellion movements were carried out by the tribals of Bastar. (Pargana: a group of villages or a subdivision of a district in India)
Revolt of Halba 1774-79, Ajmer Singh
The Halba rebellion took place in the Dongar area (by Halba tribes in Bastar Chhattisgarh) against British armies and the Marathas. The Chalukya rulers failed to stop him and he fell. They became subject to the Marathas due to the conspiracy of the Company government. Dongar was once an independent state of Halba which was later included in the princely state of Bastar. After that, the king of Bastar made it the vice-capital and appointed his sons as the governor there. Raja Dalpat Singh of Bastar appointed his son Ajmer Singh as the governor of Dongar. In the year 1774, when Dariyavdev became the new king of Bastar, he grossly neglected the Dongar area and started putting pressure on Ajmer Singh out of enmity. In the same year, there was a severe famine in the Dongar area and there was chaos at the same time, Daryavdev attacked Dongar, and Kanker’s army was deployed for security. A fierce battle ensued between the two armies. Daryavdev was defeated and fled to the capital Jagdalpur. The position of the rebels was strengthened. They planned to capture Bastar. By doing this they wanted to stop the interference of the Company government in Jagdalpur. The rebels continued to advance and Daryavadev’s army was defeated. Daryavdev fled to the kingdom of Jaipur.
Staying in Jaipur, Daryavadev tried to regain his lost power. Daryavadev made separate treaties with the Company Government, the Marathas, and the Raja of Jaipur and prepared a large army of 20,000 soldiers. With the help of this army, he defeated the rebels at Jagdalpur. Establishing his authority in Jagdalpur, Dariyavdev attacked Dongar. Ajmer Singh was killed in the battle. The Halba rebels were massacred on a large scale. Thus, the Halba rebellion came to an end. But due to this, the position of the Raja of Jagdalpur became very weak. Bastar fell under the Maratha Bhonslas and paved the way for the arrival of the British in the future. After the end of the rebellion, Raja Dariyavdev of Bastar signed a treaty on April 6, 1778, according to which he had to accept the subjugation of the Bhonsals. The Raja of Jaipur had to give Kotpad Pargana as a reward in return for his help.
Revolt of Bhopalpatnam 1795
This struggle was limited and short-lived. In the year 1795, when the British traveler Captain JT Blunt reached the border of Bastar, the tribals did not allow him, opposing his entry into Jagdalpur. As a result, Blunt was forced to return to Calcutta, it was a short-term struggle.
Revolt of Paralkot 1825, Gaind Singh
The revolt of the Abujhmadis against the Marathas and British officers in the Paralkot Zamindari area is known as the “Revolt of Paralkot”. Gaind Singh led this rebellion. Abujhmad rebels were armed with arrows, axes, etc. They used to gather their comrades by playing the drums and attacking the Marathas and British officers. They used the guerilla method of war. They were troubled by the presence and arbitrariness of non-tribals in this tribal area. So the non-tribals were their target. In such a situation, the combined forces of the Marathas and the British besieged Paralkot on January 10, 1825. The rebel leader Gaind Singh was arrested and hanged in front of the palace. The biggest reason for the failure of Gaind Singh was that the Abujhmadis had conventional weapons and the opponents had modern weapons.
Revolt of Tarapur 1842-54, Lal Dalganjan Singh
The Maratha rule had increased the Takoli of Tarapur Pargana, which was opposed by Lal Dalganjan Singh, the governor of Tarapur. The tribals advised Lal Dalganjan Singh to revolt against the Anglo-Maratha rule. The tribal farmers of Tarapur Pargana were facing many difficulties due to foreign rule. Illegal taxes were being collected from this area. He held Dewan Jagabandhu responsible for many types of taxation on the tribals. So they caught him one day after getting a chance and presented him in front of his leader Lal Dalganjan Singh. At the request of Bastar King Bhupal Dev, who was the brother of Governor Lal Dalganjan Singh, Lal Dalganjan Singh left the Diwan despite the opposition of the tribals.
After his release, Diwan Jagabandhu went to Nagpur and requested the officials there to crush this rebellion. Accordingly, the Nagpur Army moved towards Bastar. He fought against the tribals of Tarapur. The rebel army was defeated. Lal Dalganjan Singh had to surrender. To pacify the revolting spirit of the tribals, the Diwan was later removed and all the taxes imposed by him on the tribal ryots were removed. This calmed the tribals. Lal Dalganjan Singh was taken to Nagpur. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison.
Revolt of Meria 1842-63, Hidma Manjhi
It was a rebellion against the invasions of their traditions against the Anglo-Maratha rule by the Meria tribesmen of Dantewada. The revolt was triggered by the interference of the British authorities in the local tradition-the practice of sacrifices by the Meriya tribesmen at the Dantewada temple. The British government ordered the king of Bastar to end the practice of human sacrifice. Despite this, the tradition continued. Accordingly, an army from Nagpur was deployed to the temple of Dantewada to stop the human sacrifice. Angered by this incident, the tribals revolted. Declaring the Dantewada area prohibited, Sher Khan, the then Tehsildar of Raipur, was sent there to stop the human sacrifice. Shyam Sundar Jia, the then priest of the Dantewada temple, opposed this action of the British government and instigated the tribals to revolt. Meria rebels led by Hidma Manjhi demanded the withdrawal of troops from Dantewada. His words were ignored and on the contrary, the soldiers started oppressing the Mariya people. Due to this, the rebels started attacking covertly. In such a situation, an additional army was called in and with its help, the rebellion was crushed.
Revolt of Lingagiri 1856-57, Dhurva Rao Madia
British rule was established in Chhattisgarh in the year 1854. Tired of the exploitation and repression policy of the British officers, Dhurva Rao Madia, the Talukdar of Lingagiri Taluka of Bhopalpatnam Zamindari area, organized an armed revolt against the British. On March 3, 1856, there was a war between the British and the soldiers of Dhurva Rao at Chintalwar. The zamindar of Bhopalpatnam was injured while fighting on the side of the British in the war. Dhurva Rao was captured by the British and hanged on March 5, 1856. The taluka of Dhurva Rao was given to the zamindar of Bhopalpatnam because he had helped the British.
Revolt of Koei 1859, Nangul Dorla
In the year 1859, local landlords and some tribals of southern Bastar revolted against the British officer and outside contractor. The reason for the dissatisfaction of the landlords and Koei tribals was that the British government had given the contract to cut the forests to the traders of Hyderabad and the contractors used to do arbitrariness in connivance with the British officials.
When a complaint was made against the contractor Haridas Bhagwandas to the British Government Officer, he did not pay any attention. On this sent in the year 1859, the landlords of Kotapalli and Fotkel collectively decided that in the future the Sal tree would not be allowed to be cut in Bastar. Accepting this as a challenge, the British government sent gunmen along with the workers.
On hearing this information, some tribals got enraged and ran towards the forests with their weapons carrying torches and attacked the woodcutters, and raised the slogan “Ek Saal Vriksh Ke Pichhe, Ek Vyakti Ka Sar” (In revenge for a tree of Sal, a person’s head) Many contractors were killed in this rebellion. The rebellion was led by Jugga, Jumma, Raju, Dora, Pam Bhoi, etc. In the end, the British were forced to end the contracting system. Against the cutting of the Sal tree, this rebellion was led by Nangul Dorla.
Revolt of Muria 1876, Jhada Sirha
In the year 1876, the rebellion of the Muria tribesmen against the atrocities of the King of Bastar, especially his Diwan and Munshi and the exploitative policy of the British, is called the “Revolt of Muria” or “Revolt of 1876”.
The British government, like the kings of other princely states of India, ordered Raja Bhairamdev of Bastar to attend the Delhi Durbar organized in honor of the Prince of Wales. According to the British orders, when King Bhairamdev of Bastar reached Marenga on his way to Delhi, Muria tribesmen requested him not to go to Delhi. The Muria tribesmen feared that in the absence of the king, the atrocities of Diwan Gopinath and Munshi Adil Prasad would increase.
Therefore the Muria tribesmen surrounded the king and requested him to return to Bastar. Seeing the situation deteriorating, Diwan Gopinath opened fire on the crowd in which some people were killed and some were arrested. The king was forced to return to Bastar. Diwan Gopinath started the cycle of repression. Frustrated by this, the Muria tribesmen decided to revolt under the leadership of Jhada Sirha.
He started sending an arrow to each village. Around 700 rebels gathered at a place called Arapur and started gathering arms. On coming to know about the activities of the rebel, the king himself reached to pacify and explain them. But there was no result. The rebels attacked the security forces. A battle ensued between the king’s army and the rebels in which six rebels were killed. When the king’s elephant soldiers arrived, the rebels laid down their arms and fled from Arapur.
The Raja and the Diwan returned to the capital Jagdalpur. They secured the fort from all sides as they feared the attack of the rebels. His guess turned out to be correct. The rebels under the leadership of Jhada Sirha surrounded the palace on March 2, 1876. To get rid of this, the king requested the British officer. The responsibility of controlling the administration of Bastar was entrusted to the Deputy Commissioner, Sironcha.
The Deputy Commissioner sent a British army under the leadership of Make George to protect the king. Make George first tried to find out from the rebels was the reason for the rebellion. The rebels told that their fight is not with the king but with the Diwan and Munshi.
The rebel tribals put their one-point demand before the administration that Dewan Gopinath and Munshi Adil Prasad should be expelled from Bastar. Mc George organized a special court on April 8, 1876, and instructed according to the demand of the rebels. As soon as the demand was met, the rebellious tribals lifted their siege. Thus, the Muria rebellion ended with success.
Revolt of Rani (Queen) Choris 1878-82, Jugraj Kunwar
Queen’s rebellion was limited and short-lived. It is also known as “Rani Ka Kop” (Queen’s wrath). The queen of Bastar, Jugraj Kunwar, revolted against the wrong actions of her husband Bhairamdev. In favor of the queen and the king, two conflicting parties of tribals were formed, which became enemies of each other. The British conspiracy was suspected behind this. Ultimately the queen won and the king was back on the right track.
Revolt of Bhumkal 1910, Gundadhur
Bhumak or Bhumkal means earthquake or vibration of the land. The tribal movement in Bastar in the year 1910 was large and widespread. That is why it is called the “Mahan Bhumkal”. The prominent leaders who participated in this movement were Gundadhur, Kunwar Bahadur Singh, Bala Prasad, Dular Singh, and Nazir.
Another literal meaning of Bhumkal is to fight for one’s land. In this battle, the entire community of tribals unitedly fought against British rule.
In this movement, thousands of tribals of Bastar fought a war for their water, forest, and land. The tribals had waged war against the British rule and their exploiting class and faced them with their traditional weapons. Due to this war, the tribals of Bastar had to suffer a lot. Many tribals lost their lives during the fighting. The tribals faced their guns while fighting the British rule with their traditional weapons.
Gundadhur is considered the lionheart of Bhumkal. Gundadhur fought a long battle to rid the tribals of Bastar from the exploiting class and during this he became a martyr. The then king of Bastar princely state, Praveen Chand, was assassinated by the British in the land itself. Even today, Bhumkal day is celebrated on 10 February every year in Bastar.
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 in Chhattisgarh
- Second Era of the Freedom Struggle
- Veer Narayan Singh and the rebellions
- Raipur Military Mutiny and the 18 Rebellions
- Revolt of Sambalpur & Saranggarh
On May 10, 1857, a troop of soldiers, filled with passion for independence, reached Delhi on May 11, revolting from Meerut, Convincing him in the 17th and last Mughal Emperor of India, Mirza Abu Zafar Siraj-ud-din Mohammad Bahadur Shah Zafar known as Bahadur Shah Zafar, elected him his leader, and crowned him again. Till then the helpless Zafar aged 82 lost his rule at the hands of the British since the vicious British had confined their power to the Red Fort, asking these soldiers where they had the treasure they would pay them, the soldiers. They have already come up thinking about the answer to this question, promised that they will bring all their treasures looted by the British again, and put them in their footsteps.
The news of Bahadur Shah Zafar being proclaimed emperor spread like a current across the country, the slogans of “Bahadur Shah Zafar Zindabad” erupted all over the country and rebellion started. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857-58 against the rule of the British East India Company, which functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown.
Revolt of 1857 in Chhattisgarh, and Veer Narayan Singh
Veer Narayan Singh challenged the British policies even before the Revolt of 1857. When there was a famine in Sonakhan in 1856, he sought help from the moneylender who assured him that his grain would be returned when the harvest was done. When the moneylender refused to give food grains, he broke the godown and distributed the grains to the public. The incident was reported to Deputy Commissioner Elliot at that time. Veer Narayan Singh took notice of the complaint and made Karurupat Dongri his shelter. With the help of the landlord of Deori, who was Narayan Singh’s brother-in-law, took him captive by making allegations of traitors and robbers, some false cases were also run by the British rule so that this revolutionary could be stopped, which the British were successful.
In 1857, as the news of Bahadur Shah Zafar’s overthrow, the independence of the rebellion intensified, in the meantime, the people of Chhattisgarh accepted the jailed Veer Narayan Singh as their leader and joined in the rebel. He was determined to revolt against the growing atrocities of the British. With the help of the soldiers of the British Army at Raipur, Veer Narayan Singh escaped from the prison. He reached Sonakhan and formed an army of 500 men. A powerful British army was dispatched to crush the Sonakhan army, under the leadership of Smith, which crushed the Sonakhan revolt and apprehends the Narayan again. Veer Narayan was prosecuted and was blown up in the middle of Raipur City on the charge of rebelling against the British Raj. The place where Veer Narayan was martyred is currently known as Jaistambh Chowk in Raipur near the Kaiser-e-Hind Darwaza.
Raipur Military Mutiny of 1858, and the 18 Rebellions
On December 10, 1857, the patriotic Zamindar of Sonakhan, Veer Narayan Singh, was martyred by the British Raj at the intersection of Raipur in the crime of sedition. All the soldiers of Raipur were ordered to be present to see this. This was done so that the people became terrorized and did not dare to raise their heads against the British. But 39 days later, on January 18, 1858, a group of soldiers revolted against the British. Although this rebellion lasted only for 6-7 hours, the 17 soldiers and gunmen who had been arrested had to bear the punishment by giving their lives.
At that time there was a military cantonment in Raipur. It was called the Third Regular Regiment. Some Faizis planned an armed attack on the night of January 18, 1858, at 7:30 p.m. Sergeant Major Sidwell of the Third Regiment of the Native Infantry was at that time resting alone in his room. One of these soldiers, Soldier Hanuman Singh, inflicted several fatal blows on Sergeant Major Sidwell of the Third Regiment of the Native Infantry, who was at that time resting alone in his chamber, killing him in a short time. Went.
This 18-man contingent reached the camp after the killing of Sergeant Major Sidwell, and he invited other soldiers to join the rebellion. The other soldiers did not agree with the killing of Sergeant Major Sidwell, and by the time the news of the killing of Sergeant Major had spread, the British officers were alert, they surrounded all these 18 soldiers from all sides.
After firing that lasted for about 6-7 hours, the rebel soldiers ran out of cartridges. Meanwhile, Hanuman Singh, the main accused in the murder of Sergeant Major Sidwell, escaped, but all the other 17 accomplices were arrested by the British. Those who were tried and all were sentenced to death for the crime of rebellion. He was hanged on 22 February 1858 in the presence of all the soldiers of the army.
People of all castes and religions were among the seventeen martyrs of the rebellion led by Hanuman Singh, which is a symbol of the great sense of national interest instilled in the people of this region. It seems from Captain Smith’s statement that Hanuman Singh had also tried to attack the bungalow of the Deputy Commissioner of Chhattisgarh on the night of 20 January 1858, two days after the rebellion in the cantonment. At that time several prominent senior officers of the area were sleeping in the bungalow. Captain Smith was appointed to protect these officers. Hanuman Singh had to run away after Smith and his companions woke up at the right time. The British government had announced a cash reward of Rs 500 for his arrest. Despite the lure of such a huge amount, he could not be arrested. After this incident of the escape of Hanuman Singh, no details of him were received, he never came back.
The 17 Rebellions Those Martyrs
|01||Ghazi Khan Havaldar|
|02||Badlu Hayat Golanadaj|
|09||Akbar Hussain Golanadaj|
|15||Nazar Muhammad Golanadaj|
Revolt of Sambalpur in Chhattisgarh, and Surendra Sai
Surendra Sai, a freedom fighter of 1857, was a zamindar of Sambalpur, Orissa. Narayan Singh, Balabhadra Dau, and Udwant Sai supported this rebellion started by Surendra Sai. This rebellion gradually spread to many places in Chhattisgarh. Chauhan Raja Maharaj Sai of Sambalpur died in 1827. The king had no heir (progeny). According to the Chauhan dynasty tradition, despite being the rightful heir of the princely state of Sambalpur, the King’s widow Queen Mohankumari was placed on the throne by the British in place of Surendra Sai. Later, due to dissatisfaction, Narayan Singh (Prince of Chauhan Zamindar family of Barpali) was made the king. As a result, Surendra Sai and his six brothers revolted.
Surendra Sai troubled the British a lot in the revolt of 1857. Their activity was spread from Sambalpur to Bilaspur and Kalahandi. Surendra Sai was arrested from his house on 13 January 1862. He was sent from Raipur Jail to Nagpur Jail and then to Asirgarh Fort. Surendra Sai died a natural death on 23 May 1884 in Asirgarh. At last, he went blind. Although Veer Surendra Sai died a natural death, in honor of his valor, people call him The Last Martyr of the Revolt of 1857.
Revolt of Sarangarh, and Kamal Singh
In the revolution of 1857, the king of Sarangarh supported the British government. And the revolutionary named Kamal Singh was tricked and handed over to the British and in 1867, Kamal Singh was hanged. According to the British source, the freedom struggle of 1857 was crushed but the fire of freedom never extinguished in this region. As a spark within the pile of ashes, it kept smoldering. It erupts as time passed, sometimes in the Rajnandgaon Riyasat under the leadership of Sevata Thakur, sometimes in Sarguja under the leadership of the Bagud Baniya, and sometimes in the Kawardha Riyasat under the leadership of Ganpatlal Chandravanshi, and sometimes in Bastar under the leadership of Gundadhur. They all became revolutionary martyrs.
In Chhattisgarh, the national level movements were in effect and they were led by the freedom fighters of the state, they started with the revolution of 1857 which continued till the attainment of independence of India. There was a substantial revolution against the British Empire, as a result of this revolution in Chhattisgarh, there were rebellions in many areas against the exploitative governance of the British.
The story of “Tribal freedom fighters: Their role and contribution in India’s struggles for independence” is the story of making bold choices, and finding themselves on the streets, inside the jail, and in the legislature. After so many efforts India achieved Independence on August 15, 1947. Thousands of Indian freedom fighters dedicated their lives to obtaining the freedom of their motherland. The early era of revolutionaries in Chhattisgarh and the nonviolent movement that gained India her freedom not only took tribals along but was dependent for its success on the active participation of the nation. Perhaps for the first and the only time in world history, the power of a mighty global empire on which the sun never set had been challenged and overcome by the moral might of a people armed only with peace, ideas, and courage.
In the end, we can say that in the last fifty-year, the tribals movement has matured and has progressively deepened its relationship with other movements like trader unions, environmental movements, and other progressive movements which fight against all forms of oppression, injustice, and degradation.
Sampurna Gandhi Vanmaya, Amritbazar Patrika, Statesmen, Bombay chronicle, Hariban, Hasjinbandhu, Harijan Sevak, Hitvada, Hindustan Times, the Hindu, etc.
Johar Gandhi (2021), Amir Hashmi; this book covers India in the freedom struggle in Chhattisgarh from 1774 to 1947 173 years. It begins in 1774 when the first attempt at freedom was made and ended in 1947.
Hashmi, Amir (2021). Johar Gandhi (The Journey of Mahatma Gandhi in Chhattisgarh). New Delhi, India: Meer Publication. ISBN 979-8778794061
Sayed Amir Mustafa Hashmi known as Amir Hashmi is an Indian Actor, Producer & Director awarded the ‘Film excellence award’ by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India. Apart from being an artist, he is an outstanding speaker who hosted hundreds of inspiring workshops and campaigns amongst the youth. Awarded ‘Sangeet Visharad’ in Hindustani classical singing. He consistently promotes culture, humanity, and morality, believes in truth and non-violence, and is known for his environmental and patriotic initiatives.
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