Online Santal Resource Page: the Santals identity, clans, living places, culture,rituals, customs, using of herbal medicine, education, traditions ...etc and present status.

The Santal Resource Page: these are all online published sources

Santal Gãota reaḱ onolko ńam lạgit́ SRP khon thoṛ̣a gõṛ̃o ńamoḱa mente ińaḱ pạtiạu ar kạṭić kurumuṭu...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Exclusive Santali Grammar Book for all

A Santali Gramar for Beginners
Materials for a Santali Grammar I
Materials for a Santali Grammar II
Available at:


Contact Name : Sushil Baskey
Contact no. : 9903639253
E-mail ID :

Source: NAWA IPIL,Vol - IX, ISSUE - 1&II ,PAGE-64, and

Exclusive Santali Grammar Book for all

A Santali Grammar for Beginners
Materials for a Santali Grammar I
Materials for a Santali Grammar II
Available at:


Contact Name : Sushil Baskey
Contact no. : 9903639253
E-mail ID :

Source: NAWA IPIL,Vol - IX, ISSUE - 1&II ,PAGE-64, and

Friday, March 16, 2012




Contact Name : Sushil Baskey
Contact no. : 9903639253
E-mail ID :

Source: NAWA IPIL,Vol - IX, ISSUE - 1&II ,PAGE-64, and

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

“Raarang” Scores Century

The Santal Resistance earned a significant place in the pages of our history. It was the Santals who confronted the British Raj in 1784. Their attempt to evict colonial rule from the sub-continent paved the way for many forthcoming revolutionary attempts. Santal leaders Shidhu, Kanu, Chand and Bhairab revolted once again in 1855. After the Partition (1947), the Santals supported Ila Mitra to organise the 1950 Nachol Uprising. The aim remained unchanged: economic freedom.

In 2000, Santal leader Alfred Soren sacrificed his life to accomplish the same goal left unachieved by his ancestors in the independent and sovereign Bangladesh. Alfred Soren of Bhimpur village, Naogaon, was killed on August 18, 2000 when he tried to resist the eviction of the indigenous community from their land. The raiders set fire to his house and stabbed him to death.

Based on Soren's story, theatre troupe Aranyak Natyadal brought the play “Raarang” to the stage on September 2, 2004. Written and directed by Mamunur Rashid, the play will have its 100th show today.

“While most shows were held in Dhaka, we've also staged the play for indigenous communities such as Chakma, Garo etc. Wherever we went, we received appreciation from the audience,” said director of the play Mamunur Rashid, also Chief Secretary of Aranyak.

To celebrate the 100th show, Aranyak has arranged a two-day festival at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The festival takes place today and tomorrow.

Though the play is inspired by the tragic end of Alfred Soren, in a greater sense, it zooms in on the collective struggles of the Santal community.

“Raarang”-- a Santal word meaning battle cry-- depicts the strife of the impoverished Santals against oppression imposed by the dominating Bengalis.

Mamunur Rashid, Chanchal Chowdhury, AKM Hasan, Shamim Zaman, Tamalika Karmakar and Joyraj along with talented young actors Mitali Das, Deepak Suman and Shamima Shawkat enact important roles in the play.

Faiz Zahir did the light designing, while Parimal Majumdar did the music using elements from traditional Santali music.

Apart from the shows, a seminar featuring different aspects of Santali lifestyle will be held at the venue on the second day.

Source: Saturday, January 22, 2011 :



Christian Missionaries (BENGAL)

Christian Missionaries an organised group of people engaged in the evangelical work of spreading the gospel, were active in Bengal in the colonial period, though their contact started since the 16th century AD. Legend traces that St. Thomas was the first Christian missionary to come to India in 50 AD and convert a group of people of the Malabar coast by 58 AD. Since then various missionaries-Syrian, Roman Catholic and particularly the Jesuits-visited India at different times. But Christianity in India remained almost confined to the coastal areas in South India.

Bengal's contact with the Christian mission started with the coming of Jesuit missionaries-Father Antony Vaz and Father Peter Dias in 1576 and the group of Augustinian Friars in 1580. Bandel, a Dutch town, became the centre of their activities. Initially the Jesuits and Augustinians worked together and established a church and a monastery in 1599. A convent and the Jesuit College of St. Paul were also established. With the appointment of Father Peter Gomes as the Rector of the St. Paul College in 1622, education mission began to flourish. The sustained efforts of B Rodrigues, James Gomes, Simon de Figuredo and Andre Machado made it a great centre of learning and evangelical work. Within a decade some 10,000 people were claimed to have been converted. In 1633 shahjahan, through a farman, granted 777 bighas of rent-free land for the maintenance of the church, with some special privileges. The Bandel church continued its education mission throughout the 19th century though the Company's government revoked the Farman in 1797. As late as in 1928 Bandel Church was entrusted to the Roman Catholic group of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Throughout the colonial period and after, it established different branches of Don Bosco School, Auxilium Convent and St. Paul's School in different parts of Bengal. But with the advent of the British (Protestant) power in Bengal, the Roman Catholic mission was rather cornered while Protestant mission dominated the field.

The Christian mission started as an organised movement in Bengal with the arrival of British Protestant missionaries in the last decade of the 18th century. The great Evangelical Revival in contemporary England to preach the gospel to all nations resulted in the formation of quite a few missionary societies. The Baptist Missionary Society (BMS), the London Missionary Society (LMS) and the Church Missionary Society (CMS) formed in 1792, 1795 and 1799 respectively were the major ones. The first two were non-conformist bodies and the third was Anglican. The Church of Scotland started its mission in Bengal decades later in 1830 under alexander duff (1806-1878). But all these churches made an evangelical alliance in the field of Bengal mission. The formation of the interdenominational Calcutta Missionary Conference (CMC) in 1831 was the best illustration of such evangelical spirit.

The Christian missionaries in Bengal followed the humanitarian ideas of the early evangelicals in England and emphasised the 'social aspects' of the missionary programme. The Scottish Missionaries and the Irish Presbyterians, too, followed this programme. Their united efforts made the 19th century the greatest century of Christian missionary activities. This was also a great age of European colonial expansion. The Western commerce and culture began to dominate the colonized countries. This commercial expansion created favourable conditions for foreign missions. The Protestant powers like Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark entered the mission field.

It was only the English Protestant missionaries who showed ardent or permanent missionary zeal. With the growth of British power, Bengal became the main centre of their activities. The English east india company, however, initially opposed their organised work. The first organised missionary work in Bengal started under william carey, a Baptist, after his arrival in Bengal in 1800. Carey started the first Baptist Mission in that year at serampore, then under Danish control. His two associates were Joshua Marshman (1768-1837) and William Ward (1769-1823) and they formed the famous Serampore Trio. The LMS too started their mission work under Nathaniel Forsyth in 1798 in the Dutch town of chinsura. The CMS entered India after the company's charter of 1813 removed the restriction on missionary enterprise in India. Greenwood and Schroeter were the first church missionaries to arrive in Calcutta in 1816.

In the cultural encounter between Christianity and religions of the subcontinent the missionaries failed to influence the followers of Islam. As believers in one God Muslims could not accept the doctrine of 'Trinitarian' Christianity. Some adverse comments about the prophet Muhammad (Sm) in a pamphlet issued from Serampore Baptist Missionary press in 1809 created a widespread commotion among the Muslims. The Seramore Trio judged the publication as an imprudent act and never again published anything which could offend the Muslims. Henceforth the Baptists became more cautious about preaching among the Muslims. The Muslim society in general remained beyond the missionary efforts and there were very few mission stations in the Muslim dominated rural eastern Bengal.

The activities of Protestant missionaries in Bengal can roughly be divided into three periods: 1793-1834 and 1834-1857 known as Carey's and Duff's period respectively and finally from 1857 to the end of the century.

In the first period- the age of Carey- the main emphasis was laid on improvement of indigenous languages and literature and spread of education as preparatory work to evangelisation. The need of reform of some Hindu social institutions and usages, such as, caste system, sati, infanticide, Antarjali (exposure of the sick on river banks), etc, was also advocated by Serampore trio. They were instrumental in the passing of laws prohibiting some of these practices between 1804 and 1829.

They believed that only education based on Christian truth could remove these social evils. Primarily vernacularists, the Serampore trio tried to infuse Christian ideas in the existing educational system based on village pathshalas (schools). To reach education to the common people, Carey wanted to build up a scheme of mass education adopting some indigenous systems like sardar-pado (monitorial system).

Carey had no faith in the 'downward filtration theory' in education, made fashionable by the Anglicists in the 1830s, and wanted to build up a system from below. With this aim, his associate J Marshman worked out a complete scheme known as 'Hints relative to Native schools' for the establishment of village vernacular schools in 1816. It emphasized that the medium of instructions should be the mother-tongue of the people. The village schools should follow an 'improved' curriculum including arithmetic, elementary science, outlines of history and geography, natural philosophy, scripture and ethics. The scheme apparently succeeded; 103 elementary schools were set up with 6,703 students by 1818. The 'nonconformist conscience' of the Baptists prevented them initially from accepting any state aid. Another dissenting body, the LMS, established its first chain of village elementary schools under Robert May in Chinsura in 1814. It included 36 elementary schools with 2,695 students in 1818.

As a true 'Christian Orientalist' Carey combined the classicist and vernacularist ideas in his educational plan. As a Professor of fort william college (1800) and Professor of Sanskrit of Asiatic Society (1806), he encouraged studies of Oriental classics since he believed that the Bible should be translated in Sanskrit and Persian to pave the way for a cultural bridge between India and the West. Though primarily a vernacularist Carey did not ignore higher studies. He suggested government grant toward extension of European scientific teaching after the passing of the charter act in 1813. His 'plan for instructing native inhabitants of India in European sciences' (June 1814) may be considered as the first comprehensive educational programme in India. In 1818 the Serampore Trio founded the serampore college to give the Youth of Asia full instruction in Oriental literature and European science. Its ultimate purpose, however, was to train Indians to replace the Europeans as missionaries and instructors in Christian education.

The serampore mission was a pioneer in the field of printing and publication too. Carey was a great linguist. Under his guidance the serampore mission press printed the Bangla, Asamese, Oriya, Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit versions of the complete Bible. Apart from Biblical translations, the Baptists and their Indian associates (like ramram basu and mrityunjay vidyalankar) translated the Ramayana and parts of other Indian classics. They translated, printed and distributed numerous tracts or pamphlets (about 33,050 by 1829). This example inspired the calcutta school-book society (1817) to publish text books in Bangla by 1821. These publications undoubtedly made notable contributions to the growth of Bangla prose literature.

The other Bangla publications from Serampore included Carey's Kathopakathan (Dialogues) which reflected contemporary social life of Bengal. British Baptist educationist John Mack's Principles of Chemistry (1824) introduced chemical terms and thought in Bengal. William Ward's Account of the Writings, Religion and Manners of the Hindus (1811) indicated the Baptist interest in Hindu beliefs and society.

Serampore missionaries were pioneers in the field of journalism too. JC Marshman's Digdarshan (the sign post), Magazine for Indian Youth (in English and Bangla), Samachar Darpan (News Mirror) published in 1818 and The Friend of India (1818) played significant roles in drawing government's attention to some contemporary social problems. From the 1840s, the missionary societies began to publish their denominational journals containing a wide range of information. The Calcutta Christian Intelligencer (CMS, 1840-1865), The Christian Spectator, the Oriental Baptist and the Missionary Herald (BMS, 1856-1910) were the most prominent among them. The first inter-denominational journal- The Calcutta Christian Observer was published as the organ of the CMC in 1831, which was followed by the Evangelical Review from 1873 to 1900. Most of these journals reflected some contemporary problems of Bengal Society and suggested their remedies.

With the arrival of Alexander Duff (1806-1878), the great Scottish missionary, in Calcutta (May 1830), Anglicanism cornered Orientalism in mission work. With a true Anglicist spirit he wanted to fulfil the yearning of a section of Bengali youth of possessing Western knowledge by opening the Scottish Church College on 13 July 1830. This English medium school (later turned into a college) was frankly Christian in character. It was meant for the middle class Calcutta boys, who, Duff believed, would help to disseminate Christian knowledge down to the mass. Duff's college became the main agency of conversion of 'high caste' Hindu youth.

Duff stayed in Calcutta in three different periods, 1830-34, 1840-49 and 1856-63. Impressed by his teaching and persuasion, a group of young Calcutta boys became Christians between 1832 and 1849 (Mahesh Chandra Ghose, Krishna Mohan Banerjee, Lal Behari Dey being most notable among them). These conversions created a stir in Calcutta society. rammohun roy warmly supported Duff's efforts in the field of education, but the process of conversion alienated the brahma samaj from Christian mission. Controversy between the two over this question went on throughout the 19th century. Success of the mission in the field of English education was limited. After wood's education despatch (1854) had introduced the grant-in-aid system to private schools (1855), missionaries failed to compete with the growing Bengali-managed schools. These schools nearly ousted the missionary schools from the field of English education. The latter, often failing to qualify for the aid, withdrew from the field. The CMS run Cathedral Mission College (1865) also failed to compete with the presidency college (1855) and the Metropolitan and City Colleges (both affiliated as Degree College in 1879). It was closed in 1880.

Missionaries now concentrated more on promotion of mass education and started a united effort through the CMC. Rev. james long, the leading figure of the Conference, formulated different schemes for promotion of mass education at the expense of higher education. The schemes that showed at times the genuine concern of the missionaries for the well-being of the Bengali masses often influenced the government policy. The recommendations of the Hunter Education Commission (1885) for promotion of mass education were considered by the CMC as a triumph of its efforts.

The CMC also championed Bengal peasants' cause. Contacts with the village reality made them aware of the anomalies of the colonial land revenue policy and judicial systems. The CMC wanted to create a public opinion in England and India in favour of reforms in the socio-economic system in Bengal. Their efforts started with the organisation of the first general conference of Protestant missionaries working in Bengal (Calcutta, 4-7 September 1855). In several petitions to the British Parliament and governments of India and Bengal (1852-1859), the CMC, along with other suggestions for remedies in the system, pleaded in favour of European colonisation in Bengal. A 'liberal, Christian' European settlement, they believed, would be able to remove the abuses of the land system. But they were thoroughly disillusioned about the 'boon' of such settlement during the indigo resistance movement of 1859-60. After Indigo crisis Bengal missionaries put increasing emphasis on mass education believing that 'a sound Christian education' alone would help peasants out of their plight and they actively participated in the mass education programme sponsored by the Bengal committee of the Christian Vernacular Education Society (founded in London in 1858).

The CMC, however, remained the champion of the peasant cause till the passing of the Bengal Tenancy Act in 1885, which the missionaries believed, remedied many abuses of the land system. Since then the Bengal missionaries dropped this 'political programme'.

The Christian missionaries were the first to get over the gender bias regarding admission of women missionaries to the CMC. In 1877, the women missionaries were admitted as full members with the same status and rights of men. Such inter-denominational missionary conferences were formed in Bombay, Madras and Bangalore between 1845 and 1858, where women, though allowed to attend the conferences, were not, however, allowed to speak or vote. Inclusion of women missionaries in CMC brought to the fore some gender issues like education and social status of Indian women.

Carey in Bengal realised, as early as in 1796, the need for women missionaries to address such issues. In 1820 William Ward, referring to degraded condition of Indian women, appealed to English women for joining mission to improve it. Responding to his call Miss Mary Ann Cooke, the first woman missionary, arrived in Calcutta in 1822. The first mission school for girls, was, however, established by Robert May (LMS) in Chinsura in 1818. By 1823 with the assistance of the CMS, Miss Cooke (later Mrs Wilson) established 15 schools in Calcutta and its vicinity with about 300 students. This sole woman missionary, finding it difficult to supervise these scattered schools, set up the 'central school' in Calcutta in 1828 amalgamating the local schools in it. The newly formed Ladies Society For Native Female Education (1824)- an association of European ladies presided over by Governor General's wife Lady Amherst, helped her in its management. The Baptists established such central schools in Calcutta (1829) and the CMS in Burdwan (1832). During the decade between 1823 and 1833 the missionaries established more of such girls' schools in their different mission stations in Bengal (such as those at Katwa, Suri, Bahrampur, Chinsura, Burdwan, Kalna, Bankura. Krishnanagar, Barisal, Dhaka, Chittagong). The missionaries' wives generally took charge of these schools in their respective mission stations. The curriculum here was similar to that in the boys' schools. Disillusioned over negligible success of the girls' day schools the missionaries began to concentrate more on the boarding schools. Every natural calamity brought more inmates to these schools. Shelter and food was provided to these destitute. With time these schools played a key role in conversion to Christianity.

After 1855, the government-aided girls' schools managed by Bengalis turned out to be rivals of the mission schools. The Indian Education Commission (hunter commission) of 1882 reported that most of the students attending 7,000 missionary girls' schools all over India were Christians. The boarding schools ultimately became the 'nurseries' of education of Christian women folk.

Along with it missionaries concentrated on the 'Zenana System' (a system of domestic instruction mostly by wives of missionaries). The Education Despatch of 1854 mentioned the system introduced in the early 19th century. Indicating its success the Education Commission (1882) recommended special grants for running the system. Some leading Brahma and Hindu families (such as those of debendranath tagore, manmohan ghosh and keshab chandra sen), encouraged this system since they wanted their women to be educated. In 1871 there were more 'Zenana' pupils in Bengal than in other presidencies put together.

With the arrival in Calcutta of Mary Carpenter and Annette Akroyd, Unitarian women educationists, in 1866 and 1872 respectively, a phase of co-operation between the Brahma/Hindu reformists and the Unitarian Christians regarding women's education began. Both of them helped in the foundation of the Brahma Normal School and the Hindu Mahila Vidyalaya. But the Christian missionaries mostly controlled the institutions for training women teachers. In 1932, five of the seven Teachers Training Colleges in India were Christian institutions and over 100 out of 157 students were Christians. By all means the Christian missionaries remained pioneers in the field of formal and professional education of women in colonial Bengal.

The Christian mission in 19th century Bengal also became involved in a crucial issue - the tribal question. The Santals, the largest tribe of Eastern India, attracted their attention for evangelisation. Considering the tribal tradition as a significant factor in the pluralist Bengal society, they penetrated the obscure Santal world and tried to identify themselves with their life and thinking. Apart from a few colonial bureaucrats, the missionaries had been the pioneers in 'Tribal Studies' - now an important stream of social science. They made invaluable contribution to it. The works of PO Bodding - A Santal Dictionary (5 vols., 1932-1936) and numerous outings of LO Skrefsrud in Santali and English still occupy a pre-eminent position in this study.

Misionaries were in favour of imparting education among the Santals through their mother tongue and were keen to improve their socio-economic condition as a prerequisite for evangelisation. The Santal mission of the Northern Churches (formerly the Indian Home Mission) later became the largest among the tribal missions and attracted considerable attention in India and abroad. The CMS and the BMS, were the two most active missionary societies in this field. The CMS started its work in 1854 and the BMS in 1867. Before that A Leslie and T Christian were sent out to preach among the Santals in 1824-41 and 1826 respectively, but Christian died within a year and Leslie, a victim of 'jungle fever' also left his station. E Droese, the German missionary of the CMS, started mission work in 1854.

Shortly afterward the santal rebellion (1855) marked a turning point in the Santal mission of the CMS. Believing that 'utter want of education', and 'gross absurdity of Santal's religious belief' caused the insurrection, the Bengal Government requested the CMS to prepare a plan for educating the Santals and agreed to provide financial assistance for this purpose. The scheme submitted by the Calcutta Committee stressed the need of vocational training along with formal primary education. The India government accepted the scheme (1856) but the outbreak of the sepoy revolt (1857) prevented its execution. Undaunted by this initial setback the CMS opened the Santal branch of Bhagalpur mission in 1859. The Santal mission was formed as an independent unit under EL Puxley.

New mission stations were established in some parts of the newly created Santal Parganas (1856) which included some parts of Bengal proper. Puxley stressed the need for 'Santalizing' the teaching organisations with cooperation of Santal manjhis (headmen). He established a Teachers' Training School (1863) with Santali as the medium of instruction. He gave Santali a written form in Roman character. By 1866 he completed the Santal vocabulary, Santal dictionary, Bible History, part of St. Mathew's Gospel and Anglican Prayer Book. Puxley's performance was quite impressive. Starting with 10 'useless' schools in 1862 he left 36 schools with 348 students at the time of his departure in 1868. The Training School proved to be a great success and a centre of 'movement towards Christianity'.

Puxley's success attracted a group of Church Missionaries (such as J Brown, ET Cole, A Stark, H Davies and HW Shackell) to the Santal mission between 1868 and 1871. More textbooks were published in Santali by the Calcutta Bible Society. Missionary efforts created a growing urge for education among the Santals since missionaries made them believe that education was the only safeguard against the oppression of zamindars and mahajans. The rise and growth of the Kherwar movement, 1871- 81 (the word, Kherwar was derived from the word 'khair' which meant man - a movement for spiritual and social regeneration of the Santal community) had also a role behind this zeal for education. A group of Santals, longing for English education, was ready to pay for it. Forty Santal students were admitted to English schools in Santal Parganas in 1880. George Campbell's (Lt-governor, 1871-74) keen interest in Santal mission and a special grant towards Santal education encouraged the missionaries. Up to the end of the 19th century the task of educating the Santals was exclusively left to the missionary societies.

The main aim of the Christian Missionaries-changing the cultural and social fabric of the Bengal society by Christianising it-was never fulfilled. The mission itself indeed remained outside the main stream of the Bengal society. Its future largely lay in the conversion of the 'outcastes and tribals, exiled communities as they themselves were'. The largest number of the converts of the Church and Baptist Missions came from the kartabhajas (worshippers of Lord), a Hindu egalitarian religious sect developing among the 'lowest' orders of the Hindus like Chandals and Namashudras. In 1838 - 39 about 3,000 Kartabhajas embraced Christianity after a flood of Jalangi river in the Krishnanagar district (CMS Station). Flood relief from the missionaries probably encouraged this 'great movement'. A large number of Kartabhajas from Barisal and Jessore (BMS Stations) also became Christians in 1840s. This was the first and most notable instance of 'mass movement' towards Christianity in 19th century Bengal.

In the 20th century, Christian churches adopted some new measures amounting to a 'revolution in missions'. Social welfare, vocational training, educational and medical institutions replaced the old methods of preaching and Christian teaching. With the growth of a more rational outlook to non-Christian religions and cultures, they also began to consider these new measures as different ways to the fulfilment of God's mission on earth; 'Not to destroy, but to fulfil' - this commandment became the watchword of many of them. Giving up Euro-centric views they were fast moving towards forming an international, inter-racial and inter-denominational church.

Ever since W Carey proposed a World Missionary Conference in 1810, a section of Bengal missionaries were thinking of forming such an organisation. The Calcutta Missionary Conference was the first step towards it. Such thinking led to the preparation for a universal movement that started with the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 1910. [Tripti Chaudhuri]

Bibliography MM Ali, The Bengali Reaction to Christian Missionary Activities 1833-1857, Chittagong,1965; ED Pohs, British Baptist Missionaries in India 1793-1837: The History of Serampore and its Missions, Cambridge, 1967; KP Sengupta, The Christian Missionaries in Bengal 1793-1833, Calcutta, 1971; MA Laird, Missionaries and Education in Bengal 1873 - 1937, Oxford, 1972; B Stanley, The History of the Baptist Missionary Society 1792-1992, Edinburgh, 1992; A Copley, Religions in Conflict : Ideology, cultural contact and conversion in late-colonial India, Delhi, 1997.





Towards the Rising of the Sun is the Birth of Man
--A Santal Proverb

In the beginning, the primitive world was filled with water only and God had the problem in creating the land.The land is normally considered opposite to water. So he created. Therefore, he created seven animals -crab, crocodile, alligator, eel, Pawn, earthworm and tortoise. All amphibian animals that can live in both land and water

For creating land, God invited the kings of all these animals to sort out this problem. Every one was coming one by one; they did not have any success. At last, the earthworm came and succeeded in creating land. The King of earthworm after seven days and seven nights ate the bottom of water and excreted on the back of tortoise that was swimming above. The tortoise anchored himself firmly on both sides, brought up the earth and thus earth was shaped.
Hens the Santals believe that earthquakes are the result of the movement of tortoise. When the tortoise moves or shakes, earthquakes occur.

The Santal myth about the creation of the world is different from the myths associated among the other indigenous people of India and in many sense it is unique that it ascribes the creation of earth with the help of amphibian animals, specially the earthworm and tortoise.

There is another interesting myth about the creation of human beings. The Santal do not strictly believe that they have descended from animals, however, they assume that there is some connection between animal and human beings., God created two heavenly birds - Has and Hasil-out of his hair. Then these birds started flying in the sky. They could survive the early state of earth, where the entire earth was covered with water, so they could mediate the opposite elements heaven and earth. They flew below the sun and above the earth thus making the contact between the both worlds. After flying several days, they built the nest on the earth and laid egg. In fact the cosmic egg, out of which two creatures; human male and human female were born - Pilchu Haram and Pilchu Burhi.

Once the Santal tribal had gone to the forest for hunting and they started the discussion about their ‘Creator and Savior’ while they were taking rest under a tree. They questioned themselves that who is their God? Whether the Sun, the Wind or the Cloud? Finally, they came to a conclusion that they would leave an arrow in the sky and wherever the arrow would target that will be the God’s house. They left an arrow in the sky; it fell down under a Sal tree. Then, they started worshiping the Sal tree and named their religion as ‘Sarna’ because it is derived from a Sal tree. Thus, Sarna religion came into existence. There are priests and assistant priests called "Naikey" and "Kudam Naike" in every Santhal village.

Sarahul is the main festival of the tribal population. The meaning of Sarhul is the “worship of Sal” The word Sarhul has been derived from two words Sar and Hul. ‘Sar’ means Sarai (seed of Sal tree) and Hul means worship /pray. In Kurukh language it is known as Khaddi. Therefore Sarhul is worship of nature in which local people worship Dharti Mata as Sita, wife of lord Rama. Since the local inhabitants are great admirer, devotee, and follower of lord Ram, they have great respect for Mother Sita. They also worship Sal Tree (Sarna Tree) that is believed as the place of goddess Sarna, who protects the village and the community from all kinds of natural calamities and disasters.
The worship place is known as Sarna Sthal. It is a place chosen by the priest called Pahan Or Baiga. Usually it remains aside the village where at least one Sal tree is found. This is also known as Chala- Pacho. Chala means Sarna and Pacho means old woman. Therefore it means a house of old woman.

Long long ago there lived a pair of swan. From their eggs a boy and a girl named Pilchu Haram and Pilchu Burhi respectively were born. They fed and kept them for some time. Soon they became impatient to get a suitable home for their human siblings. They prayed to God for help who ordered them to fly away and seek a suitable place. They obeyed His command, fled towards the setting of the sun, found Hihri Pipiri and reported back to God who advised them to settle the boy and girl there. They carried them on backs to that place.
The boy and girl lived happily at Hihri Pipiri until the evil god Lita instigated them to take brew and drink handi. After drinking handi, they fell into sin by indulging in sex and thus they begot seven sons and seven daughters. All of them married one another.

The human race thus greatly multiplied and gradually became wicked. Afterwards the seven parents decided that henceforth brothers and sisters should not marry. They divided themselves into seven septets called Hansdak, Murmu, Kisku, Hembrum, Marandi, Soren and Tudu. With the passage of time, five more groups were formed. Now a total 12 clans is found among the Santals.How?

.Later they came to a land called Khoj-Kaman where God told them to return to Him, which they garrulously ignored.
Furious by their misdeeds and indiscipline He decided to finish their race. He spared however, the only holy pair by ordering it to hide in a cave in the mountain of Harata. That pair obeyed. For seven days and seven nights there was rain of fire destroying every living thing in the world?

The pair came out of hiding after the rain of fire stopped and thus new human races sprouted. Now five more septets were added to the original seven - Baski, Besra, Paunria, Chore and Bedea. The last sept has been lost.

They are Hansdak', Murmu, Hembrom, Soren, Kisku, Tudu, Marndi, Baske, Besra, Chonre, Puria and Bedea. Sacred contact is believed to link these clans and their respective totems. Therefore, each of the names of clans is derived from either from the plants or animals species.

There is a belief among the Santals that totems have some connection with the deeds or birth of ancestors of the clans.

Hansdak clan members claim to be of the highest status as they have derived from the name of their clan from first ancestors. The term Hans designates wild goose while dak' in Santali means water. This clan is, therefore, linked to the original state of world and first ancestors. It is the most senior among the all clans of the Santals since it is related to myth of creation. For the Santals , swan or goose is not just animal. It builds nest on earth, walks on earth and flies on sky.

Next are the Murmus represented by the Nilgai or the antelope. According to the myth of genesis of the clans, the ancestors of this clan this animal was first sacrificed by Santals. By this time, Santals started hunting and eating of animals and subsequently become fond of hunting and eating of flesh. The antelope being purely a land animal is responsible for the destruction of Santals among the Santals as opposed to swan who combines the four elements and stands for humanity and creation of human beings. The Hansdak and the Murmu are the two superior clans of the Santals. Hansdaks are given the status of advisors and the Murmus are the priest.

The Kiskus have kingfishers bird as their totem and come third in the hierarchy. They are regarded as kings and are given the Royal status.

Hembroms are fourth in order with betel nut as totem. It is said that the ancestor of the Hembrom clan was born with a betel nut string around his waist. There are also those who believe that their ancestor was actually born under a totally hard and solid betel nut tree.

Marandis are linked with grass or type of weed and are traders.

The Sorens are soldiers or warriors and are linked to the constellation of stars.

The Tudus are musicians and have accepted owl as their totem.

Baskees are cooks and associated stale rice. They have believed to offered stale rice to the Gods and are thus prohibited from eating it.

Bedeas have sheep as their totem and believed to have no personal own much like the animal they revere. They are not found in now days, probably assimilated with other clans.

Lastly are the Paurias and Chonres who have pigeons and lizard respectively as their totems. In most of the cases the only animals the clan members could hunt were made heir totem, which perhaps restricted them endangering the species.

So strong are their feelings towards these totemic species that they respect them as their won clan members. If any of the clan members sees a dead totem, he observes the death rituals. Eating or hunting the totem is prohibited..

Each of these clans is further divided into several sub clans. Each one upholds a distinctive myth and set of customs that differentiates it from the others, including kinds of food taken, ornaments, worn and worship of the spirits or Gods (Bongas). Even the sacrifices vary during the rituals from one sub-clan to another. The names of the sub-clan are also derived from plants and animals. Out of the 16 sub-clans nine trace their origins to certain animals. For examples, Chilbinda hansdak' derived its name from the ancestor who killed an eagle, "Jihu hansdak" from Jihu or babbler bird. Sole-Hemborm do not eat eels as it is believed its ancestor had been saved by it while ferrying flooded river. The kahu-Besras are prohibited to kill crows. The totem exercises powerful influence on the habit of the Santals.
Coming back to the creation story.

All the clans lived at Harata for some time and then moved to Sasanbeda, a flat riverside land full of turmeric. Now the race was divided into nations and tribes. From Sasanbeda they came to Jarpi. During their wandering they came across a high range of hills in which they nearly lost their lives. It was so high and long that only in the forenoon they were able to see the sun. So they started worshipping Marang Buru - the big mountain. Crossing the Sin and Baih Passes they reached Aere, there to Kaende, Chai and finally to Champa.

In Champa they lived in prosperity for a long time. They helped Lord Ram against Ravan so the kshatriyas became friendly with them. But later on they started fighting with the kshatriyas and even among themselves. Several races like the Mundas, Birhors, Kurmis and others separated form the original clan. The Mundas call themselves Horoko, which means 'men'. Just as Ba-ntu means "men.” Naturally their wanderings continued. From Champa they came to Tore Pokhori Baha Bandela, where after twelve days / years of debate they decided to give up old customs, and adopt new social customs. Then they migrated to various places and finally settled on their present home of Chotanagpur…

Thus goes the Santal legend of creation, on the basis of which the Rev. L.O. Skrefsurd concluded that they lived in Persia, Afghanistan, Chinese Tartar and entered India from the north- west where they first settled in Punjab and from there they came to Chotanagpur plateau. But according to Bodding this story of creation in part is prevalent in Southern Burma and the Santal language contains several linguistics features of not only Burma, but also of the Malay Peninsula.
There is no reference to Chotanagpur in the Vedic or Puranic literature but in the 18th hymn of the seventh book of Rig-Veda, it is mentioned that a fierce battle took place on the bank of river Saraswati in which the Aryan chief Sudas fought against non-Aryan tribes. The Munda traditions also narrate a bloody warfare in the land of 'five rivers'. The name Munda is found in the Vishnu Puran in which a dynasty of eleven princes has been mentioned. In the Vayu Puran there is a word Muranda and in his ‘Ancient India' Ptolemy has mentioned Mundalis who were probably the same people as the Monedes of Pliny who with the Sauri occupied the area to the south of Polibother or Patliputra.

Then there is also the legend of Yayati - son of Nahush who divided his empire among his five sons. In the tenth generation from Turvas the famous four brothers Pandya, Kieda, Kola and Chote divided India among themselves. Kola got the Northern India whose descendents are called Kolas who dwell in the Jharkhand region.

The three aboriginal races, which ruled over the jungle and mountain regions of Chotanagpur and Santal Pargana, were Kharwar, Oraon and Chero. Kharwars claim themselves to be Suryavanshi Kshatriya. They trace their descent from Ajanagara or Ayodhya. Karusa was the sixth son of Vaivasvat Manu to whom this territory was assigned. Their descendents were called Karusa who later on came to be known as Karwar or Kharwar.

The Valmiki’s Ramayan records the flight of Mundas to the South. The Mundas had played the band at the time of Ram's coronation at Ayodhya. Highly impressed by their meritorious services Ram gave this territory to them.

But during Mahabharat period their destiny tumbled down. Jarasandh was their friend who was killed by Bhim. The Mundas were in the army of Bhishm and so they fought against the Pandavas alongwith the Kauravas. In the Bhishma Parva of the epic Mahabharat Sanjay says that on the left side of Bhishm are the Karusas with the Mundas Vikunj and Kundivars. Satyaki compares the Mundas with the demons and boasts that he would liquidate them as Indra had finished the demons. Pandav prince Arjun is said to have married a Nag princess of this region and had a son named Babhruvahan.
In the Mahabharat war the Kaurva were defeated and so the Mundas were driven away to one place or the other until they finally reached Jharkhand which means the forestland. This area has also been called Atavi, Khukhra, Nagdesh and Dasaranya in different phases of history.

Status of Jharkhand is very old and even before the period of Magadh Empire. During Mughal Empire period the Jharkhand area was known as Kukara area. After year 1765 this area was under the control of British Empire and was known as "Jharkhand" (The Land of Jungle and Jhari, i.e. bushes). Under the shadow of British Empire, non-tribal population got spread in the region of Jharkhand. Such outsiders who practically take over control where called as "Diku".

The name Jharkhand has been described in Akbarnamah as a place inaccessible to the outsiders because of dense forests and warrior tribes where diamond, ivory and silk are plentifully available.

It remained independent throughout the Turko-Afghan rule (1206-1526 A. D.). The fortress of Rohtas was the farthest limit. Shamsi Siraj Afif in Tarikh-i- Firuz-Shahi says that Firoz marched From Jaunpur against the Rai of Jai Nagar (Orissa) after his second campaign against Bengal in 1359 –60 and returned through the routes of Jharkhand.

During the first half of the 16th century Chero chiefs were the rulers of Jharkhand. The cheros trace their descent from the famous sage Chyavan who had invented Chyavanprash. In 1538 Sher Shah Suri wanted to get the white elephant named Ramchandra from the Chero king Maharato because having this elephant was considered to be a good sign. He sent emissaries to the Chero King who bluntly refused to part with his precious elephant. Sher Shah sent his troops under the General Khawas Khan who with great difficulty won the war and took the elephant away. Maharato Chero fled away in the deep forests. This area was strategically important to Sher Shah because Cheros possessed the main road to Lower Bengal.

Sher Shah however made no administrative regulation in Jharkhand and shortly after his death in 1545 the Cheros recovered their lost territory.

The Mughals were attracted towards Jharkhand for its mineral wealth. Diamond and ivory were found near the river Sankh. Raja Man Singh invaded and captured Palamu in 1574. Again in 1584 Akbar attacked on Khukhra (Jharkhand) and made it a tributary under the leadership of Shahbaz Khan Kamba. In 1591 Raja Man Singh was despatched to Orissa to suppress Afghan rebels via the river route.

The king of Kashmir Yusuf Khan was also sent to Midnapur to assist him while marching over Jharkhand. Man Singh settled some members of his troop in Palamu who were expelled after the death of Akbar in 1605. The Raja of Chotanagpur, reduced to the position of a tributary had to join the Mughal expedition to Orissa. After conquering Orissa Man Singh returned but his three bodyguards (who were incidentally brothers) remained in Singhbhum to suppress the clashes between Bhuiyas and Hos. This triad conquered the area and established its own regime called Porahat kingdom.
It is said that the three areas of Jharkhand were named from the three words Veer Man Singh as Birbhum, Manbhum and Singhbhum. There is however no historical record to support it.

It appears that after the death of Akbar this area gained independence. In 1616 Ibrahim Khan Fateh Jung, Governor of Bihar and the brother of Queen Nurjahan defeated the 46th Raja of Chotanagpur Durjan Sal for his failure to pay his tribute to Delhi for several years. Durjan Sal was no doubt chivalrous but the Mughals entrapped him and looted all his 23 elephants and jewellery. He was imprisoned in the Gwalior fort for twelve years along with several other Hindu kings.
There is a story that once the Emperor Jahangir wanted to know about the difference between the real and fake diamonds. One of his maidservants belonged to Jharkhand who knew Durjan Sal’s mastery in testing diamonds. Durjan was at once summoned from the Gwalior jail. He displayed his skill before the emperor. He tied the diamonds on the horns of two deers and instigated them to fight. The fake one was easily broken.

So Durjan was released on a condition that he should pay an annual tribute of Rs. 6000. He returned to Chotanagpur and with him came a tyrannical rule of oppression and exploitation, and a turning point in the life style of simple and nature loving tribal.

In the Gwalior jail Durjan Sal came to know about the luxurious and lavish princely life. While returning to Chotanagpur he had taken rest in the palaces of some kings. He started comparing his own life of utter poverty. His friend kings were also amused to see his depleted house made of mud.

These kings promised to make a palace for him. They despatched a battery of masons and carpenters. The palace was completed in 1711 but by that time Durjan Sal and his heirs had no money to pay wages to the workers. Therefore they gave away a number of villages to them by degree.

One of the conditions of Durjan Sal’s release from the jail was an annual tribute to the Mughal Emperor. Durjan charged this amount from Mundas and Oraon folks of his kingdom, which they resisted, and vehemently opposed. To suppress their revolt he brought warriors and button men from North Bihar and Central India and gave jagir to them in lieu of wages. Durjan Sal declared himself a Hindu king and brought a number of priests who too were given jagirs.
All these jagirdars ultimately became zamindars and started collecting rents and tax from the tribal landowners. They also started a new tradition of taking free service from them. A. E. Gate, the Commissioner of Chotanagpur wrote in 1911 that “the troubles of the Mundas began when their Raja was converted to Hinduism and gradually brought in from Bihar a crowd of hangers-on of all kinds, whose services he rewarded or whose goods he paid for by the transfer of his rights over various villages.”

The tribal resisted. After two centuries it acquired dangerous proportion .The tribal still hate Durjan Sal, they have not yet forgiven him because it was he who brought a life of curse to them.

Back to the age of Jahangir, the Chero king Sahbal Rai had also extended his territory upto Champaran in North Bihar. Provoked by his advances, Jahangir attacked and captured him in his own fort at Chainpur in Shahabad district. He was taken to Delhi as captive where he died fighting a tiger while entertaining the emperor.

His son Bhagvat Rai, a dauntless hero succeeded him and started raiding on the imperial territories.

When Shahjehan ascended the throne he appointed Ahmed Khan as Subedar of Patna and gave Palamau as jagir to him. Ahmed Khan imposed an annual tribute of Rs 1,36,000 on all his tributaries. In 1631, the Governor of Bihar Shaista Khan led an army of 15000 soldiers and 5000 horses to attack on Palamu through the Manatu pass. At that time Anant Rai was the ruler of Palamu. Shaista Khan along with his general Zabaralast Khan defeated Anant Rai who promised to pay a tribute of Rs. 80,000.

By that time the two uncles of Anant Rai namely Tej Rai and Durga Rai conspired with Itihad Khan, the successor of Shaista Khan to imprison Anant Rai and seize the throne. But their conspiracy flopped and on the recommendation of Itihad Khan the Emperor Shahjehan made Anant Rai his mansabdar.

Chero kings were habitual defaulters by not paying the annual tribute to the Mughals. Angry by their arrogance the Emperor Aurangzeb gave orders to the Governor of Bihar Daud Khan to attack on them. Daud left Patna with a big contingent on April 3, 1660. He reached within two miles of Palamau in November. He then offered the Chero king to surrender and become a Muslim. Before the king should think on it, one of Dauds captain attacked. The king fled away with his family and followers to the deep forests. Daud’s army occupied the fort and the town, destroyed the temples and built mosques. He then left Palamau giving charge to his fauzdar Mankli Khan. But he was sacked in 1666 and Palamau was placed under the direct control of the new Bihar Governor, Laskar Khan.

From 1662 to 1674 Medini Rai ascended the throne of Palamau. He extended his territory to South Gaya, Hazaribagh and Sarguja. He was a popular and benevolent ruler. People still remember him by a couplet, which means, “in the region of Raja Medini Rai no house was without a churner and butter.” Like the legendary caliph Haroon-Al-Rashid of the Arabian Nights he used to stroll in the night to see if any one was without cow or a buffalo. It is said that once he thought of taking at least a shell from each headman as his tribute. They presented him a gold shell because he had not demanded anything before. There is a legend that his queen bathed on the lotus in the pond and she was so sweet that even the lotus did not sink.

But Santal Parganas was not a neglected area during the Mughal period. In May 1549 Akbar sent Man Singh as governor of Bengal who changed his capital from Gaur to Rammahal. Previously its name was Agmahal. He changed its name to Rajmahal and then to Akbarnagar .Rajmahal is witness to fierce battle between Shah Jahan and Ibrahim Khan brother of Empress Nur Jahan .Shah Jahan defeated Ibrahim Khan in 1624 and murdered him.

Shah Jahan appointed his second son Prince Mohammad Shuja as vice royal of Bengal. Shuja made Rajmahal his capital. He gave permission to the East India Company to trade in Bengal.

During the war of succession after the death of Shah Jahan, Shuja crowned himself as Emperor in November 1657. But Aurangzeb rushed his troops to chase him under the command of his son Muhammad Sultan and his ablest General Mir Jumla.

With the fall of Shuja the British were in hot soup. Their boat laden with saltpeter were stopped. It was only after they apologized that their vessels were released.

In 1695-96 Shova Singh, a landlord of Cheto-Barda in Midnapur led a rebellion. Rahim Khan , an Afghan chief joined him. They captured Rajmahal and seized the property of the English. But however the Mughals crushed them. A few years later Aurangzeb issued a proclamation ordering the arrest of all Europeans in India and in 1702 all the servants of the company were arrested.

After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 his grand son Azim-us-Shan who was the Nawab of Bengal left his son Farrukhsiyar and took off to Delhi to support his father Shah Alam, ascended the throne under the title of Bahadur Shah. Azim-us-Shan returned to Rajmahal.

But the Mughal Empire had started trembling. A great confusion erupted after the death of the Emperor Bhadur Shah in 1712. Prince Farrukhsiyar proclaimed himself as Emperor at Patna. His region was short lived and then in 1719 Muhammad Shah became the Emperor.

During Muhammad Shah’s period Chero Kings stopped paying tributes to Mughal treasury. The Governor of Bihar Sarbuland Khan led a campaign against the Raja of Chotanagpur Nagbandi Singh and defeated him. In 1742 the Marathas captured Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Bhaskar Pandit, the general of the Maratha army entered Chotanagpur through Chhatisgarh and stretched up to Midnapur.

The Emperor Shah Alam was defeated by the East-India Company at Buxar after which he grantesd the Diwani of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa to it on 12 August 1765. Jharkhand area was in Bihar and so it came under a new regime which indulged in the systematic pogrom of the peace loving tribal to the extent that in the nineteenth century they had to shed their thousands of years of slumber and start armed rebellions against the government.

The scenario changes

In fact, the local inhabitants and the kings of Jharkhand never thought themselves to be under any one. They considered themselves to be independent. Their whole concept of life, their society, their customs were different than the rest of the world. The Mughal didn’t interfere with their world; they just attacked, plundered, took tributes and went away.

But the British rulers were different. They started mercilessly attacking on their roots and social infrastructure without heeding and introduced a complicated administrative system. Therefore during the entire British regime the Jharkhand boiled giving rise to a large number of rebellions gradually complication the situation. Most of the problems, which the government of India and people of Jharkhand are facing today, are the creation and legacy of the British Raj.

One must know what the land means to the tribal. To them the land is not a property; it is a part of their life. Their ancestors cleared their village lands under the leadership of the headman or Munda and village priest, a Pahan who reallocated the lands and collected the dues. In the month of May the Munda and the Pahan called the tribesmen to assemble and distributed the land verbally to those who wished to cultivate. A piece of earth was taken as a token of acceptance from the headman who was called Mahato in some areas. It was some sort of village republic in modern terminology.

Above the village level there existed the parha or palti under the manki. Each parha had its own flag.

The tribal don’t think that their ancestors leave them even after death. When any tribal dies his descendant brings his soul to his home and place them in a fixed place reserved for the ancestors. Hence they live with spirits of their ancestors happily: it means that a tribal is a custodian of his ancestral property, he cannot sell or give his and to any one, not even his son-in-law.

This basically simple, cheerful and contented tribal society was getting blows from two sides. The tribal ruling family had assumed the title of Maharaja and along with his entire court had converted into Hindu. The Brahmins invented and ancestral link of the Maharaja with Pundarik, the mythological king of the Nags or the snakes, that the first king was the son of Pundarik by Paravati, a Brahmin girl and therefore the dynasty was Nagvanshi.

With this Hinduization came the hordes of outsiders bent upon to destroy the commune systems of Mundas and Oraons. The tribal started calling them diku or the trouble makers. There were two sets of dikus:

The first set had come much earlier and was living peacefully with the aboriginal. They were called Sadans. Their language was called Sadani, a mixture of North Bihar and tribal languages.

But the second set of dikus was devoid of human emotions. They were extremely oppressive and rapacious in nature. These dikus became Jagirdars, thikadars and mahajans. They started taking possession of tribal lands by hook or crook. The mahajans introduced the system of bondsman i.e. if a borrower was unable to repay the principal and interest he became a bondsman. In this way many tribal cultivators became virtual slaves. It led to the emigration of the tribal to other parts of Bihar and Bengal especially to the indigo plantation where there was job; often working on low wages.

The peace and tranquility of the tribal society was disturbed by the British penetration as well. After getting the diwani the East India Company introduced the permanent settlement in 1796 to strengthen its hold on the area. The diwani granted the company the right to demand tributes, land revenues and services.

This permanent settlement, a brainchild of Lord Cornwallis defined and enhanced the powers of zamindars at the cost of the tribal. Their ancient village rights were devoured by the zamindars permanent property in the soil. The traders, settlers and alien administrators started encroaching upon them when the tribal rose in protest as in Tamar in 1783 and others in 1789 till 1795 they were, brandied as marauders or rebels and silenced, by the power of barrels.

The non-tribal subordinate officers used to exaggerate the criminality of the tribal. The British didn’t understand the tribal languages so they had to rely on the versions given by these officers. In 1793 a very difficult situation was created. Tribal from Patkum, Silli and Singhbhum joined to form a common front against the British who deployed troops under Major Farmer for a year. He started an intensive investigation into the cause of this rebellion and soon found that the zamindars and the revenue collectors of the Maharaja misled him.

Major Farmer came to know the real story and took conciliatory measures after which the rebellion subsided. In fact the indirect British rule through the Hinduized Maharaja proved a curse for the tribal. The tribal had no other means to vent their grievances other than revolt and the Maharaja and his henchmen gave an exaggerated account of the trouble to the authorities at Chatra due to which every time troops were marched against the rebels.

In 1798-99 the Bhumij of Manbhum revolted against the dikus and the Britsh. The massive rebellion broke out in South-West Bankura and in North-West Midnapo The British insultingly called the tribal and oppressed people of Midnapore, Bankura and Jangal Mahal as chuars , a very derogatory term which in fact had been taken from Chor- Chuhar, meaning thieves and nasty persons who eat mice. They depended for their existence on the wealth of the forests and cultivated with primitive methods. The collector of Midnapore in a letter to the Board of Revenue wrote: Those who were enjoying the right to this land since the antiquities, when they saw that their land was being taken away from them without any rhyme or reason, or that an excessive amount of revenue was sought to be extracted from them, then they took to arms in defence of their rights. This was no matter of surprise (Letter written on 25 May 1798).

During the Mughal period, law and order was maintained in the villages with the help of Paiks. When they were dismissed from service en masse, they too joined this revolt.

In 1798, nearly 1500 rebels led by Durjan Singh, established their rule in 30 villages of Raipur Pargana. They attacked the headquarters of the Government's seat of power in this area but after a day long bloody battle, they were defeated. Yet in Salbani, the rebels were victorious and destroyed the army barracks. They burnt all zamindary documents. A few zamindars also joined the ranks of the rebels. Resorting to bloody repression and the policy of divide and rule, British were able to crush the Chuar Rebellion.

In 1806, the British confiscated the land of the Laiks of Bogir and at once the Laik ReblIion started. The Laiks were close to the chuars led by the indomitable Achal Sinha, the Laiks revolted against the Raj in the deep Sal forest of Gangani near Garbeta their headquarters by adopting guerilla tactics.

Ultimately the British destroyed the entire forest by heavy artillery fire. Yet some Laiks, headed by Achal Sinha escaped and repeatedly harried the British. An act of treachery led to the arrest of Achal and he was promptly shot dead. In 1816 the rebellion was finally crushed and some 200 rebels were brutally executed.

The acting Magistrate of Ramgarh w. Blunt gave suggestion to the government to introduce Zamindari police under Regulation XVII, 1805 to control the law and order situation in Chotanagpur, the Maharaj a accepted it after some hesitation. But the system of daroga, jamadar and mohurrir created more trouble.

In 1810 Barwa and Tamar and between 1811 and 1813 the tribal of Nawagarh under the leadership of Buktour Sahi and Mandal Singh defeated even the Ramgarh battalion.

In 1818 the Maharaja’s son and daughter died of fever and small pox. The barkandazes (a matchlockman, guard, or escort) of the Maharaja murdered a woman named Adhar Dai on the suspicion that she was a witch and she had inflicted her black magic on the two deceased children of the Maharaja.

As a sequel to it the Munda of Tamar picked up arms against the rulers under the leadership or Rudun and Kunta, the two Mundas who took refuge in the forest after a hot chase by the British troops. They were arrested with the help of the Singhbhum chiefs. The root cause of this uprising was a superstition of the tribal. The wanted to kill Tribhuvan Manjhi and others whom they accused of preventing the rainfall through their black magic. The insurgents were also conniving with the brother or Raghunath Singh of Sindri who was the leader of 1810 rising. Rudun and Kunta were imprisoned.

Meanwhile two whimsical officers S. T. Cuthbert and W. Smith were appointed to look after Chotanagpur. Both of them made several experiments to secure the full enforcement of the regulation in Chotanagpur. In 1822 Smith recommended to extend the excise tax and the following years suggested to collect the road cess. The road cess was however not enforced. For a few years only the general excise was levied in Chotanagpur. But in 1930 Cuthbert proposal that a house tax should be levied on the home brewing of the tribal because “they are great drunkards and cases have not been infrequent lately in which people have lost their lives in drunken brawls,” Another serious mistake of Cuthbert was to introduce poppy farming which was opposed by the peasants.

But Smith and Cuthbert made some useful suggestion as well. They pointed out that the people of this area are fed up with the judicial system and suggested that they should be governed by “a system of jurisprudence adapted to their actual condition and circumstance.” Both of them also gave a proposal to move the sadar station nearer to Chotanagpur but the Government turned it down leaving the tribal at the mercy of dikus and corrupt officers. Cuthbert offended the Maharaja by interfering with Sati and introducing the Zamindari Dak. In fact he wanted to grab vast powers to fulfill his dream of stopping all the evils of a backward society.

Back to the Rajmahal hills in Santal Parganas the Paharias or the hill men had become turbulent. Their northern section was called Maler. During the famine of 1770 these Maler Paharias had become deadly robbers. The zamindars employed them for plundering each other’s villages. The people of lowland and Muslim zamindars used to kill them like amok dogs or tigers.

These Paharias got the attention of Warren Hastings. In 1776 Augustus Cleveland was appointed collector of Bhagalpur. He was much impressed by their simplicity and honesty and appreciated their claim that that had always been independent. To appease them he proposed a member of benevolent schemes, are of which was allowances to sardars and naibs. Cleveland had gained their confidence love and affection to the extent that he used to meet them in the hills unarmed and almost unattended. He also established regular markets in the villages at the foot of the hills. It was unfortunate that he died at the age of 29. Paharias still remember him as Chilimili Saheb.

But after his death everything was stopped. The stipend to the tribal chiefs was usurped by the unscrupulous elements and zamindars encroached upon their lands. With the exception of Fombelle the other successors did practically nothing to pacify the Parharias. After Fombelle the supervision came under the hands of Abdul Rasul Khan who became a legendary tyrant.

The tribal were marginalized when the Hindu traders and Muslim farmers thronged to Jharkhand and modern law and administration was established. British Colonial authority facilitated the process of making the tribal pauper. The administration was manned by outsiders and there was introduction of paper currency, alien to the tribal. Their villages were in the hands of the landlords who were bent upon to confiscate their landed property. All these factors culminated in the armed resistance.

The 19th century rebellions were definitely due to consequences of illegal deprivation of tribal lands reducing the tribal to a state of poverty and badly in debt.
The first ever revolt against the landlords and the British government was led by Tilka Manjhi, in Santal tribal belt in 1771. He wanted to liberate his people from the clutches of the unscrupulous landlords and restore the lands of their ancestors.

Baba Tilka Majhi was first freedom fighter of India. He had raised his voice against English fought with them around 100 years before Mangal Pandey. He drove a mortal arrow into Cleveland, the British Commissioner who had made a great name for himself by pacifying the region. The arrow killed Cleveland.

This great Santal revolutionary took up the arms against the British in the 1789's. The British surrounded the Tilapore forest from which he operated but he and his men held the enemy at bay for several weeks. When he was finally caught in 1784, he was tied to the tail of a horse and dragged all the way to the collector's residence at Bhgalpur. There, his lacerated body was hung from a Banyan tree. A statue to the heroic leader was erected at the spot after independence.

Then in 1779, the Bhumij tribes rose in arms against the British rule in Manbhum, now in West Bengal. The Bhumij were well known as a turbulent people. They thwarted any attempt to settle the jungle Mahals.

Afterwards the Chero tribes unrest in Palamau rocked the area. They revolted against the British Rule in 1800 AD. Seven years later in 1807, the Oraons in Barway murdered their big landlord of Srinagar west of Gumla. Soon the uprisings spread around Gumla. The tribal uprisings spread eastward to Tamar areas of the Munda tribes.

The landlords were given extraordinary powers and the authority to evict the tenants, dispose of and sell their property, and even seize their persons without recourse to the court of law and the tenants had no document of their rights. The signs of tribal unrest became evident when in 1789, there was an insurrection in Tamar. Though it was crushed by the military, but disturbances followed again in 1794 and 95. Police outstations were then introduced who joined hands with the powerful landlords to further worsen the state of the tribal. Further insurrections followed in 1811, 1817 and 1820. The Hos in Singhbhum were becoming restless. They came out in open revolt in 1820 and fought against the landlords and the British troops for two years.




Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sido-Kanhu Murmu University, Dumka, Jharkhand

Sido Kanhu Murmu University (SKMU), Dumka formerly known as Siddhu Kanhu University was established with effect from 10th January 1992 by an Act of Bihar Legislative Assembly published in the Bihar Gazette (Ext. Ord.) dated 05 March 1992.

Sido Kanhu Murmu University or SKMU Dumka, formerly known as Siddhu Kanhu University, was established in 1992 by an Act of Bihar Legislative Assembly. It is situated in one of the most backward areas of the country dominated by the Santhals and the Pahariyas. The university has been carved out from Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University. It is affiliated to the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

Santal Academy at the Sido-Kanhu Murmu University, Dumka, Jharkhand was established in 1996 but it had been dormant except the building itself which is being used as the office of the Vice-Chancellor as the university has not got her own buildings yet.The new Vice-Chancellor Prof.(Dr.) Victor Tigga who is also the chairman of the Academy and his Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof.(Dr) Promodini Hansdak who is secretary of the Academy took keen interest in the Academy and after years of inactivity suddenly decided to do something about it.They managed to get some funding and with the help and support of the advisory committee members organised the 1st state level
Santali Language and Literature seminar on 27th & 28th Feb.2009 and it was concluded successfully in spite of initial teething problems and change of dates at the last moment.

At last it turned out to be a successful Seminar.The Chief guest on the occasion was Mr. Sido Hembrom IPS, D.I.G, Ranchi and the guest of honour was Dr. Anil K. Shrivastava, Director of Higher Education, Govt of Jharkhand.The resource persons and other important guests included Dr. P,C. Hembrom, past Vice-Chancellor of SKM university, Dumka, Profs.Digamber Hansdak and Dr K,C Tudu, Prof.(Dr) Bahadur Mishra of Tilka Manjhi University, Bhagalpur.Mr Nirmal BK Soren,poet and writer from Kolkatta,Mr, Cunda Soren" sipahi", Mr Rasik Besra and many others interested in Santali language and literature.Most of the santal lecturers and Prof. of all constituent colleges and many students attended the Seninar which was concluded with culture programmes arranged by the local students.A high quality souvenir was also published.

Tributes were paid to some of the past poets and writers who are no more with us including Late Babulal Murmu "Adivasi" who passed away only few weeks ago.A short clips of his video interview and flute playing was screened on the occasion which was greatly appreciated by all.

But this is only the bigining and we hope to hear more about such activities in coming years.

Dhuni Soren, Dumka

Profile of University
Sido Kanhu Murmu University (formerly known as Siddhu Kanhu University) is situated in the indigenous peoples dominated area of Santhal Parganas region of Jharkhand state in eastern India. It has its headquarters at Dumka, the second capital of Jharkhand, Sido Kanhu Murmu University (SKMU) was founded as Siddhu Kanhu University on 10 January 1992 by an Act of Bihar Legislative Assembly. It was carved out from Bhagalpur University now known as Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University. The university was renamed as Sido Kanhu Murmu University (SKMU) on 6 May, 2003 by an amendment made in the section 3(1) of the Jharkhand State Universities Act 2000 (Amendment).

The university was recognized by and affiliated to the Association of Indian Universities on 6 May, 1993. It was granted recognition under Section 12 (B) of the UGC Act, 1956 in May 2006.

Sido Kanhu Murmu University was previously known as Siddhu Kanhu University. By an Act of Bihar Legislative Assembly, the University was established on 10th January 1992. When the state of Jharkhand was created the University was renamed as the `Sido Kanhu Murmu University` by an amendment made in the Jharkhand State Universities Act 2000. This University was separated from the Bhagalpur University (which is now known as Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University) and made a separate university. The University is affiliated to the Association of Indian Universities. It is located in Dumka in Jharkhand.

The University provides undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in arts science and commerce. Doctoral degrees are also awarded in the faculties of Social Science, Humanities and Science.

Sido Kanhu Murmu University was carved out of the Bhagalpur University (which is now known as Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University). It was first known as Siddhu Kanhu University (SKU). When the state of Jharkhand was created, the University was rechristened as the `Sido Kanhu Murmu University` by an amendment made in the Jharkhand State Universities Act 2000. SKMU Dumka was established with the aim of providing facilities for higher education and research in the Santhal Parganas.

S.K.M. University is situated in one of the most backward areas of the country dominated by the Santhals and the Pahariyas. Named after Sido and Kanhu, the two great martyrs of Santhal Hul of 1855, who manumitted the aborigins - the Pahariyas and the Santhals and also other dwelling in this region from he exploitation by the money-lenders, Zaminadars as well as the persons enjoying powers, S.K.M. University, Dumka was established with the aim of providing facilities for higher education and research in the Santhal Parganas where the facilities were poor or none. Even then, within the limits and constraints, S.K.M. University has been serving the purpose for which it was established, admirably, by bringing about a social and educational revolution in the Santhal Parganas.

Educational Streams
Sido Kanhu Murmu University conducts undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Arts, Science and Commerce. Doctoral degrees are also granted in the faculties of Social Science, Humanities and Science. Continuously assisted by the state government, Siddu Kanhu has proper infrastructure to impart education in the traditional subjects. The university lays stress on the regional way of life and includes these in the courses. It has played a significant role in imparting higher education in this region of the country.

The university offers basic infrastructural amenities to facilitate learning. Science faculty has proper labs where students can experiment and learn scientific theories. The university is rapidly upgrading itself to provide more facilities to its students. It has a lower teacher to students ratio that means the teachers can take more care of individual students.

* Faculty of Humanities
* Faculty of Social Sciences
* Faculty of Science
* Faculty of Commerce

Courses And Facilities
Courses offered by SKU Dumka
M. Sc. Zoology
B. Sc. hons. Zoology
M. Sc. Statistics
M. A. Statistics
B. Sc. hons. Statistics
B. A. Hons Statistics
M. A. Sociology
B. A. Hons Sociology
Ph. D Social Science
Ph. D Humanities and Social Sciences
M. A. Sanskrit
B. A. Hons Sanskrit
M. A. Political Science
B. A. Hons Political Science
M. Sc. Physics
B. Sc. hons. Physics
M. Sc. Mathematics
B. Sc. hons. Mathematics
B. A. Hons Mathematics
M. A. History
B. A. Hons History
M. A. Hindi
B. A. Hons Hindi
M. Sc. Geology
B. Sc. hons. Geology
M. A. English
B. A. Hons English
M. A. Economics
B. Com. Hons Applied Economics
B. A. Hons Economics
M. Com. in Commerce
M. Sc. in Chemistry
B. Sc. hons. in Chemistry
M. Sc. in Botany
B. Sc. hons. in Botany
M. A. in Anthropology
B. A. Hons in Anthropology

Courses Offered
Faculty Of Humanities
1. Hindi
2. English
3. Santhali
4. Philosophy

Faculty Of Social Science
1. Economics
2. Political Science
3. Psychology
4. History

Faculty Of Science
1. Physics
2. Chemistry
3. Botany
4. Zoology
5. Mathematics

Vocational Courses
1. Geo Exploration and Drilling Technology
2. Sericulture and Silk Technology
3. Seed Technology
4. Advertising, Sales Promotion and Sales Management
5. Bio- Technology (Proposed)

Post Graduate Courses
1. MCA
2. MTech
3. MCA
4. MBA

Sio Kanhu Murmu University Dumka-814101 Applications on plain paper from eligible and desirous candidates are invited for the post of lecturer in self financing BEd. Courses required in different constituent colleges under S.K.M. University, Dumka on purely contractual basis latest by 25/08/2008. They are required to submit their Bio-Data and certificates of educational qualifications and a bank draft of Rs 500/- for General & OBC and Rs. 250/- for SC/ST, along with the applica­tion in favour of Registrar, S.K.M. University, Dumka payable at Dumka. Qualifications : Master's Degree with M.Ed. (with 55% marks) or Master's Degree with B.Ed. (having 55% marks) from recognized Institution/university. (i) Ph.D./ M.Phil(preferably Ph.D. in Education/ Educational Planning and Management) shall be given special weightage. (ii) Candidates having B.Ed. degree of two years duration shall be given special weightage. Age : 55 Years as on 31/07/2008. SC/ST/OBC candidates are required to... Click on the Title above to see the details. For detailed information, kindly visit and also for other information.

Colleges affiliated with this University

Total number of colleges affiliated with this University = 17
1 AN College, Dumka
2 Bhagwat Jha Azad College, Kundahit
3 BLNL. Bohra College, Rajmahal
4 Degree College, Nala
5 Deoghar College, Deoghar
6 Dr Jagannath Mishra College, Jasidih
7 Godda College, Godda
8 Jamtara Mahila Sandhya College, Jamtara
9 JJS College, Mihijam
10 KKM College, Pakur
11 Mahila College, Godda
12 MG College, Raneshwar
13 Sahibganj College, Sahibganj
14 Santhal Pargana College, Dumka
15 SBSSPSJ College, Pathergama
16 Shikaripara College, Shikaripara
17 SRT College, Dhamri

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