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10000 Santhals Died For Their Independence

The history of great Santhal (the aboriginal tribe of India) also finds its roots in Indus Valley Civilization. Their struggle and spirit to sacrifice for their freedom was punished jointly by Britishers, Indian zamidars and moneylenders. Their yearn for independence is also mirrored in the story of Bhil-Meenas. However, their prolonged struggle has resulted in formation of Jharkhand. Like Bhils they are also Mulnivasis of India. Slowly the gap between backward castes and tribes is narrowing down. The process has to be hastened through education. It will help Indian society at large.

"There was a time that the Brahmins as late as Tilak, took pride in projecting themselves as conquers. But post-Tilak Brahmanic scholarship, after the exploration of Indus valley sites by 1921 to 1927, coinciding with the rise of RSS, is bent on proving that Aryans are the original residents of India and that there was no "Aryan Invasion". They try to prove that Aryans were a civilized people and were the builders and not the destroyers of Harrapan Civilization. What is the reason, that they wish to somehow prove this? To us, it appears that, since Mahatma Jotirao Phule criticized the "Arya Bhats" for the atrocious behaviours of these people towards "shudras and ati-shudras", in this "Land of Bali" - Bali Sthan -, and organized the masses against the Aryabhats, the latter felt that they will loose the supremacy, which they had achieved and very jealously guarded. So it became eminent for them, they prove that they are not aliens, they belong to the soil, and that Aryan Invasion is just a myth. Voluminous literature is being created by them and every method is being used to promote through the media, print as well as electronic, to put forward this view. Not withstanding all this, it was the Naagas who were the original residents of this land and Aryans were the invaders. That is the verdict of the history. Aryans proudly mention the cities burned by them in Saptsindhu, they also declare name of Rishi who championed to cross Vindhyas and pave the way for invasions in South India in later times, do they mention any name who went to west to invade? Afterall, people always migrate from barren land to "greener pastures", not vice versa. Why should Indians migrate to deserts and unfertile lands of middle east with inhospitable climate?"

The Wiki story of Santhals (retrieved on 11-01-2010) goes like this:-
“The insurrection of the Santals was mainly against the corrupt moneylenders, zamindars and their operatives. Before the advent of the British in India the Santhals resided peacefully in the hilly districts of Mayurbhanj Chhotanagpur, Palamau, Hazaribagh, Midnapur, Bankura and Birbhum. Their agrarian way of life was based on clearing the forest; they also engaged themselves in hunting for subsistence. But, as the agents of the new colonial rule claimed their rights on the lands of the Santals, they peacefully went to reside in the hills of Rajmahal. After a brief period of peace the British operatives with their native counterparts jointly started claiming their rights in this new land as well. The simple and honest Santals were cheated and turned into slaves by the zamindars and the money lenders who first appeared to them as business men and lured them into debt, first by goods lent to them on loans. However hard the Santals tried to repay these loans, they never ended. Through corrupt measures of the money lenders, the debts multiplied to an amount for which a generation of the santal family had to work as slaves. Furthermore, the Santali women who worked under labour contractors were disgraced and abused. This loss of the freedom that they once enjoyed turned them into rebels.

Rebellion
On 30 June 1855, two great Santal rebel leaders, Sido Murmu and his brother Kanhu, mobilized ten thousand Santals and declared a rebellion against British colonists. The Santals initially gained some success but soon the British found out a new way to tackle these rebels. Instead, they forced them to come out of the forest. In a conclusive battle which followed, the British, equipped with modern firearms and war elephants, stationed themselves at the foot of the hill. When the battle began the British officer ordered his troops to fire without loading bullets. The Santals, who did not suspect this trap set by the British war strategy, charged with full potential. This step proved to be disastrous for them: as soon as they neared the foot of the hill, the British army attacked with full power and this time they were using bullets. Thereafter, attacking every village of the Santals, they made sure that the last drop of revolutionary spirit was annihilated. Although the revolution was brutally suppressed, it marked a great change in the colonial rule and policy. The day is still celebrated among the Santal community with great respect and spirit for the thousands of the Santal martyrs who sacrificed their lives along with their two celebrated leaders to win freedom from the rule of the Jamindars and the British operatives.”

Source: http://sites.google.com/site/bhagatmypage/10000-santhals-died-for-their-independence
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