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Declare ‘Paika Bidroh’ as first war of independence: BJD

The Biju Janata Dal Parliamentary Party on Monday demanded that Centre must immediately declare ‘Paika rebellion’ as the first war of Indian independence struggle.

The BJD Parliamentary party members met Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal in New Delhi and told him as to why the demand for recognising ‘Pakia Bidroh’ as first war of independence is justified.

The BJD raised the issue after Union Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy furnished a written reply saying ‘Paika Rebellion’ cannot be called the first war of independence.

“Ministry of Culture had received a reference from Chief Minister of Odisha through Ministry of Home Affairs requesting for declaration of Paika Rebellion 1817 of Odisha as the first war of independence,” Mr. Reddy informed the Upper House of Parliament on December 2.

The written reply says, “The matter was examined in consultation with Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) under Ministry of Education. As per comments received from ICHR, Paika Rebellion cannot be called the First War of Independence,” he said, adding that it had been decided to include it as a ‘case-study’ in the Class VIII history textbook of NCERT, which deals with the 1857 event.”

The BJD delegation led by its Lok Sabha leader Pinaki Misra told Mr. Meghwal that Paika Rebellion had taken place in 1817, which was India's first organised armed rebellion against the British raj.

“This was the first war of independence for India which was 40 years before the revolt of 1857, which was later termed as first war of Indian independence against British colonialism. Paika Bidroh was fought under the leadership of Baxi Jagabandhu of Odisha,” they said in a memorandum.

The legend of the heroics of Baxi Jagabandhu as well as the valiant Paikas of Odisha continues to inspire the 4.5 crore Odias since the last two centuries, the BJD Parliamentary Party said.

On July 18, 2017 the Odisha Cabinet of Ministers led by Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, passed a resolution to declare Paika Bidroha as first war of independence. Subsequently, Mr. Patnaik wrote a letter to then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh requesting him to declare Paika Bidroha as the first war of independence.

The BJD MPs said, “On October 23, 2017, the then Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar in a press meet at Bhubaneswar announced that ‘Paika Bidroh’ will find a place as the first war of independence against the British Rule in the history books. The students shall learn factual history of 1817.”

Stating that people of Odisha were shocked, anguished and pained when they recently came to know that the Centre had refused to declare Paika Bidroha also known as Paika Rebellion, the party leaders said they were receiving hundreds of calls from Odias who consider this reply as a slight and insult to the rich history and culture of Odisha.

“The 4.5 crore people of Odisha as well as proud Odias across the world are aggrieved by this grievous injury to their Odia identity and history. Until this demand is met, the pride and the glory of Odisha will not allow us to rest for a moment,” the MPs said in a memorandum.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 9:04:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/declare-paika-bidroh-as-first-war-of-independence-bjd/article37876235.ece

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