Janjatiya Gaurav Divas

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    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister has approved the declaration of 15th November as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas.
      • On November 15, the  State of Jharkhand celebrates its foundation day. The state was carved out of Bihar in 2000 on the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda.

    About

    • The date was chosen as it was the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda, was an Indian freedom fighter, religious leader and folk hero from the Munda Tribe of the Chhota Nagpur Plateau area.
    • Also, in the remembrance of other brave tribal freedom fighters who sacrifices their lives for the country.
    • Tribal heroes: 
      • India’s freedom struggle was strengthened by several movements by tribal communities such as Santhals, Tamars, Kols, Bhils, Khasis and Mizos to name a few. 
    • Tribal freedom fighter museum:
      • In his Independence Day speech in 2016, PM announced the setting up of 10 such tribal museums in the country.
      • A tribal freedom fighter museum at Ranchi would be inaugurated by the Prime Minister.

    Who was Birsa Munda?

    • Early Life:
      • He was an Indian freedom fighter, religious leader and folk hero from the Munda Tribe of the Chhota Nagpur Plateau area.
      • Born on 15th November 1875 in Ulihatu of the erstwhile Bengal Presidency which is now in the Khunti district of Jharkhand.
      • He learned about Hindu religious teachings from a Vaishnav monk and studied ancient scriptures along with the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
    • Founder of New religion Birsait:
      • It believed in One God and encouraged them to revert to their original religious beliefs.
      • People of the Munda and Oraon community joined the sect and posed a challenge to British conversion activities of tribals.
      • Through the religion, Munda preached a strong Anti – British sentiment and mobilised thousands of tribal folk to form guerrilla armies to attack the Raj.
      • He was referred to as  ‘Dharti Abba or Father of Earth’ by his followers.
    • In March 1900, while fighting the British alongside his guerilla army, Munda was arrested in Jamkopai forest in Chakradharpur. A few months later, on 9 June, he passed away while in custody.

    Munda Rebellion

    • It was the tribal movement led by Munda against the oppressions of the British Raj.
    • The movement was referred to as ‘Ulgulan’ or the ‘Great Tumult’  and aimed to establish Munda raj.
    • Munda used traditional symbols and language to rouse people and urged them to destroy the dikus.
      • Dikus was the name given to the outsiders like the British, moneylenders and traders and it was believed that the dikus were responsible for all the miseries.
    • Birsa and his rebellions started to attack the symbols of the outsiders like police stations and churches and raided the property of moneylenders and zamindars.
    • Birsa Munda was arrested by the British in March 1900 while he was sleeping with his tribal guerilla army at Jamkopai forest in Chakradharpur (Jharkhand).
    • Birsa died of cholera in jail at the age of 25 and with his death, the Munda rebellion movement faded out.
    • Outcomes of the Rebellion:
    • After his death, the British government introduced the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act in 1908, which prohibited the transfer of tribal land to non-tribals(Dikus).
    • British learned the lesson not to interfere with the faith and beliefs of the tribals in India and after that, they kept a lenient attitude towards the tribals of India.

    Source:  TH