Naveen urges Rajnath to declare Paika Bidroha as First War of Independence

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Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, urging him to declare ‘Paika Bidroha’ of 1817 as the First War of Independence.
“The Paika Rebellion (1817 AD) of Odisha, which took place 40 years before the ‘Sepoy Mutiny’ (1857 AD) eminently qualifies to be called as the ‘First War of Independence,’ not simply because it took place four decades prior to the Sepoy Mutiny but due to its very nature and characteristic features,” he wrote in the letter.
The chief minister said it was a broad-based and well-organized plural struggle against the oppressive British rule. It cannot be a mere coincidence that Paika Rebellion measured by its form as well as content provides a marvellous analogy with the subsequent freedom movement and its outcome, he said.
“I think that it would be a befitting tribute to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Paika Rebellion. I request the Government of India to consider this proposal positively so that the people of India appreciate, in correct perspective, the events that led to the Indian Freedom Struggle and our historic Independence from the foreign rule,” he added.
On Tuesday, the state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister at the secretariat here had approved a proposal to urge the Centre to declare Paika Rebellion as the First War of Indian Independence.

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