Not Declaring Paika Bidroha As 1st War Of Independence ‘Insult To Odisha History’: BJD MPs

Bhubaneswar: Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy’s reply in the Lok Sabha on Paika Bidroha (Paika Rebellion)  has sparked a new battle. Terming it as “slight and insult to the rich history and culture of Odisha”, a delegation of BJD MPs met his deputy in New Delhi on Monday.

In a memorandum submitted to Union Minister of State for Culture, Arjun Ram Meghwal, they demanded that the 1817 rebellion against the British Empire led by Bakshi Jagabandhu be declared as the First War of Independence.

On December 3, Union Culture Minister had said that Paika Rebellion cannot be called the First War of Independence as per the comments received from Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), which examined the matter. The ICHR is under the Ministry of Education.

“Considering that this is one of the beginnings of popular uprisings against the British in India, it has been decided to include it as a case study in the Class VIII history textbook of NCERT, which deals with the 1857 event,” he added.

The BJD MPs referred to the Odisha cabinet resolution of July 18, 2017, to declare Paika Bidroha as First War of Independence and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in this regard.

“The people of Odisha wholeheartedly supported this proposal and were overjoyed that finally the rich heritage and culture of the land of Paikas would be rightly recognised, which it richly deserves,” the memorandum said.

They also mentioned the Bicentenary Celebration of Paika Bidroha held in New Delhi on July 20, 2017. “On October 23, 2017, the then Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar in a press meet at Bhubaneswar announced that Paika Bidroha will find a place as the First War of Independence against the British Rule in the history books,” it further stated.

The MPs said that people were “shocked, anguished and pained” when they recently came to know that the Centre refused to declare Paika Bidroha also known as Paika Rebellion as the First War of Independence. “We strongly demand along with the 4.5 crore people of Odisha, that the Government of India must immediately declare Paika Bidroha as the First War of Independence. Until this demand is met, the pride and the glory of Odisha and the 4.5 Crore Odias will not allow us to rest for a moment,” they added.


OB Bureau

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