President inaugurates Paika Rebellion Fest in Delhi

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 21, 2017

Besides, 150 Paika descendants and many dignitaries were also present in the event.

Proposal of declaring the Paika Rebellion of 1817 as the First War of Independence in Indian history was requested by Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Chief Minister.

He mentioned that Paika Bidroha was a broad-based and well-organised plural struggle against the oppressive rule of the British East India Company.

Chief Minister emphasized that Paika rebellion, which took place in 1817 AD in Odisha, took place 40 years before Sepoy Mutiny ( 1857 AD ) and eminently should be called as "First war of independence" due to the nature and characteristic of war.

Mukherjee said that completion of 200 years of this popular uprising was a special event. The Odia people are still fighting for their pride. "Paika Rebellion was not only the rebellion of Paikas, it was a National War waged by ordinary people at the grassroots level who resented the dispossession of their Sovereign of his rights and the consequential repressive measures that followed", Mukherjee said in his address.

He urged academicians and historians to rely on indigenous source material like folklore which can give a true account of the struggle faced by the common people.

Along with Buxi Jagabandu, the hero of the rebellion, Mukherjee also remembered Dinabandhu Samantray Mohapatra, Dama Subudhi Manjaraj, Samanta Madhaba Chandra Routray (Dalbehera of Tapanga), Pindiki Bahubalendra, Krutibas Patsani who fought along side him.

Attending the event, chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced his government's intention to erect a "Paika Amar Jyoti Stamba" a pillar in the memory of the valiant "Paikas", which added to the series of initiatives he has announced in the recent days. "A statue of 1817 hero Buxi Jagabandhu similar in grandeur to the Statue of Liberty (New York), Sardar Patel's statue of unity on Narmada and Shivaji's statue in Maharashtra will inspire the future generations", he said. Such recognition would be a befitting tribute to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Paika Rebellion, he added.

Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, and Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also attended the function.

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