The Santhal Uprising

Most Indians are familiar with the 1857 rebellion and the independence movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress in the first half of the 20th century. Lesser known is the tribal uprising of the Santhals, a Munda ethnic group based in what is now Jharkhand. The 19th century saw countless movements, such as the Santal Rebellion, which played a key role in India's struggle for freedom.
The Santhal Rebellion (Source: Google)

The Santhal Rebellion (Source: Google)

Santhal's Rebellion (also known as Hulu's Rebellion) began on June 30, 1855, with their rebellion against prominent leaders such as Sidu, Kamphu, Chand and Bhairav ​​and their two sisters, Flo and Jano.The Santhals were a tribal people who lived in the hill forests of Rajmahal. In 1832, the East India Company demarcated Daminico from the Jharkhand area and gave the Santhals to settle on their land on the promise of non-interference.

But as times changed and demand from the UK increased, sandal rents rose at an exorbitant rate. In the end, Santhals realized that the only option was to revolt against the British and Zamindars which led to the Santhal rebellion.

Of the numerous tribal rebellions, the Santal-Four, or riot, was the largest. The Santal tribe, living in the area between Bhagalpur and Raj Mahal, known as Damanikoh, revolted. They made a determined attempt to oust the outsider, Dix, and proclaimed the complete "extinction" of the alien regime. The social circumstances that spurred them to revolt are described by a contemporary of the Calcutta Review as follows: “Personal violence used violence and various petty tyranny against the cowardly and yielding Santhal. High-interest rates on money loans of 50-500 per cent. Mistakes in transportation and markets. Intentional and unloving encroachments by the rich encroach on the growing crops of poorer races with untethered cows, tattoos, ponies and even elephants. Similar illegal activities are widespread. ”

Depressed and distressed, the Santhal tribe engaged in guerrilla warfare, and they rebelled from 1855 for a year, till 1856. The Santhals assembled their own army, including peasants, and marched against their oppressors. Santhal forces destroyed postal communications along with railway lines.

The two brothers from the Santhal Tribe, Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu, along with their sisters, Phulo and Jhano Murmu, led the rebellion. They militarized over 10,000Warehouses and warehouses were also destroyed and set on fire. They headed for their headquarters in Calcutta (now Calcutta).

However, when word of their rebellion reached the government, they sent an army to shoot down Santhal. Loaded with heavy weapons to take revenge with bow and arrow. Elephants were used to destroy their homes. The brother duo Sidhu and Kanhuwere arrested and executed. At the same time, Phulo and Jhano Murmu secretly infiltrated the enemy camp and killed 21 soldiers before dying. Unfortunately, the rebellion met a brutal end. British forces put the village on fire, killing and even raping over 15,000 Sanhals to quell their struggle.

The Santhals were unable to claim full power of the government and were suppressed.


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