Odisha Channel Bureau
BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged the Centre to consider the State government’s proposal to declare the Paika Rebellion of 1817 as India’s first war of independence.
In a letter addressed to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh a day after Odisha Cabinet approved a proposal in this regard, Patnaik requested the Centre “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 foreign rule”.
It would be a befitting tribute to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Paika rebellion, he said.
“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 Indian Independence’ not simply because it took place four decades prior to the Sepoy Mutiny but due to its very nature and characteristic features,” said Patnaik in his letter to Singh.
The Chief Minister said the Paika Rebellion, popularly known as Paika Bidroha, was a broad-based and well-organised struggle against the oppressive rule of the British East India Company.
“The nature of the revolt was widespread. It started from the Kondhs of Ghumsar and subsequently spread to Banpur, Khordha, Pipili, Puri, Kujanga, Pattamundei, Keonjhar etc. It was not localised resistance but a broad based rebellion,” the State Cabinet had said in its proposal on Tuesday.