By Amarpreet Singh Kale
Whenever we talk about the struggle of martyr Birsa Munda, our eyes become moist, his story of the immense loyalty and bravery of such a brave revolutionary makes us feel proud. Such a hero, who not only fought the British for his holy land, for his society and his people, for his culture and above all to protect his self-respect and the pride of the tribal community, he gave a tough fight to the British.
The beginning of the tribal struggle saga starts from the eighteenth century. From the Pahariya rebellion of 1766 to the Ghadar of 1857, the tribals continued to struggle. From 1895 to 1900, Birsa Munda’s great revolt went on ‘Ulgulan’. The tribals were continuously evicted from the water, forest-land and their natural resources and they continued to raise their voice against it.
Birsa Munda’s first attention was towards the poverty of the Munda community. Like today, the life of the tribals was still full of deprivations. There was neither proper food to eat nor clothes to wear. On one side there was poverty and on the other hand their forests were snatched away by the ‘Indian Forest Act’ 1882. The forests which were entitled to abode were evicted from the forests. Seeing this, Birsa Munda took up arms and bravely led this fight.
Initially, Birsa Munda, who earned a lot of respect as a social reformer, used to give his full time to remove the evils from the society. Staying away from drinking, avoiding witchcraft, hypocrisy etc., leading a pious life, etc. were the main themes of his campaign. In essence, this was the reason why Birsa Munda came to be called Bhagwan Birsa Munda throughout the state. The oppression of the British increased, which they could not bear. Then they took a pledge that they would fight the battle against the oppression of the British. A fierce battle was fought by him, due to which the British started trembling in the name of Birsa Munda. The British government declared a reward on them and some traitors got them caught while sleeping in the night in the greed of reward.
Later the British hanged him and thus Bhagwan Birsa Munda became immortal forever.
Birsa Munda is a brave son of Jharkhand whose dreams, I think, remain incomplete even today. The development which should have happened in lieu of the mineral wealth and natural resources present here, this area is still deserted. People are still uneducated in large numbers, unemployed. People do not get proper food, no clothes to cover their bodies; they are not treated properly, while exploitation of these assets spreads prosperity to other places.
In the BJP government, the most revered Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee recognized the state of Jharkhand and even today the Narendra Modi government gives special importance to Jharkhand. I hope that the present respected Shri Hemant Soren ji’s government in Jharkhand and respected Shri Narendra Modi ji’s government together will prepare a concrete action plan towards fulfilling the dream that Lord Birsa Munda ji had seen and Lord Birsa Munda Ji’s dreams will be fulfilled.