Paika Rebellion UPSC
Recently, President of India laid the foundation stone for the Paika Memorial in Odisha’s Khurda district to mark 200 years of the Paika Rebellion UPSC.
About Paika rebellion upsc
Paika rebellion was an armed rebellion that took place in Odisha against the British East India Company. Paikas are the traditional land militia of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha. They own rent-free land that had been given to them for their military service to Kingdom of Khurda. The British, having establish their sway over Bengal Province and Madras Province to the north and south of Odisha, which was occupy by them in 1803.
- The King of Odisha Mukunda Deva-ll was a minor then and initial resistance by Jai Rajguru, the custodian of Mukunda Deva-II, was put down brutally.
- Rulers of Khurda were traditionally the custodians of Jagannath Temple and rule as the deputy of lord Jagannath on earth. They symbolised the political and cultural freedom of the people of Odisha.
A few years later, the Paikas under Baxi Jagabandhu, the hereditary chief of the militia army of the Gajapati King, rose in rebellion. And taking support of tribals and other sections of society. They attack British symbols of power, setting ablaze police stations, administrative offices and the treasury during their march towards Khurda, from where the British fled. They also got the support of the zamindars, village heads and ordinary peasants.
Causes of Paika Rebellion
Contemporary political condition of Khurda
The hanging of Jayi Rajaguru, the deposition of Raja Mukundadeva II and the reorganization of administration in Khurda by the British. It enrage the people of Khurda.
Faulty revenue policy:
With Colonial rule there comes a new land revenue settlements in the region. which led to the Paikas losing their estates and land were transfer to the Bengali absentee landlords.
The new currency system:
The British changed the currency system from cowrie to rupee. The villagers face a lot of problems in handling the new currency. And they were grossly exploited by the local mahajanas.
British salt policy:
The long sea coast of Odisha produces a huge quantity of salt. which‘s use by the people for their use freely. However, the British authority deprive the zamindars and the local people of coastal region of their traditional rights to manufacture salt.
Suppression of the revolt
The British initially take aback and then suppression follow with many deaths and imprison. Many more get torture. Some rebels fight a guerilla war till 1819 but get capture and punishment. Baxi Jagabandhu finally get arrest in 1825 and die in captivity in 1829.
After the suppression:
- Paikas were also force to leave the profession of militia men of the king. And to adopt cultivation and other works as means to earn livelihood.
- The price of the salt get reduce and also more salt was available for the smooth purchase of the people.
- When Raja Mukundadeva II die on 30 November 1817, his son Ramachandradeva III was allow to move to Puri. He was allow to an annual pension and to take over the charge of the management of the Jagannath temple of Puri. By this arrangement, the British government win the mind and sentiment of the people of Odisha.
Paika Rebellion as the First war of Independence
- The uprising is Also call as an expression against the disruption of traditional way of life of the region due to advent of British.
- It was directly against the colonial masters and due to the large-scale participation of all the section of the society it is sometimes refer as the “First war of Independence”.
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