General Studies IHISTORYModern India

Janjatiya Gaurav Divas


The Union Cabinet has approved 15th November as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas to commemorate the brave tribal freedom fighters as part of the year-long celebrations of 75 years of India’s Independence.

Janjatiya Gaurav Divas:

  • Janjatiya Gaurav Divas is a name given to 15 November 2021 by the Union Cabinet of the Government of India, in its meeting held on 10 November 2021,
  • The day remembered the contribution of tribal freedom fighters, as part of the year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of Indian independence.
  • November 15 is the birthday of the great tribal warrior Birsa Munda
  • The declaration of November 15 as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas acknowledges the cultural heritage and glorious history of tribal communities.
  • The Janjatiya Gaurav Divas will be celebrated every year to recognize the efforts of the tribals in the preservation of cultural heritage and promotion of Indian values of national pride, valour, and hospitality.

Who was Birsa Munda (1875-1900)?

  • Birsa Munda was an Indian tribal freedom fighter, religious leader, and folk hero who belonged to the Munda tribe.
  • He spearheaded a tribal religious millenarian movement that arose in the Bengal Presidency (now Jharkhand) in the late 19th century, during the British Raj.

His legacy

  • Birth and early childhood
    • Born on November 15, 1875, Birsa spent much of his childhood moving from one village to another with his parents.
    • He belonged to the Munda tribe in the Chhotanagpur Plateau area.
    • He received his early education at Salga under the guidance of his teacher Jaipal Nag.
    • On the recommendation of Jaipal Nag, Birsa converted to Christianity in order to join the German Mission school.
    • He, however, opted out of the school after a few years.
  • New faith ‘Birsait’ against religious conversion
    • The impact of Christianity was felt in the way he came to relate to religion later.
    • Having gained awareness of the British colonial ruler and the efforts of the missionaries to convert tribals to Christianity, Birsa started the faith of ‘Birsait’.
    • Soon members of the Munda and Oraon community started joining the Birsait sect and it turned into a challenge to British conversion activities.
    • The Mundas called him Dharati Aaba, the father of earth.
  • The Ulgulan
    • The Great Tumult or Ulgulan was a movement started by Birsa Munda against the exploitation and discrimination against tribals by the local authorities.
    • Although the movement failed, it did result in the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act which forbade tribal lands passing to non-tribals, protecting their land rights for the foreseeable future.
  • Death
    • On March 3, 1900, Birsa Munda was arrested by the British police while he was sleeping with his tribal guerilla army at Jamkopai forest in Chakradharpur.
    • He died in Ranchi jail on June 9, 1900, at the young age of 25.
  • Creation of Jharkhand
    • Birsa Munda’s achievements are known to be even more remarkable by virtue of the fact that he came to acquire them before he was 25.
    • In recognition of his impact on the national movement, the state of Jharkhand was created on his birth anniversary in 2000.

Other Tribal Freedom Fighters

Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh: 

  • He is considered the Pride of Sonakhan in Chhattisgarh, he looted trader’s grain stock and distributed them amongst the poor after the 1856 famine.
  • The sacrifice of Veer Narayan Singh made him a tribal leader and he became the first martyr from Chhattisgarh in the independence struggle of 1857.

Shri Alluri Seetha Ram Raju: 

  • He was born on 4th July, 1897 in a village called Mogallu near Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Alluri is best remembered for leading the Rampa Rebellion against the British in which he organised the tribal people of Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts to revolt against the foreigners.
  • He was inspired by the revolutionaries of Bengal to fight against the British government.

Rani Gaidinliu:  

  • She was a Naga spiritual and political leader who led a revolt against British rule in India. At the age of 13, she joined the Heraka religious movement of her cousin Haipou Jadonang.
  • For her, the Naga people’s journey to freedom was part of India’s wider movement for freedom. She also spread the message of Gandhi ji in Manipur region.

Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu: 

  • On 30th June 1855, two years before the Great Revolt of 1857, two Santhal brothers Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu organised 10,000 Santhals and proclaimed a rebellion against the British.
  • The tribals took an oath to drive away from the British from their homeland. The Murmu brothers’ sisters Phulo and Jhano also played an active part in the rebellion.

Source: The Hindu



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