Birsa Munda

Birsa Munda was a freedom fighter of the Indian tribe. He belonged to the Munda tribe. He was called “Dharti Abba” which means “father of the earth”.

Highlights

On 15th November, 1875, Birsa Munda was born in Ulihatu village which is at present located in Jharkhand. His family left the village in search of a job and migrated to Birbanki. There Munda came into contact with a Christian missionary. These missionaries visited a small number of families in the village who converted to Christianity. To attend a German missionary school, Birsa converted to Christianity like everyone else.

About Khuntkatti system

Khuntkatti means co-ownership of land by a tribe. The British colonial system changed the traditional land ownership system to Zamindar’s ownership system. Dixus were outsiders who were invited by an Englishman to cultivate on tribal lands. So Birsa took over the Khuntkatti system to protect the land of his tribe.

About Munda Rebellion

Birsa urged the tribes to destroy the Europeans and the Dikus. They called them Ravana. He instilled in the tribe the values ??of love, respect and support. He announced the end of Queen Victoria’s reign and the beginning of the Munda Raj. He also ordered the peasants not to pay rent. Following these protests, hundreds of members of the Munda tribe were murdered on Dumbri Hill thus the hill gaining the name “hill of the dead”. The movement’s slogan was “May the Queen’s Kingdom come to an end and our Kingdom be founded.” This was widely referred to as the Great Tumult or Munda Rebellion.

Consequence of the rebellion

Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act was the effect of the rebellion. The British government had been forced to abolish the feudal system in Jharkhand and Bihar. Birsa also forced the British to enact the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act. The law prohibited the transfer of tribal land to non-tribal parties. The government also granted Khunkatti rights and banned forced labour.

About Birsait religion

At Birsait, Birsa worshiped only one god. He soon became popular with Oraon. He preached strong anti-British sentiment through the religion. He also used religion to criticize and oppose church practices.