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Archaeology & Anthropology: Open Access

A Review on Role of Tribal Leaders in Resistance Movement of Odisha during Colonial Period

  • Open or Close Pradeep Kumar Panda*

    Doctoral Scholar (Economics), School of Social Sciences, India

    *Corresponding author: Pradeep Kumar Panda, Andhra Pradesh Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation Limited, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Submission: July 04, 2018; Published: October 31, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/AAOA.2018.03.000569

ISSN: 2577-1949
Volume3 Issue1


Tribal resistance in the anticolonial movement in Odisha is accentuated as offensive by the Britishers, it is perhaps shocking as that label perpetuated throughout the anti-colonial India. This is intended to examine the history of Tribal resistance in Britishers reign and shifts to focusing on their resistance in the contemporary India in relation to globalization, also concerning questions of identity and nation, power politics in criminalizing them, narratives of forgotten history of past and present. Tribals have resisted the Britisher’s authority and local power confiscators like the Zamindars, Thakhedars, Christian missionaries, and other exploiters. For many centuries, tribals were isolated, scattered in forests. Each tribe has established its own socio cultural diversity. They were distinguished from this nation. They launched movements against their oppressors in their respective regions. Their agitations against the outsiders could be called anti-colonial. They revolted against them because of their exploitation in the form of encroachment on their land, eviction from their land, annulment of the traditional legal and social rights and customs, against enhancement of rent, for transfer of land to the tiller, abolition of feudal and semi-feudal form of ownership.

On the whole, these movements had social and religious overtone. But they were directed against the issues related to their existence. Tribal Resistance Movement was an integral part of Freedom movement of Odisha. In this historic struggle, the heroic role played by some distinguished tribal leaders like Laxman Naik (Koraput), Birsa Munda and Veer Surendra Sai (Sambalpur).The objective of this paper is to highlight the role of tribal leaders of Odisha in the Freedom Movement against the British Imperialism. Nothing could be more inspiring and edifying than saga of heroic struggle and sacrifice of galaxy of these tribal personalities. The most dominant characteristic of the tribal resistance movement was that it was essentially an uprising against the foreign rulers and in that sense could be constructed to be the precursor of the national liberation movement which took a definite shape and gathered momentum under the inspiring leadership of Mahatma Gandhi nearly one century later. It is immaterial as to what were the compulsions or motivations behind this resistance movement; itis immaterial if the tribal revolutionaries had no formal education and training in staging armed rebellions and had no common leadership to guide and spur them to action. The unmistakable fact remains that they could no longer meekly submit to the intervention of the foreign rulers in their habitat, age old customs, rituals and cultural moors.

Keywords: Tribes; Movement; Odisha; Colonial period; British raj; Independence; Struggle

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