BHUBANESWAR: Paying rich tributes to Shaheed Jayee Rajguru, Vice -President of India Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said, he was the hero of the earliest war of Indian independence known as the Khurda uprising of 1804.
Addressing a function organised by the Shaheed Jayee Rajguru Foundation in collaboration with Odia Samaj and Odisha Forum at New Delhi, Naidu said the first war of independence had also raised its head in the Khurda kingdom of Odisha. Stating that it was a truly a landmark in people’s war in many ways, Naidu said, “the hero of this earliest war of independence was Jayee Rajguru.”
Describing Rajguru as a great Sanskrit scholar and strategist, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said he (Rajguru), the regent of the minor kingdom of Khurda, not only raised a large army of Paikas but also led them from the front to defend the honour of the motherland and in the end of became a martyr.
The war of independence, which was started by Rajguru in 1804 culminated in Paika Bidroha in 1817, Pradhan said and added that the fight against the might of the British empire which started in the early 18th century in Odisha continued uninterruptedly till Veer Surendra Sai. Quoting former President Pranab Mukherjee, he said the history of Paika revolt should be rewritten by taking into the local history.
Addressing the function, former Union Minister Braja Kishore Tripathy said the long cherished dream of people of Odisha became a reality in 2008 when Jayee Rajguru’s portrait was unveiled in the Central Hall of Parliament by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Patriotism of Rajguru continued to stir the hearts and minds of the countrymen, Tripathy said and added the fire of revolt and resistance continued to shake the morale of the British even after his execution.
Former minister and senior BJP leader Biswabhusan Harichandan also attended the function. A book ‘Jayee Rajguru and Anti-Colonial Resistance in Khurda’ written by historian Bijay Chandra Rath was released by the Vice President. A souvenir to mark the occasion was also released. A bust of Rajguru was presented to the guests by Dayanand Mahapatra, a member of the Shaheed’s clan. Srideb Nanda, managing trustee of the foundation proposed the vote of thanks.