Odisha's 1817 Paika rebellion will be called as First War of Independence, says Prakash Javadekar

Blaming historians for the distortion of history, Javadekar said, Indian history is written from Britishers’ point of view of, and this needs to be corrected.

Published: 23rd October 2017 05:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2017 12:46 AM   |  A+A-

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: As demand for rewriting history to reclaim the lost glory of Paika rebellion gets louder, Union minister for Human Resources Development Prakash Javadekar on Monday assured to revise history textbooks in the schools.

Blaming historians for the distortion of history, Javadekar said, Indian history is written from Britishers’ point of view of, and this needs to be corrected.

The Union minister said efforts will be made to correct the history textbooks at the school level. He, however, declined to give a timeline about the proposed revision.

While the Sepoy mutiny of 1857 is widely accepted as the First War of Independence, Javadekar said, historians from south India have been claiming Travancore rebellion against the British East India Company in 1808 as the first revolt against the colonial rule.

“Here in Odisha, people have been demanding that Paika rebellion of 1817 against the colonial rule which preceded the Sepoy mutiny be recognised as the first war of Independence. These historical facts should be given due consideration in the pages of history,” he added.

Claiming Paika rebellion as the first war of Independence, senior BJD leader and Lok Sabha MP Prasanna Patsani on Sunday had urged the Union HRD Minister for necessary changes in the history textbooks without delay. Patsani made this demand while addressing a function here to mark the bi-centenary celebration of Paika Bidroha.

The HRD minister, who is here on a three-day visit, continued his scathing attack on the Naveen Patnaik saying the BJD government has failed to provide basic amenities to the people. He claimed that a change of government in the state is inevitable.

"The kind of response I get from the people wherever I visit in the state clearly indicates that the people want a change," Javadekar said.

The state is seriously lagging on all development fronts. While the BJD government has failed to provide drinking water and electricity to the people, the condition of roads in rural areas is utterly in bad shape.

The BJP will continue its struggle till the corrupt and inefficient BJD government is removed, he said.

What is the Paika rebellion?

The 1817 Paika rebellion took place four decades prior to the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. 

As the British began to tinker with the revenue system at the start of the 17th century, the farming community of Odisha rose up in rebellion. Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar, military chief of the then King of Khurda, led a motley army of Paikas and forced the British East India Company's forces to retreat. The rebellion came to be known as the Paika 'Bidroha'. 

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Centre to declare the rebellion as the First War of Indian Independence.

He said it involved all sections of people and could not be a mere coincidence that the rebellion measured by its form as well as content provided a marvellous analogy with the subsequent freedom movement across the country and its outcome.

(With IANS inputs)


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