Sunday, 12 June 2011

'First war of Independence'

Kutch rebelled before 1857
AHMEDABAD: Arguably, this was the first uprising against the British Raj. Much before the famed 'First war of Independence' in 1857, there was determined effort to oust the British in a corner of the country. Kutch was the first to erupt in 1816. Even a deadly quake three years later, in 1819, could not dampen the spirits of a group of revolutionaries.
Renowned historian Bipin Chandra in his 'Modern India' notes: "Hundreds of such uprisings have been recorded by historians. Perhaps the most famous of these are the Kutch Rebellion, the Kol Uprising of 1831 and the Santhal Uprising of 1855. The Kutch Rebellion, led by its chiefs, lasted in one form or another from 1816 to 1832."
The power struggle between the king and 12 chieftains snowballed into a mutiny. Following a treaty between Maharao Bharmal II, the king of Kutch, and the British in 1816, power was vested with the throne. However, in 1819, the king was dethroned by the British due to his cavalier attitude, including his act of raising a troop of Arabs and Africans — something discouraged by the British government.

RC Majumdar writes about the uprising in this context: "The most formidable was the rebellion of Rao Bharmal II who raised Arab troops with the avowed intention of expelling the British from his country. Although he was defeated, the struggle was continued by other chieftains."
Some chiefs of the Jadeja clan were even banished for acts of insubordination. They joined hands with the Amirs of Sindh to overthrow the political establishment in Bhuj. "...for recovery of their forfeited lands and the restoration of the deposed king Bharmaji II to power, the chiefs assembled a body of Mianis and Sindhis in connivance with Amirs," notes James Mill and Horace Hayman Wilson in their book 'The History of British India' published in 1848.
They also describe how the insurgents ravaged the country and advanced to the hills near Anjar, where they occupied the fort of Balari and cut off the communication between Bhuj and the rest of province. The rebellion was crushed, but
the rebel Jadeja chiefs partnered with different communities and continued to raid various parts of Kutch. This situation lasted till 1832.

Source :

No comments:

Post a Comment