Paika Uprising Or Paika Rebellion.
In 1817, there was an armed uprising against Company control in India. Under the leadership of Bakshi Jagabandhu, the Paikas rose out in rebellion and projected Lord Jagannath as the emblem of Odia unity. The insurrection swiftly spread throughout most of Odisha before being crushed by the Company's forces.
Krutibas Patsani, Madhab Chandra Routray, Bakshi Jagabandhu, Jayi Rajaguru, and Pindiki Bahubalendra were some of the rebellion.
The Paikas were the Gajapati rulers of Odisha's peasant militia, who provided military support to the monarchs while engaging in agricultural work during times of peace.
The Paikas were divided into three ranks, each of which was identified by the job they performed and the weaponry they carried.
These were the archers known as ‘’Dhenkiyas’’ who served in various capacities in the armies of Odisha, the ‘’Banuas’’ who led long-distance expeditions and wielded matchlocks, and the ‘’Paharis’’ who carried shields and the khanda sword.
Decline Of Power
The power and reputation of the Paikas began to wane with the capture of Odisha by the East India Company in 1803 and the overthrow of the Raja (king) of Khurda. Walter Ewer expresses the attitude of the company, towards the Paikas by saying, "Now there is no need of Paikas aid at Khurda." Keeping them in the Presidential troops is risky. Therefore, they ought to be dealt with like common Ryots, and land revenue as well as other taxes ought to be collected from them. They must lose their previous Jagir lands.
The name Paika has already been forgotten after a short while. However, the Paikas have continued to exhibit their old aggression in their current home. The colonial Police Force must be extremely vigilant to break their venomous teeth in order to maintain control of the Paikas for a considerable amount of time, unless the Paika community is utterly destroyed.
Reasons (Cause) For The Uprising
The Paika Rebellion had a number of social, economic, and political roots. Odisha has four ports for trade, and there were millions of traders connected through the local networks. To maintain their own monopolies, the East India Company shut down these ports to trade, alienating a sizable portion of the local populace. The East India Company administration alienated the educated and rich Paikas, the local officials who had been given hereditary rent-free lands during the conquest of Khurda.
The Company's management and employees also used extortion against the Paikas. Peasants and zamindars both suffered under the Company's extortionate land revenue policy. The increase in salt prices as a result of levies put on it by the Company administration caused much concern among the general populace. The East India Company also mandated that all taxes be paid in silver instead of the cowrie currency that had been used in Odisha prior to its annexation. This led to a lot of suffering and unhappiness among the populace.
In 1804 the Paikas and the Raja of Khurda conspired to overthrow the Company, but the scheme was quickly uncovered, and the Raja's territory was taken.
Participants And Organizers
Bakshi Jagabandhu, the previous bakshi or leader of the Raja of Khurda's army, led the Paika Rebellion. The East India Company seized control of Jagabandhu's family estate, Killa Rorang, in 1814, leaving him in a state of squalor. The Paikas banded together under his direction when the uprising started in March 1817. Another one of the Paika rebels' leaders was Raja Mukunda Deva, the previous King of Khurda. The uprising had considerable backing in Oriya society, and feudal lords, paikrays' zamindars, and ordinary Odisha residents all joined in.
The Paikas had the backing of the zamindars of Karipur, Mrichpur, Golra, Balarampur, Budnakera, and Rupasa. The uprising began in Banapur and Khurda but swiftly extended to other regions of Odisha like Puri, Pipili, and Cuttack as well as a number of isolated villages like Kanika, Kujang, and Pattamundai. Jagabandhu had assistance from the Rajas of Kanika, Kujang, Nayagarh, and Ghumusur, and Dalabehera Mirhaidar Alli of Jadupur was a significant Muslim rebel.
The Results And Effects
The East India Company despatched judges to Khurda in May 1817 to condemn the rebels who had been caught. The sentences imposed included the death penalty, prison time, and incarceration. Company troops conducted many operations in the Khurda forests between 1818 and 1826 to apprehend or eliminate rebels who had escaped. The commander of the last group of rebels, Jagabandhu, gave himself up to the East India Company in 1825 and was held as a prisoner there in Cuttack till he passed away in 1829.
Jagabandhu had proposed to restore Raja Mukunda Deva as the Raja of Khurda after the Company had deposed him in 1804 and exiled him to Puri. A commission was also constituted by the East India Company to look into the reasons behind the uprising.
In order to prevent another uprising of this nature, the Company immediately began to restructure its administration under the newly appointed Commissioner of Cuttack, Robert Ker. The Company officials saw Odisha primarily as a practical land-based link between their presidencies of Madras and Bengal, therefore their efforts were at best half-hearted. Odisha persisted in her operations against Company control by joining the Banapur Rebellion of 1835 and participating in Tapanga in 1827.
Two distinct Kandha uprisings headed by Dora Bisoi and Chakra Bisoi, the Kol uprising, the Sambalpur insurrection led by Veer Surendra Sai and Gond Sardars, the Bhuyan uprising led by Dharanidhar Naik, etc. were the next significant uprisings against the control of the East India Company. The Company's revenue policies in Odisha, which were a major source of resentment for the local populace, were not adjusted.
In a formal proposal made in October 2017, the Odisha government asked the union government to replace the Indian Rebellion of 1857 with the Paika Rebellion as the country's first fight of independence.
Political Stand On First War Of Independence
The Paika uprising cannot be referred to as the First War of Independence, according to a written response by Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy to a question posed by BJD MP Prashanta Nanda in the Rajya Sabha during the winter session of parliament in 2021. But the minister announced that it would now be covered in the Class VIII NCERT history textbook's curriculum because it was one of the country's first significant public uprisings against the British, lasting from 1817 to 1825.