March 27, 2023
Rebellions in Colonial History of India leading to the Revolt of 1857.

The changing economic relations in the colonial period contributed to peasant grievances. Similarly, a growing interference of the British in tribal areas disturbed their traditional way of living. This led to many peasant and tribal revolts in the 18th century and early 19th century. 

Peasant rebellions: 

Rangpur Rebellion of 1783: The Hindu and Muslim peasants in the northern districts of Bengal fought side by side against revenue contractors and company officials due to increased revenue demand and collection of illegal cesses. 

PAGAL PANTHI movement: in Mymensingh district of Bengal Karim Shah and Tipu Shah started a rebellion against the illegal abwabs exacted by Zamindars and against the new revenue settlement. Various Peasants joined this rebellion which was ultimately crushed with the help of army in 1833. 

MOPLAH Uprising: Moplahs of Malabar rose in revolt against a huge burden of illegal cesses and pro-landlord attitude of the judiciary and police. They suffered due to new land revenue policy which turned them into mere tenants who can be evicted any time. 

Tribal Revolts: 

Bhil Uprising – British occupation of Khandesh region brought in the outsiders and led to the dislocation of Bhils. Bhils rose in revolt during 1819 but they were crushed and their leader Umaji Raje was executed in 1831. 

Kol Rebellion – Kol Rebellion of 1831-32 took place in Chota Nagpur and Singbhum region. British penetration posed a threat to the power of hereditary tribal chiefs. Finally, the British army had to move in to restore order.

Apart from these peasant and tribal revolts various other revolts took place such as the Santhal Hool, Sanyasi and Fakir rebellions of Northern Bengal, TARIQAH-i-MUHAMMADIYA movement of TITU MIR in 24 Pargana of Bengal and FAIRAZI movement under which Muslim poor united against the Zamindars, Indigo planters and the British rulers. Thus, all these rebellions laid the foundation for the revolt of 1857. 

The revolt of 1857 was hence joined by this aggrieved rural society which proves that it was certainly more than an ‘armed mutiny’. 

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