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  • 19 November, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Mangarh Massacre

Mangarh Massacre

  • On November 17, 1913, a horrible disaster that killed more than 1,500 Bhil tribal people, took place in Mangarh (Banswada, Rajasthan).
  • The Adivasi Jallianwala is another name for the Mangrah hilltop, which is located near the boundary between Gujarat and Rajasthan.

What caused the massacre in Mangarh?

  • The Bhils, a tribal people, experienced severe hardships at the hands of the British and princely state tyrants.
  • The Bhils living in Rajasthan and Gujarat were forced into bonded labour around the turn of the 20th century.
  • The Deccan and Bombay Presidency's severe famine of 1899–1900, which claimed the lives of almost six lakh people, only made things worse for the Bhils.
  • The Bhils, who had been organised and given training by social activist Guru Govindgiri, also known as Govind Guru, presented the British with a charter of 33 demands by 1910, mostly concerning forced labour, high taxes levied on Bhils, and harassment of the guru's adherents by the British and princely state rulers.
  • The Bhils refused to leave Mangarh Hill and rebuffed the British's efforts to appease them, promising to renounce British dominion.
  • The Bhils were then told by the British to depart Mangarh Hill by November 15th, 1913.
  • Instead, on November 17, 1913, the British Indian Army opened fire on Bhil demonstrators without warning, and it is estimated that around 1,500 people, including women and children, perished in the disaster.

About Govind Guru:

  • The tribes of Mangarh, which comprised the modern-day cities of Udaipur, Dungarpur, and Banswara in Rajasthan, the Idar of Gujarat, and Malwa in Madhya Pradesh, were led by the revolutionary Govind Guru.
  • Guru, a man who used his voice to bring together thousands of tribal members, was a living legend among the Bhil and Garasiya tribal communities.
  • Govind Guru was a key figure in India's renaissance movement before rising to prominence as a leader in the country's freedom war.
  • He made an impression on Swami Dayanand Saraswati, a key player in that movement in North India, at the age of 25.
  • In the tribal communities, he and Swami Dayanand Saraswati started a wave of social reforms.
  • Govind Guru vowed to abstain from drinking in 1903 and shifted his attention to combating societal ills, banning imports, stopping forced labour, educating girls, and mediating tribal conflicts rather than taking them to court.
  • This resulted in the formation of the Sump (Unity) Sabha, whose inaugural gathering was place in Mangarh on a mountaintop.
  • Mangarh's importance in Indian history was cemented by this historical occasion since it played a crucial role in the local tribal movement.
  • The British perceived the 1908 Govind Guru-initiated Bhagat movement, in which tribal members gathered around a fire to renew their pledge, as a threat.
  • The massacre at Mangarh had a horrible result. Govind Guru was sentenced to death, and his wife was taken into custody.
  • But the British delayed his execution and gave him a 20-year prison sentence on an isolated island out of concern that the tribal Bhil movement would turn violent.
  • All the princely states united to expel him after his release from prison.
  • His final years were spent in Kamboi, Gujarat, and he passed away there on October 30, 1931.

About the Bhil Tribe

  • Bhils are often referred to as the bowmen of Rajasthan. They are the tribal communities that are spread out the greatest in India.
  • The Bhils are India's largest tribe according to the 2011 Census.
  • They can be broadly divided into two types: Eastern or Rajput Bhils and Central or Pure Bhils.
  • In addition to the mountainous regions of India's Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan, the central Bhils can also be found in Tripura's northwest.
  • In the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Tripura, they are regarded as Schedule Tribes.
  • Bhils are pre-Aryan people, from a historical perspective.
  • The name "Bhil" is derived from the Dravidian word "billu," which is also known as "Bow."
  • The Mahabharata and Ramayana are two older epics that mention the name Bhil.

Read Also: Significance OF Tribes

Source: The Hindustan Times

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