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  • 01 January, 1970

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Peasant Movements

Peasant and Non-Tribal Movements during British India

Name of the movement

Main cause(s)

Course of the movement and consequences

Sanyasi Rebellion

Region: Bengal

Year: 1763-1800

Displaced peasants, Demobilized Soldiers, disposed Zamindars, Participated led By Sanyasis.

It was made famous by Bankim Chandra Chaterjee. In his novel: Anandmath

Titu Mir

Peasant Movement

Region: Bengal

Year: 1782-1831

Against Hindu landlords who imosed beard tax on Faraizis Leadership of Mir Nathar Ali

Attempts of the British to force Katabomman to accept their suzerainty and his refusal

Defiance of the British by Kattabomman for 7 years; his final capture and execution by the British (1779);

annexation of his territory by the British (1779).

Rebellion of the Paiks

Region: Orissa

Year: 1804-06

Leader: First under the Raja of the Khurda and later under jagabandhu

British Occupation of Orissa (1803); resentment of the paiks (a militia class occupying rent free lands under the zamindars) against British land and land revenue policies

Unsuccessful attempt of the Raja of Khurd to organize a rebellion with the help of the Paiks, and confiscation of his territory by the British (1804) continuous unrest among the Paiks between 1804 & 1806; rise of the Paiks under Jagabandhu and their occupation of Puri after defeating the British force (1807); final suppression of the movement by force and conciliatory measures by British.

Revolt of Velu Thampi

Region: Travancore

Year: 1805-09

Leader: Velu Thambi (Dewan of Travancore)

Financial burden imposed on the state by the British through the subsidiary system; the high handedness of the British Resident there; and British demand for the removal of Dewan.

Beginning of war between the two sides (December 1805); fall of Trivendrum (Capital of Travancore) to the British (February 1809); death of Velu Thampi in forest due to serious injuries.

Revolt of Rao Bharmal

Region: Cutch and Kathiawar in Gujrat

Year: 1861-19

Leader: Rao Bharmal (Rule off Cutch)

Anti-British feeling due to British expansionist policy and their interference in internal affairs of Cutch.

Final defeat and deposal of Rao Bharmal; imposition of Subsidary treaty on Cutch.

Revolt of Ramosis

Region: Poona

Year: 1822-29

Leader: Chittur Singh and Umaji

British Annexation of Peshwa’s territory(1818), resulting in large scale unemployment among Ramosis (under the Peshwa, they served in inferior ranks of police)

Revolt of the Ramosis under Chittur Singh (1822-24); their revolt under (Umaji (1822-24); establishment of peace by the British by pardoning all the crimes of the Ramosis and also by granting them lands and recruiting them as hill police.

Kittur Rising

Region: Kittur (near dharwar in Karnataka)

Year: 1824-29

Leader: Channamma and Rayappa

Death of Shivalinga Rudra Desai (chief) of Kittur (1824), leaving no male to recognize the adopted issue; Doctrine of lapsed applied

Revolt of Channamma (widow of late Desai) in 1824 and murder of English officers including Thackeray (Collecter of Dharwar); conquest of Kitttur and its annexation by the British. Revolt of the people of Kittur under Rayappa who declared independence and set up the adopted boy as the Desai (1829); capture and execution of rayappa by British, and death of Channamma in Dharwar prison.

Sambalpur Outbreaks

Region: Sambalpur (Orissa)

Year: 1827-40

Leader: Surendra Sai

Frequent interference of British in the internal affairs of Sambalpur such as the issue of succession.

Death of Maharaja Sai (ruler) and outbreak of civil war; succession of Mohan Kumari (widow of the late Raja) with the support of the British and revolt of other claimants under Surendra Sai; final arrest and life imprisonment of Surendra Sai by British (1840).

Bundela Revolt

Region: Sagar & Damoh (Bundelkhand)

Year: 1842

Leader: Madhukar Shah and Jawahir Singh

Resentment against British land revenue policy

Revolt of the Bundelas under Shah and Singh; murder of police officers and disruption of British administration; capture and execution of madhukar Shah and Singh by British.

Gadkari Rebellion

Region: Kolhapur (Maharashtra)

Year: 1844-45

Assumption of direct administration of Kolhapur by British and reforms of D.K. Pandit; resentment of the Gadkaris (a militia class who had earlier held revenue free lands in retum for their services to the ruler against the revenue reforms.

Revolt of the Gadkaris, followed by a popular revolt in the city of Kolhapur and all other parts of the state of Kolhapur; final suppression of the movement by the British.

Satavandi Revolt

Region: Satavandi (Maharashtra)

Year: 1839-45

Leader: Phond Savant-(leading noble) and Anna Sahib (heir apparent)

Deposal of Khen Savant (ruler of satavandi) and appointment of a British officer to administer to administer the state; resentment of the people against British system of administration.

Revolt of the nobles and their attempts to drive away the British; transformation of the revolt into a popular movement with the common people all over the state rising in arms against the British; proclamation of martial law and suppression of the movement by the British.

Raju Rebellion

Region: Visakhapatnam (A.P.)

Year: 1827-33

Leader: Birabhadra Raju

Birabhadra was dispossessed of his estate by the British in return for a small amount of pension

Revolt of Birabhadra and his defiance of British authority till he was captured

Palakonda Outbreak

Region: Palakonda (Andhra Pardesh)

Year: 1831-32

Leader: Zamindar of Palakonda

Attachment of the property of the zamindar for non-payment of revenue

Revolt of the zamindar; suppression of the revolt of forfeiture of Palakonda estate to the British

Gumsur Outbreak

Region: Gumsur (Ganjam District)

Year: 1835-37

Leader: Dhananjaya Bhanja (Zamindar of Gumsur)

His failure to clear the arrears of revenue to the British

Revolt of zamindar; Appointment of Mr. Russel as the Commissioner; final suppression of the movement after larger scale military campaign in 1837

Parlakimedi Outbreak

Region: Parlakimedi (Orissa)

Year: 1829-35

Leader: Jagannath Gajapti Narayan Rao

Attachment of his zamindari for arrears by the British in 1827

Revolt of the zamindar, followed by a popular rising of the people; final suppression of the movement.

Movement of the Faraizis

(In the later stages it was amalgamated with the Wahabi movement)

Region: East Bengal

Year: 1838-62

Leader: Shariatuallah and Muhammad Mushin (bêtter known as Dudhu Mian)

Degeneration of the Islamic society and loss of power to the British (Hence its aims were to remove abuses from Islamic society as well as to restore Muslim rule by expelling the British from India).

Foundation of the movement by Shariattullah of Faridpur, the movement under him was mainly religious in character, though he had declared British as enemies; his death in 1837; succession of Duhu Mian as the leader of the Movement, under him it became mainly political in nature; his success in mobilizing all the Muslim peasants of East Bengal against zamindars and indigo planters; his arrest and confinement in the Alipore jail.

Pagal panthis

Peasant Movement

Region: Sherpur (East Bengal)

Year: 1825-33

Leader: Karam Shah and Tipu

Resentment of the peasants against the operession of zamindars

Under Karam Shah (founder), It was mainly a religious movement, but under tipu (son of successor of Shah) it became a political movement against the oppressive zamindars and British, its final suppression by British after large scale military operations.

Indigo Revolt

Peasant Movement

Region: Bengal

Year: 1859-60

Leader: Digambar Biswas & Bishnu Biswas

Forced cultivation of Indigo without any proper remuneration

Planters could not withstand thee resistance of ryots, indigo cultivation virtually wiped out, Govt. response restrained & not harshLed by Vasudeo Balawant Phadke

Phadke's Ramosi Uprising

Peasant Movement

Pabna Movement

Peasant Movement

Region: East Bengal (Bangladesh)

Year: 1873

Leaders: By Shah Chandra Toy, Shambu Pal, Khoodi Mullah. Supported by BC Chatterjee, RC Dutt

Enhanced rent Beyond the legal Limit & prevention of tenants from acquiring the occupancy rights

By Shah Chandra Toy, Shambu Pal, Khoodi Mullah. Supported by BC Chatterjee, RC Dutt

Govt. accepted the Demands & promised to protect Tenants. It enacted Bengal tenancy Act 1885.

Deccan Riots

Peasant Movement

Region: Poona & Ahmadnagar

Year: 1874

Riots against Gujrati and Marwari moneylenders

By Maratha peasants. Govt. repressed the Movt. It enacted Deccan Agriculture Relief Act, 1879 to protect peasants against the money lenders

Phadke Ramosi Uprising

Peasant Movement

Region: Maharashtra

Year: 1877-87

Against the Britishers failure to take up anti Famine measures By Wasudeo Balwant Phadke

Peasant unrest

Region: Punjab

Year: 1901

Against the acquisition of the land by the money lenders

Punjab Land Alienation Act of 1902 enacted prohibiting transfer of the land from the peasants to the money lenders & mortgages for more 20 years.

Champaran Satyagraha

Peasant Movement

Region: Champaran, Bihar

Year: 1917

Against Tinkatia System introduced by European Indigo Planters Champaran Agrarian Act Abolished Tinkatia system

Kheda Satyagraha

Peasant Movement

Region: Kheda, Gujarat

Year: 1919

Against ignored appeals for remission of Land Revenue in Case of Crop Failures

The demands were finally fulfilled.

Eka movement

Peasant Movement

Region: Harrdoi, Bahraich, Barabanki, Sitapur (U.P.)

Year: 1921-22

Leader: Madari pasi

Enhanced rent Oppression of the contractors

Police managed to crush the movt

Moplah Rebellion

Peasant Movement

Region: Malabar, Kerala

Year: 1922

Cultivators of Malabar revolted against the moneylenders & Zamindars against the lack of security of tenure, exorbitant rent and renewal fees.

It later assumed Communal colour Crushed by the Govt. in 1921.

Bardoli Satyagraha

Peasant Movement

Region: Bardoli - Gujarat

Year: 1927

Leader: Vallabhbhai patel

Enhancement of the land revenue by 22% even though cutton prices had declined

By Kunbi patidar landowning peasants and Untouchables. supported by mehta Brothers, Patel.

Govt. tried to suppress the govt. Maxwell Broomfield enquiry Committee report, which admitted Bardoli assessment was Faulty.

Revenue was brought down to 6.03%.

All India Kisan Congress

Area: Lucknow

Year: 1936

Leader: Presided over by Swami Shajanand

Against moneylenders, Zamindars, traders & Govt.

A Kisan manifesto was adopted in Bombay session in 1937

Tebhaga movement

Peasant Movement

Region: Bengal

Year: 1946

Leader: Bengal Provincial Kisan Sabha

By the sharecroppers against the Jotedar’s demand of ½ share of crop instead of 1/3 share

In 1950 congress passed Bargadar’s Bill- against zamindars and money lenders

Bakasht Land Struggle

Peasant Movement

Region: Bihar

Year: 1938-47

Leader: Karyanand Sharma; Yadunandan Sharma, Jauna Karjee, Rahul Sanskritayana

Bakasht lands were those lands which tenants had lost to zamindars during depression years by virtue of non- payment of rent which they continued to cultivate as sharecroppers

The movement continued till the zamindari was abolished.

Telangana Insurrection

Peasant Movement

Region: Hyderabad

Year: 1946-51

Against moneylenders and officials of Nizam of Hyderabad.

Source: Spectrum Modern India

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