The iconic tribal leader and freedom fighter, Birsa Munda, is being remembered on his death anniversary today.
Born in the tribal belt of the Chhotanagpur Plateau, Birsa Munda started fighting for tribal rights when he was just a teenager.
A fearless young man from the Munda tribe, Birsa Munda spearheaded a revolt against the British in areas now bordering Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and leaders across political parties paid homage to Birsa Munda on his Punya Tithi. “Remembering tribal freedom fighter, ‘Dharti Aaba’ Birsa Munda on his Punya Tithi today. The fearless tribal leader made an invaluable contribution to the freedom struggle by spearheading the tribal movement against the oppressive British rule,” Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu wrote in his tribute to Birsa Munda.
Here are 10 things that you need to know about the great tribal warrior:
- Birsa Munda was born on November 15, Thursday, and was named after the day of his birth according to the Munda custom.
- Known as ‘Dharti Abba’ or the Earth Father, Birsa Munda stressed the need of the tribals to study their own religion and not forget their cultural roots.
- He was the one who influenced his people to realise the importance of owning their land and asserting their rights upon them.
- He started the faith of ‘Birsait’ which beliefs in the importance of prayer, having faith in God, and observing a code of conduct while letting go of evil thoughts & activities.
- He started a movement called ‘Ulgulan’, or ‘The Great Tumult’.
- His struggle against the exploitation and discrimination against tribals led to a big hit against the British government in the form of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act being passed in 1908.
- He was very sharp in his studies
- He was an expert in playing the flute and used to carry an instrument made from pumpkin
- Birsa Munda did all this by the age of 25 when he died in a prison in Ranchi on June 9, 1900.
- Several folk songs have been made to celebrate the life of this great warrior.
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