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History of Birsa Munda
Birsa Munda was born on 15 November 1875 in Ulihatu village of Ranchi district. According to Munda rituals, his name was named Birsa according to Thursday. Birsa’s father’s name was Sugna Munda and mother’s name was Karmi Hatu. His family settled after his birth from Ulihatu to Kurumbda in search of employment where he used to earn his living by working in the fields.
After that, his family moved to Bombay in search of work. Birsa Munda’s family used to lead a nomadic life. Birsa used to play in the sand with his friends since childhood and when he was a little older he had to go to the forest to graze sheep. He used to play the flute to pass the time while grazing the sheep in the forest and for some days he became a master in playing the flute. He made a stringed instrument Tuila out of pumpkin, which he used to play.
Birsa Munda also inspired the people to fight against the zamindars who exploited the farmers. Seeing this, the British government prevented him from gathering a crowd of people. Birsa said that I am teaching my religion to my caste. On this the police tried to arrest him, but the villagers rescued him. Soon he was again arrested and put in Hazaribagh Jail for two years. He was later released with a warning that he would not campaign. The period from 1886 to 1890 was a turning point in his life, in which he understood the difference of his religion under the influence of Christianity.
At that time the Sardar movement had started, so her father had her drop out of school because she was opposing Christian schools. Now because of the Sardar movement, the feeling of rebellion against the Christians had awakened in his mind. Birsa Munda also joined the Sardar movement and started fighting for his traditional customs. Now Birsa Munda had seen with his own eyes the misdeeds of snatching the land of the tribals, converting people to Christians and taking away the girls by the touts, due to which the flames of anger against the misconduct of the British had flared up in his mind. Now he had become so furious in his rebellion that the tribal people started considering him as God and even today the tribal people worship Birsa in the name of Lord Birsa Munda. He opposed the change of religion and explained the principles of Hindu religion to his tribal people. He advised the people to worship the cow and oppose cow slaughter. Now he gave a slogan against the British government “end the rule of the queen and establish our empire”. His slogan is still remembered in the tribal areas of India. The British made changes in the tribal farming system, due to which the tribals suffered a lot. In 1895, a front was opened against the British for the waiver of rent.
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