Birsa Munda’s Struggle Serves as Inspiration, Direction to Generations

Today is the Dead anniversary of freedom fighter Birsa Munda. A member of the Munda tribe, Birsa Munda led a tribal revolt against the British which had its epicenter in present day Jharkhand. Dharti Aba (Birsa Munda) wrote a complete history for the country in a short span of life and his struggle gave inspiration and direction to the generations of India. Lord Birsa lived for society, sacrificed his life for his culture and the country. Therefore, he remains in our faith and soul as our God. The revolt also encompassed several districts of modern day Bihar and West Bengal.

Bhagwan Birsa knew that attacking diversity in the name of modernity and tampering with ancient identity and nature was not the way to the welfare of society. He was in favour of modern education, he advocated for changes, he showed courage to speak against the evils and shortcomings of his own society. During the British rule in the late 19th century, he spearheaded an Indian tribal religious Millenarian movement across the tribal belt of modern-day Bihar and Jharkhand.

Between 1897 and 1900, there was an armed conflict between the Mundas and the British sepoys. Birsa Munda and his followers kept the British at bay. In August 1897, Birsa and his four hundred soldiers, armed with bows and arrows, stormed the Khunti police station. Finally, Birsa Munda was himself arrested by the British on 3rd February 1900 from Jamkopai forest of Chakradharpur. Birsa died of poisoning by the British on June 9, 1900.

Birsa and his followers were determined to help the famine-stricken masses of the region, and as such, he attained the status of a great man during his lifetime. The people of that area used to call and worship him by the name of “Dharti Baba”. As his influence increased, so did the goal of organizing in the Mundas of the whole area. He is still present in our faith, in our spirit as our God.” Dharti Aaba did not stay on this earth for very long. But he wrote an entire history for the country in that short span of life and gave direction to the generations of India’.

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