Tribal uprising and their consequences

Tribal uprising and their consequences

Question -Tribal revolts took place all over the country against various British policies regarding forest and farming. What were the consequences of these uprisings?

British colonialism faced opposition not only by the general population but also by the tribes of various regions. There was strong resistance from the Advise Communities of present day Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Bengal. The tribals of Orissa are said to be the first to wage a war against British colonialism.

Santhal Rebellion: The rebellion of 1855-1857 was a great event in history of Santhal. In 1855 the Santhals wage war against the permanent settlement of Lord
Cornwallis. A more unnerving rebellion took place in 1879-80 of the Gudem-Rampa in Tamil Nadu. They rose against the increase in taxes on timber and grazing, excise regulations and restrictions on domestic production of toddy, shifting cultivation as well as against the exploitation by moneylenders and traders.

Munda Rebellion: This revolt is one of the best known revolts in history. Moneylenders and traders had been exploiting the khuntkatti land system of the Mundas. The primary reason for the revolt was the new policy of farming and other revenue and judicial policies.

A forest regulation Act which was passed in 1865 entitled the British Government to declare any land covered with trees as Government forest and it could have its own rules to manage it. The rights of the tribal people were overlooked; a more comprehensive Indian Forest Act was again passed in 1878 which imposed dire restrictions regarding Advice rights over forest land and its produce. A massive uprising by the Advices was suppressed by the British through deployment of troops across the region.

A powerful Forest Satyagraha was seen in Cuddapah after rights to forest produce of the primitive food gathering Chenchu tribe were denied by the government from 1898.
A revolt in the Jagdalpur region against the Raja of Bastar was suppressed in 1910 due to the banning of shifting cultivation and free use of forest produce. A few more rebellions that need mention are the Mappilla rebellion, the fazis who opposed the British legal system, Kols of Singhbum, Bhills of Khandesh etc.

All the tribal revolts although localized, served as a major cause for the great revolt of 1857. it had laid the grounds for a bigger uprising. In most cases, the revolts were suppressed although they became a source of inspiration for future struggles.
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