Remembering Birsa Munda on his Birth Anniversary 2023
- Birsa Munda, was born at Ulihatu in the Bengal Presidency (presently in Jharkhand) on 15th November 1875 into a Munda tribe family in the Chhotanagpur Plateau area. His parents were Sugana Munda and Karmi Hatu. He was brought up in a typical Munda fashion amidst poverty.
- He received his early education at Salga under the guidance of his teacher Jaipal Nag. Since his family was not having means to educate him, Birsa Munda converted to Christianity and became Birsa David/Daud in order to receive an education from a missionary school.
- Spending a great part of his childhood in Chaibasa, Birsa Munda was influenced by the national movement there. Later his father withdrew him from the missionary school. But by now Birsa Munda started understanding the British governments exploitation in India. Birsa developed a strong anti-government and anti-missionary stamp on his mind from there.
During the 1890s, he started influencing his native people about the exploitation done by the British. He brought to light to the common people how the British agrarian policies, stifling the tribal people disrupting their way of life which was leading a peaceful life in tune with nature. He explained how the Christian missionaries treated and imposed cultural belittlement of the tribal people.
He also highlighted to his tribal fellowmen that the British colonial ruler took all efforts with the help of missionaries to convert tribals to Christianity. So Birsa wanted his tribal fellowmen to lead a better and secured life and protect them from the Britishers exploitative policies. Birsa, therefore, started the faith of ‘Birsait’. He invited the members of the Munda and Oraon community to join the Birsait sect and it turned into a challenge to British conversion activities.
In 1890, Birsa was strongly entrenched in the movement against the British oppression of the tribal communities. Very soon Birsa Munda, before he was 25, became a young freedom fighter and a tribal leader. Birsa’s spirit of activism in the late nineteenth century, is remembered to be a strong mark of protest against British rule in India. He forced the colonial officials to introduce laws protecting the land rights of the tribals.
On March 3, 1900, Birsa Munda was arrested by the British police while he was sleeping with his tribal guerilla army at Jamkopai forest in Chakradharpur. He died in Ranchi jail on June 9, 1900 at a young age of 25.
Birsa’s achievements as a young tribal revolutionary has continued to be celebrated over decades and the country owes a big salute to Birsa Munda.
In recognition of his impact on the national movement, the state of Jharkhand was created on his birth anniversary in 2000.
To honour Birsa Munda Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will visit Jharkhand on 14th-15th November, 2023. On 15th November, at around 9:30 AM, Prime Minister will visit Bhagwan Birsa Munda Memorial Park cum Freedom Fighter Museum in Ranchi. Thereafter, he will reach Ulihatu Village, the birthplace of Bhagwan Birsa Munda, where he will pay floral tribute at the statue of Bhagwan Birsa Munda. PM Narendra Modi is the first PM to visit Ulihatu Village. Prime Minister will participate in a programme marking the celebration of third Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas, 2023 at around 11:30 AM in Khunti. During the programme, Prime Minister will launch ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’ and Pradhan Mantri Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups Development Mission. He will also release the 15th instalment of PM-KISAN and inaugurate, dedicate to nation and lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects in Jharkhand.
The projects whose foundation stone will be laid by the Prime Minister include four laning of 52 km stretch of Mahagama – Hansdiha section of NH133; four laning of 45 Km stretch of Basukinath – Deoghar section of NH114 A; KDH-Purnadih Coal Handling Plant; new academic and administrative building of IIIT Ranchi.
The projects that will be inaugurated and dedicated to nation include new campus of IIM Ranchi; new Hostel of IIT ISM Dhanbad; Petroleum Oil and Lubricants (POL) depot in Bokaro; several railway projects viz doubling of Hatia-Pakra Section, Talgaria – Bokaro Section, and Jarangdih-Patratu section. Further, the achievement of 100% of Railway Electrification in Jharkhand State will also be dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister.
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