Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to tribal icon Birsa Munda in Ranchi on his birth anniversary on November 15.
He paid floral tributes to the 25-foot tall statue of the icon at the Bhagwan Birsa Munda Memorial Park-cum-Freedom Fighter Museum, situated at the Old Central Jail where he had breathed his last on June 9, 1900.
Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary is celebrated across the country as the ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’.
Who was Birsa Munda?
• Born on November 15, 1875 as part of the Munda tribe, Birsa Munda played a crucial role in the liberation of his community who were exposed to the atrocities of the British.
• The Mundas inhabited fertile lands in the Chotanagpur region which were used for cultivation. To take their land, the British connived with the local zamindars and tried to force them into bonded labour.
• In 1895, the locals turned to Birsa Munda, who is also known as Dharti Abba (Father of the Earth) for help.
• He successfully rallied people across the region to take on the British Empire which led to his arrest. However, the two years of imprisonment only made him more determined.
• In 1899, Birsa Munda led a revolt called ‘Ulgulan’ (Great Tumult). A series of attacks were unleashed on the British using guerrilla warfare tactics.
• However, the rebellion did not last long. The British attacked the tribal leaders and captured Birsa Munda.
• Birsa Munda died on June 9, 1900 at the age of 25.