People’s Uprisings Against British Before 1857

Before 1857 in resistance to Colonial rule, many people uprisings were found in different regions of India. To understand better, we divide these uprisings into three broad forms- Civil rebellions, Tribal uprisings, and peasant movements.

Factors responsible for people’s uprisings

Many factors were responsible for people’s uprisings against the British before 1857 such

  • Colonial land revenue Settlements
  • The burden of heavy new taxes, land-related problems for peasants
  • The growth of revenue collectors, tenants, and money lenders
  • Revenue administration expanded over tribal land
  • Implementation of heavy duties on Indian industries
  • Promotion of British manufactured goods. etc.
Important Civil Uprisings

Sanyasi Revolt- 1763- 18oo

The Sanyasi rebellion was a revolt by sanyasi and monks of Bengal, India.

  • Bihar and Bengal was the affected area, mainly covering the Murshidabad and Baikunthpur forest of Jalpaiguri.
  • Important leaders of the Sanyasi revolt- were Manju shah, Musa shah, Bhawani Charan Pathak, and Debi Chadhurani.
  • The main reason for the revolt was “the tax collection from Hindu monks’.
  • In 1771 about 150 saints were put to death,
  • The novel ‘Anandmath’ written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, is based on the sanyasi revolt.

Revolt in Midnapore and Dhalbum- 1766-74

  • The revolt raised in Bengal,
  • Some important leaders are Damodar Singh, Jagannath Dhal, etc.

Revolt of Moamarias – 1769-1799

  • Asam and parts of present-day Bangladesh
  • In this revolt, Krishnanarayan was an important leader.

The civil uprising in Gorakhpur, Basti, and Bahraich- 1781

  • The civil uprising was in Uttarpradesh.

The Revolt in Bendur- 1797- 1800

  • Karnataka
  • Dhundia Wagh

Revolt of Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja- 1797

  • Kerala
  • The leader was Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja also known as ‘Kerala Simham’ or ‘Pyche Raja’
  • he fought against the British between 1793 to 1805.
  • He died in November 1805 in a gunfight at Mavila Todu near the present-day Kerala-Karnataka border.

Civil Rebellion in Awadh- 1799

  • The uprising was in Eastern Uttarpradesh
  • Under the leadership of Wazir Ali Khan – The famous incident- The Massacre of Benaras 

An uprising in Ganjam and Gumsur – 1800, 1835-37

  • Eastern Orissa- Circars, Ganjam
  • The revolt was against the payment of revenue
  • The leaders- Strikara Bhanj, Dhananjaya Bhanj, and Doora Bisayi.

Poligars’ Revolt – 1795-1805

  • The centers of the uprising were Tinneveli, Ramanathapuram, Siva Ganga, Madurai, and North Arcot.
  • The Nawab of Acrot gave the management and control of Tinneveli and Carnatic provinces to the East India Company.
  • The main leader of the uprising was Kottabomman Nayakan.

Kutch Rebellion- 1816- 1832

  • Gujarat
  • Raja Bharmal

Paika Rebellion – 1817

  • Orissa
  • Important leaders – Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar, Mukunda deva and Dinbandhu Santra

Ahom Revolt- 1828

  • Assam
  • The revolt was against the British attempt to incorporate the Ahoms and not withdraw from Assam.
  • Leaders were Gomdhar Konwar and Maharaja Purandhar Singh. Other leaders- were Narendra Gadadhar Singh and Kumar Rupchand.
  • As the result of the revolt, Company handed over Upper Assam to Mahara Purandhar Singh Narendra, Part of the kingdom was restored to the Assamese King.

Surat Salt Agitation – 1844

  •  Surat
  • Against increase in salt duty from 50 paise to one rupee.
  • The locals of Gujarat attacked the Europeans.

Wahabi Movement – 1830- 61

  • Affected places- Bihar, Northwest Frontier Province, Punjab, etc.
  • It was an Islamic revivalist movement under the leadership of Syed Ahmed or Rai Bareilly.

Kuka Movement- 1840- 1872

  • Founded in 1840
  • Place – Punjab
  • It was a religious movement,  founded by Bhagat Jawahar Mal also known as Sian Saheb after him, the leader was Baba Ram Singh.
  • In 1872 Baba Ram Singh was deported to Rangoon.
Important peasant movement before 1857

Narkeberia Uprising – 1831

  • Bengal- 24 Parganas
  • The leader was Mir Nithar Ali or Titu Mir
  • Titu Mir inspired Muslim tenants in west Bengal against Hindu Landlords.
  • Later the revolt merged into the Wahabi movement.

The Pagal Panthis- 1825-35

  • Mymensingh district in Bengal
  • It was a semi-religious uprising, against zamindars (against rent payment above a certain limit)
  • The leaders were Karam Shah (founder), Tipu (son of Karam Shah)

Faraizi Revolt- 1838-57

  • Faridpur in Eastern Bengal
  • Founded by Haji Shariat Allah and his son Dadu Miyan
  • A Muslim sect, a totally religious revolt.

Moplah Uprisings- 1836- 1854

  • Malabar region of Kerala
  • Against a hike in revenue demand and reduced field size.
Tribal Revolts before 1857

Pahariya Rebellion – 1778

  • Raj Mahal Hills

Chuar Uprisings – 1766 to 1772

  • Midnapore district of Bengal
  • Sham Ganjan, Durjan Singh, and Mahab Singh were important leaders

Kol Mutiny- 1831

  • Ranchi, Singhbhum, Hazaibagh, Palamu and Manbhum
  • Buddho Bhagat was an important leader.

Ho and Munda Uprisings- 1820-1837, again 1899-1900

  • Ho tribal revolt against the occupation of Singhbhum now in Jharkhand till 1827.
  • In 1831 revolt was again organized with Mundas off Chotanagpur, against a new farming revenue policy.
  • In 1899 – 1900, the Munda in south Ranchi rose under Birsa Munda. The Ulgulan Was a tribal uprising the period 1860-1920. The rebellion began as a religious movement. Later fought against the introduction of feudal, zamindari tenures, and money lenders.

Santhal Rebellion, 1855-56

  • Bhagalpur and Raj Mahal Hill (Bihar)
  • Important leaders were Sidhu and Kanhu.
  • The movement was against Zamindars, turned into an Anti- British movement.
  • Suppressed by 1856.

Khond Uprising, 1837- 1856

  • Khonds of hilly tracts extending from Odisha to the Srikakulam and Visakhapatanam district of Andhra Pradesh against Company Rule.
  • Chakra Bisoi, a young raja, was the main leader of Khonds.
  • The revolt was against the suppression of human sacrifice, new taxes, and the entry of zamindars into their area.

Bhil revolts, 1817- 18, 1913

  • Western Ghat, Southern Rajasthan
  • Revolt against company rule, in 1817-19, as they faced famine, economic distress, and misgovernment.
  • Later a reformer Govind Guru helped Bhils, organize themselves to fight for Bhil Raj by 1913.

Ramosi Risings, 1822-29, 1839-41

  • Ramosi, the hill tribes of Western Ghats
  • Chittur Singh was an important leade.

Khasi Uprising, 1829-33

  • Hilly region between Garo and Jaintia Hills (N.E)
  • The organization of Khasis, Garos, Khamptis, and Singpos Under Tara Singh.
  • The uprising was for strangers to drive away from the plains, it was developed into a popular revolt against British rule in this area.
  • In 1833, the English military forces suppressed the revolt.

Singphos Rebellion, 1830-31, 43 

  • Assam- Burma Border
  • The rebellion broke out in early 1830, and it was suppressed just after three months.
  • The rebellion rose again in 1839, and they killed the British Political agent.
  • Chief Nirang Phiduled uprising of 1843, involved in the attack on the British garrison and killed many British soldiers.
  • In 1849, the Khasma Singphos attacked a British village in Assam and was captured in 1855.

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