Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements
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Peasant Movements in India- Complete Notes for UPSC

Peasant Movements in India

Peasant movements in India have been  pivotal in shaping the socio-political landscape, emerging as responses to oppressive feudal practices, high taxes, and exploitative colonial policies. Spanning from the 18th century to post-independence India, these movements varied in scope and impact, rallying for rights, fair land distribution, and against unjust economic burdens. They not only highlighted the grievances of the rural poor but also played a significant role in India’s broader struggle for social justice and independence.

During the British rule in the 18th and 19th centuries, there were many uprisings against the ruling class.  These uprisings resulted from the British’s economic policies, corrupt officials, unjust administration, oppression of zamindars and tax collecting officials, and interference of the British in tribal culture and their land.

In this chapter, we shall study the uprisings before revolt of 1857.

Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements

Peasant Movements in India:

Causes of Peasants’ Resistance Against the British

Peasants’ resentments against the British were due to the following reasons –

  • The impoverishment of the Indian peasantry: During British rule, the Indian peasantry was affected severely due to the complete disruption of the old agrarian order of the tribal communities.
  • Ruin of the traditional handicrafts: Due to the coercion of selling goods at low prices to the British, the conventional handicrafts reached their Nadir.
  • Shifting of the vast labour force: Due to the destruction of the local industry, many workers moved from industry to agriculture. The demand for land increased, but the government’s land revenue and agricultural policy provided little room for developing Indian agriculture.
  • The exploitative land revenue systems:
    • This led to high rents, illegal levies, arbitrary evictions, and unpaid labour in the Zamindari areas.
    • In Ryotwari areas, the government itself levied heavy land revenue.
    • It distorted the traditional rural structure with the commercialisation of agriculture and the introduction of the market economy.
    • Diluted conventional rights such as forest and pasture rights.
    • This resulted in peasantisation, e., the conversion of tribals into peasants.
    • Increased the caste and wealth divide.
    • Converted the many land-owning peasants to mere tenants or landless labourers as they fell prey to the moneylenders to repay the tax.
  • Ineffective judiciary system: Colonial administrative and judicial systems biased toward the white population were of little help to the peasants.
  • The emergence of harsh famines: The periodic recurrence of famines worsened the rural communities.

Movement of Ryots/Peasants with the help of Zamindars

Royts were affected by the British policies, and they were instigated by the Zamindar to rise against the Britishers.Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements

Revolt Characteristics of the revolt
Revolt in Midnapore and Dhalbhum (1766–74)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements
  • With Zamindars’ help, the ryots revolted against the revenue-collecting officials.
  • The influential leaders of the uprisings were Damodar Singh and Jagannath Dhal.
Uprisings in Gorakhpur, Basti, and Bahraich (1781)
  • Warrant Hastings appointed Major Alexander Hannay as an izaradar of Gorakhpur and Bahraich in 1778.
  • The zamindars and cultivators rose against Hannay’s oppression and excessive demand for revenue.
  • The rebellion was suppressed, and Hannay was dismissed.

Civil Resistance:

Causes of Civil Resistance against the British

Civilians’ (rulers, zamindars, chiefs, general people) resentments against the British were due to the following reasons –

  • Changes in several existing systems: The rapid changes made by British rule in the administration, economy, and land revenue system were against the people.
  • The British administration’s harsh and unjust treatment of people created resentment against it.
  • Loss of territorial control of the zamindar class: Due to British rule, several zamindars and poligars misplacedcontrol over their land and its   Moreover, they were sidelined in society due to a new class comprising merchants and moneylenders.
  • Ruin of local handicraft industry: Handicraft was ruined by British policies, which made the artisans poor.
  • Loss of Aristocats’ support: Priests and artisans had also lost their traditional patrons or buyers – princes, chieftains, and zamindars.
  • Regional issues: Some uprisings were aimed at local causes and grievances against the ruling kingdoms.
Revolt Characteristics of the revolt
Surat Agitations (1844 and 1848) ·      The Salt Agitation

  • In August 1844, the British government increased the tax on salt from 8 annas to Re 1 in Bombay state.
  • The people revolted against the British by closing every shop in Surat and beating officials who acted as intermediaries for a truce.
  • The British government was forced to reduce the salt tax to 12 annas
  • In 1844, the government was forced to drop its idea to introduce Bengal Standard Weights and Measures in Bombay due to people’s boycotts and passive resistance.

Politico-Religious Uprisings

In these uprisings, religion provided the basis for understanding the exploitative colonial rule and articulating the resistance.  Some of these are –

1.  Sanyasi/Fakir Revolt (1763–1800)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements

  • Background –
    • The East India Company’s officialcorrespondence in the second half of the 18th CE referred typically to the incursion of the nomadic Sanyasis and Fakirs, particularly in northern Bengal.
    • Beforethe great famine of Bengal (1770), groups of Hindu and Muslim holy men (Sanyasi and Fakirs) travelled from place to place.  They made surprise attacks on the granaries and property of the neighbourhood’s rich men and authority officers.  They looted local government treasuries.
    • They exact a religious tax from the local zamindars and headmen en route to the pilgrimage.
    • However, due to the harsh revenue policy and famine, the zamindars could not give the tax to them.
    • The famine brought many dispossessed Zamindars, disbanded soldiers and rural poor and peasants into the bands of Sanyasis.
  • The revolt –
    • They moved from place to place in Bengal and Bihar.
    • They adopted the guerrilla technique to attack the local government’s treasuries and grain stocks.
    • They distributed the wealth among the poor.
    • The Sanyasi rebellionspiked in Bengal, India, within the Murshidabad and Baikunthpur forests of Jalpaiguri beneath the leadership of Pandit Bhabani Charan Pathak.
    • They were successful in forming independent governments in Bogra and Mymensingh.
    • Other influential leaders of the revolt were Majnu Shah, Chirag Ali, Musa Shah, and Debi Chaudhurani.
  • The end –
    • Warren Hastings used his full force to subdue the revolt.
  • Significance –
    • The most significant feature of this movement was the equal participation of Hindus and Muslims in the uprising.
    • Debi Chaudhurani’s participation signifies the women’s role in early resistance against the British.
    • Anandamath, a novel by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, is based on this revolt. He also wrote a book named Debi Chaudhurani.

2.  Wahabi Movement

Syed Ahmed of Rai Bareilly founded the Wahabi Movement.  It was fundamentally an Islamic revivalist movement.  He was influenced by the teachings of Abdul Wahab of Saudi Arabia and Shah Waliullah of Delhi.Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements

Shah Waliullah or Sayyed Ahmad of Bareilly and their lesser-known followers like Haji Shariatullah of Faraizis in Bengal or Maulvi of Faizabad or Maulvi Karamat Ali of Jaunpur, all in the first half of the 19thcentury, were influenced by the Wahabi movement.

  • Teachings
  • He criticised the Western influence on Islam and Islam and advocated going backto the pure form of the Prophet’s time, Arabic Islam and society.
  • They concentrated their attention on the “Un-Islamic” practices prevalent among the Muslims, like the folk practices of joining each others’ festivals, modes of salutations and greetings, shared customs and etiquettes influenced by the surrounding Hindu ethos, and, above all, worship of saints as Shirk (associating other powers with Allah) and so on.
  • They wanted to wean away the Muslims, especially the new converts, from the Hindu practices and replace a purified form of Islam unadulterated by “foreign influences instead”.
  • The entire movement revolved around the “Quran” and “Hadis”.
  • Syed Ahmed was hailed as the desired leader (Imam).
  • A national organisation with an elaborate secret code for working under spiritual vice-regents (Khalifas) was set up.
  • Sithana, in the northwest tribal belt, was selected as the organisation’s operational headquarters.
  • Its important centre in India was Patna, though it had missions in Madras, Bengal, Hyderabad, the United Provinces, and Bombay.
  • The revolt –
    • Since Dar al-Harb (territory of war or chaos) was to be converted into Dar al-Islam (the land of Islam), jihad was proclaimed against Punjab’s Sikh kingdom.
    • The English dominion in India became the only target of the Wahabi’s attacks after the Sikh King was overthrown and included in the East India Company’s dominion in 1849.
  • The end –
  • A series of British military operations, like the Battle of Balakot and the Ambala War of 1863, weakened the Wahabi resistance.
  • Numerous sedition-related court cases were filed against the Wahabis.
  • However, sporadic encounters with the authorities continued into the 1880s and 1890s.
  • Significance –
    • The Wahabi movement never took on the characteristics of a national movement. On the other hand, it left a legacy of isolationist and separatist tendencies among Indian Muslims.  But we can see that Wahabis were crucial in spreading anti-British sentiments.

Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements

3.  Kuka Movement 1840

The Namdharis are the Sikhs who believe the lineage of the gurus did not end with Guru Gobind Singh.  They have also been known as “Kukas” due to their trademark style (excessive-pitched voice, called “Kook” in Punjabi) of reciting the “Gurbani”. Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements

  • Background of their revolt: –
    • This movement was founded by Bhagat Jawahar Mal (also called Sian Saheb) in western Punjab.
    • Baba Ram Singh, the founder of the Namdhari Sikh sect, was a significant leader of the movement after him. To unit people, the Baba Ram sign boosted the movement.  It attracted the Hindus too.
  • Social Teachings of the Namdhari Movement
    • Abolition of caste and other forms of discrimination among Sikhs.
    • It discouraged the consumption of meat, alcohol and drugs.
    • It encouraged intermarriages and widow remarriage.
    • The movement made humans aware of their serfdom and bondage.
  • The Political Turn – The movement was converted into a political campaign from religious purification after the British conquest of Punjab. The 12th of April 1872 is usually the official day the movement was born.
    • It sought to overthrow the British and reinstate Sikh rule over Punjab.
    • It promoted the wearing of hand-woven clothing and the rejection of English laws, education, and goods.
  • The end – The movement was severely crushed around 18631872. In 1872, Ram Singh was exiled to Rangoon.
  • Significance – The Kukas promoted the ideas of Swadeshi and noncooperation long before the ideas became part of the Indian national movement in the early 20th century.

Other Politico-religious Movements

Revolts Features
Titu mir in Narkelberia (in Bengal Province) RevoltEverything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • Leader – Mir Nithar Ali (1782–1831) or Titu Mir.
  • Muslim tenants in West Bengal rose against landlords, mainly Hindus and British indigo planters.
  • Landlords imposed a beard tax on Muslims/Farazis.
  • Later, it merged into the religious Wahabi Movement.
  • Considered the first armed peasant revolt against the British.
Rising at Bareilly (1816)
  • The Bareilly uprisings resulted from the long discontent with the alien rule, but the immediate cause was the imposition of the police tax.
  • Mufti Muhammad Aiwaz petitioned the magistrate of the town against the tax in March 1816.
  • Later, a woman was killed by tax-collecting police.
  • This led to the rebellion of several armed Muslims from Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, and Rampur to defend the faith and the Mufti.
  • In April 1816, the rebels murdered the son of Leycester (judge of the provincial court of Bareilly).
  • By 1816, the upsurge was suppressed through heavy military action.
The Pagal Panthis (1830-1840) 


  • Founded by Karam Shah.
  • It was a semi-religious group mainly constituting the Mymensingh (earlier in Bengal) district’s Hajong and Garo tribes.
  • Zamindars imposed illegal cesses on the peasants.
  • Karam Shah’s son, Tipu, organised the peasants not to pay the rent above a specific limit.
  • The government conceded Tipu’s demand and made a more equitable arrangement to protect the cultivators.
  • The uprising was suppressed after violent military action.
Faraizi Revolt (1838-57)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • Faraizi is a Muslim sect founded by Haji Shariatullah of Faridpur in East Bengal.
  • It aimed at eradicating un-Islamic practices prevalent among the Muslims of East Bengal.
  • Shariatullah and his son Muhsinuddin Ahmad (Dudu Miyan) told followers to expel the English intruders from Bengal and to support the cause of the tenants against the oppression of zamindars.
Moplah/Malabar Uprisings (late 19th CE-early 20th CE)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • These revolts were in the Malabar region of Kerala.
  • Muslim peasants were against the oppressive measures of the Hindu landlords, Jenmi.
  • The uprising was against the rise in land revenue demand and field size reduction.
  • The uprising got momentum in the Khilafat Movement of the 1920s

Movement by the Rulers and Zamindars/Chiefs

Poligars’ Revolt (1795–1805)

Poligars were the embranchment of the Nayankara system (Vijayanagara administration).  They were given land in exchange for military service.  However, with time, they started extracting taxes from the people.  As the company’s government wanted to augment its source of revenue, it sought to control the poligars.Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements

  • In 1781, the Nawab of Arcot (Carnatic) gave administrative control of Tinneveli and the Carnatic to the East India Company.
  • It caused resentment in poligars (a feudatory chief also called Palayakarars), who had long considered themselves independent sovereign authorities within their territories.
  • The main centres of these uprisings were Sivaganga, Tinneveli (or Thirunelveli), Ramanathapuram, Sivagiri, Madurai, and North Arcot.
  • The revolt’s first phase (1795-1800)–
    • Kattabomman Nayakan, the poligar of Panjalankurichi, was defeated by the company forces in 1799 after some initial success.Everything You Need To Know About Peasant MovementsKattabomman Nayakan
  • Vijaya Raghunatha Tondaiman, the ruler of the kingdom of Pudukottai, helped the British forces.
  • Kattabomman and his close associate Subramania Pillai were hanged. Soundara Pandian nayak, another rebel, was killed.
  • The palayam (a small kingdom) of Panjalankurichi and the estates of five other poligars were confiscated.
  • The revolt’s second phase (1801-1805) –
    • The second phase shows a large magnitude of participation; it was also known as the South Indian Rebellion.
    • It was directed by an alliance of Marudu Pandian of Shivganga, Gopal Nayak of Dundigal, Kerala Verma of Malabar and so on.
    • In 1801, the imprisoned poligars were able to escape from the fort of
    • Oomathurai, brother of Kattabomman, joined the rebellion of the ‘Marudus’ led by Marathu Pandian. They were suppressed in October   The fort of Panjalankurichi was destroyed.
    • Earlier, under the Carnatic treaty of the 31st of July 1801 with General Arthur Wellesley, the nawab of Arcot surrendered all the territories, including the territories of poligars, to the company in perpetuity.
    • Between 1803 and 1805, the North Arcot’s poligars rose in rebellion when they were deprived of their right to collect the kaval fees or watch duty fees.
    • Kaval, or ‘watch’, was a hereditary village police officer with specified rights and responsibilities. Poligars levied the kaval fees from the inhabitants of their Palayam (a military camp or a small kingdom).
  • Significance –
    • It ended the two-and-a-half centuries-old system of poligars, and the Ryotwari system was introduced.
    • The Poligar rebellion was spread over a vast area of South India.
Revolt Features
Revolt of Raja of Vizianagaram (1794)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 


  • In 1758, the English and Ananda Gajapatiraju, the ruler of Vizianagaram, formed a treaty and jointly defeated the French in the Northern Circars.
  • But the British didn’t honour their treaty.
  • Vizayaramaraju (successor of Ananda), supported by his subjects, revolted against the British demand for dues and disbandment of his troops.
  • In 1794, the raja was killed in a battle at Padmanabham (in the present-day Andhra Pradesh district of Visakhapatnam).
  • Vizianagaram came under the Company’s rule.
Uprisings in Ganjam and Gumsur (1797, 1835–37)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • In 1797, Strikara Bhanj, a zamindar of Gumsur in the Ganjam district, refused to pay revenues.
  • Jagannath Deo of Pratapgiri (Chinakimedi) and Jlani Deo of Vizianagar (Poddakimedi) were joined by strikers.
  • In 1804, Jagannath Deo was captured and dispatched to Masulipatnam.
  • British assigned some districts to Strikara Bhanj.
  • In 1807– 08, Dhananjaya Bhanj, son of Strikara, forced his father to leave the estate.
  • Dhananjaya rebelled against the British but was eventually forced to surrender in June 1815.
  • Dhananjay rose in rebellion for the second time in 1835 but died soon.
  • British forces took over the Gumsur estate in 1835.
  • Dora Bisoi of the Kondh tribe (revolt leader) was arrested in 1837.
Resistance of KeralaEverything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements Varma Pazhassi Raja

(1797 and 1800–05)



  • He was the de facto head of Kottayam and was popularly known as Kerala Simham (Lion of Kerala) or ‘Pyche raja’.
  • In violation of a prior agreement from 1790, which had recognised Kottayam’s independence, the Third Anglo-Mysore War (1790–1792) extended English paramountcy over Kottayam.
  • The English appointed Pazhassi Raja’s uncle, Vira Varma, as the Raja of Kottayam.
  • Vira Varma levied exorbitant tax rates on the peasants.
  • The peasants revolted under the leadership of Pazhassi Raja in 1793, and a peace treaty was made in 1797.
  • In 1800, he rose again over a dispute on Wayanad.
  • A large force of Nairs, Mappilas and Pathans supported him.
  • In 1805, he died in a gunfight at Mavila Todu (near Kerala Karnataka border).
Rebellion in Awadh by Wazir Ali Khan (1799)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 


  • In 1798, the British replaced Wazir Ali Khan, the fourth Nawab of Awadh, with Saadat Ali Khan II.
  • In January 1799, Wazir Ali Khan killed a British resident, George Frederick Cherry and attacked the Magistrate of Benares.  This incident became famous as the Massacre of Benares.
  • General Erskine later defeated Wazir Ali.
  • The ruler of Jaipur granted him asylum.
  • In December 1799, He was deported from Jaipur and was imprisoned at Fort William, Calcutta.
Revolt of Dhundia in Bednur (1799–1800)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements
  • After the British conquest of Mysore in 1799, Dhundia Wagh, a local Maratha leader, rose against them.
  • He established a small territory for himself.
  • Arthur Wellesley, the governor of Mysore, defeated him in 1800.
Uprisings in Palamau (1800–02)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements
  • In 1800, a Chero chief named Bhukhan Singh rose in rebellion against Palamau ruler Churaman Rai.
  • British forces were called upon for help.
  • Colonel Jones suppressed the rebellion in 1802 when Bhukhan Singh died.
Uprisings in the Haryana Region (1803-1810
  • The British got possession of Haryana by the treaty of Surji-Arjungaon in 1803.
  • The Sikh chiefs of Ambala, Karnal, and Thanesar and in the western Haryana region, Zabita Khan (Muslim Bhatti Rajput) of Sirsa and Rania and Khan Bahadur Khan of Fatehabad rebelled against the British.
  • By 1809, the British forces under Col. Adams crushed most of the rebellions.
  • In March 1810, British forces under the charge of Gardiner, Assistant to the British Resident at Delhi (Archibald Seton), defeated the rebelling people of Bhiwani, mainly Jats and Ranghars.
  • The fort of Hansi was converted into a military cantonment.
Dalawa Velu Thampi’s Travancore Rebellion (1808–09)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 

Velu Thampi By Kiran Gopi

  • The state of Travancore entered the Subsidiary alliance of The East India Company in 1795, and a further treaty in 1805 placed an additional financial obligation on Travancore.
  • The inability of the King to pay the subsidy created a conflict between the British resident Colin Macaulay and the Dalawa (Prime minister) Velu Thampi of Travancore.
  • Moreover, the British resident was meddling in the court’s internal affairs.
  • In December 1808, the Prime Minister (or Dalawa) Velu Thampi rose against the company, assisted by the Dalawa of Cochin, Paliath Achan and Nair and Sikh troops.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent 100 Sikh soldiers from his Fauj-i-Khas (a social regiment).
  • In January 1809, he addressed a gathering in Kundara (Kerala) called the Kundara Proclamation, openly calling for taking up arms against the British to drive them out from the native soil.
  • Maharaja of Travancore sided with the British.
  • By March 1809, the rebellion was crushed.  Velu Thampi died, and Paliath Achan was imprisoned.
Parlakimedi (Ganjam, Odisha) Outbreak (1813–34)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • In 1768, British Colonel Peach defeated the revolting raja of Parlakimedi, Narayan Deo.
  • With the support of his son and brother, Narayan Deo revolted again.
  • Finally, the region’s commissioner, George Russell, suppressed the revolt by 1834.
Kittur rising(1824-29)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • The British prevented the adopted son of the chief of Kittur(Shivalinga Rudra Desai) from assuming the throne, leading to the formation of the rebels.
  • Chennamma, the widow of the chief, led the Kittur uprisings.
  • The rebels declared Kittur an independent state under Rayappa.
  • This revolt was suppressed with the capture and execution of Rayappa by the Britishers.
  • Later, queen Channamma died in Dharwar prison.
Kutch or Cutch Rebellion (1816–32) 


  • There was a power struggle between the King of Kutch and 12 chieftains.
  • Maharao Bharmal II was made the King of Kutch following a treaty with the British in 1816.
  • The King raised a troop of Arabs and Africans to oust the British from his territory.
  • The British disposed of the King in 1819 and vested the throne’s power to his infant son, but the de facto ruler was a British resident.
  • Some chieftains rebelled against the British new administration and excessive land assessment.
  • Emboldened by the news of the British reverses in the first AngloBurmese War (1824 to 1826), the chieftains demanded the restoration of Bharamal II.
  • The British were able to restore peace in the region only in 1832.
Upsurge in Hathras (1817)
  • Raja Dayaram was a Jat ruler of Hathras.
  • He had signed a settlement with the British.
  • However, due to increasingly high revenues, Dayaram failed to pay the arrears.  Moreover, he gave asylum to many fugitives of the government.
  • In 1817, the company could siege the fort of Hathras only after heavy bombardment.
  • Dayaram was settled with a pension.
  • Another rebel, Bhagwant Singh, Raja of Mursan, later submitted to the government.
Waghera Rising (1818–20)
  • Waghera chiefs of Okha Mandal led these risings.
  • These risings were aimed at the alien rule and the exactions of the Gaekwad of Baroda supported by the British government.
  • During 1818-19, the Wagheras made incursions into British territory.
  • Finally, a peace treaty was signed in November 1820.
Raju Rebellion(1827-33)
  • Birabhadra was deprived of his estate by the British in return for a small pension.
  • The revolt ended with Birabhadra’s capture.
Ahom Revolt (1828-30)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant MovementsEverything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • The British had agreed to leave Assam after the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-26).
  • However, after the war, they tried to include the territories of Assam in their dominion.
  • In 1828, Gomdhar Konwar(an Ahom prince), Dhananjay Borgohain and Jairam Khargharia Phukan rose in rebellion against the British.
  • In Bassa, near Jorhat, Gomdhar Konwar was formally made King by the rebels.
  • Lieutenant Rutherford and the political agent, Captain Neufville, suppressed the rebellion.
  • Gomdhar Konwar was arrested and sentenced to jail.
  • Later, other leaders such as Dhanjay Borgohain, his sons Harakanta and Haranath and Gadadhar Singha resurrected the rebellion in 1829-30.
  • Finally, the British restored the throne of Upper Assam with limited territorial jurisdiction to Purandar Singha, a member of the Ahom royal family.
Palakonda outbreak(1831-32)
  • The property of the Zamindar was annexed due to non-payment of revenue.
  • With time, this revolt lost its existence.
Satara disturbances(1840-41)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • Pratap Singh, the popular ruler of Satara, was subjugated by the Britishers due to his active support towards Ramos.
  • The people of Satara started a revolt under Dhar Rao in 1840.
  • Later, under Narsing, they seized Badami in 1841.
  • But the defeat and capture of Narsing by the Britishers crushed this revolt.
Bundela revolt(1842)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • In 1842, there was an upsurge in the Sagar Narmada territory against the British.


  • Madhukar Shah and Jawahar Singh Bundela were the leaders of the revolt.
  • The capture of Madhukar Shah and Jawahar Singh ceased this revolt.

Movement by the Dependents of the Rulers

Revolt Features
Revolt of Moamarias (1769–99) 
  • The Moamarias were peasants of a low caste who followed the teachings of Aniruddhadeva (1553–1624).
  • The Paik system was prevalent in the Assam kingdom.
  • Under this system, anyone who was not a noble or a Brahmin must serve the kingdom with labour or by filling in the army.
  • The Moamoria Paiks revolted against the Ahom kingdom and made Bhatiapar their headquarters.
  • Rangpur and Jorhat were the most affected region.
  • Ahom’s ruler, with British help, crushed the rebellion.
Bundelkhand’s Rebellion (1808–12)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements 
  • The British put the Bundelkhand region under the Bengal presidency after conquering it in the Second Anglo-Maratha Wars (1803–05).
  • The resistance to the British came from around 150 forts in the region.
  • The first significant resistance came from Lakshaman Dawa, the Killadar (fort commander) of Ajaygarh Fort.
  • In February 1809, he surrendered and was taken to Calcutta.
  • The resistance of the Killadar of Kalanjar, Darya Singh, was suppressed in January 1812.
  • Gopal Singh of Garrauli Fort rebelled against the British who supported his uncle.
  • To end these rebellions, the British introduced Ikarnamahs, a series of written bonds of allegiance to the British to be signed by the chieftains.
Ramosi Risings (1822, 1825-26)
  • Ramosis, who were serving in the Maratha army, lost their livelihood after the British annexation of Maratha.
  • In 1822, Chittur Singh led a rebellion against British heavy land assessment and harsh collection methods.
  • After the suppression of the first revolt, they were again led by Umaji Naik and Bapu Trimbakji Sawant of Poona in 1825–26.
Gadkari Kolhapur revolt (1844)
  • The Gadkaris were hereditary military servants of the Marathas who held some land in lieu of their service.
  • In 1843, the British imposed a Brahmin regent, Daji Krishna Pandit, who was controlled by a British political agent.
  • They brought reorganisations of administration, which had left Gadkari with no power.
  • Led by Babaji Ahirekar, the Gadkaris revolted against the British in 1844.
  • The rebels occupied the forts of Bhudargad, Samangad, Panhala and Vishalgad.
  • Later, the rebellion spread to Kolhapur, and an independent government was established.
  • In December 1844, the rebels were captured, and Babaji Ahirekar was killed in a fight against the British forces.
Savantvadi Revolts (1844)
  • This revolt took place in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.
  • Their leader was Phond Sawant, a Maratha Sardar.
  • He seized the forts with the help of other sardars and Desais, such as Anna Sahib.
  • After the defeat against British forces, they escaped to Goa.
  • Martial law and brutal punishment for the rebels brought peace to the region. 

Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements

Paika Rebellion (1817)Everything You Need To Know About Peasant Movements

  • Background –
    • Kings of Odisha granted paiks of Odisha heritable rent-free land (nish-kar jagirs) tenure in exchange for military(land) and policing service.
    • The British occupied Odisha in 1803, and the dethronement of the Raja of Khurda reduced the power of the So, they rebelled back.
    • Moreover, the British policy of high rent extortion from land, high salt tax, the requirement of payment of taxes in silver and the abolition of cowrie currency caused resentment among the citizens.
    • The British disagreedwith them and installed a commission under Walter Ewer to investigate the difficulty.
    • As per the commission recommendation, In 1814, the company took over Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar’s (the military chief of the Raja of Khurda) ancestral estate of Killa Rorang.
    • In March 1817, the Konds tribe arrived from Ghumsar into Khurda territory to support the revolt.
  • The revolt –
    • Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar led an army against the British with active support from Mukunda Deva (the last Raja of Khurda), other zamindars and the Konds.
    • Other important leaders of the rebellion were Dinabandhu Santra, Gopal Chhotray, Padmanabha Chhotray and Siva Nayak.
    • They set fire to government buildings, killed police officers and British officials, looted the treasury, and the ship docked on the Chilika.
    • British got control of Khurda by mid-1817, but the paika rebellions continued the guerrilla attacks.
  • The end –
    • The British army gradually crushed the rebellion by 1818.
    • In November 1818, Dinabandhu Santra and his group surrendered.
    • Jagabandhu was declared an outlaw and was sheltered by the Raja of Nayagarh.
    • Priests at the Puri Jagannath temple who had sheltered Jagabandhu were caught and hanged.
    • In 1825, he surrendered under negotiated terms.
    • The British granted some concessions in the region, such as significant remissions of arrears, lower assessments, suspension of the sale of defaulters’ estates at discretion, a new agreement on fixed tenures, and different adjuncts of liberal governance.

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