List of Tribal Rebellions

Halba Rebellion (1774-79)

  • Ajmer Singh led the Halba rebellion in Chhattisgarh.
  • He was the then governor of Dongar (Madhya Pradesh).
  • The Halba tribe as well as the soldiers stood beside Ajmer Singh.
  • Aimed to create an independent tribal state called Halba Dongar.

Chuar Uprising (1766-72 & 1795-1816)

  • Also known as Jungle Mahal Revolt (Name of administrative unit lying between Chotanagpur plateau and Bengal plains). These people were farmers and hunters; some of them worked under local zamindars.
  • Chuar uprisings occurred in phases, each one with its characteristics and leaders.
  • First Chuar rebellion (1768): Broke out as a reaction to the increasing revenue of jungle zamindars under leadership of Jagannath Singh (zamindar of Ghatshila)
  • Second Chuar rebellion (1771): Chuar revolted against aliens under leadership of Shyam Ganjan, Subla Singh and Dubraj.
  • Third Chuar rebellion (1798): Most significant uprising under Durjan Singh against the imposition of exploitative revenue and administrative policies and strict police regulation in rural Bengal.

Santhal Rebellion (1771-85)

  • Tilka Manji led the Santhal Rebellion from 1771-85. Executed an armed rebellion against the British in 1785.
  • Tilka organized the Adivasis into an army trained in the use of bows and arrows.
  • After the famine of 1770 in Santhal region, He looted the treasury of the Company and distributed it among the poor and needy.
  • Inspired by this noble act of Tilka, many other tribals also joined the rebellion. With this began his “Santhal Hool” (the revolt of the Santhals). He continued to attack the British and their sycophantic allies. From 1771 to 1784, Tilka never surrendered.
  • Tilka Majhi attacked Augustus Cleveland, an East India Company administrator and fatally wounded him.
  • He was captured and executed (hanged) in 1784.

Ho Uprising (1820-22 & 1831)

  • First Ho Uprising: Occurred as a response to the occupation of Singbhum. Raja of Parahat took initiative and organized tribals against the occupation. This revolt continued till 1827.
  • Second Ho Uprising: They again rose in rebellion in 1831, against the new farming revenue policy and entry of Bengalis into the region. They were joined by Mundas of Chotanagpur.

Kol Mutiny (1831)

  • Against large-scale transfers of land from Kol tribe to outsider Hindu, Sikh and Muslim farmers. Covered many parts of Chotanagpur and was led by Buddho Bhagat.

Khasi Uprising (1830s)

  • EIC wanted to build a road linking Brahmaputra valley with Sylhet. In response, Khasis, Garos, Khampis and Singhpos organized themselves to revolt under Tirot Sing Syiem.

Santhals Uprising (1854-56)

  • Permanent Settlement (1793) proved disastrous for settled Santhal agriculturists. Unable to pay taxes levied by the company, they were forced to borrow from moneylenders (Diku) at high rates. Moneylenders took possession of land when debt remained unpaid.
  • During the 1850s, Santhals revolted against zamindars and moneylenders. The rebellion soon turned into a movement and Santhal called it Hul’ (liberation movement) led by Sidhu & Kanho (also joined by their sisters Phulo & Janho).
  • British suppressed the movement by 1856 and took corrective measures to thwart any future rebellion. Thus, Santhal Pargana was created out of Bhagalpur and Birbhum districts.
  • Sidhu & Kanu led the Santhal rebellion of 1855 which turned into a battle. They were able to mobilize a huge number of Santhals to revolt against the British.

Tribal Movements as part of 1857 Revolt

  • Chero and Kharwar revolt in Chotanagpur plateau.
  • Bhils revolted in Vindhya and Satpura regions under the leadership of Bhagoji Naik and Kajar Singh.

Munda Revolt (1899-1900)

  • Aimed establish Munda rule by killing thikadars (revenue farmers), jagirdars, rajas and hakims.
  • Birsa led Munda rebellion (Ulgulan). He is known as Dharti Aaba.

Bastar Rebellion (1910)

  • Occurred in Chhattisgarh in 1910 and was led by Gunda Dhur.
  • Also known as Bhumkal.

Kukis Revolt (1917-19)

  • During World War I, British wanted to recruit Kukis for their labour corps. Manipur king promised 2000 men, but Kuki chiefs refused to comply & declared war on colonisers in 1917.
  • Also known as Great Kuki Rebellion, Kuki Rising, Anglo-Kuki War and Zou Gaal.

Dangis (Bhils) Gujarat

  • Goths (stories) of Dangis showcase enforcing control on tribals in the region.
  • In these stories, past is framed in terms of overlapping epochs of Moglai (freedom) and Mandini (end of freedom).
  • Moglai represents freedom to move in forests, raid and collect a due called giras from plains and to have a political authority.
  • Mandini represents end of moglai when British dominance eroded Dangi political authority. These stories evoke creation of reserved forests in 1901-02 and violent exclusion of Dangis from right to cultivate.
  • Goths portray Dhum or rebellion against sarkars as a natural response. Early Bhil rebellions of 1819 and 1831 crushed by British do not figure in goths. However, three rebellions between 1907 and 1914 are proudly remembered in Goths.

Rampa Rebellion (1922)

  • Rising discontent towards the British led to the Rampa Rebellion of 1922, in which Alluri played the major role as its leader.
  • Alluri led his forces in guerrilla campaigns against the colonial rulers to expel them from the Eastern Ghats region. During this period, he led numerous raids on imperial police stations to acquire firearms for his under-equipped forces.
  • Alluri Sitaram Raju waged an armed campaign against British colonial rule in India. Born in present-day Andhra Pradesh, he was involved in opposing the British in response to 1882 Madras Forest Act which restricted the free movement of Adivasis in their forest habitats and prevented them from practising their traditional form of agriculture called podu. He was captured and executed in 1924.

Naga Movement (1905-31)

  • Led by  Haipou Jadonang in Manipur against British rule. Aimed to establish Naga Raj.

Heraka Cult (1930s)

  • Led by Gaidinliu in Manipur which led to formation of the Naga Association in 1946

Bhil Uprising (1817-19 & 1913)

  • Bhils of Khandesh stood up in revolt against the company (1817-1819), as they were facing hardship due to famine, economic distress and misgovernment.
  • Bhils rose in revolt again in1825,1831 and 1846.

Bhil Revolt of 1813 (Bhagat Andolan)

  • Govind Guru started ‘Bhagat Andolan’ in the tribal-dominated border areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Revered by Bhil tribals and Banjara community in the area.
  • Govind Guru was a great social and religious reformer and played a big role in uniting the tribals in this area. Appealed to tribals to stop the rent and boycott of foreign goods.
  • Fire god was considered a symbol in BHAGAT ANDOLAN.
  • Founded Samp Sabha. Through this, he inspired Bhils to stay away from alcohol, meat, theft, adultery etc. School education for the children and cleanliness were promoted by him.
  • Soon the number of his followers started increasing. became millions of devotees. Every year, he used to organize an annual fair on the hill of Mangarh.
  • In 1913, in one such fair police opened fire which resulted in the killing of 1500 tribals (Mangarh Massacre).
  • Was sentenced to death, then it was changed to life imprisonment.

Tribal revolt during Quit India Movement

  • Laksman Naik was a Gandhian tribal civil rights activist from Southern Odisha region. He was a Gandhian leader. Led Tribal Movement in Odisha during Quit India Movement.

Gond Uprising (1940s)

  • Aim was to bring together the believers of Gond dharma.
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