Led the Tribal Uprising
Birsa Munda was born on 15th November 1875 at Ulihatu village in present day Bihar. He lived for only 25 years, but gave a tough time to the British. He was a Freedom Fighter belonging to the tribal group of Munda Tribe. He fought for the tribals of Bihar, who were seized of their lands by the British. Birsa revolted against the British through many protests and led the tribal uprising against the Colonial dictators.
British Seize Tribal Lands
The Munda tribe of the Chotanagpur area in Bihar was part of the agrarian system during the British Rule. As the tribals were not able to get enough surplus due to lack of facilities, the British administration replaced them by non-tribal peasantry. These non-tribal farmers began cultivating the fields and the tribals were soon made to give up their lands. In many villages, the Mundas became ordinary farm labourers under superior landlords.
Movement led by Birsa
Birsa Munda spearheaded a movement in which the the Mundas asserted their ownership to the lands that originally belonged to them. Birsa Munda carried out many revolts against the British and sought the tribal lands back from the British and the middlemen.
Forced British to pass legislation
The Movement led by Birsa Munda brought together all the tribals to fight injustice meted out to them. The repeated efforts of the Birsa’s Movement forced the British Government to pass laws in favour of the Mundas, so that their land could not be taken away easily by others.
Arrest and Death
Birsa Munda was arrested by the British on 3rd February, 1900 and imprisoned at Ranchi Jail. He passed away while in Jail, under unknown circumstances on 9th June, 1900. The British government pronounced that he had died from Cholera, although no symptoms of the disease were found.
Today, he is the only tribal leader whose portrait hangs in our Parliament Central Hall. The airport of the capital city of Jharkhand is known as Birsa Munda Airport.
Birsa Munda Airport
He is one of those freedom fighters who has left a permanent imprint on the minds of the people.