Nationalism

Chapter 21: A Forgotten Chapter From The History Of Freedom Struggle – Bhabani Pathak and The Sannyasi Rebellion!

Saga of fight for Independence!

Chapter 21: A forgotten chapter- Bhabani Pathak and Sannyasi Rebellion

The Sannyasi rebellion does not find place in the books of history all thanks to the marxist historians. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1882 novel, “Anandamath” a 336 page long novel is all about tribute to these heroes of the Indian independence movement. It is sad that the rest of the country seems to have forgotten many of the heroes who sacrified their life in the freedom struggle. The novel Anandamath is also otherwise famous for publishing our national song, “Vande Mataram” and sparking the first fire of nationalism in a heavily subjugated population. The novel itself was vehemently banned by the British government upon its publication, it only came back in print after 1947, long after the author’s death.

The British increased the Diwani amount by double in the first year they came to power and by ten per cent more the year after that. A number of their policy moves had a negative effect on the economy, one of which was the famine of 1770. The landlords could no longer afford to pay the travelling of the Sanyasi to the piligrimages. Moreover, the British looked upon these Sannyasis as nothing but robbers and dacoits who were out to get a share of their rightful taxes. Also they had a problem with so many men moving about in a band. It made them look suspicious to the foreign government. They actively tried to bar their entry into Bengal and severely restricted their movements within the state. This effectively put a ban on the kind of lifestyle the Sannyasis had been practicing since ancient times.

Shortly after the annexation of Bengal in 1776-77, Majnum Shah, the leader of the Faqirs, began to levy contributions on the zamindars and peasants and, defied the British authority. After Majnum Shah’s death, Chirag Ali Shah, supported by Pathans, Rajputs and the disbanded Indian soldiers extended the operations to the northern districts of Bengal. Two famous Hindu leaders who supported him were Bhawani Pathak and Devi Chaudhurani, a woman. The Faqirs led by-Chirag Ali Shah gained considerable strength and attacked English factories, seized their goods, cash, arms and ammunitions. There were a number of skirmishes between the Faqirs and Company’s troops. The Faqirs were finally brought under control at the beginning of the nineteenth certury.

The Hindu Naga and Giri armed Sanyasis once formed a part of the armies of the Nawabs of Awadh and Bengal, and also of the Maratha and Rajput chiefs. The immediate cause of the rebellion was the restrictions, imposed on the pilgrims visiting the holy places. The Sanyasis raided the English factories and collected contributions from the towns, leading to a series of conflicts between the large bands of Sanyasis and the British forces. After nearly half-a-century long strife, the Sanyasi Uprising ended in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The Sanyasi-Faqir resistance had some commons features. Both groups of mendicants lived on alms provided by their followers.

Bhabani Pathak was an unique personality and a historical figure in Sannyasi (Fakir) rebellion. Along with the rebellion leader Devi Choudhurani looted many ships packed up with goods of Rich merchants and of Englishmen in 1787. Their constant attacks devastated the British Rule in Mymensingh and Bagura. He could not be arrested even after issuing warrant of arrests and sending of infrantries. With a few followers he fought with British soldiers and sacrificed his life. He had close contact with Fakir rebellion leader Majnu Shah.

Chapter 1:
A Trading Corporation, Set foot in Hindusthan! Traders Backed By Money And Power, Conquered, Subjugated, And Plundered The Vast Land And Called It ‘India’!!!

Chapter 2:
One Man Stood Against The Betrayal Of The East India Company To Save His Motherland! Know The Story Of Maaveeran Alagumuthu Kone!

Chapter 3:
When Even Strongest Of Polingar Were Surrendering To British, The Ruler Of Nelkattunseval Fought Against Them Like A Tiger! Know The Story Of ‘Puli’ Thevar An Able Administrator And A Great Warrior!

Chapter 4:
The Story Of Veeramangai Velu Nachiyar! A Warrior Queen Who Not Just Fought Against The British But Also Defeated Them In The War!

Chapter 5:
Kuyili- The First Ever Suicide Bomber In History! She Was A Brave Commander And A Close Of Aid Of Velu Nachiyar! Her Fight Against The British And Her Sacrifice Still Remains Unknown!

Chapter 6:
Veera Pandya Kattabomman – The Legendary Warrior Who Was Publicly Hanged To Death By The The British East India Comany!

Chapter 7:
The Story of Maruthu Brothers! The Leaders Of South Indian Rebellion Against The British East India Company Who Were The First To Issue Declaration Of Independence!

Chapter 8:
The Kerala Simham – Pazhassi Raja! This Warrior King Defeated The Man Who Had Conquered Napoleon Bonaparte!

Chaper 9:
Jayee Rajguru – This Brave Son Of Mother India Was Executed By The British In Most Brutal Manner For Leading An Agitation Against Them!

Chapter 10:
The Story Of Jagabandhu Vidyadhar Who Led The Famous Paika Rebellion! The Fight Against The British East India Company!

Chapter 11:
Mahadaji Shinde A Mighty Maratha Warrior Who Defeated The British in Battle of Wadgaon!

Nana Fadnavis – A Man Who Defeated The British Twice With His Intelligence and Diplomacy, Prompting Them To Call Him The Maratha Machiavelli

Chapter 12:
Tirot Sing – An Unsung Hero, A Brave Leader Of Kasi Tribe Whose Skill At Guerrilla Warfare Had Greatly Worried The British!

Chapter 13:
A Sixty Year Old Warrior Marched Into The Battle Field To Safeguard The Dignity Liberty Of Sikhs And Fought Against The British! Know The Story Of Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala!

Chapter 14:
This Father- Son Duo Defeated The British In The Battle Of Chillianwala! Even After Losing Everything They Did Not Lose The Spirit To Fight The British To Free Their Land!

Chapter 15:
The Spark Of Need To Overthrow The Company Rule Was Kindled Into A Wildfire By This Infamous Policy Of Dalhousie! The Doctrine Of Lapse!

Chaper 16:
One Of The First Warrior Queens Of India, Whose Name Became Synonymous With Bravery! Rani Chennamma Of Kittur!

Chapter 17:
The Unsung Warrior Hero From Karnataka, A Close Aide Of Rani Chennamma Of Kittur! The Story Of Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna!

Chapter 18:I Am Chinnamalai Who Reigns Between Sennimalai And Shivanmalai! Dheeran Chinnamalai Fought Against Hyder Ali And The British To Save His Motherland!

Chapter 19:He Fought Valiantly Against The British! To Suppress The Rebellion He Had Started British Executed Him And His Head Was On Display At The Fort Wall For 30 Years!

Chapter 20: Chapter 20 – How A Glorious Character In The History Of freedom Struggle Was Reduced To A Mere Fictional Character From A Novel! Read The Story Of Devi Chaudhurani!
Dr. Sindhu Prashanth

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