Hul revolt in the Adivasi songs of Jharkhand

Songs and mandar are the source of strength of the Adivasis in their struggles. This was true of the Hul revolt in Santhal Pargana, Ulgulan of Birsa Munda and the movement demanding a separate Jharkhand state. The stories of Adivasis revolts would be incomplete without their songs, writes Priyanka

The struggle for water, forests and land (jal, jangal aur zameen) is centuries old. Even today, the Adivasis are fighting for their basic rights. Hul Diwas reminds us of such a struggle. About 150 years ago, the Adivasis of Jharkhand sounded the bugle of revolt against the British. Though the historians say that the sepoy uprising of 1857 was India’s first battle for independence from the British, the fact is that the Adivasis of Jharkhand had raised the banner of revolt against the foreign rulers, earlier, on 30 June 1855. The Hul revolt had begun from the Bhagandih village of the present Sahibganj district under the leadership of Sido and Kanhu. At the time, Sido had coined the slogan “Do or die, O’ British leave our soil”.

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