The centre has refused to accept Paika rebellion as the first War of Independence. It was informed to Rajya Sabha via a written reply.
The Paika rebellion is said to have occurred in 1817 and since 2017, Odisha has been demanding that it be declared as first war of independence.
Paika Bidroh (Paika rebellion) took place 40 years before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. It was orchestrated by Paikas, the peasant militia of Gajapati rulers.
King of Khurda, Raja Mukunda Deva was dethroned by British, who firmly established their rule of Odisha.
The King decided to snatch back the territory through a rebellion in 1804. He involved Paikas for the rebellion, which was leaked to British.
The British confiscated the entire territory, with Paikas losing their estates. The interference and oppression of farmers triggered a rebellion.
The Paikas organized themselves under the leadership of Bakshi Jagabandhu. The peasant force confronted British at various region of the kingdom.
Policemen were killed, British treasury was looted and government buildings were set on fire. The rebellion was overpowered subsequently.
The demand from Odisha
In 2017, the Odisha Cabinet passed a proposal to formally urge the centre to declare the Paika rebellion as the first war of Independence.
The same demand was reiterated in 2019 during the foundation laying of Paika rebellion memorial at Barunei by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The centre had considered the proposal and used the services of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) to examine the claim.
According to the report of the ICHR, the Paika Rebellion cannot be called the first War of Independence.
Since the rebellion had a significant impact on fight against British rule, it would now be included in the curriculum of Class VIII history textbook of NCERT.