Farazi Movement, Santhal Revolt & Indigo Revolt (1859 – 60)


Revolt means take violent action by people against a government or ruler to end the authority. Sometimes this word used for more localized rebellions rather than a general uprising like Revolution.


Farazi Movement – (1818)

  • The movement started and led by Haji Shariatullah in 1818 in East Bengal region against British Land Revenue policies.
  • After the death of Shariathullah in 1839 the movement led by his son Dudu Mian.
  • He emphasized the egalitarian society and his slogan was “Land is belongs to God” and Collecting revenue on the land is against this doctrine.
  • Many peasants joined in the movement and protest against British agrarian policies.
  • In 1862 Dudu Mian died and the movement revived in 1870 by Noah Mian.

Wahhabi Rebellion (1827)

  • Anti-imperial & anti landlord movement in Barasat region of Bengal.
  • The movement led by Titu Mir who was influenced by Wahhabi teachings.
  • So the movement came to known as Wahhabi movement.
  • Titu Mir became important figure among Indian Muslim peasants.

 Santhal Revolt  (1855-56)

  • Santhals also called as Manji lived near Rajmahal Hills (Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa).
  • Landlords & moneylenders were grabbing the land on Permanent Settlement System & destroyed forest.
  • Santhals called Rajmahal Hill as Damin-i-Koh (Land of Santhals). These lands were leased out to non-santhal (Dikus – Outsiders) zamindars and land lords.
  • The activities of British officials and the rail road construction activities lead to Armed uprising in July 1855.
  • At the battle of Mahespur they wore red cloth and it became their symbol and women also participated.
  • Under the leadership of Siddhu and Kanhu, the rebels raided the houses of British officers, Zamindar and moneylenders.
  • Several thousand peasants raided on Charles Maseyk’s indigo factory and pillaged.
  • This invited brutal counter-insurgency measures, the army was mobilized and Santhal villages were burnt one after another with vengeance.
  • In February 1856 the Leaders were captured and the revolt controlled soon.
  • British announced to safeguard Santhal parganas and they passed a protection Act in 1855.

Indigo Revolt (1859 – 60)

  • Most militant & widespread peasant uprising by Bengal Indigo cultivators.
  • The European indigo planters compelled the tenant farmers to grow indigo and the farmer was forced to sell it cheap to the planter.
  • In September 1859 the Cultivators of Nadia district gave up the Indigo cultivation under Digambar Biswas & Bishnu Charan Biswas.
  • Factories were burnt down and the revolt spread to the indigo cultivating regions of Bengal.
  • The peasants, both Hindu and Muslim and women also participated in the revolt.
  • To take control of the situation, the Government set up an Indigo Commission in 1860.
  • The recommendations became the part of the Act VI of 1862.
  • Hindu Patriot the newspaper wrote about the miseries of the cultivators. (Hindu Patriot is the Bengali Newspaper established by Madhusudhan Ray and edited by Grish Chandra Ghosh)
  • Nil Darpan a drama by Dinabandu Mitra in Bengali was to show the miseries of the cultivators.

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