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Buxi Jagabandhu : The Hero of Paika Rebellion 1817

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Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra Bhramarbar Rai  was the commander (Bakshi) of the forces of the king of Khordha / Khurda.He was popularly known as “Paika Bakshi” or Buxi Jagabandhu .He is one among the earliest freedom fighters of India. Under his leadership , the great Paik Rebellion in 1817 was originated. Jagabandhu Bidyadhar had got the title of Bakshi in inheritance from his ancestors which represents the rank of the commander of the forces of the King of Khurda.Bakshi was the rank second only to the king. His family was provided with Jagirs (grants of lands and other requisites) and the estate of ‘Killa Rorang’ for generations by theKing of Khurda.It was the first rebellion of the paika (soldiers of Orissa) with the support of common people against the British Rule.

The primary cause of the Paika rebellion in 1817 was The land revenue policy of the British. The rent free land tenures provided to the soldiers for their military service on a hereditary basis were taken away in the settlement by Major Fletcher as their service were not required anymore. This policy resulted into the deprivation of Bakshi Jagabandhu from his estates and forced him to depend on the voluntary contributions from the people of Khurda.

This policy also affected the zamindars as well as riots. Another important cause for that great event was the raise in salt price. As a result, Bakshi Jagabandhu led the tribals of Banapur and Ghumsur and bravely marched towards Khurda to fight against colonial power. The rebellion received extensive support from the common people. Even the Kandhas of Banapur became successful in their revolutionary activities.

The rebellion was expanded throughout the state and continued for a quite long time. However, the less number of paika were unable to defend the well equipped British counterpart and receded back to the jungles. In this operation bands of paika were hunted down and many were brutally murdered.

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