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List of Peasant Movements in India

List of Peasant Movement in India

The economic policies of the British adversely affected the Indian peasants under the British government, protecting the landlords and money lenders while they exploited the peasants. The peasants rose in revolt against the injustice on many occasions. In this article, we will discuss the list of important peasant movements in India that have played a crucial role in shaping the national movement of India.


List of Peasant Movements in India_30.1


Peasant Movement Details
Indigo Revolt (1859-60)
  • Indigo growers’ revolt had flared up in Bengal in autumn of 1959
  • It is also known as ‘Nil Bidroho’
  • On the one hand, this revolt was directed against the indigo planters, on the other, it grew into a rent strike against the planter zamindars.
  • This indigo revolt gave birth to a political movement and stimulated national sentiment against the British rulers among Indian masses.
Rangpur Dhing (1783)
  • Rangpur uprising took place in Bengal
  • It is called the first tough peasant rebellion against the East India Company rule.
  • Diwani right to britishers in 1765 and five year settlement in 1767 led to exploitation of peasants.
  • European collectors and Indian Ijardar (revenue farmer) worked in tandem to extort money from the cultivators.
  • The rebellion spread over a significant area, including Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Palama.
  • After two years of strong confrontation, they lost to modern weapons of the British.
Kol Rebellion (1832)
  • Kol tribesmen of Chhota Nagpur were upset over exploitation by agents of the East India Company
  • The Kols and other tribes enjoyed independence underneath their chiefs but the British entry threatened their independence.
  • Handover of tribal lands and the encroachment of moneylenders, merchants and British laws created tension in the region.
  • Leaders: Buddhu Bhagat, Joa Bhagat, Madara Mahato and others.
Mappila Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920) ·        Mappila or moplah name is given to Malayali-speaking Muslims who resided in the Malabar Coast of northern Kerala.

·        The rebellion started as a resistance against both the British colonial rule in Malabar region and the landlords who were mainly Hindus.

  • The revolt goes fell into the trap of Hindu-Muslim riot.
  • During this period, Khilafat movement was raised (During Non-Cooperation movement for the fulfilment of freedom for Muslims.
  • Read more about Moplah rebellion here.
Santhal Rebellion (1855)
  • It was a native rebellion in present-day Jharkhand.
  • This revolution was not only against the British Raj but also against the zamindars.
  • The Santhals were evicted from their own land due to failure to pay taxes and debts.
  • It was planned by four brothers -Sidhu, Kahnu, Chand and Bhairav
  • The rebellion was suppressed and was over-shadowed by the other rebellions.
Deccan Uprising (1875)
  • Ryotwari Settlement was the revenue system introduced in the Bombay Deccan region.
  • The ryots of Deccan region of western India suffered heavy taxation under the Ryotwari system.
  • The peasants found themselves trapped in a vicious network with the moneylender as the exploiter and the main beneficiary.
  • The conditions had worsened due to a crash in cotton prices after the end of the American civil war in 1864, the Government’s decision to raise the land revenue by 50% in 1867, and a succession of bad harvests.
  • This uprising also involved a social boycott of the moneylender.
Munda Ulgulan (1899- 1900)
  • Birsa Munda led this movement in Ranchi.
  • The Ulgulan, called the ‘Great Tumult,’ strived to ascertain Munda Raj and independence.
  • The land agreements of the British were demolishing the tribal conventional land system.
  • As a result of this rebellion, the government enacted the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act 1908.
  • Traditional characters and language were used to arouse folk, exhorting them to demolish “Ravana” (dikus/outsiders and the British government )
The Pagal Panthis
  • The revolt was led by Karam Shah
  • It was guided by religious medicants called Pagal Panthis. At the initial stage it was directed against the zamindars and later assumed the character of an anti-British movement.
  • Karim Shah taught that God created mankind. So, they are all equal and brethren to each other.
  • The followers of Karim Shah, therefore, addressed each other as ‘Bhai-Saheb’. Their behaviour and way of life seemed unusual and peculiar to the people living in the plains.
  • Bhai-Sahebs thus came to be called ‘Pagals’ (mad-caps) by the people in the plains.
Faraizi Revolt
  • Led by Hazi Shariatullah and his son Dadu Mian
  • Shariutullah vowed to bring the Bengal Muslims to the true path of Islam.
  • Haji Shariatullah regarded British rule in Bengal as injurious to the religious life of the Muslims so, he wanted to expel the English intruders from Bengal
Tebhaga Movement (1946–47)
  • The Tebhaga movement was organised mainly by the communist cadres of the bengal provincial krishak sabha.
  • Tebhaga Movement was the sharecroppers’ movement demanding two thirds of the produce from land for themselves and one third for the landlords (so the word tebhaga).
  • The resisting tenants added a new slogan to their agenda: the total abolition of zamindari system.
  • The Partition of Bengal and the promises of the new government led to the suspension of the movement.
Telangana Movement (1946-52)
  • This was the biggest peasant guerrilla war of modern Indian history affecting 3000 villages and 3 million populations.
  • The princely state of Hyderabad under Asajahi Nizams was marked by issues like lack of civil and political liberties, forced exploitation etc.
  • The autocratic-feudal regime of India’s biggest princely state was shaken up.
  • The movement cleared the way for the formation of Andhra Pradesh on linguistic lines and realising another aim of the national movement in this region.


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