Rajasthan News

Raje to pay acclaim to 1500 tribal Martyrs in Banswara

by RajasthanDirect
Nov 18, 2015

Leaders across the political spectrum would gather at the famous Mangarh Dham on Tuesday to pay  acclaim to the hundreds of martyrs who were killed in a massacre, better known as Rajasthan's Jallianwala Bagh, on the 102nd anniversary of the tragedy.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Union minister of state for tribal affairs Mansukhbhai Vasava, Union minister Sudarshan Bhagat, tribal minister Nandlal Meena, home minister Gulab Chand Kataria are among others who would be present here on the occasion. On November 17, 1913, Banswara district in south Rajasthan was witness to a little-known massacre of around 1,500 tribals by the British.

British forces, supported by the forces of princely states, on this day had opened fire on tribals who had gathered on Mangarh hillock situated in the Aravali mountains on Rajasthan-Gujarat border.

Sadly even after a century of the tragedy, the historically important site remains neglected and demands of the locals to make it a protected area under archaeology department have fallen on deaf ears.

To commemorate the incident, the natives have also been demanding a postal ticket and a coin to be released in the name of Govind Guru, the great leader who inspired the tribals to throw off the yoke of British reign.

Govind Guru, influenced by social reformers like Dayanand Saraswati, launched the ‘Bhagat movement among the Bhils (tribal caste) asking them to adhere to vegetarianism, and abstain from all types of intoxicants. The movement slowly took on a political hue and turned into a movement against the oppressive policies of the British.

The Bhils began opposing taxes imposed by the British and forced labour imposed by the princely states of Banswara, Santrampur, Dungarpur and Kushalgarh.

Worried over the tribal revolt, the British and princely states decided to crush the uprising. From October 1913, Govind Guru asked his followers to gather at Mangarh hill, from where they would conduct their operations. The British asked them to vacate Mangarh hill by November 15, but they refused.

On November 17, the tribals were gathering for a meeting when the British forces under major S Bailey and captain E Stiley opened fire from cannons and guns on the crowd.

Though there are no official estimates, locals believe more than 1,500 people were killed. Govind Guru was captured and exiled from the area.

He was imprisoned in Hyderabad jail and released in 1919 on grounds of good behaviour. But as he was exiled from his homeland, he settled in Limdi in Gujarat where he passed away in 1931.

Source from : timesofindia

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