Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met the descendants of historical Paika Rebellion martyrs, who undertook an armed rebellion against the British rulers in Odisha in 1817.
He felicitated the families of freedom fighters at Raj Bhawan in Bhubaneshwar in presence of Governor SC Jamir.
"Today, the history was recalled with pride. It is my honour to see the descendants of martyrs. Unfortunately, the long years of freedom movement was confined in few persons and specific period. We should recall the events and contribution of everyone who participated in the freedom struggle," said the Prime Minister.
He said Odisha secured the top position for its immense contribution for freedom movement.
During his Budget speech this year, finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced the Centre's plan to commemorate the rebellion.
"Two-hundred years ago in 1817, a valiant uprising of soldiers led by Buxi Jagabandhu (Bidyadhar Mohapatra) took place in Khurda of Odisha. We will commemorate the same appropriately," Jaitley was quoted by The Times of India.
The Paikas were land-owning community which revolted against the British for taking over their rent-free land in 1803. The revolt led by Bakshi Jagabandhu, raged for over one and a half years before it was crushed by the British.
The decision to celebrate the 200th anniversary was lauded by politicians across party lines in Odisha.
"On behalf of the people of Odisha, I welcome the decision to commemorate the bi-centenary led by Buxi Jagabandhu," The Times of India quoted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as saying.
The Odisha Congress too had welcomed the move to recognise the rebellion.
A month later, the state government inaugurated a new gallery on the 1817 Paika Rebellion in the State Museum, The New Indian Express reported. Along with an interesting collection of arms and other articles used by Paikas, the government also conceptualised a 40-minute light and sound show depicting the event.
With inputs from IANS
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Updated Date: Apr 16, 2017 13:14:25 IST