Remembering the Valorous Saga of Maangarh Dham
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Remembering the Valorous Saga of Maangarh Dham

Today 17th November, reminds the sacrifice of courageous tribal martyrs under the leadership of Govind Guru, fighting bravely against the Britisher rulers

Post by ARJUN RAM MEGHWAL on Thursday, November 17, 2022

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The Nation is taking giant leaps multidimensionally, striding to realise the fullest potential of proud citizens. The Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an apt moment to introspect ourselves and bring out the masses' consciousness for scaling new heights for the Nation. India's freedom struggle has numerous sagas to reflect the awakened consciousness of freedom fighters that widen the scope of activities of all stakeholders in the nationalistic movement. The unsung heroes have sacrificed their lives for the prestigious realm of the motherland. The recently celebrated 2nd'Janjatiya Gaurav Divas' on15th November, i.e. birth anniversary of Birsa Munda recollected the valour & heroic deeds of tribal freedom fighters. Today 17th November, reminds the sacrifice of courageous tribal martyrs under the leadership of Govind Guru, fighting bravely against the Britisher rulers.

 

Govind Guru, born in a nomadic family in the Dungarpur-Banswara region of Rajasthan, imbibed the teaching of Swami Dayanand Saraswati and rose to mobilise the Bhil tribes through their socio-religious upliftment. An accurate propagator of Indian Tradition & ideals, At25 years old in 1883, he founded the 'Samp Sabha' to promote Unity & harmony among the tribals.These socioeconomic measures were simultaneous to the British raj's organised loot from India and their increasing insensitivity to the concerns of locals & indigenous people. From 1903 onwards, Maangarh Hill became a famous place for the annual congregation in the form of a fair for bhils & other tribes of the region.

 

The demand for self-rule in India gathered enormous currency in the 1st decade of the twentieth century. Divide & Rule Policy, the resultant Bengal partition & wealth draining mechanism, had busted the moral foundation of the British regime. Govind Guru had also laid down demand to reduce the revenue collection rate from tribals in the famine-affected circumstances and to stop their encroachment on religious freedom & cultural aspect of India. As part of the freedom struggle, the Bhill community and other tribals engaged in a long standoff with the British. In 1913, on the full moon day of 17th November, Mangarh hill witnessed a mass gathering of more than 1.5 lakh Bhills to pay their allegiance to the guru, to fulfil their spiritual desire &to look for a way out to end British hegemony. The illegitimate revenue collection was a clear-cut exhibition of their oppressive attitude &injustice measures. The 'Bhuretia Nhi Manu Re' (I will not accept the tyrannical rule of white people, i.e. Britishers) song has become a mouthpiece for tribal people. Thus, Govind Guru's call for taking on injustice laid the foundation for Civil Disobedience Movement against British rule.

 

Sensing the congregation of such a large scale, the British deputed seven companies to surround the entire Maangarh hill and tried to suppress the tribal agitative measures with the fear of bullets & cannons. The awakened consciousness of the masses, augmented by spirituality, seems nowhere close to accepting the Britishers' adherence to evacuate the hill area. Their confidence and spirit for protecting the motherland overpowered the bullet's fear. The insensitive Britishers ordered the mass shooting, and in this inhuman act, more than 1500 tribal freedom fighters laid down their lives this day. Britishers' moral legitimacy continuously kept eroding through the Jallianwala Bagh massacre after six years of the Maangarh hill incident and other inhuman approaches& measures to break the social & economic fabric of India. The sacrifices of these unsung heroes of the freedom struggle have upscaled the morals of nationalistic fraternity. It has provided a lens to view independence as a legitimate & rightful necessity. This spirit has groomed everyone in toto for duty-fully playing their active role in owning a free India.

 

After 75years of Independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a clarion call for Amrit Kaal's Panch Pran with the Goal of Developed India, removing traces of a colonial mindset, taking pride in our roots, Unity, and inculcating a sense of duty. The indelible role of tribals' from freedom struggle to nation-building, is an inspirational story. Tribal culture, harmony & sustainability with nature, environment-friendly lifestyle and zeal to protect nature are worth emulating, and lesson for the elite class and developed countries discussing ways & mean to reduce carbon footprints.

 

The recently held 'MaanGarh Dham Ki Gaurav Gatha' event on 1st November at Maangrah hill witnessed the presence of  PM Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Gujarat, and, more importantly, the decedents of tribal freedom fighters who have assembled in 1913 on the same hill. Now, Maangarh Dham will be developed with the cooperation of State government of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, as a national memorial showcasing tribal legacy and their rich cultural heritage. Its development as a National tribal destination will become a significant milestone in recognising the tribal contribution in Nation Building. Additionally, the Government is already setting up tribal museums in ten states, i.e.  Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, MP, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Goa & Kerala, to recognise the contribution of tribal people to society and increase awareness about their sacrifices in the freedom struggle.

 

In India's growth trajectory, leaving behind a tribal legacy will always turn out as a glass half-full. Now with the initiatives taken by the Modi government, the tribals are marching with matched shoulders in the mainstream development agenda of the Government. The Nation feels elated to have Dropdi Murmu, 1st tribal leader, as the Republic's president. The Union Council of Ministers is also jewelled with eight tribal ministers. The pro-poor welfare measure, people-centric policies and governance approach to achieving full saturation by extending benefits to intended beneficiaries have facilitated their ease of living. The building of Eklavya Modal residential School, dedicated scholarship scheme for students, Adivasi University, focussed emphasis on curbing sickle cell anaemia, Mission Indra Dhanush, development through Tribal research institute, removing bamboo from the definition of a tree, Aayushmaan Bharat, PM Awas Yojna among other are helping to bloom the potential of tribal masses. Strengthening the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocity) Act through amendments has made effective deterrence to atrocities against them. The idea of Social Justice is getting new meaning under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

 

Today we pay our homage to the Martyrs of Maangarh by remembering the supreme sacrifice of unsung freedom fighters. Let's align our values with the morals of freedom fighters to reveal altogether different perspectives to building a New India, A global leader emerging as a pragmatic trouble-shooter on contemporary international challenges. Let's scratch our past, carry forward the indomitable legacy and learn from cultural values to earn a shining future. It's time to mindfully churn and act concerned about building a Developed India.

 

 

(The Author is Union Minister of State for Culture & Parliamentary Affairs & represents the Bikaner constituency in Lok Sabha

 

 

 

 

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