• Birth:

    • Born on 15 November 1875 in the Chotanagpur Plateau, belonging to the Munda tribe.


  • Brief Profile:

    • Known as ‘Dharti Aaba’ (Father of Earth), Birsa Munda rallied the tribal community against British rule.
    • He compelled colonial officials to enact laws safeguarding tribal land rights.


  • Birsait Sect:

    • Initiated the ‘Birsait’ faith in response to British colonization and missionary efforts.
    • Attracted members from the Munda and Oraon communities, countering British conversion attempts.
    • Advocated abstinence from alcohol, village cleanliness, and abandonment of superstitions.


  • Munda Rebellion (1899-1900):

    • Identified British land policies, Hindu landlords, and missionary criticism as causes of Munda suffering.
    • Launched ‘Ulgulan’ or the ‘Great Tumult’ aiming to establish Munda Raj by expelling the British.
    • Used traditional symbols to rally support and aimed to establish a kingdom under Birsa’s leadership.
    • Followers targeted symbols of outsider power, attacking police stations, churches, and the property of landlords. Raised the white flag as a symbol of Birsa Raj.
    • Birsa’s arrest in March 1900 led to the movement’s decline; he died of cholera in jail.


  • Significance of Munda Rebellion:

    • Pressured the colonial government to pass the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act of 1908, safeguarding tribal land.
    • Demonstrated tribal capacity to resist injustice and express dissent against colonial rule.