Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday demanded that the Centre accord the Paika Rebellion of 1817 as the first war of Independence against British rule and said his government would provide free land for the memorial proposed to be set up by the Centre.
Hailing Buxi Jagabandhu as a legendary revolutionary and the brave son of the soil who fought valiantly against the Britishers to free the country from their rule, Patnaik said the Paika Rebellion launched under his leadership was the first war of Independence in India.
Paikas were traditional landed militia under the state’s Gajapati rulers, Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar, the military chief of the King of Khurda, had led his army of Paikas in 1817 against the British East India Company for tinkering with the revenue system and forced its forces to retreat.
The rebellion came to be known as Paika Bidroh or Paika rebellion, he added.
“If the Centre accords this status to the Paika Rebellion, it will be a best tribute to Buxi Jagabandhu,” Patnaik said adding the Paika Rebellion had posed a major challenge before the British rule across the country.
The CM said the state government would provide free land and all cooperation for a memorial for Paika Rebellion of 1817 proposed to be set up by the Centre.
“It is a matter of happiness that the Central government has decided to establish a Paika Rebellion memorial at Barunei. I welcome this proposal. The state government will provide free land and all cooperation for this,” Patnaik said.
He was speaking at a function where Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new campus of IIT-Bhubaneswar at Arugal.
The CM also reiterated the demand before the PM for a new train from Odisha in the name of Buxi Jagabandhu.
He thanked Modi for releasing a commemorative postage stamp and a coin on the occasion of bicentenary celebrations of the Paika Rebellion and for inaugurating a Chair on the Paika Rebellion in the Utkal University.
Congratulating the IITians, Patnaik said IIT-Bhubaneswar has witnessed three convocations and has become one of the leading institutes of the country in science and technology.
“You have all come from different parts of the country to learn and grow. You all are young and the best brains of the land. I believe throughout your life, a piece of Bhubaneswar will always be with you. I wish you all of you to fulfil your dreams and play a significant role in realising the dreams of our nation through your pursuit of knowledge and brilliance,” Patnaik said.