Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: In a special cabinet meeting the State government has proposed for the Centre to declare 'Paika Bidroha' as the first War of Independence in the history of India. The meeting was held today in presence of Culture minister Ashok Panda, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan on the occasion of the bi-centenary celebration of the rebellion against East India Company.

The state government has insisted that the 1817 Paika Bidroha should be regarded as the first war for Independence in the country as it took place 40 years before the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857.

"The social framework of the rebellion was pluralistic and multidimensional. It was a widespread movement in which various sections of people took part. It cannot be called a war of resistance because it was a complete war of Independence against the British rule in Khurda," said Minister Panda.

Meanwhile, earlier today, Paikas of Khurda had said they would propose before the Centre to set up a ‘Paika Academy’ in State at a special function on July 20 in Delhi marking the 200th anniversary of Khurda Paika Rebellion.