Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: Paika Rebellion is the first war of Independence in India said President Pranab Mukherjee today at the event held at New Delhi to commemorate 200th year celebration of Paika Rebellion of Khurda.
"I will not call it a rebellion by the Paikas but frankly speaking it is one of the earliest freedom movements of this country which began in Odisha," said Mukherjee.
Remembering Buxi Jagabandhu and many Paika martyrs, Mukherjee said much earlier than Sepoy Mutiny (1857 AD), Paika Rebellion (1817 AD) of Odisha was a movement against the British rule. He advised to document the Paika Rebellion to keep the tale of valour alive.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during this event said, "Paika uprising echoed the dignity of Odia people, it gave a message on Odia nationlism and unity." Adding that Odisha has demanded Central Government to declare Paika Rebellion of Khurda as the first war of Independence in the Country, he said, "The Odisha Cabinet has recommended to the Union Government to declare the Paika uprising as the first war of Independence, I hope the government of India will recognise this historic event and acknowledge its rightful place in the history of India."
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan during this event said, "We Odias are proud as Paika Rebellion was the first movement against the Britishers and we have gathered in Delhi on this occassion when Government of India is commemorating the 200th year of the most important tale of Odia culture."
Union Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma informed that the bicentenary of Paika Rebellion will be celebrated throughout the year. "There will be various programmes in Odisha. We will hold next event in Odisha and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Odisha to pay tributes to Buxi Jagabandhu," he added.
The occasion organised by Central Government at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi was also graced by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram. Besides, 150 Paika descendants and many dignitaries were also present in the event.