Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate a function in New Delhi to commemorate 200th year celebration of Paika Rebellion of Khurda today.

The President is scheduled to felicitate 150 Paika descendants at the function to be held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, politics over the Paika Rebellion has intensified after the State Cabinet passed a proposal to recommend the Centre to declare the ‘Paika Bidroha’ as the first war of Independence in the country’s history.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh requesting him to consider the proposal of declaring the Paika Rebellion of 1817 as the first war of Independence.

He mentioned, “The Paika Rebellion (1817 AD) of Odisha, which took place 40 years before the Sepoy Mutiny (1857 AD) eminently qualifies to be called as the ‘First War of Independence’ not simply because it took place four decades prior to the Sepoy Mutiny but due to its very nature and characteristic features.”

In 1817, the resistance against the British rule began from Ghumsur and subsequently spread to Banpur in Khurda, Pipili, Puri, Kujanga, Pattamundai and Keonjhar.

Apart from Paikas (the traditional landed militia of Odisha), zamindars, peasants and tribals had participated in the freedom struggle.