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President Ram Nath Kovind Lays Foundation For Paika Rebellion Memorial In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday laid the foundation stone for a memorial to mark completion of 200 years of Paika Rebellion, a valiant uprising of Paikas in 1817 against the British Rule which is often termed as the First War of Independence.

Apart from President Kovind, Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh Govenor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, Union Ministers Pratap Sarangi and Dharmendra Pradhan and other eminent dignitaries were also present during the foundation laying ceremony.

The proposed project will come up at the foothills of Barunei hills in Khurda district. The memorial is seen as an epitome of Odisha’s valour and will serve as an inspiration for the youth.

The Paika Rebellion memorial which will come up in 10 acres of land will be a source of inspiration for the youths and generations to come.

“The legend of the Paika Rebellion and Buxi Jagabandhu who led an army of the courageous Paikas against the mighty British empire continues to inspire us even today. GOI is committed to give ‘Paika Bidroha’, a cult status in Odisha, its rightful place in history,” tweeted Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

To give due recognition to Paika Bidroha, the peasant rebellion that took place in 1817 against the British East India Company in the history of freedom struggle of India, the then Finance Minister late Arun Jaitley had in his Budget speech for 2017-18 announced government’s place to commemorate 200 years of the rebellion led by Buxi Jagabandhu.

Earlier, the Government of India had released a postage stamp and coin to commemorate the Paika Rebellion of 1817. Similarly, the descendants of families associated with the Paika rebellion were also honoured in the past.

Addressing the gathering on the foundation laying ceremony, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said due to the patriotism and valour of the great Paikas for which Odisha was unconquered till 1803. The Paikas were the first to launch a rebellion against the British Rule. Odisha has been demanding for declaring Paika rebellion as the first freedom movement of India.”

Patnaik further stated that already Odisha has urged the Centre to run a special Express Train in the name of noted freedom fighter Buxi Jagabandhu. “Hopeful that President Ram Nath Kovind Ji will consider the State’s demand,” he added.

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