Who was Birsa Munda? History of Jharkhand.

 Who was Birsa Munda? History of Jharkhand.

Birsa Munda was a folk hero and a tribal freedom fighter hailing from the Munda tribe. He was a spearhead behind the Millenarian movement that arose in the Bihar and Jharkhand belt in the 19th century under the British colonisation. He is also known as ‘Dharti Abba’ or the Earth Father.

Born on November 15, 1875, Birsa spent much of his childhood moving from one village to another with his parents. He belonged to the Munda tribe in the Chhota Nagpur Plateau area. He received his early education at Salga under the guidance of his teacher Jaipal Nag. On the recommendation of Jaipal Nag, Birsa converted to Christianity in order to join the German Mission school. He, however, opted out of the school after a few years.

The Birsa movement was significant in two ways: (i)It forced the colonial government to introduce laws so that the land of the tribals could not easily be taken over by dikus. (ii)It showed once again that the tribal people had the capacity to protest against injustice and express their anger against colonial rule.

The entire state of Jharkhand has memorials named after him such as Birsa Munda Airport Ranchi, Birsa Institute of Technology Sindri, Birsa Munda Tribal University, Birsa Agricultural University, Birsa College Khunti, Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium, and even Birsa Munda Central Jail.

On March 3, 1900, Birsa Munda was arrested by the British police while he was sleeping with his tribal guerilla army at Jamkopai forest in Chakradharpur. He died in Ranchi jail on June 9, 1900 at a young age of 25. Though he lived a short span of life and the fact that the movement died out soon after his death, Birsa Munda is known to have mobilished the tribal community against the British and had also forced the colonial officials to introduce laws protecting the land rights of the tribals. Birsa’s achievements as a young tribal revolutionary has continued to be celebrated over decades now and he has successfully carved out a space for himself in popular and folk literature, academia, and mass media.


The state of Jharkhand is the most forested area in the country and due to this forest, this state has been named Jharkhand, where Jhar or Jhaad represents the forest, whereas there is a piece of land, which is basically a forest area according to its name.

Which was established as a result of the “Jharkhand Movement”. Due to the abundance of minerals in this state, it is also known as “Rur of India”, Rur is a mineral region located in the Germany state of Europe Mahadeep.

The history of Jharkhand state is more than 100 years old, Indian hockey player and captain of Indian hockey team in Olympic Games, Jai Singh Munda, in 1939 AD, thought of merging some southern districts of present Bihar state to form a new state. | However, this dream of Jai Singh Munda came true on 2 October 2000 when the bill to give separate statehood status to Jharkhand was passed in the Parliament and then on 15 November of the same year, Jharkhand became the 28th state of India. Historians believe that this area was marked as a unit even before the Magadha Empire because the geographical, cultural identity of the region was different. The state of Jharkhand is considered to be a natural place for tribal communities, who have been given the status of Scheduled Tribes in the Indian Constitution. Among them, Khadia, Santal, Munda, Ho, Oraon, Asura, Birjia, Pahadia etc. castes are prominent.

The movement for a separate state of Jharkhand is an odyssey spread over a century which is traced back to the early 1900s, when Jaipal Singh, an Indian Hockey captain and Olympian, suggested the idea of a separate state consisting of the southern districts of Bihar. The idea did not become a reality, however, until August 2, 2000, when the Parliament of India passed the Bihar Reorganization Bill to create the state of Jharkhand, carving 18 districts out of Bihar to form Jharkhand state on 15 November 2000. On that day it became the 28th state of India.

Roll of Adivasi Mahasabha in Jharkhand history

The next important step was the formation of the Adivasi Mahasabha, which saw non-tribal coming out openly in support of the movement for the creation of a separate state. Among those who spearheaded the Jharkhand movement was Jaipal Singh, an Oxford – returned tribal Christian who helped the regional aspiration gain national recognition.



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