The war over India’s First War of Independence is on

The demand for recognition of the Paika Rebellion of 1817 in Odisha as the ‘First War of Indian Independence’ has united political forces in the state. Photo: Wikimedia

What came first—1817 or 1857? It ain’t as mind twirling a question as whether the chicken or the egg came first. Right? Wrong.

From politicians to historians and intellectuals, there are divisions within and with each other over what constitutes India’s ‘First War of Independence’.

It is an issue on which the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha and the Opposition BJP and Congress, at loggerheads at the best of times, are on the same page. Involving as it does Odia pride, the demand for recognition of the Paika Rebellion (Paika Bidroha) of 1817 in Odisha as the ‘First War of Indian Independence’ has united political forces in the state as nothing else in recent memory.

The rebellion that was

To continue reading this article...

You have to be a Premium Subscriber

Start your subscription with a free trial

Enjoy unlimited Eighth column, archives and games on
thefederal.com and many more features.
You will also be supporting ethical and unbiased journalism.
plans start from Rs. 99
CATCH US ON: