1800: Chotanagpur’s Metamorphosis (Part-I)

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During the reign of Maharaja Dripnath Sahdeo in Chotanagpur region, the Britishers along with lots of ‘outsiders’ flooded the plateau region in great number.
His ruling period saw large influx of numerous non-Jharkhandis into the plateau region. Many of these ‘outsiders’ came in as traders and / or as small-time landlords to the hitherto primarily tribal areas. Many of these relatively rich people bid for the zamindari (land-lordship) of number of villages in the plateau region; often paying huge amount for their zamindari rights.
Needless to say, that these ‘outsiders’ had very little interest in the villages of their ‘zamindari’. As they pursued their own self-interest of ‘profitability’ often squeezing out as much as possible from the raiyats (farmers) in the shape of rents, awabs, salamis (all different forms of land-revenue collections). Besides these, often they used all the available unscrupulous means to break up the old system of the Mundas and other tribal system of local-village-governance. Slowly but surely they started the dismantling the local tribes’ local-village-governance system under the active patronization of British Rulers.
These ‘outsiders’ coupled with the biased ‘British rule’ that usually protected these ruling landlord classes further vitiated the already highly discontented and violent mood in the region. The atmosphere was surcharged with lots of negative emotion against the ruling class of the region. The tribes were getting desperate and therefore it led to an emergence of militant leadership among them.

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