1930s:Bhumij Kshatriya Movement

In the 1930s an important movement arose among the Bhumij known as the Bhumij Kshtyiya Movement. A group of influential Bhumij political leaders formally organized the Manbhum Kshatriya Association in 1935. Its principal leader was Dinabandhu Pabar Singh, the Taraf Sardar of Bamni.
The movement attempted to identify the Bhumij with Kshatriya as warrior caste and to reorganize the culture so that it regains its former high status and strategic importance in the wider Hindu society. A memorandum in Bengali was published by the group and circulated throughout the area in which Dinabandhu had jurisdiction.
It asserted that the Bhumij were in fact Kshatriyas and cited the opinions of scholars and passages from the sacred texts to this effect. It further called for a conscious attempt to build Bhumij society in accordance with past traditions of learning, religion, courage and heroism.
In 1935, a large samaj meeting was convened by Dinabandhu at which the Bhumij were implored to stop ploughing with cows, drinking rice-beer, eating fowl, practicing levirate-marriage, widow-remarriage, and group dances by women. Gurus and purohits were employed at marriage and funeral rites and the holy texts were read often. If the Bhumij do these things and in general try to educate them, it was promised that they would once again rise to the “past glorious status of true Kshtriyas”.
Two Brahmanas had been invited to the meetings and they also gave testimony of the genuine Kshatriya status of the Bhumij. Dinabandhu and the other leaders of the Bhumij Kshatriyas movement then set out on a comprehensive reform programme in which they supervised Zamindars or local headmen who put the programme to work at the village level.

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