Sardari Larai or Mulki Larai (Part-II)

Munda Sardars turned towards Roman Catholic Mission, Rev. C. Lievens had started his work at Torpa and he had created a great impression on them and was able to convert large number of tribals into R.C. Mission.
The movement to get converted in R.C. Mission soon spread far and wide and it was called Rai Movement or confederation against the Zamindars as discussed above. But when they came to realize that the R.C. Mission no more than Lutheran Mission could and would rid them of the Zamindars, they started their most violent agitation against all missions. They accused all the Missionaries of being hand in glove with the local officials and maintained that all Europeans had now turned hostile to the aboriginals and therefore, there remained to the people no other alternative than to fight alone their own battle. The proverb “Topi Topi Ek Topi” got into currency and retaliation on this point kept the Sardars’ mind boiling. An agitation was started which came to be known as Sardari Larai.
Father Hoffmann in his Encyclopedia Mundarica rightly described this agitation as a “political agitation of the Mundas” in order to recover their ancient rights and to be quite under the direct administration of the British.
The Sardars began to bombard the Government with petitions in which the so-called “most extravagant claims were put forward.” The Sardars had with Christianity imbibed those ideas of ‘peasant proprietorship’, which were prevalent in some of the German States, and refused to acknowledge any obligation to any landlord below the State. They also memorialized against oppressions practiced upon them by the German Lutheran Mission, viz., arresting and dragging the Mundas, making them naked, snatching money from their possession, and freeing some of them from wrongful confinement after getting Kabuleats signed from them and got dispossession from their lands and of cutting those religious (Sarna) trees which they worshiped. The Deputy Commissioner rejected the memorandums and applications.
Not understanding the true reasons of refusal, the Mundas began to suspect and soon felt quite sure, that the local officers had been bought over by the Zamindars as well as the Missionaries.
To approach the Viceroy, the Queen and the British Parliament the Sardars started going to Hobra (Howrah) Calcutta after making collection of subscription from their respective villages. Millions of rupees were collected. Some of the Sardars were highly respected in their area and they used to move in Palki. They also fell in to the hands of one or several thugs masquerading as a great pleader in Hobra where they were shown several documents of Munda raj, they were alleged to have been sent from London. Each time they returned from Calcutta they reported more progress and collected more funds. Their operations extended throughout the Munda country and the northern portion of Porhat Estate of Singhbhum.
Prominent Christian Missionaries like Father Notrott and Father Dedlockes tried their best to bring Sardars under terms of prisons and they were successful in their attempts. They might have put a stop to this interesting legal battle of the Mundas but this also convinced them (the Mundas) that they had to overthrow the Government, the zamindars and the last but not the least, the missionaries from their country with lock, stock and barrel, Sardars created a commotion and though they were unsuccessful in achieving their target, they had one great success that they made the people receptive to anybody who could talk about their cause.

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