Tribal and Non Tribal Rebellions against British

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Historically British have faced multiple revolts both from tribal and non tribal sects of the government. Making this vast list of revolts an area of interest for the UPSC. You don't need to know everything in detail but its useful for eliminating options.

Tribal Rebellions

The Tribal rebellion in India took place for social, cultural and political reasons, particularly against the acquisition of their land and exerted their rights over forest resources.

1. Peasant Uprising of Rangpur, Bengal (1783 AD)

After 1757 AD, the British established their control over Bengal and they started extracting as much as possible from peasants through revenue contractors. When peasant’s grievances were not redressed by the company officials, they took the law in their hands. Under the leadership of Dirjinarain, they attacked the local cutcheries and storehouses of crops of local agents of the contractors and government officials. Both Hindus and Muslims fought side by side in the uprising. But the company's armed forces took control of the situation and suppressed the revolt.

2. The Uprising of the Bhills (1818-31 AD)

The Bhills were mostly concentrated in the hill ranges of Khandesh. The British occupation of Khandesh in 1818 AD enraged the Bhills because they were suspicious of the outsider’s incursion into their territory.

3. The Rebellion at Mysore (1830-31 AD)

It was started after the final defeat of Tipu Sultan; the British imposed subsidiary alliance on the Mysore rulers in which they compelled the Mysore rulers to increase revenue. As a result, the Mysore rulers put financial pressure to increase revenue demands from the Zamindars which was ultimately increased the burden of revenue on the cultivators. The peasants broke out against the despotic tendencies of the Zamindars in the province of Nagar under the leadership of Sardar Malla (Son of a common ryot of Kremsi). The British force regained control of Nagar from the rebel peasants and suppressed the revolt.

4. The Kol Uprising (1831-32 AD)

The Kols of Singhbhum enjoyed their sovereignty for long centuries under their chiefs. After the advent of the British East India Company, the sovereignty of Kol tribes penetrated by the British law and order which causes tensions among the tribal people. They got angry when British transfer tribal land to the outsiders like merchants and moneylenders which caused a great threat to the hereditary independent power of the tribal chiefs. They revolted the despotic law and order of the British East India Company. This uprising spread over Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Palamau and Manbhum. British East India Company ruthlessly suppressed the revolt and established their control over Kol tribal areas.

5. The Mappila Uprising (1836-54 AD)

Among all the peasant uprisings, it occupies an important place because this revolt challenges the colonial rule. Mappillas were the descendants of Arab settlers and converted Hindus who were cultivating tenants, landless laborers, petty traders and fisherman. When British East India Company established their rule over Malabar Coast brought hardship in the life of the Mappilas especially through land revenue administration. They revolted against the state and landlords. The British armed forces swung into action to suppress the rebels but failed to subdue them for many years.

6. The Santhal Rebellion (1855-56 AD)

This revolt occurred in the Rajmahal hills of the Santhal region under the leadership of Sidhu and Kanhu. It began as a reaction against the outsiders, particularly landlords, police and moneylenders.

7. The Ramosi Uprisings (1822-29 AD)

It took place in two phases- Fist in 1822 AD under the leadership of Chittu Singh in 1822 AD against the new pattern of British administration. The second phase of revolt took place between 1825-26 and 1829 AD.

8. The Munda Uprising (1899-1900 AD)

It took place in the Chhotanagpur region near Ranchi under the leadership of Birsa Munda. This revolt is also known as Ulgulan revolt which means ‘great commotion.

9. Jatra Bhagat and Tana Bhagat Movement (1914 AD)

This movement was started by Jatra Bhagat in 1914 AD. It was a movement for monotheism, abstention from meat, liquor and tribal dance. The Jatra Bhagat and Tana Bhagat movements stressed both anti-colonialism and internal reforms.

Tribal Movements of 19th and 20th Century

Name of Tribes that led the revolts Year(s) Region Leader(s) Course and Consequence
Chuars 1766-68 Nanbhum and Barabhum (West Bengal) Defiance of British authority by Chuars; suppression of the Revolt by British through use of force as well as conciliatory measures
Bhils 1818-48 Khandesh Beginning of revolt of Bhils with British occupation of Khandesh (1818) and their defiance of British for 30 years; final suppression through military operations combined with conciliatory measures
Bhils 1820, 1822 & 1832 Shinghbum and Chhota Nagpur Occupation of Singhbhum by British and revolt of the Hos (1820); its suppression after extensive military operations; they revolt again in 1832.
Kolis 1824,1828,1839 & 1844-48 Sahyadri Hills (Gujrat and Maharashtra) Repeated revolts of Kalis and their final suppression after the capture of all their leaders.
Khasis 1829-32 Khasi Hills (Assam & Meghalaya) Tirut Singh and Bar Manik (Chiefs of Nounklow & Molim respectively) Unsuccessful attempts of the Khasis to drive away the British from their territory; surrender of all Khasi chiefs, including Tirut Singh, to the British in 1832.
Singphos 1830-39 Assam Suppression of 1830 revolt by Captain Neufville; murder of Colonel-

White (British Political Agent of Assam) by Singphos in 1839 but their ultimate defeat by British

Kols 1831-32 Chhota Nagpur Buddho Bhagat Suppression of the revolt after extensive military operations of British and death of Bhagat
Koyas 1840, 1845, 1858, 1861-62, 1879-80, 1922-24 Rampa Region (Chodavarm in Andhra Pradesh) Alluri Sitaramaraju (1922-24) Repeated revolts of the Koyas, the major ones being the 1879-80 and 1922-24 revolts; capture and execution of Raju by British in May 1924
Khonds 1846-48, 1855 and 1914 Khondmals (Orrisa) Chakra Bisayi The first two revolts, led by Bisayi,were put down with great difficulty by the British.
Santhals 1855-56 Rajmahal Hills (Bihar) Sidhu & Kanhu Revolt of Santhals and establishment of their own government (July, 1855); defeat of British under Major Burrogh by Santhals; transfer of the disiurbed area to the military and final suppression of the revolt by the end of 1856; creation of a separate district of Santhal Paraganas to prevent Santhals from revolting again in future.
Naikdas 1858-59 & 1868 Panch Mahals (Gujarat) Rupsingh and Joria Bhagat Revolt of Naikdas under Rupsingh in 1858 and conclusion of peace between British Rupsingh in 1859; their revolt again in 1868, and establishment of a kingdom with Joria as the spiritual head of Rupsingh as temporal head; suppression of the revolt after the capture and execution of Rupsingh and Joria.
Mundas 1899-1990 Chhota Nagpur Birsa Munda Foundation of new religious sect, with Singh Bonga as the only true god, but Birsa (1895); - British fears over Birsa's preachings among Mundas, and arrest and imprisonment of Birsa (1895-97); release of Birsa and revival of his doctrine (1898); revolt of Mundas and their attack of churches and police stations (1899); defeat of Mundas by British (Jan, 1900) and capture of Birsa (he died of cholera in jail in

June 1900).

Bhils 1913 Banswara and Dungapur (southern Rajasthan) Govind Guru It began as a purification movement, but later developed into a political movement; failure of their attempts to set up a Bhil Raj due to British armed intervention.
Oraons 1914-15 Chhota Nagpur Jatra Bhagat Launching of a monotheistic movement by Jatra in 1914 andits transformation into a radical political movement to drive away the British in 1915; its suppression by British through repressive measures.
Tana Bhagat Movement 1918 Chotanagpur, Jharkhand Adivasis threatened non-payment of the Chowikidari tax and rent during Non Cooperation movement
Thadoe Kukis 1917-19 Manipur Jadonang and his neice Rani Gaidinliu Their rebellion and guerrilla war against British for two years.
Chenchus 1921-22 Nallamala Hills (Andhra Pradesh) Hanumanthu Their revolt against increasing British control over forests.

Non Tribal Rebellions

Name of the revolt/rebellion Cause of the rebellion Course of the rebellion and consequences
Sanyasi Rebellion

Area: Bengal

Year: 1763-1800

Displaced peasants, Demobilized Soldiers, disposed Zamindars, Participated and led By Sanyasis It was made famous by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. In his novel: Anandmath
Revolt of Kattambomman

Area: Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu

Year: 1792-99

Leader: Veerapandya Kattabomman (Ruler of panchalakurichi)

Attempts of the British to force Katabomman to accept their suzerainty and his refusal. Defiance of the British by Kattabomman for 7 years; his final capture and execution by the British (1779); annexation of his territory by the British (1779).
Rebellion of the Paiks

Area: Orissa

Year: 1804-06

Leader: First under the Raja of the Khurda and later under jagabandhu

British Occupation of Orissa (1803); resentment of the paiks (a militia class occupying rent free lands under the zamindars) against British land and land revenue policies Unsuccessful attempt of the Raja of Khurd to organize a rebellion with the help of the Paiks, and confiscation of his territory by the British (1804) continuous unrest among the Paiks between 1804 & 1806; rise of the Paiks under Jagabandhu and their occupation of Puri after defeating the British force (1807); final suppression of the movement by force and conciliatory measures by British.
Revolt of Velu Thampi Area: Travancore

Year: 1805-09

Leader: Velu Thambi (Dewan of Travancore)

Financial burden imposed on the state by the British through the subsidiary system; the high handedness of the British Resident there; and British demand for the removal of Dewan. Beginning of war between the two sides (December 1805); fall of Trivendrum (Capital of Travancore) to the British (February 1809); death of Velu Thampi in forest due to serious injuries.
Revolt of Rao Bharmal Area: Cutch and Kathiawar in Gujrat

Year: 1861-19

Leader: Rao Bharmal (Rule off Cutch)

Anti-British feeling due to British expansionist policy and their interference in internal affairs of Cutch. Final defeat and deposal of Rao Bharmal; imposition of Subsidiary treaty on Cutch.
Revolt of Ramosis Area: Poona

Year: 1822-29

Leader: Chittur Singh and Umaji

British Annexation of Peshwa’s territory(1818), resulting in large scale unemployment among Ramosis (under the Peshwa, they served in inferior ranks of police) Revolt of the Ramosis under Chittur Singh (1822-24); their revolt under (Umaji (1822-24); establishment of peace by the British by pardoning all the crimes of the Ramosis and also by granting them lands and recruiting them as hill police.
Kittur Rising

Area: Kittur (near Dharwad in Karnataka)

Year: 1824-29

Leader: Channamma and Rayappa

Death of Shivalinga Rudra Desai (chief) of Kittur (1824), leaving no male to recognize the adopted issue; refusal of the British son as the Desai and assumption of administration of Kittur by British Revolt of Channamma (widow of late Desai) in 1824 and murder of English officers including Thackeray (Collector of Dharwad); conquest of Kitttur and its annexation by the British revolt of the people of Kittur under Rayappa who declared independence and set up the adopted boy as the Desai (1829); capture and execution of rayappa by British, and death of Channamma in Dharwad prison.
Sambalpur Outbreaks

Area: Sambalpur (Orissa)

Year: 1827-40

Leader: Surendra Sai

Frequent interference of British in the internal affairs of Sambalpur such as the issue of succession. Death of Maharaja Sai (ruler) and outbreak of civil war; succession of Mohan Kumari (widow of the late Raja) with the support of the British and revolt of other claimants under Surendra Sai; final arrest and life imprisonment of Surendra Sai by British (1840).
Satara disturbances

Area: Satara (Maharashtra)

Year: 1840-41

Leader: Dhar Rao Pawar and Narsing Dattatreya Pettkar

Deposal and banishment of Pratap Singh, the popular ruler of Satara by the British Revolt of the people of Satara under Dhar Rao in 1840; their revolt under Narsing and seizure of Badami in 1841; defeat and capture of Narsing by the British ( he was transported for life).
Bundela Revolt

Area: Sagar & Damoh (Bundelkhand)

Year: 1842

Leader: Madhukar Shah and Jawahir Singh

Resentment against British land

revenue policy

Revolt of the Bundelas under Shah and Singh; murder of police officers and disruption of British administration; capture and execution of madhukar Shah and Singh by British
Gadkari Rebellion

Area: Kolhapur (Maharashtra)

Year: 1844-45

Leader: I couldn't find

Assumption of direct administration of Kolhapur by British and reforms of D.K. Pandit; resentment of the Gadkaris (a militia class, earlier held revenue free lands in return for their services to the ruler against the revenue reforms Revolt of the Gadkaris, followed by a popular revolt in the city of Kolhapur and all other parts of the state of Kolhapur; final suppression of the movement by the British.
Satavandi Revolt

Area: Satavandi (Maharashtra)

Year: 1839-45

Leader: Phoned Savant-(leading noble) and Anna Sahib (heir apparent)

Deposal of Khen Savant (ruler of satavandi) and appointment of a British officer to administer to administer the state; resentment of the people against British system of administration Revolt of the nobles and their attempts to drive away the British; transformation of the revolt into a popular

movement with the common people all over the state rising in arms against the British; proclamation of martial law and suppression of the movement by the British.

Raju Rebellion

Area: Visakhapatnam (A.P.)

Year: 1827-33

Leader: Birabhadra Raju

Birabhadra was dispossessed of his estate by the British in return for a small amount of pension Revolt of Birabhadra and his defiance of British authority till he was captured
Palakonda Outbreak

Area: Palakonda (Andhra Pardesh)

Year: 1831-32

Leader: Zamindar of Palakonda

Attachment of the property of the zamindar for non-payment of revenue Revolt of the zamindar; suppression of the revolt of forfeiture of Palakonda estate to the British
Gumsur Outbreak

Area: Gumsur (Ganjam District)

Year: 1835-37

Leader: Dhananjaya Bhanja (Zamindar of Gumsur)

His failure to clear the arrears of revenue to the British Revolt of zamindar; Appointment of Mr. Russell as the Commissioner; final suppression of the movement after larger scale military campaign in 1837
Parlakimedi Outbreak

Area: Parlakimedi (Orissa)

Year: 1829-35

Leader: Jagannath Gajapti Narayan Rao

Attachment of his zamindari for arrears by the British in 1827 Revolt of the zamindar, followed by a popular rising of the people; final suppression of the movement
Movement of the Faraizis (In the later stages it was amalgamated with the Wahabi movement)

Area: East Bengal

Year: 1838-62

Leader: Shariatuallah and Muhammad Mushin (better known as Dudhu Mian)

Degeneration of the Islamic society and loss of power to the British (Hence its aims were to remove abuses from Islamic society as well as to restore Muslim rule by expelling the British from India) Foundation of the movement by Shariattullah of Faridpur, the movement under him was mainly religious in character, though he had declared British as enemies; his death in 1837; succession of Duhu Mian as the leader of the Movement, under him it became mainly political in nature; his success in mobilizing all the Muslim peasants of East Bengal against zamindars and indigo planters; his arrest and confinement in the Alipore jail.
Wahabi Movement

Area: North India and Deccan

Year: 1820-70

Leader: Saiyad Ahmad (Founder of the Movement)

Degeneration of Islamic society and loss of power to the British (Aims – same as above) Fight of the Wahhabis against the British for 50 long years, and their final suppression by British after a series of trials in the 1860s.
Movement of Pagal panthis

Area: Sherpur (East Bengal)

Year: 1825-33

Leader: Karam Shah and Tipu

Resentment of the peasants against the oppression of zamindars Under Karam Shah (founder), It was mainly a religious

movement, but under tipu (son of successor of Shah) it became a political movement against the oppressive zamindars and British, its final suppression by British after large scale military operations.

Kuka Movement

Area: Punjab

Year: 1854-72

Leader: Bhagat Jawahar Mal (founder)

Degeneration of Sikh religionand loss of sikh sovereignty Though it started as a religious reform movement, it became a movement for the restoration of Sikh sovereignty after the annexation of Punjab by the British.
Indigo Revolt

Area: Bengal

Year: 1859-60

Leader: Digambar Biswas & Bishnu Biswas

Forced cultivation off Indigo without any proper remuneration Planters could not withstand thee resistance of ryots, indigo cultivation virtually wiped out, Govt. response restrained & not harsh
Pabna Movement

Area: Bengal

Year: 1873

Enhanced rent Beyond the legal Limit & prevention of tenants from acquiring the occupancy rights Govt. accepted the Demands & promised to protect Tenants. It enacted Bengal tenancy Act 1885
Deccan Riots

Area: Poona & Ahmadnagar

Year: 1874

Riots against the moneylenders Govt. repressed the Movt. It enacted Deccan Agriculture Relief Act, 1879 to protect peasants against the money lenders
Peasant unrest

Area: Punjab

Year: 1901

Against the acquisition of the land by the money lenders Punjab Land Alienation Act of 1902 enacted prohibiting transfer of the land from the peasants to the money lenders & mortgages for more 20 years.
Eka movement

Area: Harrdoi, Bahraich, Barabanki, Sitapur (U.P.)

Year: 1921-22

Leader: Madari pasi

Enhanced rent Oppression of the


Police managed to crush the movt
Mappila, Rebellion

Area: Malabar, Kerala

Year: 1922

Cultivators of Malabar revolted

against the moneylenders & Zamindars against the lack of security of tenure, exorbitant rent and renewal fees.

It later assumed Communal colour Crushed by the Govt. in 1921.
Bardoli Satyagraha

Area: Bardoli - Gujarat

Year: 1927

Leader: Vallabhbhai Patel

Enhancement of the land revenue by 22% even though cotton prices had declined Govt. tried to suppress the govt. Maxwell Broomfield enquiry Committee set up Govt. which admitted Bardoli assessment was Faulty and enhancement was Cut down.
All India Kisan Congress

Area: Lucknow

Year: 1936

Leader: Presided over by Swami Shajanand

Against moneylenders, Zamindars, traders & Govt A Kisan manifesto was adopted in Bombay session in 1937
Tebhaga movement

Area: Bengal

Year: 1946

Leader: Bengal Provincial Kisan Sabha

By the sharecroppers against the

Jotedar’s demand of 1/2 share of crop instead of 1/3 share

In 1950 congress passed Bargadar’s Bill
Bakasht Land Struggle

Area: Bihar

Year: 1938-47

Leader: Karyanand Sharma; Yadunandan Sharma, Jauna Karjee, Rahul Sanskritayana

Bakasht lands were those lands which tenants had lost to zamindars during depression years by virtue of non- payment of rent which they continued to cultivate as sharecroppers The movement continued till the zamindari was abolished.