Q. 3

Describe the main causes of the revolt of Bastar?

Answer :

Bastar is in the southernmost part of the Chhattisgarh and comes on the borders of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra.

1. Maria and Muria Gonds, Dhurwas, Bhatras and Halbas were the different communities that live in Bastar.


2. Even though they spoke different languages, they followed common customs and beliefs.


3. They believed that each village had the land which was gift provided by the Earth.


4. Each village had their boundaries, so they make use of the natural resources that lie within that boundary.


5. The villages also had guards to protect their lands and fields; in return, they provide him with the grain as his pay. The headman of the villages meets to discuss the issues related to their customs or beliefs.


The main causes of the revolt of Bastar were:


• In 1905, two-thirds of the forest land was reserved by the colonial government. They also were not allowed to do shifting cultivation, hunting and collection of forest produce.


• Even though some villagers were allowed to stay on the reserved forest land but on the condition that they have to work free for the forest department in cutting and transporting trees, and in protecting the forest from fires.


• Villagers were also removed from the land without any notice or compensation.


• The people were also worried about the increasing land rents and demand by the colonial government for free labour and goods.


• Famines, in 1899-1900 and again in 1907-1908 contributed to this situation.


All these issues became the issue to be discussed, and through various ways, they tried to attack the colonial government and finally with a lot of struggle they were able to force the government to reduce the area under reserve and to suspend reservation, but this happened on a temporary basis.


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