Damin-i-Koh was the land of the Santhals. This land was given by the British to the Santhals to persuade them to settle in the foothills of Rajmahal. They were to live within it, practice plough agriculture, and become settled peasants. Their land was enclosed with boundary pillars and was separated from both the world of the settled agriculturists of the plains and the Paharias of the hills.
However, the discontent among the Santhals gradually began to develop, as the land given to them for cultivation started slipping away from their hands. Thus, in the 18th century, they resisted against the Britishers. Following were the reasons:
• The state levied heavy taxes from Santhals on the land cleared for cultivation.
• The moneylenders (dikus) charged high rates of interest and even took over their lands when debts remained unpaid.
• zamindars began asserting control over the Damin area.
Dissatisfied, the Santhals finally revolted against the zamindars, moneylender and the colonial state in 1855-56.
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