Reconversion and death of Birsa Munda

    10-Jun-2022   
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People belonging to all sections have paid tribute to Birsa Munda on his death anniversary dated June 9, 2022. Birsa Munda has been known for his fight against British and Christian missionaries. On his social media profile, Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu wrote, "My tributes to the fearless freedom fighter, 'Dharti Aaba' Birsa Munda on his Punya Tithi today. He fought against the oppressive colonial rule and made tireless efforts to protect the rights of the tribals. His abiding love for motherland continues to inspire every Indian."
 
Birsa Munda 
Birsa Munda was born on November 15, 1875, to Sugana Munda and Karmi Hatu in Ulihatu, Bengal Presidency (Present-day Jharkhand). Due to poverty, Birsa Munda was sent to his maternal uncle's village-- Ayubhatu. Munda lived at Ayubhatu for two years. Christian missionaries converted several villagers living in Ayubhatu. They have started missionary schools with the help British administration. Birsa Munda joined German Mission School, where he was forced to convert to Christianity. He was renamed Birsa David and later Birsa Daud after the conversion. However, Birsa left the German Mission School after studying for a few years.
 
From 1886-to 1890, in the wake of the freedom struggle, Munda's father withdrew him from school and left the place. The family also renounced Christianity and reverted to their original tribal religious customs.
 
Birsa Munda started a campaign called Birsait to reconvert people from Christianity. People belonging to Mundas, Oraons and Kharias tribes reconverted to their original faith by leaving Christianity due to the efforts of Birsa Munda. He also started the protest against Christian missionaries for their fraudulent conversion activities. Birsa Munda exposed missionaries and their superstitious activities.
 
Birsa Munda, a tribal legend who was a nightmare for Christian missionaries  during the British Raj 
While addressing the people, Birsa Munda used to say, "Abua dishum, abua raj" means "our country, our kingdom". Due to the campaign, the people targeted the British Police and local churches. During the Christmas celebration, a Christian priest named Father Hoffman was hit by an arrow. He was negligibly injured but filed a complaint. A reward of Rs 500 was placed on Birsa.
 
On February 4, 1900, Birsa was caught while sleeping in Rogato village of Jaraikela and brought to the Bandgaon. This news was spread like wildfire. Armed Mundas started reaching the Bandgaon. British Police brought Birsa to Ranchi via Khunti and initiated the trial in court. However, before the verdict came, Birsa died in a suspicious condition in Ranchi jail on June 9, 1900. Birsa was cremated immediately in Kokar, Ranchi.
 
 
File:Birsa Munda 1988 stamp of India.jpg - Wikimedia Commons