Patharughat uprising

• Every year on January 28, the government and local people pay respects to the martyrs of the Patharughat uprising.

About:

• Nearly Twenty-five years before the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre (1919), more than a hundred peasants fell to the bullets of the British on January 28, 1894, in Assam.

• Patharughat, a small village in Assam’s Darrang district, 60km northeast of Guwahati.

• Under the Patharughat uprising, the people of Assam bravely took part in the freedom movement against the exploitation, discrimination and atrocities of the British.

What led to the Patharughat uprising?

• Imposition of land taxes- After the British annexation of Assam in 1826, surveys of the vast lands of the state began.

• On the basis of such surveys, the British began to impose land taxes, much to the resentment of the farmers.

• Issue of Taxes- In 1893, the British government decided to increase agricultural land tax reportedly by 70- 80 per cent.

• Repression by Britishers- The British perceived them as “breeding grounds for sedition”. So, whenever there was a Raij Mela in Assam, the British used to come down on it with a heavy hand to disperse them.

• On January 28, 1894 – When the British officers were refusing to listen to the farmers’ grievances, things heated up and there was a lathi charge, followed by an open firing which killed many of the peasants present.

• Official records, as mentioned in the Darrang District Gazette, 1905, placed the casualties in the Patharughat incident as 15 killed and 37 wounded.”

Significance of Patharughat uprising:

• It is extremely inspirational for the Assamese community, as a national awakening.

• This incident gave a new direction to India’s freedom movement.

• The deaths of several innocent farmers made the cause of the freedom struggle against the British stronger.

• The martyrs of Patharughat will always be remembered in the golden pages of history for their bravery and the sacrifice they made for their motherland.

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Mains Paper 1: History

Prelims level: Patharughat uprising

Mains level: Significance of Patharughat uprising

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