Top 10 Famous Freedom Fighters Of Jharkhand

top 10 famous freedom fighters of jharkhand

Jharkhand is a culturally and historically vibrant state in India that played a significant role in the country’s freedom struggle. This region alone gave birth to many great heroes who fought wars of liberation against the Britishers to save their land, culture, and people. Let us look at the inspiring lives and work of the Top 10 Freedom Fighters From Jharkhand who have significantly contributed to the freedom struggle of India, such as Birsa Munda, Sheikh Bhikhari, and others. The Top 10s Only team is proud to recount their tales of heroism and strength. Their firm determination to fight for justice has become an inspiration to future generations, consequently upholding the legacy of Jharkhand’s brave history.

List Of The Top 10 Famous Freedom Fighters Of Jharkhand

Jharkhand has played a significant role in the freedom movement against British rule in India. This state, endowed with lush forests and a distinctive tribal heritage, has produced numerous courageous freedom fighters who dedicated their efforts and even sacrificed their lives for the nation’s freedom. Let us read the stories of the courage and perseverance that these brave men and women showed to protect their motherland and inspire the modern world even today. We shall honour these unsung heroes by remembering the struggle of such freedom fighters from Jharkhand and how their legacy is still remembered today.

1. Birsa Munda

From the dense forests of Jharkhand, a legend emerged in the late 19th century. Birsa Munda, born in 1875, became the voice of his people. He was an Indian tribal freedom fighter and religious leader from the Munda tribe in Jharkhand. He orchestrated the Munda Rebellion (Ulgulan) against British colonial rule and the exploitation of tribal lands. Birsa advocated for tribal rights, challenging the oppressive policies of landlords and missionaries. His movement aimed to establish the Munda Raj and remove British influence. He fought tirelessly for tribal rights, and his war cry of “Abua raj seter jana, maharani raj tundu jana,” meaning “Let the kingdom of the queen be ended, and our kingdom be established,” was a rallying call that influenced tribals of different parts of Jharkhand.

Today, Birsa Munda’s ideals and struggles still resonate and inspire people. Institutions such as the Birsa Institute of Technology and Birsa Agricultural University were named after him as a reminder of his efforts in the freedom struggle. In many tribal areas, Birsa Munda is worshipped as a god, and people sing and dance in his honour and tell tales of his sacrifice to their children.

2. Sheikh Bhikhari 

Born in 1819 in the Lotwa-Khudia village in Ranchi, Jharkhand, Sheikh Bikhari was one of the well-known freedom fighters who participated in the War of Independence of 1857. Being a dedicated freedom fighter, he fought vigorously against the oppressive British rule. At the time of the great revolt in 1857, Sheikh Bhikhari was 38 years of age, and he had ample military expertise. His skills impressed Raja Tikait Umrao Singh of Ormanjhi Khatanga, who appointed him as Diwan. He also played a significant role in the Muktivahini. Being a great military strategist, Bhikhari was in the strategic team (as a Kar Sevak) with Jamadar Madhav Singh along with Subedar Nadir Ali during the period of unrest. 

In a twist of events, British Captain Graham and three officers were forced to retreat towards Hazaribagh while the Indian revolutionaries were able to capture the valuable artillery. Demonstrating his strategic genius, Sheikh Bhikhari redirected these captured weapons towards Ranchi, a decisive move that altered the course of history. On August 2, 1857, the troops of Chutupalu firmly established their presence in Ranchi, securing a significant victory for the rebellion.

Even today, Sheikh Bhikhari’s legacy continues to inspire generations. He is regarded as a martyr of Jharkhand and his life and work are studied in the regional literature of Jharkhand. Several institutions, such as the Sheikh Bhikhari Medical College in Hazaribagh, have been named in his honour. His story is celebrated through local stories, songs, and annual commemorations, keeping the spirit of his rebellion alive. 

3. Babu Ram Narayan Singh 

Amidst the moving stories of the Indian freedom fighters, one name that can be highlighted is Babu Ram Narayan Singh. Born in the colonial era of British rule, Singh rose to the status of a leader and fought throughout his life to win freedom for India. Singh stepped into the core of the independence movement with his involvement in the Non-Cooperation Movement initiated by Gandhiji. He actively supported civil disobedience, thus uniting the people to boycott British goods and their institutions. 

He was a great orator and a man of principles. His words stirred many and encouraged them to take part in the freedom struggle. His leadership skills were not limited to activism. He also actively helped to bring together local communities to support the freedom movement, stressing education and self-sufficiency. Because of his strength and achievements, several institutions have been named after him. Among these are the Babu Ram Narayan Singh Memorial School, which he established to show his commitment towards education and the betterment of people’s lives.

Despite the constant threats of imprisonment, as well as experiencing violence at the hands of the Indian authorities, Singh only grew more determined. He was arrested several times, suffered a lot, and was even tortured, but he never stopped. Being an activist, he ensured that various communities helped and supported the freedom movement through education and self-sufficiency. The life of Babu Ram Narayan Singh is a perfect example of how determination in the face of adversity marked India’s struggle for independence.

4. Raghunath Mahato

Raghunath Mahato is another great freedom fighter of Jharkhand. He emerged as a rebel against colonial British power. Despite being born into a poor family, he inspired the tribal population to resist British dominance.

After the British won the Battle of Buxar, they gained the right to collect taxes from Bihar and Bengal. Many people opposed it, as they thought the British were depriving them of their rights. Due to the failure to pay taxes and the oppressive nature of British rule, Raghunath Mahato initiated a rebellion known as the Chuar Rebellion. His slogan, “Apna Gaon Apna Raj, Dur Hatao British Raj” (Our Village Our Rule, Remove the British Rule), gained significant traction. In his fight against the British, he received support from Pulka Majhi, Domon Bhumij, and Shankar Majhi, who were great leaders then.

Thus, Mahato’s influence over people gained momentum, and he encouraged the locals not to pay taxes to the British government. He held meetings, rallies, and assemblies where he strongly addressed the issues of exploitation and encouraged the people to join and fight against colonial rule. However, the challenges to his cause were massive, and he faced several repercussions, yet his spirit remained unbroken. To pay tribute to Raghunath Mahato’s heroic actions and his sacrifice for the country. Various memorials and institutions were established in his name, and people still remember him as a hero.

5. Dhananjay Mahato

Dhananjay Mahato was born into a Kudmi Mahato family in a small village in the Singhbhum District of Jharkhand. He was a prominent freedom fighter who played a significant role in the struggle against British rule.

Following the revolutionary spirit of the period, Mahato became actively involved in the freedom movement at a very young age. He became a leader in coordinating the protest actions and rallying the crowds in Jharkhand. He was also involved in the Quit India Movement and other activities aimed at securing India’s independence. His most significant impact was realised during the ‘No Tax Campaign,’ which saw him rally farmers and villagers to resist paying taxes to the British. His slogan, “Angrezi hukumat ko kar nahi denge”, became the war cry for many who joined the freedom struggle against the British. This was a very important act as far as weakening the economic grip that the British had in the region was concerned.

Despite facing numerous challenges, like arrests and harsh treatment by colonial authorities, Dhananjay Mahato remained undeterred. His dedication and leadership skills motivated many in Jharkhand and other parts of India to join the struggle for liberation.

Many institutions and awards have been named in his honour in recognition of his contributions. His life and work continue to be celebrated and remembered for their impact on India’s journey to independence.

6. Chanku Mahato 

Chanku Mahato was born in Rangamatia village, Godda district, and hails from a Kudmi Mahato community in Jharkhand. He was one of the leaders of the Santhal rebellion, which brought Mahatos together to fight against British tyranny.

Chanku Mahato, as one of the rebellion’s leaders, rallied the Santhal tribes to fight against the British’s exploitative and unfair policies, including unjust taxation. His slogan, which became very popular, was ‘No tax, no rent.’ It became a symbol of the oppressed Santhals and other tribal populations. This slogan became so popular that it encouraged people not to pay taxes to the unfair colonial authority.

Mahato and his followers planned and carried out several attacks on British civil authorities and their loyalists to overthrow their power and regain possession of their rights. Despite the ruthless suppression of the Santhals, Mahato and his followers had a positive influence on the independence movement. Thus, the people and the Santhal tribe remember their hero through short stories and poetry, which are also a source of inspiration for future generations to continue the fight for justice and equality.

7. Telanga Kharia

Telanga Kharia was born in the Murgu village of Gumla district in Jharkhand state. Hailing from the Kharia tribe, he was a prominent freedom fighter from the Jharkhand region of India. Known for his valour and leadership, Kharia played a significant role in the fight against British colonial rule. He has revolted several times against the British to protect the Kharia tribe’s territory and their identity. 

Kharia’s biggest contribution was the leadership during the Kharia rebellion in 1850. This revolt was one of many tribal rebellions against the British, initiated due to unfair taxes, slavery, and interference with tribal organisations. Telanga Kharia raised his community to fight against the British forces by employing tactics such as guerrilla warfare. He was able to fight and protect the rights and dignity of his people from British authorities and their attempt to colonise them.

A visionary leader, Telanga Kharia championed social reform with revolutionary ideas. His unwavering commitment to the community’s well-being continues to inspire millions in Chotanagpur. His final resting place, known as “Telanga Topa Land,” holds historical significance for the Kharia people. Every year, they commemorate his martyrdom on this day with a week-long celebration called the “Sahid Telanga Mela” held in Dhedhouli village, Gumla district.

8. Sido Murmu And Kanhu Murmu 

Sido Murmu and Kanhu Murmu have been leading figures of the Santhal rebellion (1855–1856) against British colonialism in India. These two brothers came from the Santhal tribe in Jharkhand. They led one of the first and the most massive rebellions against the British East India Company over unjust policies and unfair taxation. The uprising was initiated in June 1855 when they called for a large assembly of Santhal at Bhognadih and announced their war against the British and local landlords known as the Zamindars.

Both Murmu brothers encouraged thousands of Santhals to revolt against British rule to protect their freedom and rights. They commanded their followers into a guerrilla style of fighting and attacked the British in several small battles. However, the rebellion terribly failed and was crushed brutally by the British, and both Sido and Kanhu were finally caught and executed in 1856, but their work was never forgotten. Several institutions have been named in recognition of their contributions to India’s struggle for independence. One of them is the Sido Kanhu Murmu University in Dumka, Jharkhand, which has been set up for higher education as a tribute to them.

Additionally, Indian Post created a postage stamp worth ₹4 in 2002 dedicated to them. In Ranchi, there is Sido Kanhu Memorial Park, which has been dedicated to their memory. There is also a road named Sido-Kanho Dahar at Esplanade in central Kolkata. Thus, the Murmu brothers remain iconic figures in Jharkhand’s history, symbolising their fight for justice.

9. Vishwanath Shahdeo

Vishwanath Shahdeo was born in Satranji, which was the capital of the Barkagah estate and is now part of the Ranchi district in Jharkhand. He was a member of the Nagvanshi family and became king of Barkagarh in 1840, after his father died. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, he fought against the British as an independent leader and defeated them in Hatia. He was in charge of the Ramgarh Battalion rebels in 1857. 

Shahdeo’s participation in the revolt was distinguished by his strategic planning skills and profound dedication to the freedom of his motherland. He worked with other important leaders in the area, like Pandey Ganpat Rai, to plan attacks on the British and make it harder for them to rule the region. Even today, Shahdeo is remembered as a hero in India’s struggle for independence.

Several institutions and awards have also been given in his honour as a way of acknowledging his sacrifice and contribution. There is a park named in his honour in Ranchi known as Vishwanath Shahdeo Park. Moreover, there are many educational institutions in Jharkhand that are established in his name to impart knowledge to the young generation about his spirit of patriotism. These tributes keep Vishwanath Shahdeo alive, and his story continues to motivate people and raise awareness of the heroic fight for freedom in India.

10. Budhu Bhagat

Budhu Bhagat was born in Silagai, Chanho district, which is now part of Ranchi district, Jharkhand. He was born into an Oraon farmer family. Leading the rebellion, Bhagat was able to rally a number of tribal groups, particularly the Kols, Oraon, Munda, Bhumij, and Ho, against the British and the Zamindars. Bhagat revolted mainly because of oppressive policies and the exploitation of the British towards the tribals, which affected their land and community. Thus, Bhagat’s death in a battle with the colonial authority marked the ultimate failure of the 1831 rebellion, despite its valiant spirit.

People remember Budhu Bhagat for his role in the Indian freedom struggle. Several educational institutions and awards, such as the Veer Budhu Bhagat Aquatic Stadium in Hotwar, bear his name in honour of his supreme sacrifice. Bhagat’s passion for justice and courageous leadership remind people of the fight for freedom and the need for unification in the fight against oppression.

Honouring The Unsung Heroes Of Jharkhand

The freedom fighters of Jharkhand have written a glorious chapter in the fight for Indian freedom. They fought a courageous battle to protect their people and land, which is why they inspired generations. Their memories are kept alive and relevant through memorials, institutions, and anniversaries celebrated annually. The thrilling stories of these heroes teach us lessons of sacrifice and togetherness to fight for our rights until success is achieved.

Mail us at [email protected] if you were inspired by these tales and also if you know the names of other freedom fighters from Jharkhand who need to be honoured as well!

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding The Unsung Jharkhand Heroes Of India’s Freedom Movement

1. Who were the freedom fighters of Jharkhand?

Here are the famous freedom fighters from Jharkhand:

  • Birsa Munda
  • Sheikh Bhikhari
  • Raghunath Mahato
  • Dhananjay Mahato
  • Chanku Mahato
  • Vishwanath Shahdeo
  • Telanga Kharia
  • Sido Murmu
  • Kanhu Murmu
  • Budhu Bhagat
  • Babu Ram Narayan Singh

2. What is the slogan of Birsa Munda?

“Abua raj seter jana, maharani raj tundu jana”, meaning “Let the kingdom of the queen be ended, and our kingdom be established,” was Birsa Munda’s slogan that influenced tribals of different parts of Jharkhand.

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