- PM Modi recalls tribal freedom fighter, Bhagwan Birsa Munda for his unforgettable contributions to protecting lad, jungle, nature, and the environment
- Known for standing up to the British oppressors and uplifting the tribal community, Birsa Munda, popularly goes by the name, Dharti Aaba, which translates to father of the earth
- India’s upcoming hockey stadium, which is anticipated to be one of the largest, has been named after this tribal legend.
The 82nd edition of PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat witnessed the remembrance of Jharkhand’s tribal freedom fighter, Bhagwan Birsa Munda. In the course of addressal, Modi urged the youth to read about Birsa Munda while recalling his contribution to protecting nature, jungle, and land. He emphasized recognizing the efforts of the tribal community in India’s freedom struggle and taking pride in them.
Modi also drew attention to the term, ‘Dharti Aaba’, meaning father of the earth, which was often associated with Birsa Munda. He further went on to say that Bhagwan Birsa Munda justified the title given to him through his persistent efforts in protecting land, water, forests, and distinct tribal identities like a father, against the British counterparts.
Despite numerous incidents of harassment by the British, Birsa Munda continued to uphold his tribal faith and resisted every policy that was aimed at impairing the environment. “His accounts of bravery are still remembered in Central India in the folktales and folklores,” he added. BJP State President, Deepak Prakash, while conveying joy over the mention of the tribal herp, commented that his party has always honored tribal leaders. He also pointed out the fact that PM reminiscing Birsa Munda ahead of his birth anniversary on November 15th, proves that the party has always held the tribal leaders in high regard.
Former Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, facilitated the formation of Jharkhand as a separate state and he selected the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda as the day for establishing the new state. Central General Secretary, Supriyo Bhattacharya, of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, on the other hand, had contradictory opinions and detested the ‘’politicization of the tribal icon who was considered God by the tribal community.” He refrained from taking pride in this matter and claimed that the mention of Birsa Munda was done to get political mileage because the BJP was holding the central working committee meeting of its central wing here.
He highlighted that the PM never mentioned any of the tribal freedom fighters in the former editions of his radio talk. “He could have remembered Sidho Kanhu, the leaders of the Santhal rebellion, but the ST wing meeting was not happening in Santhal Pagana, so it’s evident that Birsa Munda had been mentioned for political advantage,” he added.
Modi reiterated that the contributions of Bhagwan Birsa Munda will remain imprinted in the public memory forever. ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, a government of India initiative celebrates 75 years of a progressive India and its glorious history by looking back on its valiant sons and daughters.
Modi remarked that Munda was always on the leading edge when it came to helping the poor and distressed and building societal awareness around eliminating social evils. His leadership during the Ulgulan movement is unforgettable.
One of India’s largest hockey stadiums coming up at Rourkela in the Sundargarh district of Odisha has been named after him. The 2023 Men’s FIH Hockey World cup will be hosted at this stadium. Birsa Munda breathed his last at 24 years of age when he succumbed to the injuries resulting from the torture of the British Government in jail. With his gallant spirit, he spearheaded the tribal movement that arose in Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha.
The man, in the light of his endearing conquests, would never cease to exist in our lives and would continue to be the driving force for many who wish to tread the path he paved.