Khurda: President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday laid the foundation stone of the memorial dedicated to the 1817 Paika Rebellion against the British on the foothills of Barunei Hills near Khurda Town in Khurda district to mark the completion of 200 years of the uprising of the ‘Paikas’.
Odisha Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Culture Minister Prahalad Patel were present.
The Paika revolt had taken place on the foothills of Barunei Hills in 1817. The Paikas, who were the traditional land-owning militia, had revolted against the British after the latter took away their rent-free farming land in 1803.
The Union Ministry of Culture will execute the proposed memorial project. The Indian Oil Foundation had sanctioned Rs 90 crore for the proposed memorial for which the Odisha Government has provided 10 acres land.
Speaking on the occasion, the President highlighted the contributions of Jayee Rajaguru, who was executed by the British in 1806 for leading a local rebellion that is perceived to have influenced the 1817 mass uprising of Paika heroes.
Union Minister Pradhan said the memorial, which is being built in commemoration of 200th year of Paike Bidroha, will keep portraying heroic past of Odia race for the next 100 years.
In October 2017, the then Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the 1817 ‘Paika Bidroha’ or rebellion would find a place in history books as the First War of Indian Independence.
Earlier, the Centre had allocated Rs 200 crore for the rebellion’s commemoration across the country. The 1817 Paika rebellion took place four decades prior to the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny.