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Q1. The Santhal rebellion was a native rebellion in present-day Jharkhand against both the British colonial authority and zamindari system by the Santhal people. What was the cause of the Santhal Rebellion? (200 words)

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  • Osho Korde

    Following were the main causes for the agitation:
    (1) The jamindars, the police, the revenue and court exercised a com¬bined action of extortions. The Santhals were obliged to pay all kinds of taxes and levies. They were dispossessed of their prop¬erty. They were abused.
    (2) Violence:
    The representatives of jamindars, that is, Karendais in¬flicted personal violence on the Santhals. A variety of petty tyrannies were exercised on the timed and yielding Santhals.
    (3) Trespass on Santhal Land:
    The rich peasants trespassed on the land of the tenants. They took away their cattle.
    (4) Exorbitant Rate of Interest:
    The moneylenders charged interest which was incredibly high. These moneylenders came to be known as diku, that is, exploiters by the Santhal. For this matter all the Bengalis who ran their trade in the Santhal areas were known as dikus.
    (5) Oppression by Europeans:
    The Europeans were employed in Bihar for railroad construction. These Europeans more than often forced abduction of Santhal women and even murder and some unjust acts of oppression. The jamindars, moneylenders, traders and European employees thus oppressed the Santhal peasants to such an extent that there was no alternative left for them rather than to take to insurrection.
    The Santhal army broke down the postal and rail¬way communications. The government realised that the Santhal rebellion had all the characteristics of defying the government. Surely, the Santhal insurrection was very strong but it could not succeed against the power of the government. It was suppressed. However, despite failure, the insurrection was successful.