Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

The Peasants’ Mobilization in Colonial Odisha under the Socialist Leadership
Amit Kumar Nayak

The peasants’ struggle in Odisha started to surface as soon as the British conquered Odisha in 1803. Those struggles centred round many agrarian and non-agrarian issues. Up to the end of the civil disobedience movement the peasant struggles in Odisha passed through different phases with changing nature and characters-- from popular autonomous movements (Paik rebellions, Prajamandal movements, Ghumsur rebellions, tribal movements) to locally organised peasant movements (movements under Praja Pratinidhi Sabha, Zamindari Raiyat’s Association). These movements were not purely based on class line. However, with the change of time, the peasants in odisha being uneducated, backward and relatively less mobilised required a strong ideological current to be united in order to redress its grievances. That, especially, became indispensible in the early 1930s. A band of leaders of the socialist ideology came forward, provided a plat- form to the peasants in the form of krushaka sanghas and organised them along class-line. This article tries to present how the poor peasants of odisha were unified and organised under the “socialist ideology”. This article also endeavours to highlight major agrarian issues of that time and the challenges faced by the peasant leaders in their effort to redress the peasants’ cause.

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