New Delhi: Odisha’s 1817 ‘Paika Rebellion’ is the first Indian independent struggle and it deserves the status as so, asserted scholars and academicians, here on Saturday.

“The Paika Rebellion spearheaded by Baxi Jagabandhu and his associates
was an armed struggle against the tyranny and oppression of British East India Company. The
rebellion before 40 years of Sepoy Mutiny-1857, generally accepted as the first Indian
independence struggle, and deserves the status of first struggle of Independence in the

Scholars and academicians participating in the two-day national historical symposium on the Two Hundred Years of  the Odisha Rebellion, organised by Odisha government’s culture department with collaboration with Indian Council for Historical Research(ICHR) and ‘The Intellect’, a forum of intellectuals of Delhi,  in India
International Centre, said that the rebellion as an armed struggle against British
Rule, participated by Paikas, means multi-taskers and fort soldiers along with peasants, tribal,
general public, even zamindars. The speakers emphasized on rewriting history with utmost care
and exploration will help establish the rebellion as the first war of Independence in the country.
The two day National symposium was inaugurated by state tourism and culture minister Ashok Chandra Panda, who suggested scholars to go ahead with their evaluations and studies on the rebellion. He also described on the multi-dimensional programmes undertaken by state government for celebration of 200 years of Paika Rebellion. Among others Rajya Sabha member  A. V. Swami, Lok Sabha member Pravas Kumar Singh, Delhi University professor Bhairabi Prasad Sahoo, JNU rector Chintamani Mohapatra, former director general of ICCR Amarendra Khatua spoke on the Rebellion and supported the demand as relevant with changing scenario in studies of historiography, heterogeneous and plural characteristics of people’s protest.
The effort to substantiate Odisha’s demand to accord status to the Paika Rebellion through
debates and deliberations which would throw new light on the forgotten era of Indian freedom
struggle will mark 5 brain-storming sessions on various themes relating to rebellion for coming two
The inaugural ceremony also featured an exhibition on the Rebellion that was declared
open by director general of National Modern Art Gallery, Adwait Gadnaik, the release of a
souvenir, and a quiz competition among students.

“The Symposium will definitely bring necessary debates in support of Rebellion with more arguments, more records, testimonials and historical indicators”, said the culture secretary Manoranjan Panigrahi.