PRAJAMANDAL MOVEMENT IN THE EX-GARJAT STATE OF SONEPUR
The movement called “Praja Mandal” or State Peoples’ Conference gained momentum during 1937-38 in different princely state of Odisha such as Nilgiri, Talcher, Dhenkanal, Pallahara, Rampur, Gangpur etc. against the autocratic rule of the British supported feudatory rulers. While Baji Rout, the boy activist was Shot dead by the British force at Dhenkanal, the Praja Mandal activists killed political agent major bazelgatte, by ferocious beating at Rampur. In Gangpur 23 Munda Tribals fell to police firing.
movement in Sonepur was suppressed by the autocratic ruler Sudhansu
Sekhar Singh Deo by expelling leader like Gouri Shankar Rajguru, Mangulu
Padhan, Ranjan Gauntia, Girdhari Barai, Chandra Sekhar Panigrahi,
Upendramani Baboo, Chaturbhuja Mishra, Dashrathi Prasad Ratha, Mohan
Mishra, Ramchandra Satpathy etc. On 12th Dec 1938, those leaders were
called open by Laxman Satpathy to meet at Brahman Turum Village to
formally constitute the Sonepur State Peoples’ conference or Praja
Mandal. The meeting hosted by the village gountiya Dolamani Dash.
Bhimsen Bhoi from Ainlamunda played promiment role in this organization.
Pitambara Bhoi from the same village was his loyal follower and activist.
Likewise Banchhabata Pujari from Rampur actively participated in the
movement. Bhimsen Bhoi and Banchhabata pujari were sentenced to
imprisonment and put in the jail. Laxman Satpathy along with his
co-activist Like Dhanamanta Mallik, Ramchandra Satpathy, Chaturbhuja
Mishra, Dasharathy Prasad Ratha, Nandalal Sethi, Mohan Mishra and
Satyananda Hota etc. also suffered jail terms under the Defense of India
HEROES OF THE PRAJA MANDAL MOVEMENT
Meher of Binka fell police bayonet on 30th January 1947 while
demonstrating on behalf of her weaver community for demand of cotton. She
was the first women martyr of the movement.
Chamar a cobbler from Binka was much vocal in support of the movement. He
was a popular activist shouting self composed slogans on the streets of
Rampur to arouse peoples’ sentiments in favour of the movement.
Pradhan of village Badkarle.
Bhoi of village Tangerkarle.
Padhan of village Tangerkarle.
Bhoi (Gauntiya) of village Chanabeda.
Saraf of village Rampur.
Padhan and others (8) of village Balenpali.
Panigrahi of village Bhabanipali.
Sahu of village Mayabarha.
Seth of village Badkarle.
Behera of village Rampur.
Finally, the Praja Mandal movement terminated with the merger of the Princely states on the 1st day of January 1948 and Sonepur gained independence.
Reference:-Article by Rameswar Naik Entitled, “Freedommovement in Sonepur : “Praja Mandal and Role of Laxman Satpathy” Published in new aspect of history of Odisha (NAHO) vol.ix, Journal, P.G department of History, Sambalpur University, 2000.
Source on activist of Praja Mandal movement in Sonepur.
Naik, Reader in History
S.C Majhi, Social Activist
Design & Development Supported by Suresh Ku Meher