Ahead of PM Modi’s visit to Mangarh Dham in Banswara district, Rajasthan CM has sought the declaration of the memorial for tribals as a monument of national importance.
About Mangarh Massacre
- Mangarh Dham is known for the massacre of tribals by the British Indian Army in 1913.
- This place is widely referred to as Adivasi Jallianwala.
- About 1,500 Bhil tribals and forest dwellers were killed at Mangarh on November 17, 1913, when the British Indian Army opened fire on the protesters.
- The people were gathered to demand abolition of the bonded labour system and relaxation in heavy agricultural taxes imposed by the rulers of princely states.
- The tribals in the southern Rajasthan region were led by social reformer Govind Guru.
Course of events
- Govind Guru started his movement among Bhils in the early 1890s.
- The movement had, as its religious centrepiece, the concept of a fire god, which required his followers to raise sacred hearths in front of which Bhils pray while performing the purifying havan called dhuni.
- In 1903, the guru set up his main dhuni on Mangadh Hill.
- Mobilised by him, the Bhils placed a charter of 33 demands before the British by 1910 primarily relating to forced labour, high tax imposed on Bhils and harassment of the guru’s followers by the princely states.
- The Bhil struggle for justice under Govind Guru took a serious turn after the British and local rulers refused to accept the demands and tried to break the Bhagat movement in 1913.