The Chuar Rebellion was a series of revolts between 1771 and 1809 by the inhabitants of hills and forests of old Manbhum, Bankura and Midnapore (an area now mostly in West Bengal, India). Such people generally lived off the jungles and a sort of primitive agriculture."It was one of the earliest peasant rebellions against the highly exploitative land revenue policies of the British rulers and was brutally crushed".
|Location||Midnapore, Bankura, Manbhum in Colonial India|
|Motive||Oppose exploitative land revenue policies|
|Participants||Village/ jungle folk and East India Company|
|Outcome||Suppression of the rebellion|
Prior to the arrival of the British, these jungle areas were not directly ruled by the Mughal rulers. Local rulers, who paid some tribute to the Mughals, had control over the area. In turn the local rulers gave the jungle folk tax free lands against protection they provided to the rulers of the area. These people were called ‘Paiks’ meaning guard or police in Bengali. The East India Company forced the local rulers to collect taxes from these people. When they broke out in violent rebellion, they were despised as ‘Chuars’ meaning uncivilised in Bengali.
According to L.S.S. O’Malley, a British administrator who produced the Bengal District Gazetteers, “In March 1766 Government resolved to send an expedition into the country west and north-west of Midnapore in order to coerce them into paying revenue, and to capture and demolish as many of their strongholds as possible.”
Amongst the many dispossessed zamindars, who lent support to the rebels were such royalty as Durjan Singh of Raipur, Managat Singh of Panchet, Dubraj Singh of Birbhum, the Rani of Karnagar and Raja Madhu Singh of Manbhum.
- History of the Bengali-speaking People by Nitish Sengupta, first published 2001, second reprint 2002, UBS Publishers’ Distributors Pvt. Ltd. pages 187-188, ISBN 81-7476-355-4
- "An early freedom struggle that is not free of the 'Chuar' label". Forward Press. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- "The politics of belonging in India". Taylor & Francis Group. Retrieved 11 September 2020.