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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rindo Majhi (Freedom fighter)

Everyman struggles till his breaths last. That struggles may be individual or social. But history witness very less that very few people sacrifice their life for society or nation. Rindo Majhi is one among them.Rindo Majhi may not be a popular or well- acquainted name in the history of freedom struggle of India. But he was a great man for rural tribal people of kalahandi district who lived in the route less dense forest.He himself is an example of his own freedom struggle.

Rindo Majhi, born in Urladani situated in deepest Kalahandi region close to the boundary of Phulbani district, was very much courageous and freedom conscious from the childhood like other scheduled tribe people. He could not tolerate others sanction over his freedom. He was very much aware but, conservative of the culture, custom, rituals and traditions of the Kondhas.

Kondhas are generally worshipper of nature. They revere soil as their mother. They have a strong belief that everybody lives in the world by mercy of soil. So they never hesitate to sacrifice one of them for mother soil who gives and continues lives to everyone.With such custom they celebrate Maria every year. As the Britishers treated this system as superstition and antisocial, they raided the tribal areas of Kalahandi and Phulbani under Major General Campbell. But the tribal people kept much faith and believe on their own custom and tradition and raised voice against the Britishers.

On the other side the Kondhas were nearest to Kalahandi King. So they were tax free people. But, when the Britishers captured Nagpure, Kalahandi went under their control and as per the institution of Kings and Zamindars of Kalahandi collected tax from the Kondhas. There rose the voice of Kondhas and Rindo Majhi was the key figure of the movement. Though he knew well about the power of the Britishers attacked repeated to them and their flattering people. All the Kondhas also assisted him a lot as he was the chief among them. Right at that time another Kondha chief named Chakra Bisoi with his people attacked the Britishers repeatedly and turned non-coerative towards to them. Being fad up over the activities the Britishers were in search of Chakra Bisoi inquisitively.

In 1853 Lt. Macniell arrested Rindo Majhi and the Kondhas chief was imprisoned in Rasalkanda jail without trial. The fire of revolution grew much and worse among the Kondhas by the arrest of Rindo Majhi. Rightly after two years, in 1855 Lt. Macneill with him brought Rindo Majhi who was tied with iron chain in legs and hands and moved village to village in order to created fear among the Kondhas leaders. But the Kondhas went out of toleration witnessing such brutal and inhuman act upon their leader Rindo Majhi. On 10 December the Kondhas attacked the residence of Lt. Macneill at Urladani with their weapons like arrows and boxes, axes etc. But the Britishers had guns and powers. The fight went terrible though it was very difficult to fight against the Britishers. Hundreds and hundreds people died. Lt. Macneill escaped narrowly because the Tahasildar of Kandhamal Dinabandhu Pattanaik came and rescued him and his people. The Britishers being revengeful over the fight hanged Rindo Majhi and he remained as unlighted sure in the records of freedom struggle movement. But he is a figure who sacrificed his life for his people, nation and soil.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nuakhai - Important festival of Kalahandi

The most important festival of western orissa,comprising the districts of sambalpur,Bolangir,Kalahandi,Sudergarh and some area of Phulbani is Nuakhai.
Generally it takesplace in the bright half of the month Bhadrab or Bhadraba on an auspicious day that is fixed by the astrologers. In the ex-state arears the date is fixed according to the instructions of the ruling chiefs.

Nuakhai is a festival and celebration of happiness. Preparations starts a fortnight prior to the day,most of the houses are cleaned,neatly plastered and decorated by the housewives.On this occasion peoples old and young wear new clothes,different types of local sweets and foods are cocked. All the family members are assembled together, after offering the new rice to the deity they all set together and take the new rice, along with different types of Manda-Pitha Khiri-Puri etc., After finishing the food they take the blessing of the Istha-Devi and from other elders of the family. In the evening it is habitual and obligatory to have meat, as it is believes that one who does not eat meat on the Nuakhai day, shall born as a heron in his future birth. What ever may be the fact it is a celebration of the mass. People forget their personal differences and greet each other in this point of view Nua-Khai is not just welcoming the new rice-paddy it is a festival which welcomes general happiness and mass development of the society. People may stay in far of lands, for there livelihood, but in the Nuakhai they must come to celebrate this festival with other members of the family with pageantry.

Thought the festival is intended for eating new rice of the year.It is observed as a general festival.Meeting friends and relatives,singing,dancing and merry-making are the parts of this festival.Onthis occasion the new rice is cooked with milk and sugar and then offered as Bhog to goddess Laxmi.Then the eldest member of the family distributes the same to other members.