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Tilka Majhi: The Warrior of the Old World

Did we, as Indians, always have the disregard of the Western colonization, or is it just the uncanny demand for political power and gain by the poorly treated educated upper class of the society in this subcontinent? For land and time of the 16th century, this kind of question was more about why one revolts against these white-Gods. Even the demand for power over the intimidating stature of the British Raj was a thought much dreaded by most. Lest somebody thought of toppling the very foundation of it. Or even try to flip any of the small domino pieces(if the domino falls onto the other side).


The aforementioned “fact” holds a certain degree of truth but here, there is enough debatable text to create an orifice in the theory set by the general notional audience of the subcontinent. We have freedom fighters, despite their diminutive social stature, who displayed what would be a herculean-powered valor against an enemy even Ares would fear to challenge. We have examples from people from the class of peasants, craftsmen, petty woodcutters, or dainty saints, who rode into the mouth of the western elephant, sometimes giving up their lives too, to create a safe passage for all others to tread. One of such people was Tilka Majhi, the son of Mother India; leading a whole motley of Adivasis to revolt against this feared inevitable, invincible, and seemingly unstoppable force of the corrupt British, something that won’t gain the required momentum until a century. The Adivasis, some of the most invisible folks of any nation, dared to attack the Lords of the land when even the Indians with suits and ties with English degrees from some unreachable European country and perfect oeuvre of the language and subject, bowed in front of them. Something that could never be replicated by anyone else, maybe not even in the attempt to do so.

A painting of Tilka Majhi. (Source - Internet)

Tilka Majhi had begun what would have been the antecedent to a battle for the freedoms of billions of men, women and children of the to-be Indian nation. He had proposed a long fight and raised a solid voice altercation to English rule for their shocking demonstrations of ruthlessness. He was quick to blow the trumpet of rebel against the British. This brave political dissident was captured in 1785 and was then hanged till death.


Tilka Majhi was brought into the world on 11th February 1750 in Sultanganj, Bihar. He was brought into the world in a little town called Tilakpur and he had a place with the Santhal family. His father’s name was Sundara Murmu. Since adolescence, Tilka lived in the shadow of backwoods human progress and chased wild creatures. Workout wrestling, getting on the huge trees, strolling in the valleys, playing with wild creatures, meandering in wild woodlands, waterways, and so on were his day-by-day everyday practice of life. Natural life had made him dauntless and courageous.


Since adolescence, he has seen the oppression of English individuals on his family and on the ancestral individuals. English rulers had their privileges on the helpless clan's developed land and wild trees. Ancestral individuals, youngsters, ladies, elderly people and men were enormously tormented by the British. Sardar possessed their territories on the slope and they excessively battled with the English Government to safeguard their properties. The mountains were owned by the landowners and they were used to save the British individuals as a trade-off for cash. At last, the day came when Tilka began an insubordination to the British. The ancestral heroes driven by Tilka were going towards the wooded areas of Bhagalpur and Sultanganj.


Tilka with his power was in constant struggle with the English government. Cleve Land and Sir Eyre pitched fights with bold Tilka's band of Santhal warriors. While the British soldiers set out toward battle, Tilka's soldiers started to subtly hit arrows on the English armed forces. Tilka climbed a palm tree. Simultaneously, Cleve land came hopping on a steed. At that exact instant, Tilka killed Superintendent Cleve Land on January 13, 1784, with his catapult. After the fresh insight about the passing of Cleve Land, the English government became insecure. Rulers, fighters and officials were wrapped in an environment of dread.


One night when Tilka and his accomplices were enjoying festivities with dance, tunes and were lost in celebration, then, at that point, out of nowhere a swindler warlord Jaudah assaulted the Santhali armed force. In this unexpected intrusion, Tilka made due, however, many warriors were martyred. Some were detained. Tilka escaped from that point and took asylum in the hilly district of Sultanganj. The English armed force laid a snare for him in the encompassing mountain areas of Sultanganj in Bhagalpur.


Courageous Tilka and his military presently covered (stowing away in rocky regions) had battled a hard life. His military started to be killed in absence of food and starvation. Presently the chivalrous skipper and his soldiers battled a guerrilla battle with the British. The English armed force was attacked by the Santhal tribals. Majhi got caught by the Britishers during the conflict and they caught him.


In 1785, Tilka was killed by hanging him from a banyan tree. Tilka was one of the first Adivasis who battled against the British to liberate India from subjugation, which following 90 years broke again as a battle for autonomy in 1857. In the memory of Tilka, a sculpture of him was raised in the court of Bhagalpur. Much of history is lost in the ignorance and unscripted methods followed by tribals of that day. But the fact that the tale of the bravery of an individual who lived 300 years ago, is still relevant, helps the endeavour of Tilka Majhi reach the redemption point it deserved. He prepared us for a war we didn’t know was coming, and helped in gaining national independence in 1947.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: - Abhay Majhi is an undergraduate student studying English Literature at St. Stephen's College in New Delhi, India. He is keenly interested in international politics, history, science fiction, and fantasy stories, and has been writing for over a year.

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