152 th Birth Anniversary of Biplabi Dharani Dhar Bhuyan – A Great #FreedomFighter during British Time of Kendujhar Princely Estate #Kendujhar #Odisha Article by Gorvachove
ମୋ କେନ୍ଦୁଝର ମାଟିର ବୀର ବିପ୍ଳବୀ ଧରଣୀ ଧର ଭୂୟାଁଙ୍କ ଜନ୍ମବାର୍ଷିକୀରେ ଶ୍ରଦ୍ଧାଞ୍ଜଳି.
The great person & freedom fighter Dharani Dhar Bhuyan was born to his parents Laxman Naik and Baigani Devi on 5th May, 1864 in a small village-Kusumita 15kms away from the district Head Quarters of Kendujhar. He went to Cuttack with financial support from the local king to learn surveyor’s job. Later, he was employed by of the then king of Kendujhar Estate Dhanurjay Narayan Bhanj Deo as Survey Overseer. He played a very significant role in solving a boundary dispute between the state of Odisha and Bihar. The line of demarcation that he had drawn remain as such even to-day. Oppressing the Bhuyans through various ways by the then feudal system was growing day by day.
They were economically exploited and were required to contribute physical labour without payment. The Durbar Govt. forced the Bhuyans to work for excavating a canal from the river Machhakandana to Kendujhargarh, the capital of the erstwhile princely state through hills and forests. The oppression was so cruel that the Bhuyan labourers were forced to work even without food and rest for hours together. Those who protested against the oppression were arrested and tortured. He had completed his Middle English school with a lot of difficulties. He fought against slavery for the Kondh, Kohla and Bhuinya communities. Dharanidhar led people against oppression and British dominance. He congregated people to fight for their own survival, which is known as “Dharanimeli”.
The revolt of Bhuyans against such oppression during 1868 in which several persons were sentenced to death, number of persons were transported, many were sentenced to imprisonment and its suppression by strong, cruel and inhuman measures was in his mind. He was drawn towards the struggle. He was a born patriot. He resigned from his job and joined the revolution. He appealed the Bhuyans to rise en-mass against the tyrannical rule of the Raja as well as the British overlord. They under the leadership of Dharani Dhar waged the war. In 1891 the king’s palace at Kendujhargarh was besieged by Bhuyans. Dharani Dhar was respected as king of Kendujhar.
Later the simple and credulous Bhuyan chief was easily deluded by the crafty Fakir Mohan, the Assistant Dewan of king. Dharani Dhar fell prey to the cunning machinations of Fakir Mohan and was arrested and sent to jail in Cuttack in 1891. The court sentenced Dharani Dhar to 5 years of imprisonment. The king was also accused of irresponsible and oppressive system of Governance.
Dharani Dhar was released in 1897 before the completion of his term with the condition that he would not stay in Kendujhar. He was allowed to come to Kendujhar only once in a month to get the pension. He did not come to Kendujhar either to receive pension or to stay there. This brings to light the self esteem of the tribal leader – a rare quality which is seen among the Bhuyans even today. Being released from jail Dharani Dhar decided to live a life of a saint / ascetic. He had a great change in his mind. He built an ashram in Banki and lived there. Later he shifted his ashram to Aul of Cuttack district.
Though his revolt popularly known as “Dharani Meli” (which started off at my village ‘Raisuan’) did not yield any immediate result , its long term impact had a positive bearing on the administrative system of feudal state of Kendujhar. He was amply successful in drawing the sincere attention of the then British rulers to the cause for which he raised his voice. Subsequently, the British authorities, realizing the gravity of the situation and the grievance of the people, undertook an indepth study of the economic condition of the Tribals.
Gradually it was addressed under the liberal administrative guidance. Viewed from this point “Dharani Meli” had achieved tremendous success compared to other contemporary ‘Gadjat rebellions.’ Dharani Dhar is recognized as a crusader against exploitation and cruelty to mankind.
He raised his voice against the Britisher in 1891 when he saw the unlawful activities towards his community. But at last he was arrested by the soldiers of Downson and was imprisoned for 7 years in Cuttack jail. He was released in 1897 and after that a great change was seen in his life. He led the life of a Sanyasi (saint) at Banki near to Puri beach. Due to his sincerity in duty and honest personality, Dharanidhar became popular during freedom struggle.
Till his last breath he fought for the cause of downtrodden, equality and dignity in society. On May 16, 1914 the famous freedom fighter Dharanidhar Bhuinya died peacefully in his sleep.