Paika Rebellion

Who were Paikas?

Paiks were the traditional landed militia of Odisha, used to perform policing functions. They owned rent-free land that was given to them for their military service to Kingdom of Khurda. However they were rendered landless by the policies of British East India Company.

Paika Rebellion:

  • Paika Rebellion of 1817 is an armed rebellion against British colonialism.
  • The revolution was in response to the tinkering of the revenue system by the British in 1803.
  • In response, the farming community of Odisha rose in rebellion.
  • At that juncture, Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar, the military chief of the King of Khurda, led the army of Paikas and forced the British to retreat. This came to be known as Paika Bidroh (Paika rebellion).
  • The landed militia of Khurda was called Paiks.
  • Paika Rebellion of 1817 has various social, economic and political reasons.
  • The main cause of the revolution was the takeover of the rent-free land that had been given to the Paiks for their military service to the Kingdom of Khurda.
  • Though the revolution occurred before the first war of independence in 1857, the revolution did not get similar recognition like that of the Revolt of 1857.
  • Why important?
    • 200 years completed in 2017.
    • PM Modi announced setting up of a Chair on the Paika Rebellion, in Utkal University, Bhubaneswar.