He was freedom fighter and tribal leader, born in 1809 in small town Khinda in Sambalpur (now in Odisha).
He was direct descendant from Madhukar Sai and was legally entitled to be crowned as king of Sambalpur after demise of king Maharaja Sai in 1827.
But he was not acceptable to British power and ignored his claim for succession.
He revolted against British raj for throne after it allow widow of Madhukar Sai Rani Mohan Kumari to succeed him and then followed by succession of Narayan Singh, a descendant of royal family but born of low caste as king of Sambalpur.
The aim of Surendra Sai’s revolt was to drive the British out of Sambalpur.
His revolution against the British commenced from 1827 when he was only 18 years of age and continued till 1862 when he surrendered and even after that, until he was finally arrested in 1864 – a total period of 37 years.
He had suffered imprisonment in Hazaribagh Jail for 17 years in course of his revolutionary career and after his final arrest for another term of 20 years including his detention of 19 years in remote Asirgarh hill fort till he breathed his last there.
He was not only great revolutionary throughout his life but also inspiring leader of the people.
He had espoused cause of the down trodden tribal people who were being exploited by higher castes people and who became tools in hands of the British for establishment of their political power in Sambalpur.
He died in Asirgarh Jail on 23 May 1884.
Why in news? The Union Cabinet has approved renaming of Jharsuguda Airport in Odisha as “Veer Surendra Sai Airport, Jhar