Peasant Mobilisation And Revolt In Awadh (Paperback)

Peasant Mobilisation And Revolt In Awadh By Subhash Chandra Kushwaha Cover Image
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The peasant revolt of Awadh (earlier spelt as Oudh) was the first rural school for the first prime minister of independent India, and brought him face to face with the hunger, poverty and misery prevailing here. It gave him a chance to understand India and convey this understanding to others. Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru got from the peasant movement of Awadh much, much more than he gave it back. He strengthened his political grasp thereby and took himself to the position of an ideologically oriented prime minister. It is because of that first encounter that the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency is still attached to the Nehru family.
The First World War badly drained India's wealth as well as Indian blood. Ignoring the horrors of this war, the future Father of the Nation extended total cooperation to the colonial British rule and also appealed to the country's people to cooperate. The poor youth of the country were dispatched to the war fronts in France and Germany without any specific and adequate training. Those who survived the war were unceremoniously ousted from the army, as one throws a fly out of a glass of milk, and were sent back home. They were thus divested of their employment on the one hand and, on the other hand, talukdars and zamindars were allowed a free hand to suck, in the name of a 'War Fund, ' whatever blood was left in their or their family members' bodies. While natural disasters did continue unabated, the extraction of revenue by the colonial government through talukdars, bedakhli (eviction) of the common people from their lands, and from them the repeated demands of 'nazrana' (obligatory 'presents') which were nothing but bribes, had closed all the doors upon them for redressal. It was in such a situation that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the growing awareness of those coming back from the overseas fronts made the rural atmosphere charged for revolt. They thought the age of the peasant had finally arrived and therefore injustice had to be resisted. For those dying of hunger, was it any worse if they died while fighting?
The spontaneous peasant revolt, that broke out simultaneously in all the districts of Awadh during 1920-22, stoked the spark that had been smouldering unobserved for years. The dying desires of the people were inflames at once. Bazaars were looted. Talukdars' and zamindars' houses were attacked. Police stations were put afire, and soviet-type Kisan Sabhas were organised.
At a time when Awadh was in flames, the heat of revolts was felt all over the country. Workers, peasants, tribals --- all raised the banner of revolt. At such a time, in order to save itself from being pushed into irrelevance, the existing national politics felt compelled to create an illusion that it stood by the people.
The peasant revolt that broke out in Awadh deeply impacted the social, economic and political scenarios in the whole country. That the former soldiers, sadhus and lower class people commanded this struggle was something unprecedented. A sociological analysis of this phenomenon as a factor of the success or failure of popular movements is yet to be done.

Product Details
ISBN: 9798441309561
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: January 1st, 2023
Pages: 448
Language: English