Paika Rebellion Formal Proposal Will Be Placed Before Centre Soon: Odisha Culture Minister

**Bhubaneswar: ** In the wake of Odisha Government pitching hard for the re-written historical tag for 1817’s Paika Rebellion as the First War of Indian Independence instead of the hitherto historical recognition to the Sepoy Mutiny fought in 1857, Culture Minister Ashok Panda on Tuesday re-iterated State’s points to evince the demand before Government of India.
In his reactions the Culture Minister said, “Opinions differ on it in our State as well as in the country. Very soon we’re going to submit our demand with the Centre. We’ll hold consultations and seek opinions. The 8-9 points that I was citing yesterday during the press briefing after the Cabinet meeting will be put forth.”

Notably, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo on Tuesday wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urging the Government of India to recognise and declare Paika Bidroha (1817) as the First War of Indian Independence in place of the well-known Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

The Chief Minister’s move came close on the heels of the significant Cabinet resolution on Monday evening in this respect.

As the Culture Minister was prodded by the media that discussions making rounds that the Odisha Cabinet’s decision is to counter BJP’s hijacking of Odisha’s Paika Rebellion issue, he argued that it is such an emotive issue of the people of Odisha that there is no question of hijacking. The State Government has already commemorated Paika Rebellion’s 200th anniversary, Centre is doing it tomorrow at Delhi.

On being asked that the State Government is yet to pass the proposal in the History Congress, the minister replied, “History Congress is a forum body. Government need not get the proposal passed there. Many historians have already opined in its favour. Why isn’t the History Congress taking it into consideration?”