Jagabandhu Bidyadhara Mohapatra Bhramarbara Raya
Old sketch by Dharanidhara Behera of Cuttack
|Died||1829 (aged 55–56)|
Jagabandhu Bidyadhara Mohapatra Bhramarbara Rai popularly known as "Bakshi Jagabandhu (Odia: ବକ୍ସି ଜଗବନ୍ଧୁ)" or "Paika Bakshi" was the commander (Bakshi) of the forces of the king of Khordha. He is one of the earliest freedom fighters of India. The great Paika rebellion in 1817 was under his leadership.
Jagabandhu Bidyadhara had got the title of Bakshi in inheritance from his ancestors which represents the rank of the commander of the forces of the King of Khurda. It was the rank second only to the king. His family was provided with Jagirs (grants of lands and other requisites) and the estate of ‘Killa Roranga’ for generations by the King of Khurda.
The Paika Rebellion
It was the first rebellion of the paika (soldiers of Odisha) with the support of common people against the British Rule. The land revenue policy of the British was the primary cause of the rebellion in 1817. The rent free land tenures provided to the soldiers for their military service on a hereditary basis were taken away in the settlement by Major Fletcher as their service were not required anymore. This policy resulted in the deprivation of Bakshi Jagabandhu from his estates and forced him to depend on the voluntary contributions from the people of Khurda. This policy also affected the zamindars as well as ryots. Another important cause for that great event was the raise in salt price. As a result, Bakshi Jagabandhu led the tribals of Banapur and Ghumsur and bravely marched towards Khurda to fight against colonial power. The rebellion received extensive support from the common people. Even the Kandhas of Banapur became successful in their revolutionary activities. The rebellion was expanded throughout the state and continued for a quite long time. However, the fewer paika were unable to defend the well equipped British counterpart and receded back to the jungles. In this operation bands of paika were hunted down and many were brutally murdered.