• By Tuhin Sinha
  • April 13, 2023
  • @tuhins
  • A brief introduction to Tuhin’s book on Santal revolt against British Rule, Bharat’s First War of Independence.

The author’s SIDO KANHU throws a controversial new perspective on India’s freedom movement.


The book is titled - Sido Kanhu with an intriguing tagline - The Santal Hul, Bharat's First War Of Independence. The book is co-authored with Clark Prasad, author of international espionage thriller-Baramulla Bomber. Clark had previously co-authored a geo-political thriller- MISSION SHENGZHAN with Sinha. After The Legend Of Birsa Munda and The Great Tribal Warriors, Sido Kanho completes Sinha's ambitious trilogy on India's tribal warriors. Both the earlier books have been well appreciated and Sinha has travelled the country extensively to promote these books. 


Asked what does HUL in the book's sub-title mean, Sinha said – “The Hul in Santal means revolution. This was eastern India’s biggest uprising against the Britishers. Had it not been for the 1857 revolt whose simultaneous play out across the country caught the attention of the world, the Hul would have been regarded as India’s first war of Independence.”


An interesting part of the 1855 Santhal insurrection is that while nearly 50,000 Santhals are said to have participated in it and 10,000 died over a period of nearly 8-9 months, when it started it was primarily aimed against the wily zamindars. The Santals had no idea of the resources of the Britishers - they lived in a closed world of their own. At the same time, then Britishers were equally taken aback by the magnitude of the revolt as very few of their officers knew the region or the people well.


The entire revolution unfolded in the present day areas of northern Jharkhand and parts of Bihar like Bhagalpur and Purnea and Bengal. In that era all these areas came under Bengal province. 


Asked about the objective behind writing these books, Sinha replied rather candidly. “It is two-fold. First of all, it's about a much needed historical course correction. The country needs to know that our subaltern freedom movement predates our mainstream, documented freedom movement by nearly a century. If this fact is well established, then people like Rahul Gandhi will not be able to claim copyright over our freedom movement for the Congress  and vilify freedom fighters selectively.”


"Secondly the time has come to invoke Jharkhand Asmita at the national level. It is sad that even 23 years after the formation of Jharkhand, the state is mainly in news for Hemant Soren's mining scam. That perception needs to change. Jharkhand needs to known for the legacy of its icons - Birsa Munda, Sido Kanhu and Jamsetji Tata."


No points for guessing that for Sinha, his writings and his politics blend seamlessly. 


The book will be released on June 30. June 30 marks the commemoration day of the HUL and is celebrated in Jharkhand as Hul Diwas. 


‘The idea is make Hul a national celebration,’ avers Sinha.


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