Political History of Jharkhand

Talking about the history of Jharkhand, it can be said that the Jharkhand history started after the partition of Bihar and Jharkhand.

On 15th November 2000, the territory of Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar; the southern part of Bihar was given a separate entity and named Jharkhand, which literally means ‘the territory of forests’. After the independence of India, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha initiated a movement for the creation of a separate state. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha launched a regular agitation during the post-independence period and forced the government to create an autonomous body known as the Jharkhand Area Autonomous Council in 1995. It is this autonomous body that finally led to the formation of a separate state.

According to some of the historians, even before the period of Magadha Empire the state of Jharkhand existed and was distinct in its geo-political, cultural entity.

Raja Jai Singh Deo of Orrisa was accepted as the ruler of Jharkhand by its people in the 13th century. The local tribal heads had developed into barbaric dictators who could govern the province neither fairly nor justly. Consequently, the people of this state approached the more powerful rulers of Jharkhand’s neighboring states who were perceived to have a more fair and just governance. This became the turning point in the history of the region wherein rulers from Orissa moved in with their armies and created states that were governed for the benefit of the people and involved their participation, thus ending the barbarism that had marked the region for centuries. The good tribal rulers continued to thrive and were known as the Munda Rajas, and exist to this day.

During the Mughal period, the Jharkhand area was known as Kukara. After the year 1765, it came under British control and became formally known as Jharkhand- the land of Jharis and jungles. The subjugation and colonization of Jharkhand region by the British East India Company resulted in spontaneous resistance from the local people. Almost one hundred years before India’s First War of Independence (1857) Adivasis of Jharkhand were already beginning what would become a series of repeated revolts against the British colonial rule.

The demand for a separate Jharkhand state can be traced back to the early 1900s, when Jaipal Singh an Indian Hockey captain and Olympian, suggested the idea of a separate state consisting of the southern districts of Bihar. The idea did not become a reality, however, until August 2, 2000, when the Parliament of India passed the Bihar Reorganisation Bill to create the state of Jharkhand, carving 18 districts out of Bihar to form Jharkhand state on 15 November 2000. It became the 28th state of India.

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