Indigenous people belonging to Santal community perform archery during their traditional cultural programme in Godagari upazila headquarters under Rajshahi district yesterday, marking 159th anniversary of the Santal Hul, an anti-British uprising by the community. PHOTO: STAR
Indigenous people yesterday observed different programmes marking the 159th anniversary of the anti-British Santal Hul (revolution), with urge to give them constitutional recognition and ensure their fundamental rights including that on ancestral lands.
On the occasion, a colourful procession brought out from Thakurgaon Press Club premises marched to the statue titled 'Muktiro Mondiro Sopano Tole' at Gobindanagar village in the municipality area, reports our Thakurgaon correspondent.
A discussion was held on the premises of the statue built in memory of the martyred indigenous people during the 1855-57 Santal Hul, an uprising against a virtual martial law imposed by the then British government.
About 10,000 indigenous people were martyred in the revolution led by Sindhu, Kanhu, Chand and Bhairab.
The speakers at the discussion urged establishment of constitutional rights of the indigenous people and formation of a separate land commission to protect their land rights.
They demanded mother tongue-based primary education for the children of indigenous people, and the community's quota in higher education and government service.
Jatiya Adivashi Parishad and ESDO Premdip Project jointly organised the programme.
The discussion followed a cultural programme.
Our staff correspondent adds from Rajshahi: Hundreds of indigenous people from Santal, Urao, Paharia, Rajoar, and Rai communities joined a colourful rally, dance, traditional archery show and a discussion held at the Central Shaheed Minar premises at Godagari upazila headquarters in the district, marking the 159th anniversary of Santal Hul.
Centre for Capacity Building of Voluntary Organisation organised the programme to observe the day.
The day's programme began with offerings to 'Sidhu and Kanhu', two brothers who spearheaded the anti-British Santal revolution during 1855-57.