Although the role of Birsa Munda has been seminal in championing the Adivasi cause, his political movements and legacy have been distorted, like other prominent Indian historical figures, including B R Ambedkar and M K Gandhi. Despite misrepresentations, Birsa Munda and his politics continue to inspire not just Adivasis but also Dalits and other marginalised sections in their pursuit of attaining social justice.
Birsa Munda, a young freedom fighter and a tribal leader was born and raised in the tribal belt of Bihar and Jharkhand. Although he lived a very short span of life, Birsa managed to mobilise the tribal community against the British regime and he forced them to introduce laws to protect the land rights of the tribal community.
This podcast is based on the article “ Setting the Record Straight on Birsa Munda and His Political Legacy” which was authored by Dr Joseph Bara. The article was published in EPW journal on 25th July 2020.
Dr Bara is an independent scholar on tribal history and education in modern India and was formerly with Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is currently based in Ranchi.
This is part two of the podcast. You can find Part-I here.