The Paika Revolt was spearheaded by Buxi Jagabandhu or Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra Bhramarbar. He was the Rodhanga landowner and had been chosen as the “Senapati” by the Khurda king. In fact, the Paikas of Khurda, led by Buxi, spoke out against the British Rule’s hefty taxes, illegal encroachment on tax-free territories, and salt restrictions. The Paikas of adjacent communities like Nayagarh, Daspalla, Boudh and Ranpur were drawn towards Buxi because of his captivating personality and strong organisational skills.
Buxi Jagabandhu was the Chief Commander of the army of the minor Khurda monarch Mukunda Dev and was born in Rorar Garh in or around 1769. His contribution to the Jayi Rajaguru-led struggle against the British is not recorded in history. Many people had anticipated competent governance and respect for the preexisting social order once the British took control of Khurda. However, the British replaced many Oriyan aristocratic families who had lost control over their lands with non-Oriyan aristocrats and imposed new taxes.
Leading the Uprising
On April 1, 1817, Baxi Jagabandhu led the war against the British and defeated them on April 4, 1817. He did this by rallying the angry Paikas from Khurda and the surrounding estates, winning the backing of the tribal Khandha population of Ghumusar. Former King Mukunda Dev, who was then staying in Puri, was asked to lead the uprising by Jagabandhu, but he rejected the proposal. This did not deter Jagabandhu from carrying on with the uprising. In places like Puri, Kujanga, and Pattamundii, where numerous British soldiers and informers were slain, the insurrection spread like wildfire. On April 17, however, the British imposed martial law, fought the insurgents, and routed them.
British Offer Incentive for Buxi’s Capture
The main planner of the Paika Rebellion, Buxi Jagabandhu, left Khurda and walked into the Ghumusar forest’s dense cover. A romantic section of the Paika uprising of 1817 is the British witch hunt and Buxi’s retreat into the woodlands. The British thought that the seizure of Buxi was necessary for Khurda to be peaceful. Guerrilla warfare continued for seven arduous years despite hardship, demonstrating national zeal. On April 19, 1819, Buxi sent Lt. Melville a letter requesting that Ramachandra Deva be restored to his gadi, which would end all issues.
Buxi had mental fortitude, iron will, tenacious resistance, and the resolve to defend the cause with unwavering dedication
Later, he travelled to his father-in-law’s home in Shergad and hid in Boud and Daspalla’s dense jungle. When Buxi heard that plans were being made for his arrest, he promptly left Boudh and returned to the Ghumusar jungle, where the British Government had announced incentives for his capture, dead or alive. Major Roughsedge had contacted the monarch of Boudh to arrange for Buxi’s arrest.
After learning informally that Buxi Jagabandhu was present in the Kandha tribal village of Ghumusar, Brigadier General Thomas immediately launched a search operation and gheraoed the neighbourhood in an effort to apprehend Buxi. The British Commissioner was constrained to issue an official proclamation that no harm would come from any source, including the government, in the event that Buxi wanted to surrender due to the British authorities’ repeated failure to apprehend Buxi Jagabandhu. However, the proclamation had no impact since Buxi Jagabandhu had little faith in the words and deeds of the British. The two wives of Buxi Jagabandhu, his little son, his Gumasta, and his personal home servant were all imprisoned in the Barabati fort by the British overlords in 1819 in an effort to force Buxi to submit. However, the British rulers’ strategies ended up being fruitless. Therefore, in 1820, the British government freed the Buxi family members who had been imprisoned in the Barabati fort. Finally, the British Commissioner T Pakenham wrote to the monarch of Nayagada to request his help in persuading Buxi Jagabandhu to submit. For the capitulation of Buxi, the British government set forth specific requirements. The government was required to provide him with a monthly stipend of Rs 150 in the event of his surrender, and he would continue to live in Cuttack with his family. In the event that Buxi left Cuttack, the British Commissioner would have given his previous approval.
Surrendering Without Humiliation
Since the aforementioned circumstances were not offensive, the monarch of Nayagarh encouraged Buxi Jagabandhu to surrender before the British authorities. Buxi Jagabandhu finally surrendered to the British authorities on May 25, 1825, and he and his family afterwards resided in Cuttack. Buxi would not reportedly leave Cuttack without the Commissioner’s consent. The Buxi title had to be given up by him. He was given permission to remain in Cuttack with his family and was given a lifetime pension of Rs 150. There were no rude terms in the agreement. As a result, the capitulation reflected his dignity. The majority of his demands were met by the British. Buxi triumphed as a hero without experiencing any humiliation as a result of the surrender. In accordance with the terms and circumstances set forth by the British Government, Buxi Jagabandhu’s monthly stipend that had been given for his upkeep was terminated following his death on January 24, 1829, when he departed this world for the heavenly abode. Thus, one of the first Wars for Independence came to a close, led by Baxi Jagabandhu, who will always be remembered in India as a symbol of valour and leadership.
Reviewing the events, it can be seen that Buxi had mental fortitude, iron will, tenacious resistance, and the resolve to defend the cause with unwavering dedication. He caused the British Government constant worry for eight years. He was a renowned leader in the history of the liberation fight in Odisha and a devoted nationalist. People’s complaints and unhappiness against exploitative colonial rule led to the Revolt of 1817.