Sanyasi Revolt (1763-1800)

  • The disastrous famine of 1770 and the harsh economic order of the British compelled a group of sanyasis in Eastern India to fight the British yoke.
  • Originally peasants, even some evicted from land, these sanyasis were by a large number of dispossessed small zamindars, disbanded soldiers and rural poor. They raided Company factories and the treasuries, and fought the Company’s forces.
  • It was only after a prolonged action that Warren Hastings could subdue the sanyasis. Equal participation of Hindus and Muslims characterized the uprisings, sometimes referred to as the Fakir Rebellion.
  •  Majnum Shah (or Majnu Shah), Chirag Ali, Musa Shah, Bhawani Pathak and Debi Chaudhurani were important leaders.
  • Debi Chaudhurani’s participation recognizes the women’s role in early resistances against the British.
  • Anandamath, a semi-historical novel by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, is based on the Sanyasi Revolt.
  •  Bankim Chandra also wrote a novel, Devi Chaudhurani, as he saw the importance of women too taking up the struggle against an alien rule that posed a threat to traditional Indian values.


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