DMPQ Premium- . Discuss the important characteristics of Tana bhagat Movement.

Oraon Tana bhagat Movement (1914-1919) a tribal uprising of a section of the Oraons under the leadership of Jatra Oraon, a twenty-five year old youth of Gumla, Ranchi, occurring during the late colonial period in the Chhotanagpur region. In April 1914 Jatra proclaimed that he had received a message from Dharmesh, the supreme god of the Oraons to revive the Oraon Raj. He advocated that Oraon religion should be freed of evils like ghost hunts and exorcism, belief in bhuts or evil spirits, animal sacrifice and liquor drinking and advocated vegetarianism, austerity and restraint. As the movement progressed, agrarian issues came to the fore.

The tribal religious movement gave way to a ‘no-rent payment’ campaign as Jatra questioned the ritual subordination of the Oraons to the zamindars and illaqadars (those who had been granted land by the Maharaja of Chhotanagpur in exchange of the services they rendered) and Hindu banians, as also to Muslims, Christians and the British state. Jatra decreed that his followers were to stop ploughing the fields of landlords and were not to work any more as coolies or labourers for non-Oraons or for the government. Gradually political elements crept in as well and the movement developed an anti-British and anti-missionary character. The Oraons also questioned the traditional leadership of the pahans or priests and mahtos or the village headmen. Believers were ordered to avoid articles that were red in colour, including chillies and red paddy, for red represented the British whom the Oraons were to hate. They believed that true education was to come from Heaven and so the children were prevented from going to school and missionary schools were forcibly closed down.