Friday, July 8, 2011

Resistance against the British (contd-3)

Religious Frenzy :
The Sanyasi Rebellion was one of the most formidable that the British had to face almost at the very beginning of their rule in Bengal. The movement was initiated by the anti-British activities of two different groups - Hindu Sanyasi and Muslim fakirs but they gained momentum from the support they received from the starving peasantry, dispossessed Zamindars and the disbanded soldiers.It is difficult to ascertain the motives which impelled the two communities to make almost annual incursions into Bengal from1763. After the great famine of 1770 their activities were increased and the economic distress drove the people in large numbers to join the Sanyasi and defy the newly established British administration.By the end of 1772, there was agreat upsurge of the Sanyasi in the wild belt of country from Rangpur to Dacca.and they threatened the to sweep the away the English power completelyIn 1772 they defeated a company of sepoys sent against them and killed its captain, Captain Thomas.
Faraidi movement 
Sharia Tullah founded the faraidi sect for religious reforms and began to preach his doctrine as early as 1804. But he gradually turned it to a political ends and declared the country under British occupation to be Dar-ul-harb where a muslim should not live.
Haji Shariatullah launced the Faraizi Movement
The first half of the 19th century witnessed a movement known as Faraizi Movement in East Bengal. The founder of this movement was Haji Shariatullah. At this time the condition of the Bengali Muslims in the Sub-continent was very miserable. The British policy of distrust and oppression towards the Muslims rendered them economically and educationally crippled; and the oppression of the Zamindars made their lives unbearable.
Haji Shariatullah went to Mecca on the Pilgrimage. He returned to his country after 20 years and started his reform movement known as the Faraizi movement. His movement basically targeted the most depressed class of the Muslims. He asked them to give up un-Islamic customs and practices and to act upon the commandments of the religion called Faraiz or duties. Hence his followers came to be known as Faraizi. He forbade Tazia on the occasion of Muharram and singing and dancing at the time of wedding ceremonies. His movement was also directed against the oppression of the Zamindars. He declared the country Dar-ul-Harab, as Eid and Friday prayers could not be offered there.
The movement infused new life into the lives of the Muslims of Bengal. It wrought great agitation among them, especially the peasants who were imbued with his doctrines. Thus, he sowed the seeds of independence in Bengal. He died in 1840