The Bijolia movement was a peasant movement in the Bijolia jagir of the former Mewar state (in present-day Rajasthan in India) against excessive land revenue exactions. Originating in the former jagir (feudal estate) of Bijolia (near the town of Bijolia in Bhilwara district), the movement gradually spread to neighbouring jagirs. Leadership to the movement was provided, at different times, by Sitaram Das, Vijay Singh Pathik, and Manikyalal Verma. The movement continued till 1941 after a bitter struggle lasting about half a century, gained national attention and resisted state oppression.
Causes of movement:
- Excesss land revenue and other taxes were the main cause. Rao salwal kishan singh ji started to collect lagat( a kind of taxes) collected in extraordinary situation were become common affair.
Movement went through three phases which are summarised as follows:
Ist phase( 1897-1915)
- In 1897, a delegation of peasants consisting of Nanji Patel of Berisal and Thakari Patel of Gopal Niwas went to Udaipur and attempted, in vain, to get an audience with the Maharana.
- The concessions granted in 1904 did not last. In 1906, Prithvi Singh ascended to the jagirand withdrew the concessions granted in 1904 and instructed officials to collected increased taxes. Failing to get a hearing from the jagirdar, some peasants chose not to cultivate their lands and migrated to neighboring Gwalior and Bundi.
2nd phase (1915-1923)
- In 1916, war fund contributions were further imposed on the peasants which lead to renewed dissatisfaction.It was in 1916 that Bhoop Singh alias Vijai Singh Pathik arrived in Bijolia and organized the peasants under the Bijolia Kisan Panchayat to oppose payments to the war fund and other taxes.
- Leaders of the Bijolia movement attempted to obtain the support of the Indian National Congress (INC).In December 1919, Pathik succeeded in putting a resolution before the INC in support of the Bijolia peasants, but the resolution failed, largely because the INC leadership disfavored agitation in the princely states.
- Finally, the Bijolia Agreement was signed on February 11, 1922. The agreement brought about the following changes: reduction in amount of talwar bandhi, no taxes when there was no cultivation, reduction in chatoondtax and land revenue, etc.
- By 1928, there was a general complain among the peasants of Bijolia that the agreement of 1922 had been violated by the jagirdar. The peasants also complained that taxes on unirrigated lands were very high and jagirauthorities were interfering in the affairs of the Bijolia Kisan Panchayat.
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