Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Kuka Revolt of Punjab

Initially started as a religious movement with a view to reforming the Sikh religion by purging it of the degenerate features, Kuka movement, founded in 1840 in the Western Punjab, turned into a political struggle against the British. The founder of Kuka movement was  Bhagat Jawahar Mal.  

Popularly known as Sian Saheb, Bhagat Jawahar Mal and his disciple, Balak Singh, gathered around them a band of followers and made Hazro in NWFP their headquarters. The Kuka movement sought to abolish the caste system in the Sikhism and create a society based on equality. It advocated woman’s freedom and abstinence from alcohol and drugs and discouraged non-vegetarianism.

Alarmed at the growing popularity of the movement, the British took several measures to crush the Kuka revolt between 1863-1872. Ram Singh, one of the famous leaders of the Kuka movement, gave a call to his followers for boycott of British goods, government schools and government posts. Known to his followers as Satguru, he was deported by the British to Burma where he died in 1885.

The Kuka Revolt also came to be known as Namdhari Movement. 

In 2012 Government of India released a commemorative Rs 100 coin on completion of 150 years of Kuka Movement.

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