Pajhota Aandolan – A Movement for Agrarian Reforms in District Sirmaur

By | May 27, 2020

There is much contribution of Sirmaur district, in the development of administration in Himachal. This princely state comes under the influence of National resurgence and people organized to pressurize the feudal administration to make some administrative reforms for the socio-economic growth of the state under ruler jurisdiction.

Praja Mandal in Sirmour was organized during 1935-36 and demanded the ruler to include at least one representative of the Public in the Ministry. But this suggestion was turned down by the ruler and no effective result was achieved.

The Praja Mandal’s Movement was strengthened, when Chaudhary Sherjung elected the President of Praja Mandal of Sirmour. A big momentum was given to the movement when Dr. Y.S. Parmar, Dr. Pattabi Sita Ramayiya addressed the energetic and enthusiastic workers of the Praja Mandal. Thus, with the various peaceful struggles and Movements, the administration of the state also accepted the suggestions of the Praja Mandal workers for holding elections to the State Legislative Body of Sirmour, a princely state which was known as ‘Raj Parishad.’

What is Bhai Do Na Pai Movement? 

The reformists had also started a civil disobedience movement known as ‘Bhai Do Na Pai‘, during the Second World War. This movement refers to not sending young people in war nor giving any type of financial support to the government.

What is the Pajhota Movement of Sirmaur? 

In 1942, there started an important struggle known as the Pajhota Movement in the Pajhota area of Sirmour State. This movement was basically started by the farmers of the area for agrarian reforms. But the movement was suppressed with imposing Martial Law by the ruler because the pressure imposed by the peasants were against the wishes and wills of the feudal rulers.

Shri Surat Singh Vaid was the leader of ‘Pajotha Satyagraha‘. (an extension of ‘Quit India’ Movement).

He launched a relentless struggle against the autocratic rule of the princely ruler of Sirmaur, for which he was given life imprisonment.

The Kisan Sabha of the Sirmour State also established a parallel government in the state just to bring some reforms and to change the attitudes of the ruler. But it was also removed by the authoritarian ruler. Many Praja Mandal workers were arrested and sent to prison. Praja Mandal workers who had been successfully enforcing the rulers to do some reforms on democratic principles could not achieve any distinction in the field. But with the Indian Independence 1947 they apprised the ruler to merge the Sirmour State with Indian Union and Himachal Pradesh.

The role of Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar in this struggle would be remembered by the people of not only of Sirmour but of whole Pradesh.

Read also: History of District Sirmaur

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