Video | Disaibon Hul – An Adivaani book on the 1855 Santal ‘Hul’ Rebellion – Jharkhand

The Hul was a valiant effort of the Santal people to free themselves from the oppressive powers of the landlords, moneylenders and the British crown. More than 150 years after the epic struggle of our warriors led by Sido and Kanhu Murmu, we want to honour their sacrifice by retelling the story of their gallantry to our children. A lot has changed since 1855, yet we are not the masters of our lives and destinies. Remembering the Hul will help us engage with our past and reinterpret its meaning for our present and future. It’s up to us to keep the spirit of the rebellion and its relevance alive! – Santal writer and publisher Ruby Hembrom (2014)

Among the causes of the rising were: the grasping and rapacious manner of merchants and moneylenders in their transactions with the  Santals, the misery caused by the iniquitous system of allowing personal and hereditary bondage for debt, the unparalleled corruption and extortion of the police in aiding and abetting the moneylenders, and the impossibility of the  Santals  obtaining redress from the courts. – Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf in Tribes of India: The Struggle for Survival. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982, pp. 36-37 | Read more >>

Watch a film produced on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Santal Hul [“Santal revolution” of 1855-56] >>

About the creators of this book

Ruby Hembrom, a Santal, is the founder-director of adivaani, an archiving outfit of, by and for Adivasis. She is the writer of adivaani’s Santal Creation Stories for children, a recast of the Santal Creation myths in English.

Saheb Ram Tudu, a Santal, is an artist, illustrator, animation filmmaker and sculptor with degrees from the Banares Hindu University and the National Institute of Design. He has won 4 national and 2 international awards for his animations. He is also a published poet.

Music credits: Santal festival organized by Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust in Santiniketan in February 2012 (recording by Ludwig Pesch).

Book cover: Disaibon Hul © >>
Hul (Santal rebellion 1855-1856) | Santal Parganas | Tribal freedom fighters >>

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