The Santhals of Santhal Pargana raised the banner of revolt in 1855 under the leadership of Kanu and Sidhu. The Santhals were generally peace-loving people who worked under primitive agricultural conditions. The simple and peaceful life of the Santhals was disturbed by the effects of the alien civilisation. Besides, the contractors, money-lenders, revenue-collectors and other agencies exercised a variety of tyrannies upon the timid Santhal tribesmen.
Redressal of the grievances through the machinery of law being of no avail the Santhals themselves took up arms against the oppressors. Under the leadership of Sidhu and his elder brother Kanu of Bhavnadihi, about ten thousand Santhals armed with primitive weapons rose in revolt in 1855. The Santhal rebellion for some months swept the British rule out of existence in the region.