Essay on the Prajamandal Movement and Indian National Congress

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The policy and programme of the congress party contributed to Praja Mandal Movement. The Gadnhian Movemnt of Non Court-operation, Civil disobideince movement, role of Congree in the organisation of All India States People’s Conference and declared objective to be involved in States People’s Movement in the Tripuri Congress session provided the moral booster to Prja Mandal Movemnt.

In Orissa the Congress leaders became instrumental in organisation of State People’s Conference in 1937 to enquire into the condition of the states was reonstituted in 1938 with H.K. Mahatab, Member of the congress working committee this chairman.

The installation of popular congress ministry in Orissa in July, 1937 inspired the people of feudatory states to carry on their crusade against the despotic rulers. The congress leaders because of legal injuction could not particpate in the movement of the States openly but they extended great moral support and much valuable indirect help to the movement.

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The premier Biswanath Das issued an appeal to the rulers of the States on 12th November 1938 and urged upon them to accept the legitimate demands of the people and thus to restore peace and tranquility in their domain. Congress ministry in Orissa released few rebels of the State who were in provincila jail of Cuttack.

The bloody incident of Ranpur and mass exodus of oppressed people of Talcher drew sharp reaction of Mahatma Gandhi.

The plight of the people of feudatory states reflected in the enquiry report of Orissa State Committee was presented to Lord Linlithgow, the Voceroy who came to Orissa in the first week of August, 1939. The Viceroy discussed the matter with the congress ministry. Thus the congress party actively co-operated the Praja Mandal agitation of Orissa states and gained popular esteem.

Result:

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The story of Praja Mandal Movement is the story of heroic democratic struggle of the people of garjat states against the despostism of their chiefs.

The movement forcefully highlighted the psuchological torture of the people as an offshoot of political, social, economic and cultural exploitation. It brought about a new awakening among the people and provided the necessary strength to fight.

The weekly official report, dated 23rd January, 1939, pointed out, “whatever action may be taken in British India to curb these activities, and it seems that the agitation of the people inside the States will not be allowed to dwindle.” The Movement of the oppressed people of the Garjat states not only exposed the sorry state of affairs within but also provided warning to the very existe of feudal chiefs.

The Praja Mandal Movement nakedly exposed the character of feudal polity and prepared the ground for integration of princely states. Thus the people’s movement in the Garjat states was the reflection of inner desire of the people to merge into the main stream of the nation’s political, social, economic and cultural life.

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