Published on: August 17, 2021
What is in news : The struggle for independence in coastal Karnataka , especially Peasant uprisings which was referred to as KOOTS by britishers was remembered in the eve of independence
- Peasant uprisings, which the British called “Koots”, that broke out against the East India Company in the coastal belt during 1830-31, reached the stage of an armed struggle in 1837.
- The revolt by peasants was not related to the freedom movement, though, but against the high land revenue (tax) assessment and the absence of a lucrative market for farm produce. But it did motivate people to join the freedom movement after 1850
- Political consciousness of the peasants had to be shaped from the intelligentsia, which acted as a catalyst in bringing radical ideas to them
- The peasants were mainly agitated over the company for introducing a system that mandated that taxes should be paid only in cash and not in kind
- Revolutionaries lowered the British flag at Bavutagudda, now in the heart of Mangaluru, on April 5, 1837, and hoisted their own flag. It had made the then Collector in Mangalore, Lurve, summon British soldiers from Bombay, Dharwad, Belgaum, and Harihara to suppress the revolt, which was short-lived. Some leaders captured by the British soldiers were later hanged, a few were put under life imprisonment, and some deported.
- The peasants had captured Mangalore for 13 days. They had ransacked the administrative offices under the Company in Mangaluru, Puttur, and Sullia.
- The impact of the first freedom struggle in 1857 even reflected in the coastal belt, with some people who revolted against the British in 1858 making Darshani Gudda, in Supa taluk of Uttara Kannada (which was part of the then Canara District), a centre of their activity or launch pad.
- The British divided the Canara District, which was under the Bombay Presidency, on April 16, 1862, as North Canara and South Canara, retaining North Canara under Bombay Presidency and bringing South Canara under the Madras Presidency. Some historians believe that it was to curb the continued revolts against the Company, especially in the North Canara region. (Udupi district was carved out of Dakshina Kannada on August 25, 1997).
- Salt Satyagraha of 1930-It took place in Ankola, Mangalore, Padubidri, Kundapura, Malpe, Mulki, and Kasaragod.
- A mass procession at Ankola on April 13, 1930, had attracted people from the princely Mysore area, Hubli, Belgaum, Mangalore and the like. Many volunteers came by foot. The coastal belt actively took part in the freedom struggle later in the 1940 individual civil disobedience movement, the Quit India Movement in 1941, and in the celebration of Independence on Nehru Maidan in 1947