Short Note on Bhil Revolt

The Bhills were primitive and predatory tribes living in settlement scattered in the western Maharashtra. Khandesh was the stronghold of the Bhills. They controlled the mountain passes between the north and the south. In countryside they were cultivators. However in hilly region, they carried on plunder of the rich landlords. They had suffered exploitation at the hand of British. The British occupied the Khandesh in 1818. This increased the suspicion in the minds of the Bhills. So they took shelter in hilly region of Satpuda and carried their activities from there. The Satpuda region became the base of their military operations.

In 1817 the Bhills rebelled against the British. Economic distress, famine and the ill governance of the British led them to the uprising. It was suspected that this uprising was caused at the instigation of Trimbakji Dengle, the noble of Peshwa Bajirao II. When British pressurized Bajirao to arrest Trimbakji, the Bhills turned anti British and revolted against them. The British succeeded in suppressing the Bhills rising by military actions and by conciliatory approach. Bhill uprising in 1819 led to the devastation of neighboring region. The British adopted brutal method to uproot Bhills. Their settlement of Bhills was destroyed and many of them killed. Then also many Bhills continued their struggle. Taking advantage of the British reverse in Burmese war in 1825 the Bhills again rebelled. They challenged British authority from time to time. The British policy of suppression and conciliation seemed to pacify them at last. But it took too much time.

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