|The Fakir-Sanyasi re bellion, 1770www.printsasia.com|
Sanyasi rebellion was an early war for India's independence from foreign rule and the affected areas included Murshidabad and Baikunthupur forests of Jalpaiguri, in West Bengal. This rebellion, neither a saintly nor a patriotic movement, was more focused on the interference of religious freedom of the monks and fakirs. The holy men both Hindus and Muslim wanted to pursue their way of survival which they had been practising for centuries and be left alone.
Under the new administration, the colonial rulers hiked the taxes and forced the landlords/Zamindars to pay revised taxes. Landlords had to cough up a major part of their income to pay taxes etc., failing of which may result in penalty or loss of lands. Besides, after paying a big chunk of money toward taxes, they were left with meagre income to take care of their personal need. Situation was so bad, they could not stretch their income and found it tough to make both ends meet. Literally, affluent landlords now began to fall on on hard time. With their poor income, they were unable to pay money to the Sanyasis and fakirs who were on pilgrimage. Landlords financial constraints impacted the holy men because they could not undertake trips to holy places due to lack of funds. The colonial rulers forced them to pay taxes which they refused to pay and registered their protest.
The holy men received money from the landlords, et al for several reasons. The money collected at various places was not meant for their personal gains. They sincerely used part of the money to finance trips to various holy places only. Part of the money was used by them to conduct daily prayers and to meet other incidental expenses such as food, etc., on the temple premises. Rest of the money would be given to various shrines, etc., for their religious activities, prayers and temple rituals. Part of the money went for free meals given to the hungry pilgrims who had arrived at the shrine after a day long walk.. So, there was no cheating and personal gain from the collection of public money.
|Indian Politics .Dart board? rootsredindia.blogspot.com|
A note on Sanyasis:
A true Sanyasi gets up in the early morning and does his religious duties with care and reverence without fail.
Some of the zombie-like Sanyasis that you would have seen in Kumbha Mela are not sanyasis or monks in the true sense. A true sanyasi does not go around naked, smear ashes all over his body and smoke hashish or grass and be a nuisance to the people and the public. Such people as we see at the Kumbha Mela are just hobos and the police are unable to come down heavily on them.