Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Unsung Heroes Detail

Chamaru Parida

Bargarh, Odisha

August 05, 2022

Chamaru Parida hailed from Panimara village of Bargarh district and was born there on 27 July 1912. As he was born in a poor family he could study only up to class V and became a teacher in the village school to support his family. But the slavery and poverty of India very much agitated him during this time. After coming in contact with Laxminarayan Mishra, Dibya KishoreBabu, and Dayanand Satpathy he decided to join the freedom struggle after resigning from the teaching job. He joined Congress and obtained training from the Seva Dal.

He was arrested in 1940 after performing individual satyagraha and sentenced to six months imprisonment and a penalty of twenty-five rupees.

He took the lead for a mass upheaval in 1942. His village had a unique distinction of contributing as many as 32 freedom fighters during the Quit India Movement. All of them were common men but possessed the extraordinary spirit of self-sacrifice for the nation. Popularly known as Ahimsa-Tirtha or pilgrimage of non-violence the villagers raised their voices against the British Government at different times. They were not so educated and rich except for a few. But the spirit of Swaraj in the country touched their heart and they joined the quit India movement under Parida. Their struggle was not only for political freedom but also for moral progress, social justice, abolition of blind beliefs, a boycott of foreign goods, abolition of untouchability, prohibition of liquor, etc.

In 1937 this village was once visited by revolutionary poet Divya Kishore who inspired its people to join the freedom struggle. In 1942, forty-two persons under the leadership of ChamaruParida and Bhagirathi Pattnaik were selected to participate in the movement but ten were not considered as they were minor. They all of sudden captured the court in Bargarh where Chamaru, sitting in the judge’s seat conducted mock proceedings. He asserted to the people in the courtroom that as they have captured the court, India was free and the petitioners should address all petitions to Mahatma Gandhi instead of to Raj. Saying this he returned the petitions to the petitioners. While the farce in the courtroom was going on some of Chamaru’s satyagrahis went to the local market to destroy British goods. There was so much anti-British feeling that it cut across all lines. From landless labourers to school teachers all joined the demonstration and read out quit India call after which they were arrested. This incident had so frightened the police that at least 200 policemen camped near the village which was an unprecedented high number to terrorize the villagers of Panimara.

After Quit India Movement Chamaru also participated in the Prajamandal Movement which was organized in Binka. He also organized the temple entry movement in Panimara and led a march of 400 Dalits to the Jagannath temple amidst strong opposition by the high caste in the village. His movement against foreign cloth was also successful in the village as the satyagrahis wore only khadi. They used to spin thread and weave khadi. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi had captured the heart of the villagers to such an extent that when he was assassinated in 1948, many villagers shaved their heads. Until now they pray in the temple in every Friday, the day of Gandhi’s assassination. Chamaru died at the age of 97.