Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Laxman Nayak

2nd November, 1899 - 29th March 1943

Laxman Nayak, a folk-hero of Orissa and a cult-figure among its tribals, was born on 22nd November, 1899 in Tentuliguma village of Koraput district and his father padlam Nayak was a tribal chieftain and 'Mustadar' under 'Jeypore Samasthanam' in the then Madras Presidency.
The local administration worked as an ant of the British Government. The tribals under this administration were treated like children of a lesser God and where subjected to top inhuman torture and performed even by petty revenue officials, forest guides and police constables.laxman nayak organised the tribals against exploitation by the officials of Jeypore Samasthanam and its British masters successfully. This brought him recognition as a potential tribal leader and the National Congress admitted Laxman nayak into its fold. During the course of his training in Naupuri training centre for Congress workers, Laxman Nayak had the opportunity to meet and interact with several Zonal and State level leaders and get a chance to broaden his horizons. This taining inculcated in him a spirit for Nationalism and indoctrinated him with the Gandhian principles of truth, nonviolence and peaceful non-cooperation with the British Government. He carried a Charkha, with the message of adult education and abstinence form alcohol to every tribal household of his area and brought about a total change in the rural scenario. He became the Chef de Mission in the Congress campaign in the Malkangiri Sub-division during the first ever election 1936.
Howerver, greater things were in store for him. Responding to the call of Mahatma Gandhi, laxman Nayak led a procession on 21st August 1942 an demonstrated peacefully in front of Mythili Police Station . But the police fired at the demonstrators indiscriminately.which claimed forty lives and more than two hundred were injured. But the administration further falsely implicated Laxman nayak in a case of murder and the death sentence was pronounced on him on 13th November, 1942.He was hanged to death on 29th March 1943 in Berharmpur Jail.
Nayak in Oriya means chief of a tribe, a leader and a hero. Laxman Nayak was all these and much more.

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