Kuka Movement included in anniversary celebrations of 1857 Revolt

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New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) The government today said it had included the Kuka Movement in the suggested list of events that would feature in the 150th anniversary of the First War of the Independence, being observed during the commemoration year 2007-08.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), which vetted the list of events, had given the date of the Kuka Movement as April 20, 1872.

Ms Soni said the suggested list had been circulated to all state and Union Territory governments for organising functions in association with all sections of the society.

The venue of the event is Delhi and the Delhi Government is to take further action.

She said the Centre had also released an amount of Rs one crore for the raising of Kuka Martyrs Memorial at Malerkotla during 2007-08.

The Kuka Movement marked the first major reaction of the people in Punjab to the new political order initiated by the British after 1849. The Namdhari Movement of which the Kuka Movement was the most important phase aimed at the overthrow of the British rule.

Ram Singh, who became its leader in 1863, gave military training to his followers. A clash between the Kukas and the British Government occurred over the question of slaughter of cows.

It started with murderous attacks on butchers of Amritsar and Raikot (Ludhiana district) in 1871 and culminated in the Kuka raid on Malerkotla on January 15, 1872.

The Kuka outbreak of 1872 was visited by terrible punishment, which was equalled in brutality by few events in Indian history.

A large number of Kuka prisoners were blown to death with cannons while their leader Ram Singh was deported to Rangoon.

UNI/SKS BST1642

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