Orissa Review * January - 2006

Vir Surendra Sai The Indomitable Hero of Orissa
Braja Paikaray

The heroes who fought against the Britishers to keep the prestige and dignity of Mother India shall be remembered by the countrymen for ever. Vir Surendra Sai who was a great revolutionary has glorified the pages of Indian history for his deep patriotism, rare courage, indomitable spirit and relentless struggle against the foreign rulers. The First War of Independence, better known as the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, broke out all of a sudden. However the rebellion could not be sustained for long. But it was Vir Surendra Sai who could sustain the flame of revolution till 1864 due to his uncommon mental strength and unique guerrilla warfare. Vir Surendra Sai was born on 23rd January 1809 in Chauhan royal family in village Khinda situated at a distance of thirty Kms, on the northern side of Sambalpur town. He had married the daughter of Hatibadi Zamindar of the-then Gangpur state and had become the father of a son named Mitrabhanu Sai and one daughter. In 1827 the King of Sambalpur died issueless and

the British Government installed the widow queen Mohan Kumari on the throne of Sambalpur without caring for the legitimate right of Vir Surendra Sai. Though queen Mo han Kumari was co mpletely unfit for t he managing the St ate Administration, she was appointed as the ruler of Sambalpur as because she could play to the tune of the Britishers. But on the other hand the British rulers had known it pretty well that Vir Surendra Sai was not the person to follow the dictum of t he British Government. The selection of queen Mohan Kumari as the successor of Sambalpur throne irked many Adivasi Zamindars who revolted against the decision of the British Government and it was Vir Surendra Sai who took the leadership of those Zamindars and fought against the foreign rulers to the last drop of his blood. Surendra Sai spent 37 years of his life inside the prison and had fought relentlessly against the Britishers for 20 years i.e. from 1827 to 1840 in the first phase and from 1857 to 1864 in the second phase but had never bowed down his head before the enemies.

Captain Cumberledge conspired with Captain Stewart and Mr. Pleader. and Udanta Sai along with their uncle Balaram Singh were caught and imprisoned at Hazaribag Jail as life convicts with rigorous imprisonment. Fortunately Surendra Sai and his followers escaped from the clutches of the Englishmen. Hence. Though the rebelllion was crushed to some extent it could not be wiped out completely. Bhubaneswar-30 2 . They were taken to Rayapur at the dead hour of the night. Later on Vir Surendra Sai and his family members were sent to Nagpur Jail and finally to Asirgad Fort in the year 1866. Surendra Sai returned to Sambalpur and organised the people to fight against the Britishers. Govt.Orissa Review * January . Jagamara (Barabari). Major Impey treated them with respect and dignity and allowed them to stay at their village Khinda. Once again the rebellion erupted at Sambalpur. He followed the policy of peace instead of war and stopped fighting with Surendra Sai. When the brothers and only son of Vir Surendra Sai surrendered. In the year 1840. the rebellious sepoys forcibly dashed inside the Hazaribag Jail and freed Surendra Sai along with 32 prisoners. In 1837 Surendra Sai. (the Zamindar of Lakhanpur assembled together at Debrigada to decide the future course of action. On 16th May 1862 Surendra Sai met Major Impey inside the dense forest at night and surrendered himself. another battalion of British soldiers rushed to Sambalpur from Hazaribag of Bihar. Bhubaneswar Court and he lives at 342/B. He did not prefer to follow the policy of peace. In 1863 Major Impey expired and after his death the political situation of Sambalpur completely changed. Captain Cumberledge became the Deputy Commissioner of Sambalpur. In 1861 Major Impey was appointed as the Deputy Commissioner of Sambalpur. Khandagiri. Udanta Sai. On 28th February 1884 Vir Surendra Sai breathed his last inside the Asirgad Fort prison. a distant relative of Sambalpur royal family as the ruler of Sambalpur. But unfortunately all of a sudden the British Soldiers reached at the spot and killed Balabhadra Deo mercilessly. the British Government under compulsion of the situation dethroned queen Mohan Kumari and installed Narayan Singh. Braja Paikray is an Addl. He was also allowed to stay in his village. The British Ramgad Battalion stationed at Sambalpur under the command of Captain Higgins could not be able to face Vir Surendra Sai as he was an expert in guerrilla warfare. In place of Major Impey. On 30th July 1857 at the time of Sepoy Mutiny. In 1849 when Narayan Singh expired Vir Surendra Sai was still a prisoner at Hazaribag Jail. Balaram Singh and Balabhadra Deo. In order to crush the rebellion from the bud.2006 'Surendra Sai was an able general whose unique organizing capacity and sound military knowledge had become a constant source of headache for the British rulers. Berryel and ransacked the hide out of Vir Surendra Sai on 23rd January 1864 at midnight while he was asleep with his relatives and made them captives. The mutineers who surrendered themselves were pardoned and their confiscated properties were restored to them. In order to crush the rebellion. Surendra Sai.

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