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Jharkhand is one of the newly formed states of India, carved out of south Bihar in the year 2000. Describe the social movement that led to the creation of this state.

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The social movement for Jharkhand had a charismatic leader in Birsa Munda, an adivasi who led a major uprising against the British.

Literate adivasis began to research and write about their history and myths. They documented disseminated information about tribal customs and cultural practices. This helped create a unified ethnic consciousness and a shared identity as Jharkhandis.

Literate adivasis were also in a position to get government jobs so that, over time, a middle-class adivasi intellectual leadership emerged that formulated the demand for a separate state and lobbied for it in India and abroad.

Within south Bihar, adivasis shared a common hatred of dikus – migrant traders and moneylenders who had settled in the area and grabbed its wealth, impoverishing the original residents.

Adivasi experiences of marginalisation and their sense of injustice were mobilised to create a shared Jharkhandi identity and inspire collective action that eventually led to the formation of a separate state.

The issues against which the leaders of the movement in Jharkand agitated were: acquisition of land for large irrigation projects and firing ranges; survey and settlement operations, which were held up, camps closed down, etc., collection of loans, rent and cooperative dues, which were resisted; and nationalisation of forest produce which they boycotted.