- A section of historians in Kerala disputed the Centre’s move to announce Odisha’s 1817 Paika Rebellion as the “First War of Independence”, saying various uprisings against foreign powers had occurred in the southern State much before it, but never got due recognition.
- They said the coastal State had witnessed a number of minor and major struggles against foreign powers even before the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, which has so far been regarded as the first war of Indian Independence.
- A few among the historians wanted the tag of first war of independence for “Attingal Revolt”, an agitation by locals in the then princely State of Venad against the English East India Company in 1721 over the latter’s arrogant approach and unjust measures that they tried to implement in the land.
- As many as 133 English East India Company soldiers were killed during the revolt which according to State historians, was the first organised uprising against the foreign powers in the country.
- The struggles led by legendary king of Malabar, Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja who locked horns with the British during the period 1795-1805, the strike by Nair Brigade in Travancore in 1804 and the agitation led by Travancore diwan (prime minister) Veluthambi Dalawa in 1809 were some of the uprisings against foreign powers witnessed by the State.
- The fight of 16th century naval captain Kunjali Marakkar against the Portuguese forces was also prominent among them, they added.
- History Protection Council, a State-based outfit, is planning to submit a memorandum to the State government to press the Centre to declare the “Attingal Revolt” as the first freedom struggle of the country instead of Paika Bidroha.
- According to historians, Paikas, the peasant militia under the Gajapati rulers of Odisha who rendered military service to the king during the times of war, had rebelled against the British rule under the leadership of Baxi Jagandhu Bidyadhara as early as 1817.