Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF), Bangladesh Kishani Sabha (BKS) and Bangladesh Adivashi Samity (BAS) took the initiative and 11 other indigenous organisations from greater Dinajpur region came together to fight for their fundamental rights. Constitutional recognition of the indigenous communities, forming an independent land commission to ensure the land rights of the indigenous citizens and taking the proper initiative to stop land grabbing of the Adivasis are the key demands. Bangladesh Adivasi Mukti Morcha, Dinajpur Oraon Youth Club, Dinajpur Adivashi Samaj Unnyon Somity, Northern Adivashi Cultural Coalition, Northern Adivashi Student Coalition (NASU), Adivashi Student Parishad, Bangladesh Minority Watch Dinajpur Chapter, Oraon Shisu-Kishor Theatre, Santal Student Union (SASU), Adivashi Chatro Sangathone Habiprobi and Dinajpur Adivashi Foram now active with the BKF, BKS and BAS campaigns for indigenous and peasants rights.
On the 7th of July 2018, BKF, BKS, BAS and other eleven organisations jointly observed historical Santal peasant revolt day in Dinajpur. It was 1855; Santal uprising was against ruthless exploitation of the British colonial rule. On 30th June 1855, a large number of Santals assembled in a field in Bhagnadihi village of Santal Paragana (present Jharkhand, India). They declared themselves as free and took oath under the leadership of Sido Murmu and Kanhu Murmu to fight to the last against the British rulers as well as their agents.
Militant mood of the Santals frightened the authority. A Police agent confronted them on the 7th July and tried to place the Murmu brothers under arrest. The angry crowd reacted violently and killed the Police agent and his companions. The event sparked off a series of confrontations with the Company's Army and subsequently reached the scale of a full-fledged war.
At the outset, Santal rebels, led by Sido and Kanhu, made tremendous gains and captured control over a large tract of the country extending from Rajmahal hills in Bhagalpur district to Sainthia in Birbhum district. However, the rebels could not hold on to their gains due to the superior fire power of the East India Company which was soon aimed heavily at them. Out of 50,000 Santal rebels, 15,000 -20,000 were killed by the British Indian Army. The Company was finally able to suppress the rebellion in 1856, though some outbreaks continued till 1857.
The Santal revolt had a long-lasting impact. Santal Parganas Tenancy Act was the outcome of this struggle, which dished out some sort of protection to the indigenous people from the ruthless colonial exploitation. A Santal territory (Jharkhand) was born. The regular police were abolished and the duty of keeping peace and order and arresting criminals was vested in the hands of parganait and village headman.
Even today Santal revolt is inspiring the indigenous communities and all other agricultural communities to build strong campaigns to get all the rights. In Dinajpur, 11 more organisations raise their hands to support and join with the BKF, BKS, BAS campaigns on the basis of the Santal revolt day inspiration as well.
BAS president Sree Bisawnath Singh presided over the meeting in the Dinajpur press club. In the meeting BAS adviser Arif Khan Yousuf Zai was present as a chief guest, whereas Rangpur divisional Hindu Federation leader Kamol Kantha Karmakar, Minority Watch Dinajpur chapter leader Shyamal Banarjhi, Mikhail Tudu, Rima Rebeka Murmu, Gaibandha District BRAC manager Bidhan Baskey, news editor of Daily Janamath Latifur Rahman, Minoti Oraon and Dr Aziz were present as special guests. In the meeting, speakers were vowed to keep the coalition strength and intensify the campaign to preserve the indigenous rights as well as peasant rights. After the meeting, a big procession rounds the different streets of Dinajpur city.