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Declaring Mangarh Hillock as a Monument of National Importance

  • 08 Jul 2022
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

A report by the National Monuments Authority (NMA) called for the Mangarh hilltop in Rajasthan to be designated as a national monument in honor of 1500 Bhil tribal freedom fighters.

What is National Monuments Authority (NMA)?

  • It was established under the Ministry of Culture in accordance with the requirements of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains AMASR (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010.
  • The NMA has been delegated specific tasks for the conservation and preservation of monuments and sites, including control of the banned and restricted areas surrounding centrally designated monuments.
  • One of the NMA's roles is to evaluate granting permits to applicants for construction-related activities in restricted and regulated areas.

What are Monuments of National Importance?

  • National ancient Monuments are defined under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act,1958.
  • The Act defines Ancient Monument as any structure or monument or any cave, rock sculpture, an inscription that is of historical, or archaeological interest.
  • The Central Government is authorised to maintain, protect and promote the monuments.

What is the Background of the Mangarh Hillock?

  • The hillock, situated at the Gujarat-Rajasthan border, is a site of a tribal uprising where a massacre of over 1500 Bhil tribal freedom fighters took place in 1913.
  • The place is also known as the Adivasi Jallianwala, and there has been a demand to build a memorial.
  • On 17th November, 1913, British forces opened fire on tribals gathered at the site who were holding a meeting in protest, led by a leader from the community Govind Guru, killing over 1,500.

What is Bhil Tribe?

  • About:
    • Bhils are commonly referred to as Rajasthan's bowmen. They are India's most widely dispersed tribal communities.
    • As per Census 2011, Bhils are India's largest tribe.  
    • They are broadly classified into two types:
      • Central or pure bhills
      • Eastern or Rajput Bhils.
    • The central Bhils can be found in the mountain regions of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan in India, and also can be found in Tripura's northwestern regions.
    • They are considered as Schedule Tribe in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tripura.
  • Historical Perspective:
    • Bhils are members of the pre-Aryan race.
    • The term 'Bhil' is derived from the word villu or billu, which is known as Bow in the Dravidian language.
    • The name Bhil is also mentioned in the ancient epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Source: PIB

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