On November 16, events to commemorate the martyrdom of Uda Devi, a freedom fighter from the Pasi community, were held at various places in Uttar Pradesh.

 

Who was ‘Uda Devi’?

  • She was born in Ujirao, Lucknow.
  • She was part of the royal guard of Begum Hazrat Mahal of Awadh.
  • Uda Devi is remembered not only for her stories of valour but also for her skill as a leader who managed to mobilise people — specially Dalit women — to take up arms against the British.
  • On November 16, 1857, Uda Devi was among the soldiers who clashed with the British regiment stationed near the Gomti River.
  • She formed an all-women battalion, today called the Dalit Veeranganas, to take part in armed uprisings against the British.
  • Devi belonged to the Pasi community, which was labelled a ‘criminal caste’ by the British administration under the Criminal Tributes Act, 1871.

 

About Pasis

Pasis are traditionally pig-herders and toddy tappers and were listed as the second-largest Dalit group in Uttar Pradesh after the 2001 census.