aim—restoration of Sikh sovereignty in Punjab by driving the British away.
It was founded by Bhagat Jawhar Mal, popularly known as Sian Sahib, in
western Punjab in the forties of the 19th century. Jawhar Mal was succeeded
by his disciple, Balak Singh, as the leader of the Kukas. After Balak Singh,
Ram Singh (1863) became the leader of the Kukas. Under Ram Singh, the
political aspect of the movement manifested itself at its best: appointment of
subas and naih subas to organise the sect in different parts of Pubjab;
recruitment of a large number of people (mainly Jats) as members and
imparting of military training to them; destruction of idols and shrines, and
murder of butchers of cows by the Kukas, bringing them into open conflict
with the British authorities; open revolt of a group of Kukas and their attack
on Malaudh and Kotla killing 10 people; surrender of 68 Kukas to the British
and execution of all of them (49 of them were executed without trial by Mr.
Cowan, Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, and the rest were tried and
executed) by the British (January, 1872). Ram Singh was held responsible for
the Kuka outbreak of 1872 and was transported to Rangoon where he died in
1885. Kukas recognised Guru Gobind Singh as the only true Guru of the
Sikhs. Their religious reforms included prohibition of all worship, abolition
of caste and of restrictions on intermarriage, abstinence from meat, liquors
and drugs, and comparatively free intercourse between the sexes.
Main Causes for Tribal Revolts or Movements
The main causes for the tribal movements were:
Resentment of the tribals against extension of British rule to their areas, e.g.
Revolts of Chuars (1768), Bhils (1818–48), Hos (1820–22), Khasis (1829–
32), Singphos (1830), etc.
Their resentment against penetration of their areas by outsiders from the
plains such as moneylenders, traders, contractors, etc., and against the
protection given to these outsiders by the British government, e.g. Revolts of
Bhils (1818–48), Hos (1832), Khasis (1829–32), Koyas, Santhals (1855–56),
Munpas (1899–1900), etc.
Their resentment against the tightening of control by the British over forest
zones for revenue purposes, e.g. Revolts of Thadoe Kukis (1917), Oraons
(1914), Chenchus (1921–22), etc.