The Paika rebellion of 1817 was a watershed moment in modern Odisha’s history. The people of Odisha welcomed the British Government in order to be liberated from the Marathas’ exploitation. Their aspirations, however, were dashed when they encountered the administrative structure and economic exploitation, the two tentacles of British imperialism. To these miseries were added a flawed land revenue policy, a salt monopoly, the deprivation of local servants by the British administration, and the rulers’ callous attitude toward the ruled, all of which poisoned the minds of the people of Odisha. British rule reached a nadir in its degeneration when Jayi Rajaguru, Raja Mukundadeva 11 of Khurda’s indomitable minister, was hanged and the estate of Khurda was permanently confiscated. The British authority’s direct management of Khurda from 1805 enraged the indigenous people and laid the groundwork for an armed rebellion by the Paikas in 1817, led by the Raja of Khurda’s commander, Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mahapatra Bhramarabara Ray. This uprising is referred to as the Paik rebellion.
The Paika rebellion of 1817 shook the British government to its core. A two-member committee was appointed to investigate the causes and propose remedies for the rebellion. Impey, the Cuttack Magistrate, and his successor Waiter Ewer, along with General Martindell, investigated the causes of such rebellion. According to their assertions, economic factors, judicial maladies, and maladministration were significant causes of people becoming rebellious. The Paika rebellion wrought significant changes in Odisha’s administrative, judicial, economic, and religious life.