Jaipal Singh Munda was a supreme leader of the Indian tribal and Jharkhand movement.
He was a renowned politician, journalist, writer, editor, educationist and the only international hockey player to be awarded the title of 'Oxford Blue' in 1925. Under his captaincy, India won its first gold medal in the 1928 Olympics.
Jaipal Singh was from the Munda tribe of Chhota Nagpur (now Jharkhand). He attended St. John's College, Oxford, with the assistance of missionaries.
He possessed exceptional talent. Aside from studies, he made a name for himself in athletics, particularly hockey, and in debate.
Hockey team captain
He got chosen for the Indian Civil Service (ICS). His ICS training paid off when he was named captain of the Indian squad that won the first gold medal in Olympic hockey in 1928 in Amsterdam.
When he returned, he was ordered to go through another year of ICS training, which he declined.
He wrote a letter to the then-Bihar Congress President, Dr Rajendra Prasad, expressing his desire to contribute to the state's education sector. He did not, however, receive a favourable response. Jaipal visited Patna and Ranchi in the last month of 1938. Seeing the awful situation of the tribals during this journey, he decided to enter politics.
President of Adivasi Mahasabha
In January 1938, he was elected president of the Adivasi Mahasabha, which advocated for the separation of Jharkhand from Bihar. Following this, Jaipal Singh became the country's voice for indigenous rights.
Elected as an independent candidate to the Constituent Assembly, he was one of the few voices speaking out on behalf of India's indigenous minority at the time.
In his talks, he said that the community was the "original inhabitants" of India, who had long been exploited and dispossessed by outsiders.
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