Sidhu Murmu and Kanhu Murmu were the leaders of the Santhal rebellion (1855–1856), the native rebellion in present-day Jharkhand in eastern India against both the British colonial authority and the corrupt upper caste zamindari system.
On 30 June 1855, two Santal rebel leaders, Sidhu Murmu and Kanhu Murmu (related as brother) along with Chand and Bairab, mobilized about 10,000 Santals and declared a rebellion against British colonists. The Santals initially gained some success but soon the British found out a new way to tackle these rebels. Instead, they forced them to come out of the forest. In a conclusive battle which followed, the British, equipped with modern firearms and war elephants, stationed themselves at the foot of the hill. When the battle began, the British officer ordered his troops to fire without loading bullets. The Santals, who did not suspect this trap set by the British war strategy, charged with full potential. This step proved to be disastrous for them. As soon as they neared the foot of the hill, the British army attacked with full power and this time they were using bullets. Thereafter, attacking every village of the Santals, they made sure that the last drop of revolutionary spirit was annihilated. Although the revolution was brutally suppressed, it marked a great change in the colonial rule and policy. The day is still celebrated among the Santal community with great respect and spirit for the thousands of the Santal martyrs who sacrificed their lives along with their two celebrated leaders to win independence from the rule of the Jamindars and the British operatives. un suthu is the famous dialog by sindhu and un punda is the famous dialog by kanhu.
Charles Dickens in Household Words wrote-
"There seems also to be a sentiment of honour
among them (Santals); for it is said that they use
poisoned arrows in hunting, but never against their
foes. If this be the case- and we hear nothing of the
poisoned arrows in the recent conflicts,-they are
infinitely more respectable than our civilised enemy
the Russians, who would most likely consider such
forbearance as foolish, and declare that is not
Sido Kanhu Murmu University is named after them. Indian post also issued a ₹ 4 stamp in 2002 honouring them.