Jharkhand suffers from resource curse; It accounts for more than 40% of the mineral resources of India, but it suffers widespread poverty as 39.1 per cent of the population is below the poverty line and 19.6 per cent of the children under five years of age are malnourished. The state is primarily rural, with only 24 per cent of the population living in cities.
According to writers including Gautam Kumar Bera, there was already a distinct geo-political, cultural entity called Jharkhand even before the Magadha Empire. Bera's book (page 33) also refers to the Hindu epic Bhavishya Purana. The tribal rulers, some of whom continue to thrive till today were known as the Munda Rajas, who basically had ownership rights to large farmlands. During the age of Mahajanpadas around 500 BC, India saw the emergence of 16 large states that controlled the entire Indian subcontinent. In those days the Jharkhand state was a part of Magadha, Anga, Banga, Kalinga, Kashi and Vajji.
In 1765, the region came under the control of the British East India Company. The subjugation and colonisation of Jharkhand region by the British East India Company resulted in spontaneous resistance from the local people. Almost one hundred years before Indian Rebellion of 1857, Adivasis of Jharkhand were already beginning what would become a series of repeated revolts against British colonial rule:
The period of revolts of the Adivasis to protect their Jharkhand land took place from 1771 to 1900. The first ever revolt against the landlords and the British government was led by Tilka Manjhi, a Paharia leader in Rajmahal Hills in 1771. He wanted to liberate his people from the clutches of the unscrupulous landlords and restore the lands of their ancestors. The British government sent its troops and crushed the uprisings of Tilka Manjhi. Soon after in 1779, the Bhumij tribes rose in arms against the British rule in Manbhum, now in West Bengal. This was followed by the Chero tribes unrest in Palamau.