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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

remembering Rampa Rebellion and Alluri Sitarama Raju garu !!

Vishakhapatnam (Vizag / Waltair) is a famous place, a good tourist spot surrounded by majestic Eastern ghats and Bay of Bengal – nearer lies a place called Chintapalli, a lush green town that attracts tourists.   It  has an average elevation of 839 meters (2755 feet). It is 132 km from Visakhapatnam and is deep in dense forest .. .. not about the tourist attraction but its historic relevance exactly 100 years ago ! 

Likely  you have  heard and  watched this song – Komuram Bheemudo !!  


కొమురం భీముడో, కొమురం భీముడో !!  కొర్రాసు నెగడోలే, మండాలి కొడుకో


Komuram Bheemudo !  Komuram Bheemudo !!

Korraasu Negadole ! Mandaali Koduko!!  Mandaali Koduko


You may wish to hear this song from RR again :

The song   "Telugu Veera levara " – written by Sri Sri and sung by Ghantasala, V. Ramakrishna won the National Film award for best lyrics in 1974; the movie ran for 175 days and grossed more than a crore !!   it was  Alluri Seetharama Raju (1974), featuring actor Krishna, depicting Alluri's life.  

In 1920, British governor Scott and his wife visit Adilabad forest, and forcefully take away Malli, a talented girl from the Gond tribe to Delhi. To rescue the girl, the tribe's protector Komaram Bheem arrives in Delhi with his men. They capture a wild tiger in the forests to aid their mission. The Nizam of Hyderabad warns Scott's officer about Bheem's mission.  .. .. it is a rage – “RRR” – Telegu film of SS Rajamouli made waves.   The film starring Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan& others, is story about two Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Rama Rao), who fought against the British Raj and Nizam of Hyderabad respectively. With ₹240 crore worldwide on its first day, RRR broke the record for the highest opening-day collection earned by an Indian film.

Alluri Sitarama Raju (4th July 1898  – 7 May 1924) was a great  revolutionary involved in the Indian independence movement. After the passing of the 1882 Madras Forest Act, its restrictions on the free movement of tribal people in the forest prevented them from engaging in their traditional podu agricultural system, which involved shifting cultivation. Alluri led the Rampa Rebellion of 1922, during which a band of tribal people and other sympathisers fought in the border areas of the East Godavari and Visakhapatnam regions of Madras Presidency, in present-day Andhra Pradesh, against the British Raj, which had passed the law. He was referred to as "Manyam Veerudu" (transl.'Hero of the Jungle') by the local villagers.

Alluri Sitarama Raju was born in Pandrangi village in Padmanabham mandal in the Visakhapatnam district.  This  lies in the Bheemunipatnam legislative assembly constituency.    Alluri harnessed the discontent of the tribal people to support his anti-colonial zeal, whilst also accommodating the grievances of those muttadars.  The armed rebellion began in August when Alluri led 500 people and raided  police stations at Chintapalle, Krishna Devi Peta and Rajavommangi, from which he gained possession of guns and ammunition. He subsequently toured the area, getting more recruits and killing a member of a British police force that had been sent to find him. The British struggled in their pursuit, in part because of the unfamiliar terrain and also because the local people in this sparsely populated area were unwilling to betray Alluri.     Alluri ambushed a police party from a high position as they went through the Dammanapalli Ghat, killing two officers and cementing his reputation among the people. Alluri was eventually trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalle. He was tied to a tree and shot dead in Koyyuru Village


Union Ministers Arjun Munda and Kishan Reddy  recalled the greatness of freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju and his contributions to the nation’s well-being  in the celebrations marking the Rampa Revolt Centenary held at Chintapalli in ASR district on Monday.  "We are celebrating Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav. It is time to thank the great freedom fighters like Alluri Sitarama Raju for the sacrifices they made,’’ Munda said.  He said he felt like celebrating the event in his home village, which looked similar to Chintapalli and where the great freedom fighter Birsha Munda was born.  Suggesting the state government to introduce archery classes in the tribal welfare residential schools, the minister said that since 2014, as many as 740 tribal welfare residential schools have been started across the country. For this, the central government has been spending Rs.38 crore annually.  He appealed to the government to protect Adivasis from natural calamities and increase the payment to them for their forest produce, to ensure a better living for them.  Tourism minister Kishan Reddy said Alluri Sitarma Raju left a great legacy. The youngsters should imbibe his values to lead a meaningful life. “We feel proud that Sitarama Raju was born a Telugu and he confronted the might of the British Empire with the help of a set of adivasis.’’  He said the 125th birth anniversary of  Alluri Sitarama Raju would be celebrated in Bangalore and New Delhi. 

Thousands of people from across the ASR district attended the celebrations. Events showcasing tribal culture were the highlights. The renovated Chintapalli police station was inaugurated on the occasion. 

To recap the history in 1879 there was Rampa rebellion (now known as 1st Rampa rebellion)  an insurrection by the hill tribes in the Rampa region of the Vizagapatam Hill Tracts Agency of Vizagapatam District against the British government of the Madras Presidency.   The hill tracts of Vishakhapatanam were inhabited by Telegu and Oidya speaking  hill tribes   but to make matters worse, the Madras government introduced a law making toddy tapping illegal and introducing a toddy tax.  The rebellion started in March 1879 when the hill tribes of Rampa made attacks on police stations in Chodavaram taluk. Soon, the rebellion spread to the Golconda hills of Vishagapatam and Bhadrachalam taluk.   The Madras government  sent six regiments of Madras infantry, a squadron of Madras cavalry, two companies of sappers and miners and an infantry regiment from the Hyderabad army. The rebellion was eventually suppressed and a large number of revolutionaries were sent to the Andaman Jail. 

A few decades later (exactly 100 years ago occurred) Rampa Rebellion  also known as the Manyam Rebellion, a tribal uprising led by Alluri Sitarama Raju in Godavari Agency of Madras Presidency, British India. It began in August 1922 and lasted until the capture and killing of Raju in May 1924. 

Nation remembers its proud sons, freedom fighters and extols their glory for the younger generation to learn. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Aug 2022.



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