Alluri Sitarama Raju

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Alluri Sitarama Raju
Alluri Sita Rama Raju statue.jpg
Born 1898
Bhimunipatnam taluk, Visakhapatnam district
Died 7 May 1924(1924-05-07) (aged 26)
Mampa village in the Visakhapatnam District
Cause of death Shooting
Resting place Krishna DEvi Peta village, Visakhapatnam district
Known for "Rampa Rebellion" of 1922–24

Alluri Sitarama Raju was an Indian revolutionary involved in the Indian independence movement. Raju led the "Rampa Rebellion" of 1922–24, during which a band of tribal leaders and other sympathisers fought against the British Raj. He was referred to as "Manyam Veerudu" ("Hero of the Jungles") by the local people. After the passing of the 1882 Madras Forest Act, its restrictions on the free movement of tribal peoples in the forest prevented them from engaging in their traditional Podu agricultural system, which involved shifting cultivation. Raju led a protest movement in the border areas of the East Godavari and Visakhapatnam regions of Madras Presidency, in present-day Andhra Pradesh.

Inspired by the patriotic zeal of revolutionaries in Bengal, Raju raided police stations in and around Chintapalle, Rampachodavaram, Dammanapalli, Krishna Devi Peta, Rajavommangi, Addateegala, Narsipatnam and Annavaram. Raju and his followers stole guns and ammunition and killed several British army officers, including Scott Coward near Dammanapalli. Raju was eventually trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalli, then tied to a tree and was executed with multiple firings in Mampa village. His tomb is in Krishna Devi Peta village.

Life[edit]

Details of Alluri Sitarama Raju's early life vary. An official report suggests that he was born in 1898 in Bhimunipatnam taluk, Visakhapatnam district.[1] The young Raju lived mainly in Mogallu.[2]

Rampa Rebellion of 1922[edit]

After the passing of the 1882 Madras Forest Act, its restrictions on the free movement of tribal peoples in the forest prevented them from engaging in their traditional "Podu" agricultural system, which involved shifting cultivation. Raju led a protest movement in the border areas of the East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh. Inspired by the patriotic zeal of revolutionaries in Bengal, Raju raided police stations in and around Chintapalle, Rampachodavaram, Dammanapalli, Krishna Devi Peta, Rajavommangi, Addateegala, Narsipatnam and Annavaram.[citation needed] Raju and his followers stole guns and ammunition and killed several British army officers, including Scott Coward near Dammanapalli.[3]

In December 1922, the British deployed a company of Assam Rifles, near Pegadapalle under the leadership of Saunders. Raju, who had by then gone underground, resurfaced after about four months and continued the fight, strengthened by tribal volunteers using bows and arrows under the leadership of Gam Mallu Dora and Gantam Dora.[citation needed]

Assassination and Death[edit]

Following a raid led by Raju on the Annavaram police outpost on 18 September 1923, Gam Mallu Dora was arrested. The Government entrusted the task of containing Raju's activities to the District Collector of Visakhapatnam district, Rutherford, who fired the first salvo when his forces arrested Surya Narayana Raju Pericherla, popularly known as Aggiraju, a devoted follower of Raju.[citation needed] The British campaign lasted for nearly a year from December 1922.

Raju was eventually trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalli then tied to a tree and shot dead with a rifle in Mampa village. Police officer N. Gnaneswara Rao was responsible for Raju's entrapment and was awarded the title of Rao Bahadur.[4] Raju's tomb is in Krishna Devi Peta village.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Alluri Statue at Beach road in Visakhapatnam

In 1986 the Indian Postal Department issued a commemorative stamp featuring Raju in the series 'India's struggle for freedom'.[6] The Telugu-language movie Alluri Seetharama Raju depicted Raju's life. Andhra Pradesh is to celebrate his birthday, 4 July, annually as a state festival.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guha, Ranajit (1982). Subaltern studies: writings on South Asian history and society. Oxford University Press. p. 134. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Vi(zag)nettes". The Hindu. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Balakrishna, V.G. "Freedom Movement in Andhra Pradesh". Government of India Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Balakrishna, V.G. "Freedom Movement in Andhra Pradesh". Government of India Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Birth anniversary of Alluri celebrated". 5 July 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Indian Post"
  7. ^ "AP to celebrate 117th birthday of Sri Alluri Sitarama Raju". 2 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Nagaraja, G (23 May 2014). "ASR Stadium to get facelift". The Hindu. Eluru. Retrieved 27 September 2015.