What’s in the news?
- President Droupadi Murmu is set to participate in the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of legendary freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju.
- Alluri Sitarama Raju was an Indian revolutionary who waged an armed campaign against British colonial rule in India.
- Born in present-day Andhra Pradesh in 1897, Alluri Raju became involved in anti-British activities in response to the 1882 Madras Forest Act, which effectively restricted the free movement of tribal communities in their forest habitats and prevented them from practicing a traditional form of agriculture known as podu (shifting cultivation).
- He is famously remembered for leading the “Rampa rebellion” or “Manyam Rebellion”, in 1922-24 in the Visakhapatnam-Godavari agency area of the then Madras Presidency. He was nicknamed “Manyam Veerudu” (Hero of the Jungle) by local villagers for his heroic exploits.
- Alluri Raju, along with 500 tribals, attacked the police stations of Chintapalli, Krishnadevipeta, and Rajavommangi and walked away with 26 police carbine rifles and 2,500 rounds of ammunition.
- The Rampa Rebellion coincided with Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement. Raju talked of the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi, and he was inspired by the Non-Cooperation Movement, and persuaded people to wear khadi and give up drinking. But at the same time, he asserted that India could be liberated only by the use of force, not non-violence.
- Sitarama Raju did not belong to the tribal community but understood the restrictions that the British colonial administration placed on the tribal way of life. Forced labour, embargoes on collecting minor forest produce and bans on tribal agriculture practices led to severe distress among the Koyas of the Godavari Agency area.
- In 1924, Raju was taken into police custody, tied to a tree, and shot by public execution, effectively ending the armed rebellion.