Prime Minister unveiled a 30-foot-tall bronze statue of Alluri Sitharama Raju at Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh as the year-long celebrations of the freedom fighter’s 125th birth anniversary.
About Alluri Sitharama Raju
- Raju is believed to have been born in present-day Andhra Pradesh in 1897 or 1898.
- He is said to have become a sanyasi at the age of 18, and gained a mystical aura among the hill and tribal peoples with his austerity, knowledge of astrology and medicine, and his ability to tame wild animals.
- In the early 1900s, he spearheaded a rebellion against the last Nizam of Hyderabad and the oppression of local landowners.
- Nizam is suspected of committing atrocities on unarmed tribals. Furthermore, substantial taxes were charged on crop income, making it difficult for the impoverished to live. Bheem originated the historical slogan ‘Jal Jangal Zameen,’ which has been extensively echoed in Adivasi struggles until this day.
Struggle against British
- channelled the discontent of the hill people in Ganjam, Visakhapatnam, and Godavari into a highly effective guerrilla resistance against the British.
- Colonial rule threatened the tribals’ traditional podu (shifting) cultivation, as the government sought to secure forest lands.
- The Forest Act of 1882 banned the collection of minor forest produce such as roots and leaves, and tribal people were forced into labour for the colonial government.
- While the tribals were subjected to exploitation by muttadars, village headmen commissioned by the colonial government to extract rent, the new laws and systems threatened their way of life itself.
- Strong anti-government sentiment, shared by the muttadars who were aggrieved by the curtailment of their powers by the British, exploded into armed resistance in August 1922.
- Several hundred tribals led by Raju attacked the Chintapalle, Krishnadevipeta and Rajavommangi police stations in the Godavari agency.
Rampa Rebellion of 1922
- The Rampa Rebellion of 1922, also known as the Manyam Rebellion, was 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.
- The Rampa or Manyam Rebellion continued in the form of a guerrilla war until May 1924, when Raju, the charismatic ‘Manyam Veerudu’ or Hero of Jungle, was finally captured and executed.
- The Rampa Rebellion coincided with Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement.
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