Alluri Sita Rama Raju


Alluri Sita Rama Raju

Alluri Sita Rama Raju (Telugu: అల్లూరి సీతారామరాజు b. 4 July 1897-d.1924) Also called "Alluri Rama Raju", "Rama Chandra Raju", and "Alluri Seetha Rama Raju" was an Indian freedom fighter from the Mogallu village in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India. He was the leader of the ill-fated "Rampa Rebellion" that fought against the British occupiers from 1922 to 1923. Popularly referred to as "Raju", he lives on in the hearts of the Telugu people as the "Manyam Veerudu" ("Hero of the jungles").

Alluri Sita Rama Raju

Alluri Sita Rama Raju was one of Andhra Pradesh's early revolutionaries who successfully mobilized and led local tribals in an armed rebellion against British rule in India. He was deeply moved by the plight of the tribals, who’s rights were infringed upon by the British with the inaction of the Madras Forest Act of 1882. The Act placed restrictions on the free movement of tribals in the forest areas and prevented them from engaging in their traditional lifestyle of "Podu" (shifting) cultivation, and use of the forest for firewood and toddy.

Despite having fewer manpower and weapons, Alluri and his men exacted tremendous damage on British interest, as they were much more familiar with the hilly terrain and adept in guerilla tactics. They frequently attacked police stations to seize arms and ammunition. These actions led to a reward of Rs. 10,000 placed on him in 1920s.

Birth and Education

He was born on July 4th 1897 in the Village of Pandrangi village, 12 km from Bheemunipatnam of Visakhapatnam district. He was educated in Rajahmundry and Rama-chandra-puram in East Godavari district. His father died when Alluri was in elementary school and he grew up in the care of his uncle Rama Chandra Raju, a Tahsildar in Narsapur. He then studied in Taylor High School, Narsapur. Then, he shifted to Tuni along with his mother, brother and sister, on the transfer of his uncle. He joined Mrs A.V.N. College in Visakhapatnam on September 20, 1912. He dropped out of the college after having failed in fourth form (Std. IX). While in Tuni, Alluri used to frequent the agency areas of Visakhapatnam district.

The statue of this "Pride of Telugus" stands majestically at,Seethammadhara Junction and The Park junction in Visakhapatnam. The repressive measures and the unjust policies of the British, coupled with the misdeeds of British contractors who exploited and oppressed the workers of the hill tribes of the Visakhapatnam district, brought Alluri Sita Rama Raju into a tussle with the police who supported the contractors. This eventually culminated in the Rampa Rebellion ("Rampa Pituri"; '"Pituri"' means "complaints" in Telugu).

The Rampa Rebellion

Sita Rama Raju carried out his campaign in the East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh. Inspired by the patriotic zeal of the revolutionaries in Bengal, and the decisions taken by them at a meeting in Chittagong in 1921, Sita Rama Raju raided many police stations in and around Chintapalli, Krishna-devi-peta and Raja-vommangi, carrying off guns and powder, and killing several British army officers, including the ruthless Scott Coward and Hites, near Damana-palli. Between August and October 1922, he and his men attacked the Chintapalli, Rampa-choda-varam, Rajahmundry and Addati-gala and Annavaram police stations and blasted the Chintapalli police station.

Under the leadership of Saunders, the British deployed a company of the Assam Rifles, near Pedagaddapalem, in December 1922. Sita Rama Raju, who had by then gone underground, resurfaced after some four months and continued the fight, strengthened by tribal volunteers, using bows and arrows. He was ably assisted by two brothers, Mallu Dora and Gantam Dora, who were tribal leaders.

On September 18, 1923, Sita Rama Raju raided the Annavaram police outpost. Subsequently, Mallu Dora was arrested. The Government entrusted the task of containing Sita Rama Raju's activities to one Rutherford, who fired the first salvo when his forces arrested Surya Narayana Raju Pericherla, popularly known as "Aggiraju", a strong follower of Sita Rama Raju.

The Britishers campaign lasted nearly one year from December 1922, and petered off by October 1923. Sita Rama Raju was trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalli. It is said that he did not offer any resistance to the police as he felt that the British officers were harassing the innocent tribals as a bait to catch him. He was tied to a tree and shot dead with a rifle in Mampa village. After the exit of Alluri, the tribal revolt lost its sheen.

Movie on Alluri Sita Rama Raju

A Telugu movie had been produced titled, Alluri Sita Rama Raju, with Krishna Ghattamaneni donning his role and directed by V. Rama Chandra Rao, which was a big hit. Also Alluri Sita Rama Raju remains the best period movie produced yet. [ [http://movies.sulekha.com/telugu/alluri-seetha-rama-raju/reviews/52277.htm] ]

tamps

The Indian Postal Department issued a commemorative stamp on Sri Alluri Seetarama Raju in the series 'India's struggle for freedom' in 1986.

References

http://www.indianpost.com/viewstamp.php/Alpha/A/A.%20S.%20RAJU


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