You thought that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi led a few marches and revolutions, and that made the British, out of fear, gave up the empire? You thought Jawaharlal Nehru – the so-called freedom fighter, alone kicked the British out of India? Then I would call you a naïve or brainwashed Indian, who has been fed with the information that suits the propaganda of liberals and especially the Congress. There have been many freedom fighters that never got the honour that they deserve for the freedom we enjoy today.
Modi government, however, is gradually correcting the mistakes to recognise the contribution of these freedom fighters, and it is time to pay homage to Alluri Sitarama Raju.
PM Modi unveils the statue of Alluri
In what can be seen as positive move and of course, a proud moment for every Indian, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh on Monday. He will be there to launch the year-long 125th birth anniversary celebration of legendary freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju.
Reportedly, he will also inaugurate Digital India Week 2022 in Gandhinagar on the same day. A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) read, “As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the government is committed to giving due recognition to the contribution of freedom fighters and making people across the country aware of them.”
Thus, Prime Minister Modi will unveil a 30-feet tall bronze statue of Alluri Sitarama. Not only this, but the government has also permitted the construction of Alluri Dhyana Mandir at Mogallu, with a statue of Alluri in Dhyana Mudra. The Mandir will represent the life of the freedom fighter through mural paintings and an AI-enabled interactive system.
The statement also informed that “To mark 100 years of Rampa Rebellion – the attack on Chintapalli Police Station that marked its beginning, the birthplace of Raju at Pandrangi in Vizianagaram district and the police station will be restored.”
Alluri Sitarama Raju – The freedom fighter
Born on July 4, 1897 at Mogallu village in the Palakoderu mandal of West Godavari district, Alluri Sitarama Raju is remembered for his bravery and the way he fought against the British to protect the interests of the tribal communities in the Eastern Ghats region. His father was Venkata Rama Raju, who was a professional photographer. However, he died when Alluri was eight. His mother was Surya Narayanamma, who was a pious homemaker.
At first, he started farming in Paidiputtaa village on a 30-acre farm. Years later, Alluri moved into the forests to work alongside the tribal communities where he earned respect because of his lifestyle and helpful nature. He believed in armed struggle and sacrificed his life for the liberation of the tribals. He opposed the Madras Forest Act, 1882 which prohibited the tribes from indulging in podu (shift cultivation).
He is referred to as “Manyam Veerudu” (Hero of the Jungles) by the local people. A brilliant tribal revolutionary; Raju was one of the chief leaders who led the Rampa rebellion, where tribals rebelled against the British rule in the modern state of Andhra Pradesh. He led several raids on the British establishments in Andhra Pradesh, and continued his guerrilla warfare, until he was eventually trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalle, then tied to a tree and executed by gunfire in Koyyuru village on 7 May 1924.
Despite the huge contribution to the welfare of tribals and the fight for freedom, the Congress party never acknowledged his struggle. This is why very few Indians know about the brave heart that Alluri was. PM Modi, however, is trying with all his might to give Alluri Sitarama Raju the honour that he deserves.
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