India@75: Story of Alluri Seetha Rama Raju, the hero of the jungle
To loot India’s forest wealth, the British brought laws to deprive the indigenous owners of their land through various anti-people legislations.
Lands owned by the tribals for hundreds of generations have been snatched away from them in various ways. Their plight has only worsened even 70 years after India’s independence. The story of tribal people being alienated from their lands began during British colonial rule. To loot India’s forest wealth, the British brought laws to deprive the indigenous owners of their land through various anti-people legislations.
Tribals in various parts of India had waged epic struggles against these laws and the British. The heroic Ramba Revolt led by Alluri Seetha Rama Raju in Andhra Pradesh was prominent among them. Born on July 4, 1897, at Visakhapatanam, Alluri became a close associate during his school days with Madurai Annapoornayya, who later became a prominent freedom fighter. Attracted to spirituality, Alluri dropped out of school, became an ascetic, and started living in the Godavari forests.
During his life in the forests, Alluri witnessed the miseries wreaked on the tribal folk by the forest laws of the British. This made him organize the tribal folk to fight the laws and the British. He came to be known as Manyam Veerudu, the hero of the jungle.
Although Alluri pledged support to Gandhiji’s non-cooperation movement, he chose the militant path. Tribal soldiers led by Alluri launched violent attacks on British officials at various places in the forests through guerilla tactics.
The Rampa revolt lasted for more than 2 years. British announced a prize of Rs 10000 for his head. Alluri was captured on May 7 1924 from Chintappalle forests. The 27-year-old ascetic militant was tied to a tree and shot dead. Alluri’s tomb stands at Krishnadevippetta near Visakhapatnam.