05 Jul Alluri Sitarama Raju
This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Alluri Sitarama Raju”. The topic “Alluri Sitarama Raju” has relevance in the “Modern History” section of the UPSC CSE exam.
Who was Alluri Sitarama Raju?
GS1: Alluri Sitarama Raju and his contribution to Indian Freedomruggle
Why in the news?
The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu graced and addressed the closing ceremony of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Alluri Sitarama Raju at Hyderabad on July 4, 2023.
Alluri Sitaram Raju
Alluri Sitarama Raju, born on July 4, 1897, in the village of Mogallu near Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh, was a sanyasi deeply committed to justice. He vocally opposed unjust British policies and fought numerous battles against them.
Early Education and Transformation into a Sanyasi
- Alluri Sitarama Raju received his primary education in his native village and later moved to Visakhapatnam for higher studies.
- At the age of 18, he renounced worldly pleasures and embraced the life of a sanyasi.
- As a bala sanyasi, he wandered through the hills and forests of the Agency area, interacting with the local tribal community.
- The tribals revered him as a mystical figure capable of liberating them from the oppressive rule of the British authorities.
Non-Cooperation Movement and the Quest for Justice
- Initially influenced by Gandhi’s Non-cooperation movement, Sitarama Raju encouraged the tribals to seek justice through local panchayat courts and boycott the colonial courts.
- However, these measures failed to alleviate their suffering. Eventually, he utilized this movement to raise awareness about the necessity for fundamental change.
The Rampa Rebellion and the Plight of the Tribes
- In August 1922, Sitarama Raju initiated the Rampa Rebellion, a significant uprising against the British.
- The Rampa administrative region was inhabited by approximately 28,000 tribes who practiced the ‘Podu’ cultivation system, clearing portions of forests annually for sustenance. While the forests were crucial to the tribes’ survival, the British sought to evict them to exploit the wood for constructing railways and ships.
- The passage of the Madras Forest Act in 1882 restricted the movement of tribal communities and prohibited them from engaging in their traditional Podu agricultural practices. This oppressive act became the catalyst for the tribal revolt, also known as the Manyam Rebellion.
- Refusing to work as forced laborers, the tribal population, led by Sitarama Raju, employed guerrilla warfare against the British. They launched attacks, raided police stations, eliminated British officers, and seized arms and ammunition. Benefitting from extensive local support, they successfully evaded British authorities for an extended period.
- The sustained armed struggle between 1922 and 1924 frustrated the British to such an extent that a reward of Rs.10,000/- was offered for Sitarama Raju’s capture, dead or alive.
Betrayal and Tragic Demise
Despite Sitarama Raju’s efforts to alleviate the tribals’ suffering, the British persisted in inflicting misery upon them. In the hope of obtaining a fair trial, he surrendered, only to be treacherously trapped, tied to a tree, and shot dead on May 7, 1924. His cremation on May 8 marked the end of his heroic fight against the British Government.
Legacy of Anti-Imperialist Rebellion and Commemoration
- Sitarama Raju left behind an inspiring legacy as a fearless revolutionary who fought for the rights and freedom of tribal people, despite not belonging to the tribal community himself.
- He was bestowed with the title “Manyam Veerudu” (Hero of the Jungle) in recognition of his valor and fiery spirit.
- Each year, the Government of Andhra Pradesh celebrates his birth date, July 4, as a state festival, honoring his memory.
Q1. With reference to Rampa Rebellion, consider the following statements:
- The Rampa Rebellion occurred before the launch of the Non-Cooperation Movement by Mahatma Gandhi.
- Jagannath Singh, the local Zamindar was the leader of Rampa Rebellion.
- One of the factors that led to the uprising of the tribals in the Rampa region was the enactment of the Madras Forest Act in 1882.
Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Q2. How many of the following pairs are correctly matched?
- Chittur Singh – Rampa Rebellion
- Birsa Munda – Munda Rebellion
- Alluri Sitaram Raju – Ramosi Uprising
- Rani Gaidinliu – Naga Revolt
How many of the statements given above are correct?
(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
Q3. Discuss the significance of tribal revolts in India and their role in challenging colonial rule. Highlight how these revolts contributed to the broader anti-colonial movement.