Unveiling the Tale of Alluri Sitarama Raju, India’s Jungle Hero
Alluri Sitarama Raju was a great Indian hero who remained away from the limelight of society yet created a great impact to diminish the zeal and arrogance of the then-British rule in India. He led the famous Rampa Rebellion, a long battle (1922 to 1944) against the British. “Manyam Veerudu,” or the hero of the jungle, was the name given to Alluri Sitarama Raju. He sacrificed his life fighting to free the nation from the oppression of the British Raj.
Official reports suggest that in 1897, a young boy was born in a Kshatriya family in the Bhimunipatnam taluk of the Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh. Alluri Sitarama Raju’s father was a Mogallu native, while his mother was from Visakhapatnam. His father was a photographer and worked in the Central Jail. At the young age of 14 years, Raju lost his father and was brought up by his uncle Ramachandra Raju. His childhood and adulthood were spent in this very Mogallu region.
Raju’s first exposure to the freedom movement came while he was undergoing his studies in Kakinada. During this time, Alluri Sitarama Raju came in contact with famous freedom fighters like Sri Madduri Annapurnayya and Rallapalli Atchuta Ramayya. These reputed scholars inspired Raju to study and gather more information about the political condition of India during this time.
When the first war of independence was going on in 1857, the tribes of the Gond tribal community gave up their lives fighting for freedom. Alluri Sitarama Raju, with his inspiration, motivated the tribes of the Gond land to unite and start raising their voice against the British. The Britishers used to suppress these poor, uneducated tribes ruthlessly and deprived them of their many rights. Alluri Sitarama Raju undertook the noble task of uniting the tribals of various lands together and trained them to form a guerrilla warfare body.
Under Raju’s leadership, the tribal got their courage and skills and began revolting against the British suppression. They raided multiple police stations back to back for three days and captured arms and ammunition, and freed a revolutionary soul from the jail, Veerayya Dora.
Soon, this guerrilla team under the leadership of Alluri Sitarama Raju became a terror and raised the alarm for the British army. An arrest warrant was issued against this brave leader. From this time onwards till the next two years, 1924, regular attacks and warfare occurred between these tribals and the British. Lastly, Alluri Sitarama Raju gave his life at the hands of the British.
Legacy – To commemorate this brave soul, the Indian Postal Department in the year 1986 published a stamp featuring Alluri Sitarama Raju and the series was based on the theme of the various struggles for the freedom movement of India. 4th of July is celebrated to date in Andhra Pradesh as a state holiday. At, Seethammadhara has erected a statue of Raju, and another stands prominently on the beach road in Visakhapatnam.
This unsung “hero of the jungles” will always be honored and saluted for his courage. The country remembers him for the fierce fight he fought. Alluri Sitarama Raju, the great son of India, will always be in the hearts of fellow residents of India for the sacrifice he made to attain martyrdom.
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