Mangaluru: It was the first armed uprising against the British, which took place 20 years before the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. The men who laid down their lives in this uprising of 1837 in Mangaluru are not forgotten.
The Tulunadu Rakshana Vedike and several others organisations marked the 179th anniversary of the uprising on Tuesday at Bavutagudda, where the rebels hoisted the Indian flag to mark their victory over the British on April 5, 1837.
“The people of Kodagu and Canara (coastal Karnataka) were unhappy with the British for various reasons. In 1837 this anger turned to action for freedom and the British suffered a temporary defeat,” recalls writer, N.S. Deviprasad Sampaje.
Mr Sampage , who wrote the book ‘Amara Sulliyada Swatantrya Sangrama,' detailing this early struggle for freedom, says it was a mass movement and not restricted to some villages or caste.
“It received unprecedented support from the people of Dakshina Kannada. However there were efforts to tone it down by labelling it ‘Kalyanappa na Katakayi, or ‘loot of Kalyanappa’.
But in reality it was a major movement for freedom in the region, which scared the British. The reports of the then Collector of Dakshina Kannada, Leven, reveals this,” he says.
The rebellion was led in Kodagu by leaders such as Aparampara, Kalyanappa and Putta Basappa and continued in Sullia, Puttur before culminating in Mangaluru, the seat of the British Collector.
It is said the rebels held control of the city for 13 days before British reinforcements arrived in Mangaluru and recaptured it.
But it took two months more for the British to arrest the rebels and hang them in public to silence the movement.
“The government must do a proper study of the entire movement so people get to know its importance,” emphasises Mr Sampaje....