KAKINADA: On the occasion of Azadi-Ka-Amrut Mahotsavam, it’s time to remember all those who fought heroically against the British role in the pre-Independence era. Among them, as per rough estimates, more than 30 freedom fighters fell to the bullets of the British in this region.
Many of these were from the Rampa Revolution movement. Their sacrifice for the nation has however not hogged much publicity. However, freedom fighter late PS Sarma had gathered their details and published a book `Bharata Swatantra Samaram Lo Godavari Teeram’ (Godavari Region in Independence Movement) some 25 years back.
Among the martyrs were, according to the book, Vara Lachadu, Pulla Tammaiah, Reddy Venkaiah, Mosa Chinnappa, Dwarabhandala Chandraiah, Chadala Chinnayya, Buddaiah Dora, Gontam Dora, Komiji Chintalu, Kona Konaiah, Manchala Bodeshu and Y Bodeshu from the Godavari districts.
The Rampa revolutionary movement was led by Alluri Seetharama Raju.
The book noted that Vadapalli Gangachalam attacked the police and ran away. The British rulers announced rewards for those who would nab him. When he secretly went to a festival in a goddess temple in Vadapalli, he was caught and shot dead by the police. Killed along with him were K Satyanarayana and P Venkatraju of Alamuru.
Many women actively participated in the freedom struggle and challenged the British rulers from the Godavari districts. Some of the women participated in the movement along with their husbands.
According to historians, the British were scared of fiery women freedom fighters like Duvvuri Subbamma’, Balusu Subadramma, Palakodeti Syaamalamba, Peddada Kameswaramma, Pandiri Jagadamba etc.
Nearly 35 prominent women participated in the freedom movement. Duvvuri Subbamma was jailed for a year in 1922 -- along with Parvathi Devi of Punjab state. Though Subbamma belonged to an orthodox family, she was inspired by the freedom spirit of Maharshi Bulusu Sambamurthy, Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu and others. She used to give stirring speeches and inspire the audience to fight against the British.
The then collector GTH Bracken was a bit soft towards Subbamma and did not want to harm her. He and other officials urged her to tender an oral apology to facilitate her release from jail. Subbamma responded, “Even my toenails will not yield and tender an apology. I am full of patriotic fervour’’. After completing a jail term, she toured the entire nation under a call given by Mahatma Gandhi and tried to attract many to the freedom movement.
Secretary of Parivarthana orphanage, Vakkalanka Ramakrishna, proposed that memorials be built in the five or six major towns in the two erstwhile Godavari districts such as Kakinada, East Godavari, West Godavari, Konaseema, Eluru and Alluri Seetharama Raju districts. Their biographical details should be engraved on an inscription of the memorials.
Booklets should also be brought out on their heroic deeds so that future generations will get inspired by them, he said, and added that otherwise many of these stalwarts will fade into obscurity....