Alluri Sita Rama Raju Biography:
Alluri Sita Rama Raju ( born: 4 July 1897-death:1924), also known as Alluri Rama Raju, Rama Chandra Raju, and Alluri Seetha Rama Raju, was an Indian revolutionary from the Mogallu village in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India. He was the leader of the ill-fated Rampa Rebellion that fought against the British from 1922 to 1923. Popularly referred to as Raju, he is also known as Manyam Veerudu (Hero of the jungles).
Birth And Education:
He was born on July 4th 1897 in the village of Pandrangi, 12 km from Bheemunipatnam of Visakhapatnam district. He was educated in Rajahmundry and Rama-chandra-puram in the East Godavari district. His father died when Alluri was in elementary school and he grew up in the care of his uncle, Rama Chandra Raju, a Tahsildar in Narsapur. He then studied in Taylor High School, Narsapur. Then, he shifted to Tuni along with his mother, brother and sister, on the transfer of his uncle. He joined Mrs A.V.N. College in Visakhapatnam on September 20, 1912. He dropped out of the college after having failed in the fourth form (Std. IX). While in Tuni, Alluri used to frequent the agency areas of the Visakhapatnam district.
He was deeply moved by the plight of the tribals, whose rights were infringed upon by the British with the inaction of the Madras Forest Act of 1882. The Act placed restrictions on the free movement of tribals in the forest areas and prevented them from engaging in their traditional lifestyle of Podu (shifting) cultivation, and use of the forest for firewood The repressive measures and policies of the British Raj, coupled with the deeds of British contractors who exploited and oppressed the workers of the hill tribes of the Visakhapatnam district, brought Alluri Sita Rama Raju into a tussle with the police who supported the contractors. This eventually culminated in the Rampa Rebellion or Rampa Pituri (Pituri means complaints in Telugu).
The Rampa Rebellion:
Sita Rama Raju carried out his campaign in the East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh. Inspired by the patriotic zeal of the revolutionaries in Bengal, and the decisions taken by them at a meeting in Chittagong in 1921, Sita Rama Raju raided many police stations in and around Chintapalli, Krishna-devi-peta and Raja-vommangi, carrying off guns and powder, and killing several British army officers, including the Scott Coward and Hites, near Damana-palli. Between August and October 1922, he and his men attacked the Chintapalli, Rampa-choda-varam, Rajahmundry and Addati-gala and Annavaram police stations and blasted the Chintapalli police station. Despite having fewer men and weapons, Alluri and his men exacted tremendous damage on the British, as they were much more familiar with the hilly terrain and adept in guerilla tactics. In the 1920's, the British Raj offered a Rs. 10,000 award for his capture.
Under the leadership of Saunders, the British deployed a company of the Assam Rifles, near Pedagaddapalem, in December 1922. Sita Rama Raju, who had by then gone underground, resurfaced after some four months and continued the fight, strengthened by tribal volunteers, using bows and arrows. He was assisted by two brothers, Mallu Dora and Gantam Dora, who were tribal leaders.
On September 18, 1923, Sita Rama Raju raided the Annavaram police outpost. Subsequently, Mallu Dora was arrested. The Government entrusted the task of containing Sita Rama Raju's activities to one Rutherford, who fired the first salvo when his forces arrested Surya Narayana Raju Pericherla, popularly known as Aggiraju, a strong follower of Sita Rama Raju.
The British campaign lasted nearly one year from December 1922, and petered off by October 1923. Sita Rama Raju was trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalli. He was tied to a tree and shot dead with a rifle in Mampa village. After the exit of Alluri, the tribal revolt lost its momentum.
Today a statue of Raju stands at the junction of Seethammadhara Junction and The Park in Visakhapatnam. The Indian Postal Department issued a commemorative stamp on Sri Alluri Seetarama Raju in the series 'India's struggle for freedom' in 1986.
A Telugu movie was made about Raju's life, entitled Alluri Sita Rama Raju. Krishna starred as Raju and V. Rama Chandra Rao directed the film. The popular song 'Telugu Veera Levara' was included in this film and has inspired generations of the Telugu Community.
Mantena Satya Narayana Raju a dietician and an Ayurvedic Consultant is a relative of Sri Alluri Sitarama Raju. The only photograph of him, which was taken after his death is preserved in the A.P. State Archives, Hyderabad