Rampa Rebellion (1922 – 23)

The grievances of the tribal assumed least significance for the Congress that claimed to be an all India party fighting against the British imperialism. As soon as the British took over Eastern India tribal revolts broke out to challenge the alien rule. In the early years of colonisation,no other community of India offered such heroic resistance to British rule or faced such tragic consequences as did the numerous tribal communities of now Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Bengal and Andhra pradesh.

The forest laws imposed by the British had infringed the rights of the tribal from time to time and they had to fight their grievances on their own with little or no help from outside. Most of the tribal uprising were armed uprising against the British The Rampa Rebellion(1922-23) under Alluri Sita Rama Raju of Andra pradesh was fought by the tribal as a protest to the oppressive Madras Forest Act of 1882.

The Act placed restrictions on the free movement of tribal in the forest areas and prevented them from engaging in their traditional lifestyle of Podu (shifting) cultivation, and use of the forest for firewood and toddy Period from 1917-1923 ,there was lot of unrest in the tribal areas spreading from east Godavari to Vizianagaram.

One of Andras early revolutionaries, Alluri Sita Rama Raj  (1897-1923) was able to successfully mobilize the local tribal for an armed rebellion against the British. He made them give up alcohol and gave them military training first with bows and arrows and later with weapons . Inspired by the revolutionaries of Bengal, Raju decided to raided police stations in and around Chintapalli, Krishna-devi-peta and Raja-vommangi, in search of ammunition’s . The repressive measures and the unjust policies of the British, coupled with the misdeeds of British contractors who exploited and oppressed the workers of the hill tribes of the Visakhapatnam and East Godavari district, provoked him.He carried out a campaign in the region which brought him into conflict with the police .

This eventually culminated in the Rampa Rebellion. Despite having fewer manpower and weapons, Alluri and his men exacted tremendous damage on British interest, as they were much more familiar with the hilly terrain and adept in  guerrilla tactics.The Malabar special Force was brought in to crush the rebellion . A reward of Rs. 10,000 was declared on Alluri .Like all revolutionaries he was gunned down on May 7 ,1924 at the age of 28.The brave patriot declared ‘’shoot me,kill my body a thousand times .But remember I will be born again and again on this land to liberate people and To see the end of you’’.

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