Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy
Telugu soil has seen some brave freedom fighters who have given enough push in The Indian Independence Struggle. One such brave heart who was one of the early freedom fighters was the fierce Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy. In the early colonial rule, British rulers oppressed the Indian rulers in their expansion mode. They fleeced the local rulers and chieftains, to forcefully collect the taxes from people. Many feared to revolt, but some of them came forward to fight the injustice.
One such ruler was Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy of Rayalaseema Region. He was born around early 1800’s to the local chieftains’ (Zamindari) family in the present Kurnool district on the banks of Kundi River. Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy is one of the earliest freedom fighters in India. Reddy, who had 66 villages under his control and an army of 2000 men, could not contain the atrocities committed by the corrupt officials of EIC (East India Company) and the suffering his people had to go through under their colonization.
The Rayalaseema region was transferred to the British by the Nizam and Reddy refused pay taxes directly to the British. On 10 June 1846 he raided the treasury at Koilakuntla and marched towards Kambham, Andhra Pradesh (Prakasam District). On the way, at Rudravaram he killed the forest ranger. This being a serious matter, the then Collector Thomas Monroe issued orders to arrest him. The EIC put a price on his head Rs. 5000 and Rs. 10,000 for his head.
Reddy, with his army mounted a serious attack on the British forces camped at Giddaluru on 23 July 1846 and defeated them. Unable to capture him, the British deceptively imprisoned his family at Kadapa. Narasimha Reddy moved to Nallamalaforest to save his family butthe British forces were tipped off by someone about the hideout of Mr. Reddy. To avoid being caught by the British in the Nallamala area, Narasimha Reddy returned to Koilkuntla area and hid in Jagannatha Konda.
Unable to be at large for a long period, Reddy was caught as the army moved in upon a tip-off and arrested him and his followers at mid night of 6 October 1846. The EIC put heavy fetters on him and paraded him right in the streets of Koilkuntlabefore his people with blood-stained clothes so that it would be a warning to them. Around 112 of his followers were arrested and convicted for 5 to 14 years and some of them were jailed in Andaman. The special commissioner of Kadapa conducted the trial and Narasimha Reddy was charged with revolt, murder and being a dacoit and was convicted on all charges. He was publicly hanged on 22nd February 1847, on the banks of nearby river in the presence of Collector Kokcrane. His head was kept on the fort wall in public view for 30 years from 1847 to 1877 to instill fear in the people so that another rebellion won’t be tried by others against the British.
Another blot in the British India history. A patriot was dubbed as a murderer and robber and, at last, was mercilessly killed by the early British rulers.His revolt in India against the British occupation was 10 years earlier than India’s First War of Independence of 1857 also known as Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. The vestiges of the early events are well frozen in the ruins of the fort at Kotthakota, near Giddalur. Plans are afoot to erect a statue in honour of Reddy and the government also has plans to include his brave story in the school text books.
Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy Movie
Now this epic historic story is being made as a feature film for the prestigious 151stfilm of Megastar Chiranjeevi. The story has been penned down by Sai Madhav Burra, Vema Reddy and Paruchuri brother on Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy who bared his chest and dared the British.
Director Surender Reddy is directing the film and being bankrolled by Ram Charan under Konidela Productions banner. The movie is probably being made in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi and would start regular shoot from August.