New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi launched the year-long 125th birth anniversary celebration of legendary freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju in Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, today. Governor of Andhra Pradesh Shri Biswabhusan Harichandan, Chief Minister Shri Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Union Minister Shri G.Kishan Reddy were among those present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that he is feeling privileged at getting an opportunity to salute the great land of Andhra Pradesh with such a rich legacy. He noted the confluence of major events like Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, 125th birth anniversary of Alluri Sitarama Raju and 100 years of Rampa Rebellion. The Prime Minister bowed to the memory of the great “Manyam Veerudu” Alluri Sitarama Raju and paid him tributes on behalf of the entire country. He also expressed happiness at meeting the members of the family of the great freedom fighter. The Prime Minister also paid tributes to the ‘Adivasi Parampara’ and the freedom fighter that emerged from the tradition of Andhra Pradesh.
The Prime Minister informed that the 125th birth anniversary of Alluri Sitarama Raju Garu and the 100th anniversary of Rampa Kranti will be celebrated throughout the year. Restoration of his birth place at Pandrangi, renovation of Chintapalli police station, construction of Alluri Dhyana Mandir at Mogallu, these works are symbols of the spirit of Amrit Mahotsav, he said.The Prime Minister said that today’s programme reflects the pledge of making everyone aware of the heroic deeds of our freedom fighters.
The Prime Minister noted that the freedom struggle is not just a history of a few years, few areas, or of a few people. This history is the history of sacrifice, tenacity and sacrifices of every nook and corner of India. “History of our freedom movement is a symbol of the strength of our diversity, culture and of our unity as a nation”, he added.
Terming Alluri Sitarama Raju a symbol of India’s culture, tribal identity, valour, ideals and values, the Prime Minister remarked that from the birth of Sitaram Raju Garu to his sacrifice, his life journey is an inspiration to all of us. He dedicated his life for the rights of tribal society, for their happiness and sorrow and for the freedom of the country. “Alluri Sitarama Raju represents the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ that has been uniting the country in one thread of unity”, the Prime Minister said.
On the occasion Union Minister for Culture Shri G.K Reddy said “Today, this effort under the leadership of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji to recognise Alluri Sitarama Raju’s contribution in nation building will enable a new generation to be aware of the heroics and the sacrifices made”.
He further added “The patriotic spark reinforced by Alluri Sitarama Raju and several other heroes like him across the nation, continues to thrive within us even today. One can sense his undying bravery from the fact that he would forewarn the British officers of an imminent attack and would challenge them to stop him with the resources that they had at hand”.
Union Minister also said “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav has given us an opportunity to celebrate the unsung, unknown and the underappreciated in a structured manner. It has enabled the government to come together at all levels along with the civil society, NGO’s, spiritual organisations and passionate individuals to recognise and remember the people and events that made us India”.
Tribal museums are being set up to showcase the tribal pride and heritage in the country. Alluri Sitarama Raju Memorial Tribal Freedom Fighters Museum is also being built in Lambasingi, Andhra Pradesh.
Click here for complete text of the Prime Minister’s speech
Background of the event
As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Government is committed to giving due recognition to the contribution of freedom fighters and making people across the country aware of them. As part of the endeavour, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the year-long 125th birth anniversary celebration of the legendary freedom fighter, Alluri Sitarama Raju, in Bhimavaram. Born on 4th July 1897, Alluri Sitarama Raju is remembered for his fight against the British, in order to safeguard the interests of the tribal communities in the Eastern Ghats region. He had led the Rampa rebellion, which was launched in 1922. He is referred to as “Manyam Veerudu” (Hero of the Jungles) by the local people.
The government has planned a series of initiatives as part of the year-long celebration. The birthplace of Alluri Sitarama Raju at Pandrangi in Vizianagaram district and Chintapalli Police Station (to mark 100 years of Rampa Rebellion – the attack on this police station marked the beginning of Rampa Rebellion) will be restored. Government has also approved the construction of Alluri Dhyana Mandir at Mogallu with a statue of Alluri Sitarama Raju in Dhyana Mudra, depicting the life story of the freedom fighter through mural paintings and AI-enabled interactive system.