- The Rampa Rebellion of 1922, also known as the Manyam Rebellion, was a tribal uprising led by Alluri Sitarama Raju in Godavari Agency of Madras Presidency, British India.
- It began in August 1922 and lasted until the capture and killing of Raju in May 1924.
- This Rebellion had no connection with the Rampa Rebellion of 1879.
- The Rampa administrative area, situated in the hills of the present Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh, comprised around 700 square miles, and comprised mostly of Tribal population.
- They had traditionally supported their food requirements, through the use, in particular, of the Podu system, whereby each year some areas of jungle forest were burned to clear land for cultivation.
- The British wanted to take control of the forest land for building railways and ships.
- Also, the British authorities wanted to improve the economic usefulness of lands in Godavari Agency, an area that was noted for the prevalence of malaria and blackwater fever.
- This commercial exploitation had a great impact on the local tribal people, as they lost their land to traditional cultivation activities.
- Thus, the revolt was mainly against the passing of Madras Forest Act, 1882 which put restrictions on the free movement of tribal communities in the forest land and prevented them from engaging in their traditional Podu agricultural system.
- Further, the tribal people of the forested hills, who now faced starvation, had long felt that the legal system favoured the zamindars and merchants of the plains areas, which had also resulted in the earlier Rampa Rebellion of 1879.
- As a result, the tribal people objected the British laws.
- Simultaneously, there was discontent among the muttadars, who had been hereditary tax collectors and de facto rulers in the hills prior to the arrival of the British.
- They had acted on behalf of the rajas, the actual rulers who lived on the plains.
- Later, the British subsumed them into the colonial administration, leaving them as bureaucrats with no substantive power
- Hence, the tribal and Muttadars had a common foe.
- Alluri Sitarama Raju, a sanyasi, a person of justice and strong will power, raised his voice against the unlawful British Policy.
- He harnessed the discontent of the tribal people to support his anti-colonial zeal, whilst also accommodating the grievances of those Muttadars who were sympathetic to his aim.
- Tribal people were the victims of the colonial rulers’ greed and Raju wanted justice for them.
- So, Raju headed the Rampa Rebellion along with the band of tribal people and other followers.
- Alluri Raju also used guerrilla warfare to fight against the British. He raided many police stations like Dammanapalli, Krishna Devi Petra and Annavaram.
- The revolt started in August 1922 and ended in May 1924 after the capturing and killing of Raju.
- However, there was no commission of enquiry placed on the problems faced by the tribes and the reason for rebellion.
- According to the British, “It was the prevalent diseases through which the tribal people had acquired tolerance, which hindered the British suppression of the rebellion”.
Topic in news
- In 2022, two special postal covers were released, celebrating the centenary of the Rampa rebellion, led by Alluri Sitarama Raju.