Alluri Sitarama Raju and the Many am Rebellion of 1922-1924
THI^ PATTERN of tribal protest against forest grievances in Madras Presidency during the 1920's consists of two streams, heading toward^ tlie same goal but with a difference in terms of political ideology and form of struggle. At one level (1920-19^2), all forms of protest on fprest grievances operated within the framework of the Congress-led Non-cooperation. At another level (1922-1924), the form of protest took the shape of a full-scale war with the colonial police and army. To understand the dynamics of tl^e revolt at the .second level we shall A^ave first to go into the specific grievances of tribal communities in the Rampa region which conditioned the 1922-1924 rebellion against the British rule in the hills.1
The total forest area in Madras Presidency was 19,566 square mUes^in 19Q2,2 and it slightly increased to 19,607 square miles by 1907.3 By 1922, the Agency division in Andhra alone en^rsiced a total ^rea of 19,287 square miles consisting^ of ,what were formerly the tracts of Ganjam, Vizagapatam and Godavari.4 The Agency division included most of the hill tribal groups,5 even though some tribes were scattered
* Research Scholar, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
1 Throughout the text the word "Rampa" is being used whenever we arc describing the geography, economy and other related aspects of the region: when describing the rebellion we use the local name "Manyam" and to its leader popularlys kftown name "Sitarama Raju ' instead of "Rama Raju" given in the government records. The word "rebellion" for "fitun" is preferred so that its character would be indicated without any ambiguity, y
2 Annual Administration Report of the Fomt Department of the Madras Presidency, 1902^03, Madras 1903, p 1 (hereafter as Administration Report Forest Dept).
3 I bid, J 907-06, p 4; Proceedings of the Board of Revenue (Land Revenue)^ Forest* No 23, ^February, 19<)9. ^
4 The total area of the Madras Presidency was 1^42,225 sq. miles. A Statistical Atlas of the Madras Presidency 19^21^ Madras, 1922, pi. Administration Report Forest Dept 1923-24, Vol II, p 17.
5 Tribes like Koyas and Konda Reddis were dominant groups in Godavari district. Bagatas, Konda Doras or Konda Kapus, Gadabas, Khonds, Muka Doras, Parjas, Kotias, Dhulias, Ghasis, Dombas,, Paidis, Valmikis, Kammaras, Kummaries, Ojas, Mulias, Ogihbas, Ronas, Jatapus, Savaras, Kudutus and Ooudas were concentrated m Vizagapatam district. See, A Aiyappan, Report on the Socio-economic Conditions of the Aboriginal Tribes of the Province of Madras, Madras, 1948, p 6.