Who Was Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy:- Our country has seen many brave freedom fighters who have sacrificed their blood and life for India’s Independence. India got Independence in 1947 but the fight for freedom began over a hundred years ago. In the early colonial rule, British rulers oppressed the Indian rulers in their expansion mode. They fleeced the local rulers and Raja-Maharajas, to forcefully collect the taxes from people. Many feared to revolt, but some of them came forward to fight the injustice. One such brave heart and fierce freedom fighter, who started the revolution against the British Empire, was Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy popularly known as Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy. He is also credited to be one of the first freedom fighters of India.
Who Was Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy /Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy:-
Son of a local chieftain/zamindar Peddamalla Reddy, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy was born around early 1800’s in the present-day Kurnool District which is on the banks of Kundu River. His grandfather Jayarami Reddy was also a local chieftain of Koilakuntla. Over 66 villages were under the control of Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy including an army of over 2000 men. Reddy 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 occupation.
After Rayalaseema region was ceded to the British by the Nizam, Narasimha Reddy refused to share the revenue of the region with the British. He was in favour of an armed uprising. On June 10th 1846, Reddy raided the treasury at Koilakuntla and marched towards Kambham, Andhra Pradesh (Prakasam District). On the way, he created uproar at Rudravaram by killing the forest ranger. The then district collector took a serious view of the rebellion and ordered Reddy’s capture. After the unsuccessful early attempts to capture him under Captain Knot and Watson, the British government announced Rs 5,000/ for the information and Rs 10,000/ for his head which was a huge amount in those days.
Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy Revolt:-
His revolt in India against the British occupation was 10 years earlier than India’s First War of Independence of 1857 aka Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. People from villages like Uyyalawada, Uppaluru, Kotthakota, Gulladurti, Harivaram joined Reddy and supported his revolt. Now these villages are in Prakasam, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur districts of Andhra Pradesh and in the Bellary region of Karnataka.
With his fearless army, Narasimha Reddy mounted a massive attack on the British forces camped at Giddaluru on July 23rd 1846 and defeated them. Unable to capture him, the British imprisoned his family at Kadapa. In an attempt to free his family, Narasimha moved to Nallamala forest. Someone in the village informed to the Collector of koilakuntla about his presence in the forest. When the British tightened his movements in the Nallamala region, Narasimha Reddy came back to Koilkuntla area and hid in Jagannatha Konda near the village of Ramabhadrunipalle.
Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy Death:-
An informant brought to the notice of British authorities of his whereabouts and his army. The area was surrounded by British armed forces at night. Reddy and his followers was arrested at midnight of October 6th 1846. Narasimha Reddy was humiliated before being brought to Koilkuntla. He was tied with heavy chains and paraded in the streets of Koilkuntla with blood-stained clothes so that none should dare to revolt against the British in future.
As many as 901 people were charged along with Narasimha Reddy for this uprising. Later 412 of them were acquitted and 273 were released on bail. As many as 112 were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 5 to 14 years. Some were sent to a prison in the Andaman Islands. Reddy was charged with revolt, murder and dacoity and convicted on all charges. He was sentenced to death by hanging. On February 22nd 1847, Narasimha Reddy was hanged publicly by the British in Koilkuntla on the banks of a nearby river in the presence of collector Kokcrane. More than two thousand people attended for this public hanging.
Another blot in the British India history, a patriot was dubbed as a murderer and robber and, at last, was brutally killed by the early British rulers. In order to terrorize the other freedom-fighters, his head was kept hanging to the fort of Koilakuntla for about 30 years after his death (that is from 1847 to 1877). The vestiges of these events are well frozen in the ruins of the fort at Kotthakota, near Giddalur.
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy Movie:-
As a tribute to this Unsung Freedom Fighter, a film titled ‘Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’ is made in Tollywood. Megastar Chiranjeeevi is essaying the role of Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy. Helmed by Surender Reddy and bankrolled by Ram Charan, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy is scheduled to release on October 2nd in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada languages.
Source – Online Research and Wikipedia