Veera Gunamma Vardhanthi observed
Srikakulam: The Vardhanthi of Veera Gunamma, who played a pivotal role in uniting the agricultural labourers against the feudal system, fought on...
Srikakulam: The Vardhanthi of Veera Gunamma, who played a pivotal role in uniting the agricultural labourers against the feudal system, fought on behalf of the poor farmers and finally succumbed to bullet injuries, has been observed here on Monday. She was born in poor family at Rajapuram village of Mandasa mandal in the district. Her father, Krishnaiah owned a one acre piece of land. Once when there were no rains, they dug a well in the land and cultivated the crop with much difficulty. Meanwhile, the local Zamindar demanded his share. Furious at this, Gunamma rose in revolt, refusing to pay for crop that they had grown with much effort. Later, she led a movement by farmers who had risen in revolt against the Zamindari system. In 1940 Jagannadharajamani Rajadev took over the reins from his predecessor at Mandasa. The zamindars took control of the forest area and solely enjoyed the forest wealth. It was then that the furious farmers rose in revolt. Heading the movement, Gunamma and the farm labourers cut off trees in the Mandasa reserved forests and were bringing them on carts. The police accosted them and arrested 42 farmers. Gunamma braved the Superintendent of Police and refused to surrender. The farmers who were furious revolted against the police. Gunamma was upfront prepared to die for her motherland and the poor farmers. However, she was grievously injured in the police firing. Still she tried to save her compatriots who were also dying. On the verge of death, she went up to her fellow revolutionaries and inspired them to fight back. Finally, on April 1, 1940 she succumbed to bullet injuries. Eversince her death, stories surrounding Gunamma's life inspired other farm labourers in their own struggle for existence. A memorial was built in her name in 1988, inaugurated by then Governor Kumud Ben Joshi. The name of her native village was changed to Veera Gunamma Rajapuram. However, the villagers have expressed their unhappiness with the government over its neglect of this historical character whose deeds were an inspiration for generations to come. They urged that the Vardhanthi should be observed officially to give a proper place for her in the pages of history.