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Reddys Matrimony

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Reddy's - Freedom Fighters

The East India Company administration was confronted with several revolts in the Andhra region from the very beginning. The Zamindars in the Northern Circars and Poligars in the Rayalseema region who exercised almost independent powers in the earlier period did not reconcile with the loss of power under the British. The Zamindars of Parlakimidi, Vijayanagaram and several others rose in revolt. The Poligars of Chittoor, numbering ten, raised the banner of rebellion in 1804. Two years later the Vellore Mutiny occurred resulting in the very removal of Lord William Bentinck as the Governor of Madras Presidency. In 1846, Koilkuntla Narasimha Reddy, a Poligar, shook the British administration with his rebellion in which several thousands of Kattubadi Inamdars participated,

  1. Ravi Narayana Reddy - Great Freedom Fighter and the man behind the Telangana Struggle.
  2. J.Ramdoss Reddiar - Freedom Fighter from Villivakkam, Chennai and Land Lord.
  3. Baddam Yella Reddy - Freedom Fighter and stalwart of Telangana Struggle.
  4. Bhoodhan Vedre Ramachandra Reddy - Social Reformer, Satyagraha Movement Member.
  5. Katangur Keshava Reddy - Freedom Fighter & First MLA for Parkal, Warangal.
  6. Katangur Prakash Reddy - Communist Leader, Freedom Fighter who fought against Razakars.
  7. Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy - Led first popular revolt in all of India against British occupation.
  8. Potu Narsimha Reddy - Social Reformer, Satyagraha Movement Member.
  9. Gunapati Gopala Reddy - Yellaypalem, Nellore District, A.P.- Freedom Fighter and Great Humanitarian in the district of Nellore.
  10. K.Sudarshan Reddy - Freedom Fighter, Ex-MLA Narsampet, Warangal District.
  11. Bobba Adisesha Reddy - Yellaypalem, Nellore District, A.P. - Freedom Fighter from Yellaypalem village.
  12. Reddivari Venkata Reddy - Battamdoddi Kothur, Chittor District, A.P. - Freedom Fighter and later a lawyer and administrator in Andhra Pradesh Governement from Chitoor District.
  13. Puchalapalli Sundarayya (Sundararama Reddy)

 

Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy

Uyyalawada Narasimha ReddyUyyalawada Narasimha Reddy is credited to be one of the first freedom fighters in India. He led one of the first revolts in India against British occupation, 10 years earlier than the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857.

Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy was born to Uyyalawada Peddamalla Reddy in Uyyalawada, located in present day Kurnool District which is on the banks of Kundu River. His father Peddamalla Reddy and his grand father Jayarami Reddy were local chieftains (Polygars) of Koilkuntla.

Narasimha Reddy, as a polygar of Koilkuntla was in command of 66 villages in Kadapa, Anantapur, Bellary and Kurnool districts and controlled an army of 2000. After Rayalaseema was ceded to the British by the Nizam, Narasimha Reddy refused to share the revenue of the region with the British. He was in favor of an armed uprising. On 10 June 1846 he attacked the treasury at Koilkuntla and marched towards Cumbum (Prakasam District). On the way, he created uproar at Rudravaram by killing the forest ranger. The distric collector, Thomas Monroe, took a serious view of the rebellion and ordered his capture. Early attempts to capture him under Captain Knot and Watson were unsuccessful.The British government announced Rs 5000/ for the information and Rs 10000/ for his head which was a huge amount in those days.

Narasimha Reddy with his army attacked the British forces camped at Giddaluru on 23 July 1846 and repulsed them. Unable to capture him, the British imprisoned his family at Kadapa. In an attempt to free his family Narasimha Reddy moved to Nallamala forest. When the British tightened his movements in Nallamala, Narasimha Reddy came back to Koilkuntla area and hid in Jagannatha Konda near the village of Ramabhadrunipalle. An informant brought to the notice of British authorities of his whereabouts and his followers. The area was surrounded by the armed forces at night. He was caught at midnight of 6 October 1846. Reddy was badly beaten before being brought to Koilkuntla. He was tied with heavy chains and with blood stained clothes paraded in the streets of Koilkuntla so that no other person should dare to revolt against the British.[1] He was charged with murder and treason and sentenced to death. On 22 February, Reddy was hanged publicly by the British in Koilkuntla on the banks of a nearby river.

Forts built by Narasimha Reddy still exist at places like Uyyalawada, Rupanagudi, Gulladurthi, Uppaluru and Giddaluru.

A committee was formed to develop Jagannatha Konda as a memorial monument of Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy. The committee consists of eminent political personalities. Silpa Chakrapani Reddy is honorary president to the committee. Kaipa Prathap Reddy, Kasipuram Prabhakara Reddy, Gangula Janardhan Reddy, Palukuru Gopal Reddy and many local leaders were founding members. There are plans to erect a statue of Narasimha Reddy and to publish the historical importance of the site.

 

Ravi Narayana Reddy

Ravi Narayana ReddyRavi Narayana Reddy, (born 5 June 1908, Bollepally, Bhongir, Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh – died 7 Sept. 1991), was a founding member of the Communist Party of India. He was a leader in the Telengana Rebellion against the rule of Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII. Reddy was also a philanthropist, social reformer,[1] and parliamentarian.

In the 1952 Indian general election, Reddy stood for the People's Democratic Front, (a pseudonym for the banned Communist Party of India), and polled more votes than Jawaharlal Nehru.

An auditorium, the Ravi Narayana Reddy Memorial Auditorium Complex at Banjara Hills in Hyderabad, was built and named in his memory by the Telangana Martyrs' Memorial Trust.

In 2006, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, presented the Ravi Narayana Reddy memorial national foundation award to A.B. Bardhan, Communist Party of India general secretary.

 

Smt. PONAKA KANAKAMMA (1892-1963)

Smt. PONAKA KANAKAMMASmt. Kanakamma was born at Potlapudi village of Nellore district on June 10, 1892. At the age of 9 she was married to her maternal uncle, Ponaka Subbarami Reddy. Her child marriage did not affect her future development. On the contrary it gave a boost to her political life, sprit of sacrifice and her service-oriented programmes. Her husband gave her unstinted support. In 1913, with the assistance of relatives and friends, she founded Sujanaranjani Samajam and Vivekananda Library in her village Potlapudi - a sure sign of her enlightened mind. Self-educated, she blossomed into a poetess and cultivated literary contacts with Rayaprolu Subba Rao, Deepala Pichaiah Sastri, Duvvuri Rami Reddy, Dronamraju Lakshmibayamma - all Telugu poets of national awareness.

 

As early as 1913 she moulded Potlapudi to become the centre for the production of khadi and for the boycott of foreign goods. In 1916 she joined hands with Paturi Subba Ramaiah, Smt. Bala Saraswathamma, Vennelakanti Raghavaiah and C.V. Krishna in establishing contacts with members of the revolutionary movement. She met Darsi Chenchaiah, the Ghadar hero, soon after his release from jail and they worked together in promoting widow remarriage. In 1920 she set up a hostel for Harijans in Potlapudi. Her spirit of sacrifice and renunciation can be gauged from her remarkable gesture in donating her entire jewellery to Mahatma Gandhi in 1921 at the beginning of the Non-cooperation Movement. She never again wore even a single ornament. She was the first woman from Andhra to be elected to the All India Congress Committee.

PONAKA KANAKAMMAIn 1923 she founded the Kasturidevi Vidyalaya which was inaugurated by Prakasam Panthulu. This institution started vocational education also. This was perhaps the first polytechnic of its kind founded in Andhra Pradesh not only to educate the women but to make them feel self-confident by learning some trade for self-support.

Rallapalli Rama Subbaiah, a freedom-fighter, was its first principal. Gandhiji laid the foundation stone for its own buildings in 1929. She suffered from a broken shoulder in 1931 when the police resorted to brutal lathi change to disperse the people picketing foreign goods. Despite her serious injury she participated in the Salt Satyagraha and went to prison. Together with N.G. Ranga and Nellore Venkatarama Naidu she waged a relentless battle for the abolition of the Zamindari system. All her property was confiscated by the Venkatagiri Zamindar. She had to fight the legal battle besides the political one. She never gave in though she had to face severe financial difficulties. A noble and indefatigable fighter, Ponaka Kanakamma breathed her last on the 15th of September 1963.

 

TIKKAVARAPU RAMI REDDY (1891-1973)

TIKKAVARAPU RAMI REDDYThe native village of Rami Reddy was Pottepalem of Nellore Taluk. He was born on March 16, 1891, to Lakshminarayana Reddy and Smt. Meenamma who belonged to an opulent family. They were landlords and owned mica mines. The call of Gandhiji and the nation’s struggle for freedom greatly attracted Rami Reddy. He and Vennelakanti Raghavaiah were the secretaries of the first Nellore District Congress Committee formed in 1920, with Oruganti Venkatasubbaiah as the president. Gandhiji stayed at the residence of Rami Reddy on his tour of Nellore in 1921. He served a year’s rigorous imprisonment in Vellore jail in 1922-23 during the Non-cooperation Movement. He played a role in every programme of the Congress.

In 1921 he gave a generous donation, along with Smt. Ponaka Kanakamma, for the establishment of the Satyagraha Ashram at Pallepadu. He always lent his helping hand whenever the Ashram was in need and whenever the District Congress Committee took up a programme. He served as chairman of the Nellore Municipality from March 1927 to July 1930 and conducted the affairs of the municipality in an exemplary manner. He resigned from his chairmanship on July 19, 1930, in protest against Government’s interference in the self-rule of the municipality. He did not care for office when the powers that be became an obstacle for the discharge of his legitimate duties.

He was extremely generous in helping educational, health, literary and service activities. Inspired by Gandhiji he gave a munificent donation for the establishment of a centre for leprosy eradication and T.B. Hospital. In 1930 he donated Rs. 50,000 for the development of Kasturidevi Vidyalaya in Nellore. He also lent support for the establishment of Jawahar Bharati in Kavali and the Government College in Kandukur, and for the construction of the Senate Hall of Andhra University in Waltair and the library of Veda- Sanskrit School in Nellore.

This generous nature was one aspect of his life, active encouragement of arts and literature was another. The Kavitraya Jayanthi which he sponsored since 1935 was a rare source of encouragement to Telugu literature. Poets and writers from Chilakamarthi Lakshminarasimham to Sri Sri participated in these Jayanthis and enriched Telugu language and literature. Another aspect of his personality needs special mention. His cook was a Harijan. His poet laureate was Gurram Joshua, a dalit, and his driver was a Muslim who received pension from him till the end of his life. What more evidence need be cited to illustrate his commitment to Gandhian ideals? His death on December 9, 1973, left a void which was hard to fill.

His son Pattabhi (author of “Fidel Ragala Dozen”) is not only a poet but a cine director (of “Samskara” fame). Bezawada Gopala Reddy, a great idealist who established high standards in political life, was his son-in-law.

 

TIKKAVARAPU VENKATA REDDY (1888-1975)

TIKKAVARAPU VENKATA REDDYWhen Mahatma Gandhi visited the Pallepadu Ashram in 1929, there was no road to Pallepadu. One had to walk or engage a bullock cart for a distance of 3 miles wading through tiny sand dunes. Venkata Reddy, a native of Jagadevipet, was a good friend of Digumarthi Hanumantha Rao and C.V. Krishna, the founders of the Pallepadu Ashram. He used to render moral and material support to the Ashram. He brought Mahatma Gandhi in his bullock cart to the Ashram and took him back to Nellore. When Hanumantha Rao passed away and C.V. Krishna left the Ashram to join the Aurobindo Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi handed over the management of the Pallepadu Ashram to Desabhakta Konda Venkatappaiah. He, in turn, entrusted the day-to-day administration to Venkata Reddy who looked after the Ashram affairs for more than a decade, up to 1939. Venkata Reddy’s parents were Kodandarami Reddi and Smt. Ramalakshmamma. Venkata Reddy was elected the first president of Jagadevipet Panchayat and served two terms. He was a very good conversationalist. His down to earth jokes drew out mirth and instant laughter from his companions. He was an atheist. D. Hanumantha Rao was his icon. His son Kodandarami Reddy, an engineer, is presently a life-time trustee of the Pallepadu Ashram.

 

REBALA LAKSHMI NARASA REDDY

REBALA LAKSHMI NARASA REDDYRebala Lakshmi Narasa Reddy was born in 1869 at North Mopuru in Kovur taluk into a rich landlord’s family. He was taught at home by tutors. His interest in Telugu made him a patron of literature. He moved his residence to Nellore in 1905. He was a philanthropist by nature. He built the Nellore Town Hall at a cost of Rs. 60,000. It became a famous cultural centre and venue for many literary and political events. The Progressive Union Library at the Town Hall grew into an important research centre. He liberally donated for the development of educational and health services in the district. REBALA LAKSHMI NARASA REDDYHe was a moderate in politics, but helped the national movement in more than one way. He strove hard to make a success of Gandhiji’s sojourn in Nellore in 1915. His brother, Pattabhi Rami Reddy, played host to Gandhiji in 1921. The Rebala brothers liberally donated to the Pallepadu Ashram, Tilak National School and the Indian National Congress.

 

ENUGA PATTABHIRAMI REDDY (1903-83)

ENUGA PATTABHIRAMI REDDYPattabhirami Reddy, son of Pichi Reddy and Smt. Ramana, was born on June 17, 1903 at Buchireddipalem. He was attracted to the national movement at an early age and decided to dedicate his life to the cause of Gandhian Constructive Programme. He remained a life-long bachelor. He started a Harijan hostel in 1942 with nine inmates. By 1970 it grew in strength to shelter 1,300 students from primary to college level. There was no place for caste, creed or political distinction for admission into the hostel. Poverty and yearning for education were the only criteria. The hostel proved to be a real boon to the poor and helpless students of the upland areas of the former Nellore district which faced recurring drought spells. He served the Nellore District Harijan Sevak Sangh as its General Secretary for many years. By the time he handed over the hostel to the government with all its rich assets in the heart of Nellore town in the 1980’s the number of inmates had raised almost to 3,000. He did not claim a single pie as compensation. A girls’ hostel was run in the name of his mother. He bequeathed all his properties – both movable and immovable - for social welfare. A hospital and maternity centre is run by the trust to serve the poorer sections of the society. He was a real Nishkama Karma Yogi who never aspired for name or fame. His elder brother, Raghava Reddy, was the first advocate from the Reddy community of Nellore district. He was District Congress President for some time and presented the address to Mahatma Gandhi on behalf of the Nellore Bar Association in 1933. Pattabhirami Reddy breathed his last on January 17, 1983.

 

DEVARAPALLI VENKATA KRISHNA REDDY (1899-1969)

DEVARAPALLI VENKATA KRISHNA REDDYDevarapalli Venkata Krishna Reddy belonged to Ulavapadu village of Kandukur taluk which was then a part of Nellore District. It was no exaggeration to describe him as a great harbinger of the library movement in Nellore District. Library movement was the live force that brought into being Indian renaissance and sustained the thirst for national liberation. Under the inspiration provided by Gadicherla Harisarvottama Rao libraries sprang to life not only in big towns and cities but also in small villages. They served as instruments for creating live interest in literature and in spreading ideas about national freedom. Krishna Reddy was born with a silver spoon in his mouth on February 27, 1879, to Chenchu Rami Reddy and Smt. Ademma. The wealth of the family did not turn him into an idler or a seeker of pleasures but contributed to the enrichment of his personality. From a very early age he learnt Telugu and Sanskrit mostly by self study with the help of scholars. At the age of 15 in 1914 he started a library in Ulavapadu. He collected very valuable books in Telugu, Sanskrit, English, Hindi and some other Indian languages. He always wore khaddar. Under the pretext that the library was getting books and periodicals proscribed by law the government discontinued its grant in aid. Gandhiji described that as a blessing in disguise. Venkata Krishna Reddy donated huge sums of money for Gandhiji’s Harijan movement and khadi programmes.

His favourite Telugu poet was Nannechoda. His critical work on the poet stands as a standard work of literary criticism even today. He published books under “Thenkana” series. He procured valuable property for the development of the library. For some time he worked as chairman of the District Education Board and as chairman of the District Library Authority. He passed away on January 3, 1969.

 

SURI ESWARA REDDY (ESWARAIAH) (1900-66)

Eswara Reddy, son of Malla Reddy and Smt. Sundaramma, was born in 1900 at Brahmanakraka of Kavali taluk into a landlord family. He received his education at Kavali. Inspired by Mahatma’s call he joined the Noncooperation Movement of 1920-22. He chose Gandhiji’s constructive programme as his field of activity. He started a khadi production centre at Brahmanakraka on the model of the Kandukur centre run by Achanta Lakshmi Narasimham. Oruganti Venkatasubbaiah and Desabhatla Rangaiah actively cooperated with him. Kishtipati Subrahmanyam ably assisted him in running the centre. They distributed cotton and yarn in dozens of villages and bought back the khadi to supply to markets from Bezwada to Madras. They innovated the novel way (at that time) of producing ready-made khadi apparel like shirts, frocks and pajamas. But they had to incur heavy losses due to lack of business acumen and non-realization of arrears. Eswaraiah had to pay from his pocket heavy sums to clear the debts. He shed the caste indicator “Reddy” from his name and called himself Eswaraiah. That was later emulated by young patriots like Puchalapalli Sundaraiah. He passed away in 1966.

 

TIPPAREDDY YALAMANDA REDDY (1909-96)

TIPPAREDDY YALAMANDA REDDYYalamanda Reddy was born at Jaladanki of Kavali taluk in 1909. He remained unmarried and devoted his life and energy to the service of the nation. He was attracted to the Gandhian ideology at a relatively young age. He helped to build the Congress organization and khadi and anti-arrack movements in Kavali taluk. He was sentenced to three months in the Individual Satyagraha in 1941 and again detained during the Quit India Movement from December 24, 1942 to March 13, 1944 in Vellore and Tanjore jails. He never applied for parole even when his kith and kin were on death bed. He had been the president of either the Jaladanki Panchayat Board or the Panchayat Court for almost three decades. He was the vice president of Kavali Panchayat Samiti for a term. He donated a major part of his properties for building the high school, veterinary hospital and Yanadi colony at Jaladanki. He opposed the divisive Jai Andhra movement and stood for the unity of all Andhras in 1972-73. He breathed his last on November 27, 1996. His elder brother Rami Reddy was also a freedom fighter.

 

VANTERU VARADA REDDY (1915-92)

VANTERU VARADA REDDYVarada Reddy was born into a farmer’s family in Brahmanakraka of Kavali Taluk. His parents were Tirumala Konda Reddy and Smt. Ramamma. He was drawn to the national movement at a young age under the influence of Suri Eswaraiah. He participated in the Sutra Yagnam (ceremonial spinning) as a high school student in 1929 during Gandhiji’s visit to Kavali. He gave up the hereditary village officer’s post to join the freedom struggle. He helped Suri Eswaraiah and Kishtipati Subrahmanyam in establishing and running the Brahmanakraka Khadi Production Centre. They presented 150 khadi frocks for the use of Harijan girls during Gandhiji’s visit to Kavali in 1933. He became popular as a vigorous constructive worker and committed Congress activist. He participated in Individual Satyagraha in 1941 and was sentenced to three months’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 1,000. He was elected as a member of the Nellore District Board and later vice-president of the Chinakraka Panchayat Samiti. His son, Venugopala Reddy, is a former M.L.A. and another son, Dasaratharami Reddy, is a doctor.

 

BOMMA SESHU REDDY (1901-86)

BOMMA SESHU REDDYSeshu Reddy was a native of Gandavaram in Kovur Taluk. His parents were Ayyapu Reddy and Smt. Venkatamma. He was born in 1901. Seshu Reddy gave up English education in 1920 and took part in the Noncooperation Movement. He attended the Nagpur Congress in 1920. He was one of the leaders who campaigned against the auction of toddy and arrack shops. He maintained an Ashram and khadi centre in Gandavaram during 1924-27. He became secretary of the District Congress Committee in 1924 and served as the District Congress President between 1929 and 1947 except for two terms. He served imprisonment in Alipore jail twice – first for three months for his participation in Salt Satyagraha and then three more months for taking part in the Individual Satyagraha. He was detained in Alipore for two and half years from 1942 to 1944. He managed six Harijan and Girijan hostels without government grants during 1934-42. He remained a simple Congress worker without craving for power or pelf.

 

PUCHALAPALLI SUNDARAIAH (1913-85)

PUCHALAPALLI SUNDARAIAHSundaraiah was a native of Alanganipadu in Kovur taluk. His father was Venkatrama Reddy. In 1928 Sundaraiah participated in the demonstrations opposing the Simon Commission. In 1930 he took part in Salt Satyagraha in West Godavari District and was sentenced to two years in prison. As he was a minor he was sent to Borstal School.

He played an active role in the Congress movements. Through his acquaintance with Amir Hyder Khan, he joined the Communist Party and continued to be a member of its Central Committee from 1934 till the end of his life. He worked hard for the overall development of the Communist movement in South India. He was one of the topmost leaders of the Telangana armed uprising in 1948. He served as the leader of opposition first in the Rajya Sabha (1952-55) and later in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly (1955-1967). He was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from 1964 to 1976. He wrote many books such as “Visalandhra lo Praja Rajyam”, “Telangana Porata Anubhavalu” and “Andhra Pradesh Jala Vanarulu”. He was specially interested in the movements relating to Harijan uplift and agricultural labour. He was highly respected even by people who did not share his political views and was called “Communist Gandhi”.

 

REBALA SUNDARARAMI REDDY

Sundararami Reddy was born into a rich landlord’s family of North Mopur in Kovur Taluk. He was a philanthropist and nationalist. He married into the renowned nationalist family of Bezawada Gopala Reddy and Chandrasekhara Reddy of Buchireddipalem. It fortified his commitment to Congress and Gandhiji . He invited Gandhiji to visit his home to donate Rs. 1,116, a handsome amount at that time. He took to khadi and encouraged his brother Sankara Reddy who took a more active role in the freedom struggle. He was fined Rs.1,000 in 1932 for participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement and 3 months rigorous imprisonment in the 1941 Individual Satyagraha.

 

BEZAWADA CHANDRASEKHARA REDDY (1894-1946)

BEZAWADA CHANDRASEKHARA REDDYChandrasekhara Reddy was a native of Buchireddipalem, son of Pattabhirami Reddy and Smt. Sithamma, and elder brother of Gopala Reddy. He spent a year (1921-22) in Vellore jail for taking part in the Non-cooperation Movement. He acted as the District Congress Committee president for one year, after the arrest of Oruganti Venkatasubbiah. He lived like a saint. He sacrificed comfort and worldly luxuries. He was a scholar of Sanskrit and philosophy. He imbibed the spirit of nishkamakarma (selfless service). He donated large sums to all the Gandhian programmes. In the words of Pillutla Hanumanta Rao, his prison-mate, Chandrasekhara Reddy earned more of knowledge, character and charitable disposition than wealth and property. His philosophical bent of mind took him to the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. He died at a relatively young age. He was the pathfinder for his younger brother, Gopala Reddy.

 

BEZAWADA GOPALA REDDY (1907-97)

BEZAWADA GOPALA REDDYAt the age of 13 Gopala Reddy took the vow to wear khadi and pursue national education. He started prison life in 1930 at the head of the district’s first squad in Salt Satyagraha. He continued visits to prisons by participating in the Individual Satyagraha and the Quit India Movement. He was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly in 1937 from Kavali and became popular as the youngest minister (for Local Administration). Again in 1946 he became minister in Madras. In 1955 he was elected Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. He served as the Finance Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Minister of State in the Nehru and the Indira Gandhi cabinets in New Delhi. He was later Governor of Uttar Pradesh. Though he occupied many positions of power, he kept himself away from corruption and nepotism. He served as an example for good governance. All through his life he earned the distinction of being an uncorrupted and disciplined Congress worker.

 

MENAKURU SITHARAMI REDDY (1884-1942)

Sitharami Reddy was born in Buchireddipalem in 1884. His parents were Veeraraghava Reddy and Smt. Subbamma. He was drawn to the national struggle because of his association with Bezawada Sundararami Reddy and Chandrasekhara Reddy. In 1927 he was elected president of the Kavali Taluk Board which included Kavali and Kovur Taluks. In this capacity he introduced spinning and weaving in the school curriculum and thus helped the spread of khadi. In 1929 he strove hard to make a success of Gandhiji’s visit to Nellore district. He presented the welcome address on behalf of Taluk Board at the Kavali meeting. He donated Rs. 116 to the khadi fund. He relinquished office when Kovur was separated from Kavali Taluk Board. He took part in the Salt Satyagraha in 1930 and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for three months. He always championed the cause of the downtrodden. He participated in the anti-Zamindari movement. He worked as a member of the Ranga Committee which enquired into the grievances of the Zamindari farmers along with Pelleti Venkatakrishna Reddy. N.G. Ranga was the president. In spite of opposition from many of the District Congress leaders he stood behind N.G. Ranga and worked for his victory in the elections to the Central Legislature in 1934. He was fined Rs. 1,000 for taking part in the Individual Satyagraha in 1941. His son Veeraraghava Reddy was sentenced for 9 months’ rigorous imprisonment. He played an active role in the freedom struggle until his death on November 22, 1942.

 

SMT. DODLA RUKMINAMMA (1903-54)

DODLA RUKMINAMMARukminamma belonged to the Bezawada family which helped Nellore enjoy a prestigious position in the national struggle. Her father, Bezawada Balakrishna Reddy, was the first graduate in the Reddy community of the district. Her mother was Smt. Kanakamma. Inspired by the library movement, Balakrishna Reddy started a library and reading room in Buchireddipalem more than 100 years ago. He was a great harbinger of enlightened patriotism. Rukminamma imbibed patriotism from her father and spirit of sacrifice from her grandmother. She married Dodla Rami Reddy who belonged to the family that traditionally supported the British rulers. Still she retained her individuality and kept up the spirit of patriotism as her family inheritance. On the lawns of her house Gandhiji exhorted the women assembled there to donate liberally to the Harijan Fund. Rukminamma at once donated her necklace and bangles. Others like Smt. Satyavolu Subbamma followed her example and donated their bangles. Rukminamma provided dining facilities to many poor students who come from upland areas. She used to exhaust tons of paddy in a fortnight. She became popular as “Dokka Sitamma” of Nellore. Her generosity and charity rendered her penniless in her last days. Bezawada Sivakota Reddy, her brother, followed her example and ran the Harijan Hostel unmindful of the government grant. He was a progressive who imbibed Leftist political ideology. In 1932 he underwent rigorous imprisonment for one year in Madras and Vellore jails for his participation in the Civil Disobedience Movement.

 

ENUGA VENKATANARASA REDDY (1892-1976)

ENUGA VENKATANARASA REDDYVenkatanarasa Reddy, son of Narasimha Reddy and Smt. Subbamma, was born on December 17, 1892, in the village of Pallaprolu of Buchireddipalem Mandal. He belonged to a traditionally rich family and became a dealer in mica. He was attracted to the national movement under the spell of Gandhiji. He worked hard for the propagation of Hindi, khadi and national education. For a long time, he worked as President/Secretary of Gudur Town Congress Committee and helped the Congress movement and Constructive Programme in Gudur Division. He maintained the Gudur Harijan hostel on ideal lines. He extended substantial monetary help to Kasturidevi Vidyalaya in Nellore and Mahila Sadan in Gudur.  He took prominent part in I n d i v i d u a l Satyagraha in 1940-41. Under his leadership, AravabhumI Ramachandra Reddy, Mocharla Hanumantha Rao, Appakayala Viswanadha Sarma, Chittam Seshaiah, Amara Lakshmi Sivayya, Kanupuru Venkata Ramana Reddy, Pavani Venkata Krishnaiah and Chatla Venkatachalam Sresti carried on Satyagraha in Kota. Mr. Galletti, who was then Divisional Magistrate in Gudur, followed a peculiar strategy to bring this movement to disrepute. Instead of imposing sentences of imprisonment on them, he heaped insults and abuses on the Satyagrahis and called Gandhiji and other leaders by derogatory names. P. Narayana brought this to the notice of Gandhiji through a letter. Following the instructions of the Mahatma the Satyagrahis did not take any retaliatory action against

ENUGA VENKATANARASA REDDY SATYAGRAHAMr. Galletti. But they repeatedly took part in the Satyagraha in small groups, walking north towards Delhi, spreading the message of Satyagraha and discouraging the villagers from donating to the War Fund. Narasa Reddy’s group was arrested on January 7, 1941, at Thotapalli Gudur. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for three months and was detained in Vellore and Bellary jails. Narasa Reddy’s influence was visible on all the members of his family. His sons, Narahari Reddy, Sreenivasulu Reddy and Seetharama Reddy were drawn to the nationalist, progressive and Socialist movements and they led students and youth in that direction. Nellore District is proud of Sreenivasulu Reddy who became the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Organization. Narasa Reddy passed away on December 14, 1976.

 

NEDURUMALLI BALAKRISHNA REDDY (1915-78)

NEDURUMALLI BALAKRISHNA REDDYBalakrishna Reddy was born at Vakadu in Gudur taluk on January 15, 1915. His parents were Venkata Reddy and Smt. Seethamma. Though he was not highly educated he realized the importance of education in the life of the individual as well as the society. The 1933 tour of Mahatma Gandhi in Nellore District for Harijan Fund electrified the spirit of service in Balakrishna Reddy. His foray into social work started with an adult night school in Vakadu Harijanwada. He made up his mind to mould Vakadu as a centre of education with special attention to the poor, deprived and orphan children. It began with a primary school and gradually developed a cluster of higher professional and postgraduate educational institutions. An orphanage and hostel were started. They grew not only in strength but also as multifarious cultural centres with exemplary discipline, attracting national as well as international attention. To provide financial sustenance to the institutions vast barren land near Vakadu was procured. A green revolution occurred there. It developed into an ideal farm land and proved a boon to the Vakadu institutions. It was named Vidya Nagar. Balakrishna Reddy was ably assisted by his nephews Janardhana Reddy and Padmanabha Reddy. The former became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and the latter devoted his life to the upkeep and development of the Vakadu institutions. Balakrishna Reddy was awarded Padma Sri by the President of India, Dr. Zakir Hussain, on April 10, 1969. He passed away on August 3, 1978.

 

DESIREDDI SESHU REDDY

DESIREDDI SESHU REDDYSeshu Reddy, a selfless Congress worker from Gudur, was popular as Kaliyuga Bhima. He participated in the boycott of toddy and arrack auctions and foreign goods and spent one year in Vellore prison for participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement. While in prison he was severely punished for opposing the corrupt and unjust practices of the jail authorities. One day he was brutally beaten by more than a dozen warders, and fell unconscious. He was treated as dead and was consigned to the mortuary. But his body was so steeled and strong because of his physical exercises and great will power that he came out alive on the third day. He played an active part in the farmers’ agitation against the Zamindar of Venkatagiri. He was a terror to all those who decried Gandhiji and the Congress. He was a close associate of Enuga Venkatanarasa Reddy.

 

BADDEPUDI VENKATA NARAYANA REDDY

BADDEPUDI VENKATA NARAYANA REDDYVenkata Narayana Reddy actively helped the Congress workers during the Salt Satyagraha. When the government served a show-cause notice on him, he resigned his job as village munsiff of Kotapolur village in Sullurpet Taluk, joined the Congress and took part in the Civil Disobedience Movement. He was particularly active in the anti-Zamindari movement and was one of the state leaders of the Kisan Sabha. He was imprisoned for two months in Vellore and Tiruchirapalli jails during the Individual Satyagraha in 1941, and detained for two years during the Quit India Movement. He was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly in 1937 defeating the brother of the Raja of Venkatagiri and again unopposed in 1946. He had been the Taluk Board president earlier.

 

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