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1921 - 47 




History of Freedom Movement 
in Guntur District 
1921 - 47 


X^" ' 

Dr. B. Seshagiri Rao 

Rs. 5O/- 

Copies available at : 

Prasanna Publications, 
37-1-423 (3) 
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Sarathy Printers, 


My Parents 


The publication of this thesis was financially supported 
by the Indian Council of Historical Research and the 
responsibility for the facts stated, opinions expressed or 
conclusions reached at is entirely that of the author and 
the Indian Council of Historical Research accepts no 
responsibility for them. 


PREFACE ... ... I 

Genesis and Growth of Political 

Consciousness in Guntur district ... ... 

From Moderation To 

Non-Cooperation ... ... 34 

Chirala - Perala Satyagraha ... mmm 59 

Painad Forest Satyagraha ... ... 95 

No-tax Campaign ... ... flS 

The Interlude - 1923 to 1929 ... ... 143 

Salt Satyagraha and 

Civil Disobedience . 

Final Phase of the Freedom 

Review and Conclusions ... ... 208 

Glossor V ... ... 218 

Select Bibliography ftm mmm 224 


A substantial portion of this work is the thesis 
submitted by me to the Andhra University, Waltair 
in 1976 for the doctoral degree. The reason why Guntur 
district is taken up for a case study for the growth of 
political consciousness is that the district had the 
reputation throughout South India as a centre of politi- 
cal leadership among other Telugu districts. With the 
emergence of Gandhi as the undisputed leader of the 
Indian Independence Movement after theCalcutta Special 
Congress held in September, 1 920, the Guntur District 
was the epi-centre for political storms, which shook the 
very foundations of the British colonial administration. 
During the Non-Cooperation Movement the government 
officials faced so much of social ostracism that the 
District Collector remarked that he had seen 'Swaraj' 
established in the district. In the subsequent move- 
ments also like Salt Satyagraha, Simon Boycott Call r 
Quit India Movement etc., the district did not lag behind, 
and the government had to concentrate their military 
and para-military forces to rule the people against their 
will. This work contains all such incidents and in the 
last chapter - Review and conclusions - an attempt is 
made to show why the Guntur district was ahead of 
other Telugu districts in the national movement, and 
what castes and communities were in the fore-front of 
fhe movement. 

Material for this work has been culled from 
innumerable sources such as official documents of the 
Andhra Pradesh State Archives (Central Record Office), 
Hyderabad; resolutions and documents of the Provincial 
and District Congress Committee; District Unit of the 
Communist Party of India; political and literary news- 
papers and periodicals and answers to the questionnaire 


presented to the freedom fighters in the district. Secon- 
dary sources - books by scholars, Indian and foreign - 
were consulted for a general study of the Indian indepen- 
dence movement to evolve a thesis of the freedom 
movement in the Guntur district. 

1 express my greatest debt of gratitude to Dr. Y. 
Srirama Murty, Proiessor of History and Archaeology, 
Andhra University, Waltair, who initiated me into this 
area of research, and guided me with unflinching coope- 
ration and advice throughout. 

I express my sincere thanks to the authorities of 
Andhra Pradesh State Archives (Central Record Office), 
Saraswatiniketan (Vetapalem) and Saraswathi Library 
(Ongole) for permitting me to consult various docu- 
ments, reports, news-papers, periodicals and books 
pertaining to this work. I owe my special thanks to the 
various freedom fighters, who, though in advanced age, 
gave me considerable time and took the trouble of 
answering my questionnaire. Their comments threw 
good light on the various issues raised in this work. 

My grateful thanks are to my sister-in-iaw Miss. 
Vasantha Lakshmi Navuluri for preparing the type-script, 
and also to my wife Visalakshi, who, in spite of her 
domestic chores and tight schedule in the C S. R. Sarma 
College, Ongole as Lecturer, helped me a lot in the 
preparation of this boo/c. I should also mention Mr. P. 
Gopala Krishna, Assistant Editor, "Zamin Ryot", Nellore 
for proof reading and Mr. T. Vanamali, printer of this 

Last but not the least, I express my gratitude to 
the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi but 
for whose generous publication grant this work might 
not have seen the light of the day. 


Genesis and Growth of 

Political Consciousness 

In Guntur District 


Situated between 15-8' and 10-50' Northern Lati- 
tude and 70-10' and 80-55 r Eastern Longitude and 
covering an area of 5,795 square miles Guntur district 
was formed in the year 1904 with nine taluqs-Guntur, 
Sattenapalli, Narasaraopet, Palnad, Vinukonda, Bapatla, 
Tenali, Repalle and Ongole, According to the census con- 
ducted in 1921 in the Madras presidensy of which the 
Guntur district was then a part, the population of the 
district was 1.8 million. The district created in 1904 by 
the British Government continued twenty three years 
after independence. On February 1 , 1 970 the taluq of 
Ongole, Chirala Sub-taluq, Paruchur firka of Bapatla 
taluq, Martur and Kommalapad firkas of Narasaraopet 
taluq and Gurizepalli of Rompecharla firka also of Nartisa- 
raopet taluq were taken out of the Guntur district and 
with other contiguous parts of Nellore and Kurnool 


districts the Prakasam district was carved out. So the 
Guntur district created in the year 1904 continued in its 
original form and extent till 1970. 

Rich in agricultural crops like turmeric, sugar-cane 
rice, tobacco, cotton and other staple crops and watered 
by the irrigation canals of Nagarjuna Sagar project and 
Krishna anicut, the Guntur District now to the Indian 
standards is not merely a surplus but a rich district. She 
is fast carving out a niche in the industrial map of India 
with cement factories at Mangalagiri and Macherla, jute 
mill at Guntur, spinning mill at Chirala, ginning mills 
and tobacco redrying factories at many places. Guntur 
boasts of highest number of colleges in the present 
State of Andhra Pradesh. ' 

This was a contrast to the condition of Guntur 
and its sorrounding areas even in the first years of the 
second half of the 19th century, when people unable to 
discharge government dues were subjected to severe 
repressive measures, and Gajula Lakshmi Narasimha 
Chetty of Madras had to intercede with the government 
on behalf of the people. 2 Prof. Robert Eric Frykenberg 
gives a vivid picture of Guntur during the company times: 
'"The land was parched and its people destitute. The 
canals of Chola days had long been for- 
gotten, and tanks were often dry. Famine and flood 
intermittently troubled the country with plague and 
cholera in their wake. As if this were not enough, 
occasional cyclones, tidal waves, and scourges of 
locusts would bring further devastation/' J 

I. Statistical Atlas of the Ountur district: IJ6'J (fash) 
[Hyderabad: 1 9:0-5 1 J 

2 Kondii Venkatappayya: Sweeya Charitra. 

Hyderabad. 1966) (Telugu , p.~67 

3 Robert Eric Frykenberg: Guntur District i7B1 - IIH8 
(Oxford. 1965), p. 2 "~ """ ~ 


However, introduction of commercial crops 
brought into existence a prosperous middle class in the 
Guntur district which, when freed from need and want, 
looked to social and political spheres to engage itself. 
Economic viability coupled with rapid strides made in 
education gave her political leadership, and Myron Wei ner 
who did research on the party politics of the Guntur 
district concluded that "the district has a reputation 
throughout the South as a centre of leadership for all 
political parties". ' 

Guntur district played a remarkable role in the 
nation's struggle for political and economic emancipa- 
tion from the British imperialism. Some of her illust- 
rious sons like Desa Bhakta Konda Venkatappayya, 
Andhra Ratna Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya and Andhra 
Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam, just to name a few, were all- 
India figures and names to conjure with for selfless 
service, tenacity of purpose, undaunted courage in the 
face of personal trial and tribulation and political saga- 
city of very high order. In India's long drawn struggle 
for national emancipation Guntur district was the epi- 
centre of political storms that shook the very foundation 
of the British Raj. 

What then was the genesis ot this stupendous 
growth of political consciousness among the people of 
the district? What then were the factors that contri- 
buted to this? 

There is a tendency among some modern scholars 
doing research on the Indian independence movement on 

Myron Weiner : Party Building in a New Nation 
(Chicago, 1967) p. I ,6. 


different p|anes-nation,province and locality -to pin-point 
that Gandhi's emergence on the political scene marks the 
phenominal growth of national spirit, and that the move- 
ment began only with him. It is true that Gandhi gave 
shape, proper leadership and momentum to the national 
spirit, and that his mark on the freedom movement was 
indelible. But, Prof. M. Venkatarangaiya finds it logical 
to look at the freedom movement as a continuation of 
what had happened in the country during the rule of the 
British l He quotes Carl Leiden and M. Schmitt: "Rather 
than a single dramatic incident, the birth of a Revolution 
may consist of a series of related events. For example 
it is difficult to hold the proposition that the Declaration 
of Independence marked the birth of American Revolution. 
There were, after all Lexington and Concord; and other 
acts of violence and defiance of authority ...", 2 

So also there were incidents in th3 Guntur district 
against the British myrmidons like the Kotappakonda riot 
that occured on the Sivaratri festival of 1909 and many 
other acts of protest by the people against the British 
government much earlier than Gandhi's return to India 
from South Africa. For violent and non-violent acti- 
vities against the alien rule and nationalism taking deep 
root there were influences which were con s tent I y at work 
giving momentum to the national under-current that was 
slowly but steadily surfacing. Mention should be made 
of influences like westren education, library movement, 
national literature, Vande Matharam movement, Home 
rule movement, early associations though by modern 
parlance were not political associations and the forma- 
tion of the Guntur District Congress Committee. 

1 Prof M. Venkatarangaiya : " Sociology of ihe Freedom Movement in Andhra-An 
official view" (Published in Itihas, Journal of the Andhra Pradesh Archives 
Itihas Vol. I p. 161. 

2 Ibid 



Guntur district now in 1976 boasts of eighteen deg- 
ree colleges, law college, teacher training colleges, medi- 
cal college and Nagarjuna University offering instruction 
in various disciplines, both sciences and humanities. 1 
Nowhere else in Andhra Pradesh has there been such a 
concentration of educational institutions. 

However, introduction of western education in 
Guntur district was the work of Lutheran and Baptist 
missionaries of America. Though the missionaries arrived 
in Guntur principally for the propagation of the Gospel, 
they did substantial work in the field of education. Before 
1842 there was a school in the Guntur town, which was 
run under the patronage of collectors and other English 
residents of the town. 2 But real foundation for higher edu- 
cation in thedistrict was laid with the arrival of Rev. C. F. 
Heyer of the Pennsylvania Synod Society. His life and 
achievements remind' one of David Livingstone and 
Dr. Albert Schweitzer. Dr. C. H. Swavely for many years 
Principal and Bursar of the Andhra Christian College 3 
gives a vivid description of the arrival of C. F. Heyer in 
Guntur. "On October 15, 1841, Father Heyer sailed from 
Boston, Mass., and landed at Tuticorn on March 23, 1842... 
Travelling by Palakeen to Palamcotta, Tinnevelly, Madura" 
Trichinopoly andTranquebar, he arrived at Madras on April 
16, 1842. After a month of Telugu language study, he 
started north on May 19th and arrived at Nellore on May 
23rd. From Nellore the Rev. Stephen Van Husen of the 
American Baptist Mission accompanied him in seeking a 
suitable location to carry on his work. They travelled to 

1. Unclassified Andhra Um'veriity recordi, 

2. Rev. C. H. Swavely : Th? Lutheran Enterprise in India , 
(PJacc of Publication not mentioned, 1952), P. 3 t 

3. Andhra Christain College Annual Calendar 1973-74 
[Guntur, 1973), pp, 4, 5. 


Ongole, and later to Guntur, arriving on July 31, 1842. 
At Guntur they were given a very cordial welcome by H. 
Stokes Esq, the District Collector. Father Heyer decided 
to begin his work at once". 1 Heyer organised schools in 
Kottapet (Guntur), Prattipadu and Nallapadu, In Novem- 
ber 1842 he started the first girls school in Guntur. The 
number of schools at the end of Father Meyer's first year 
had risen to seven with ten teachers and one hundred and 
eighty pupils. 2 When Heyer left India in 1871 the numbe r 
of pupils in the Guntur area rose to four hundred. 3 

Dr. and Mrs. LL Uhl arrived in Guntur on March 26, 
1873 and for fifty years did good work in the field of edu- 
cation. In 1885 he raised eighteen thousand American 
dollars for the buildings of educational institutions. 4 

The first college in Guntur was also the work of 
missionaries. In September 1885 The American Evange- 
lical Lutheran Mission college, rechristened Andhra Chris- 
tian College in January 1928, was started with Dr. L. C 
Wolf as the Principal. 

This was affiliated to the Madras University till April 
1926whenthe Andhra University Act came into force. 5 
The college had a series of efficient Principals, and of 
them mention should be made of Rev. J. Roy Strock 
(1919-1922, 1927-33, 1936-39) and Dr. H. F. Sipes 
(1923-27, 1933-36, 1941-43)* during whose tenure 
national movement in Guntur took a fast swing forward. 

The American Baptist Mission also did good work in 
the promotion of western education in the district. The 

1. C. H. Swavely; Op. cit. pp 33, 34. 
2 Ibid 

3. Ibid. P. 34 

4. Ibid 

5. Unclassified Andhra Christian College [Guntur) records 

6. Ibid 


A. B. M. School, Ongole, was started in 1880 by Dr. J. E. 
Clough. Between 1894-1908 this institution enjoyed the 
status of an Intermediate College, when colleges in the 
Madras presidency were few and far between. 1 When 

female education was a far-cry in Ongole till 1867, Dr. 
and Mrs. Clough filled the void by starting a girls' 
school that year. In 1892 a lower grade training school 
was also started for girls by the Baptist missionaries. 
These two institutions that promoted education among 
the girls of Ongole and its surrounding areas had the 
services of devoted missionaries like Miss. Berth Evans 
(1911-15), Miss. Susan Roberts (1916-35) and Miss. 
Helen L. Baillie (1930-53). 2 

Thus, these Lutheran and Baptist Missions establi- 
shed schools and colleges in Guntur district on western 
lines. Soon the government stepped in, and they multi- 
plied. By the end of 1913 there were seventeen hundred 
and seventy schools attended by sixty thousand two 
hundred and thirty four students. 3 These centres of 
learning were responsible for the widening of intellectual 
and political horizons of the peoples of the district. Most 
of the leading lights of the freedom movement of the 
district were the products of these institutions. 

Konda Venkafappayya speaks extollingly of these 
missionary institutions. 4 In these English educational 

1. MemorajduiT^prcsented [_tg_Mr._Mfl UflJL|nclh v Secretary. International Committee 
of the Young Peoples' Union of the BaptistJCJnicm of Sweden on the occasion of 
his visit to the A^ B. M. J^ 

s ta f f . J? f the A. B. M. J un lor College Ongol e. (Ongoje, , 1 ffi ; 1)_ 

2. Ongole Girls' School Anniversaries (Ongole. 1957). pp. I, 2. 

i ^^^-^i^-^^'^^p wn^vvii IMI i i*-*iFfc...-^iT.-*..-'H. 4 - h-Mu.i ..<.. .:lu ! .i'*MfiTi-i.nMv.>}i H .Qiifcwi>n4waA . t r.i* -"i 'HIM mir M tyr iH>m IIIUUULI 

3 ' ?JL!L JjJSJLf A Jf**5H j iJQf* !.?J. nandu Jarigioa 23 va Gun t u ru _Ma nda la jSa bh a 
yandu Sriyutu Vmjamuri Bhavunacharyulu garl Agrasanadhipatyopanyab-anm 

HUM -M_H-* JTT I 1 - I .- ~ ..afrrfafc-AlMHl^K-*.:-! ^KV.-IMMl.h.W>.4^ ". . ..,..-.....,.,..,*.- , -l w(i -M l4 . WaH 

(place of publication and year not mentioned (Telugu). P. 6. Hereafter this is 
referred to as Vinjamuri Bhavanacharyulu'a Presidential Address in the Guntur 
District Conference held at Ongole on June 4th and 5th. I'?l4.) 

4. Konda Vcnkatappayya .' Op. cit. 24,25 


institutions the student came to grips with a wide range 
of subjects like Politics and Economics. They learnt 
about serfdom, slavery, American war of Independence, 
Italian Unification Movement and their own plight under 
the alien rule. Prof. N, G. Ranga writes that as a student 
of Ponnur High School he had the opportunity to read 
"Plutarch's Lives," a biography of Benjamin Franklin. "I 
could see how the American Negroes were liberated from 
their slavery and began to dream of the liberation of our 
Panchamas-later to be known as Harijans-from untouch- 
ability". 1 It was also as a student of F. A. class in the 
A, E. L. M. College, Guntur that N. V. L, Narasimha Rao, 
Chairman of the Guntur Municipality during 1922-30, 
1933-34 2 and a leading participant in the freedom strug- 
gle in the Guntur district since non-cooperation days 
came under the influence of the social reform movement 
launched by Kandukuri Veeresalingam and Unnava Laksh- 
m'marayana, 3 The heated discussions that went on 
between the social reformers and the orthodox sections 
created not a little interest in the young minds like those 
of N. V. L. Narasimha Rao. Some of the leading parti- 
cipants in the freedom movement of the Guntur district 
were also the products of the western universities. 

N. V. L. Narasimha Rao and Duggirala Gopalakrish- 
nayya took M. A. (Hons) degrees from the Edinburgh 
University, 4 Unnava Lakshminarayana his Barrister's 
degree from the Dublin University, 5 Tanguturi Prakasam 
his Barrister's degree from the Gray's Inn of the Council 
of Legal Education, London 6 and Prof. N. G* Ranga B. Litt 

1. N. G. Ranga: Fight for Freedom (New Delhi, |968), P. 57 

2. Daruvuri Veerayya (Editor): Guntur Mamiala Sarvaswamu 
(Guntur, 1964) (Telugu), P. 153 " * " *" " 

3. Unclassified and unpublished personal papers of N. V. L. Narasimharao. here- 
after referred to as personnal papers of N. V. L. Narasimharuo. 

4- Personnal papers of N V. L. Narasimharao. 

5. Kanuparihi Varalakshamma; Unnava Dampathalu (Srimannarayanapuram. Krishna 

district, 1963) (TeJugu) p, tt. 
. T. Prakasam.-Na. Jeevitha Yatra (Madras, 1972) (Telugu), P. 93, 


(Economics) from the Oxford University. 1 

Their stay in the west was their greatest eye-opener. 
N. V. L. Narasimha Rao was impressed with the love of 
freedom of the Scots. The Irish war of Independence 
kindled much enthusiasm in his young student heart. The 
elections for the Rectorship of the Edinburgh University 
and the free air which the people were breathing incul- 
cated in him a passionate yearning for the liberation of 
his own mother-land. 2 Writing about England and 
Western Europe, Prof. N. G. Ranga says, "We were bre- 
athing and living in the almost heavenly atmosphere of 
complete freedom and social equality of English and 
European life. We owed a special duty to our masses to 
help them to rise to such a status". 3 The creation of the 
Irish Free State proved to be a ray of hope for him. As a 
student at Oxford, Ranga read much about French and 
American Revolutions and loved Thomas Paine and 
Jefferson, the philosophers of the Declaration of Ameri- 
can Independence. "I was under the spell of the writings 
of Shelly, H. G. Wells, William Morris and Blotchford. 
So, I decided to become a follower of Mahatma Gandhi 
to work for national freedom". 4 

The spread of western education was limited and 
confined only to a few. There were also inherent defects 
in the system. Bipin Chandra, Amales Tripathi and Barun 
De list some of them like complete neglect of modern 
technical education, emphasis on English as the medium 
of instruction in place of Indian languages which created 
a wide linguistic and cultural gulf between the educated 
and the masses, extremely low level of education etc. 5 

1. N G, Ranga: Op. cit. P. 93 

2. Personnal papers of N. V. L, Narasimharao. 

3. N. O. Ranga: Op. cit. p. 7^. 

4. Ibid. P, 113 

5. Bipin Chandra, Amtles Tripathi. Barun Do _Freedorn_S trugg I fl 
(New Delhi, |972)* pp. 26. 27. 


But in spite of these defects western education brought 
new ideas to the young minds. With the modern knowle- 
dge, they got, they were able to analyse and criticise the 
imperialist and exploitative character of the British rule, 
artd organise an anti -imperialist political movement. 
Western education also raised in the people revulsion 
against glaring social injustices inextricably ingrained 
in the Indian caste-syst&m. But for his western educa- 
tion it is difficult to imagine whether Tripuraneni Rama- 
swami Chowdary would have led the 'Sirddhi' movement 
or written "Vivaha Vidhi", wherein he denounced the 
diobolical caste-system or championed the cause of 
Harijans in Guntur district in general and Tenali taluq in 
particular. 1 Thus the English educated elite, though nu- 
merically not very strong, exerted considerable influence 
in giving a shape and form to New India that was slowly 

As now, so in the past, the student-community 
-supplied to the leadership much raw and inflammable 
material for agitation. During the Non-cooperation Mo- 
\mmferit, Salt Satyagraha and Quit India Movement, the 
role of the students in the district was really spectacular. 
The Andhr.a Christian College, being the premier educa- 
tional centre in the district, naturally took a leading role. 
It is already pointed out that American missionaries 
Were the founders of the college and the two important 
principals of the college were J. Roy Strock and Dr. H. H. 
Sipes. Bfeing Americans they knew tire value of freedom, 
arid hbw hard won their liberty was. They came from the 
land of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Rev 
C. H. Swavely of the AndhVa Christian College, Guntur 
regrets that due to Civil War in America the missionaries 
could not bring more funds for their missionary and 

1. Tapi Dharroarao's article -Tripuraneni Ramaswami Chowdary** In Vtgnann 
jarvaswamu. Vol. Ill (Madras, 1959) (Tclugu) pp. |03I. 1032. 

2. R. C. Majumdar: History of Freedom Movement in India, 
Voll, (Calcutta 1963). p * ' 


educational activity. 1 Prinicipal Strockafid Principal Sipes 
were not averse to the national aspirations of the Indians. 
T. Sivasankara Swamy, G. V. Punnayya Sastry and 
S. V. L. Narasimham, when interviewed, said without 
hesitation that Rev. Strock and Dr, Sipes had sympathies 
for the Indian national movement. 2 


Libraries are disseminating centres of knowledge. 
This was more so in a rural country like India, whereedu- 
catiorval institutions were limited. The Guntur 
district libraries, besides disseminating knowled- 
ge, set as their goal deepening national spirit of the people 
and buttressing their patriotic sentiment against the 
foreign yoke. Delivering the presidential address in the 
Third Andhra Desa Library Congress held in Nellore on May 
12, 1916, in which Guntur district delegates enthusiasti- 
cally took part, 3 Kasinadhuni Nageswararao asserted that 
libraries serve their purpose only when they inculcate 
spirit of enquiry in the people. 4 Though in 1921 public 
figures of the Guntur district concentrated their energies 
more on the freedom struggle and less on other activi- 
ties, the library movement still created in the people love 
for selfless sacrifice for the country and carried the gos- 
pel of freedom to the four corners of the district. 5 Saranu 
Ramaswamy Chowdary and Adusumalli Srinivasarao, 
both in the thick of the district library movement in the 
pre-independence period, say that the first libraries in An- 

1. C. H, Swavely: Op cit. p, 36. 

0. Signed statements of T Sivasankara swamy. O. V, Punnayya Saatry and 
S. V. L. Narasimham. 

3. Andhra Dcsa Ggandhalaya Charitra (published in the name of Ayyuoki Venkata 

^^^^^^^^"^^^^^^^^^i" rn in .^^Mi WUJJ-H* ^^^'HIIIMIIP imjuinrt-tmnftii ' 

Ramanayya, Secretary- Andhra l>esaCfrandha Bhandagara Sanghamt Author's 
name not mentioned, fBezwada. l9l6) 

4. Ibid p. 23 

5. V. V. Sresty. Ounjturu Mandala Grandhalaya Charitr a 19 31*32 
(Guntur, year of publication not montionedj (Telugu), p. 2* 


dhra in the modern times were those of the Gunturdistrict.i 
The library started in Guntur town in 1882 in Sri Krishna 
Theosophical Lodge and the C. V. N. Reading Room estab- 
lished in Ongole in 1891 appear to be the earliest reading 
centres. 2 The library movement, thus having a humble be- 
ginning, gained momentum in the frist quarter of the 
twentieth century. By 1914 there were thirty five libra- 
ries in the district, and in 1916 the Guntur Mandala 
Grandhalaya Sangham was started under the leadership 
of Tadanki Venkayya. 3 In 1920 the Sangham held its 
meeting under the chairmanship of the eminent patriot 
Unnava Lakshminarayana. 

By 1938 the Gunturu Mandala Grandhalaya San- 
gham could boast of one hundred and seventy six libra- 
ries scattered in the urban and rural areas of the 
district. 4 

Some of the libraries in the district were named 
after the national leaders viz. Tilak Jatheeya Grandha 
Nilayam, Chinapalem (Tenali taluq), Patel Pathana 
Mandiram, Godavarru (Tenali taluq), Dadabhai Noaroji 
Pustaka Bhandagaramu, Tsundur (Tenali taluq), Nehru 
Grandhalayam, Gudavalli (Repalli taluq), Mahatma 
Gandhi Vysya Grandhalayam, Bhattiprolu (Repalle taluq) 
Andhra Ratna Grandhalayam, Peturu (Repalle taluq)' 
Desodharaka Grandhalayam, Medikonduru (Sattenpalli 
taluq), etc. 5 The founders of these libraries might have 
attempted to imbibe something of the spirit of the natio- 
nal leaders in whose names these libraries were founded 
The libraries were the centres of discussion and debate. 
They were definitely the symbols of national resurgence. 

1. Gunturu Mandalamu lo Grandhalayodyamamn-Grandhala Charitra". 
Anicic of Saranu Ramaswramy Chowdary ond Adusumaili Srinivasarao 
in Gunturu Mandala Sarvaswamu. p. 505, 

4, Ibid p. 506 

3. Ibid 

4. Gunturu Mandala Grandhalaya Charitra (Published by the Gunturu Man Jala 
Grandhalaya Sangham, authors name not mentioned. Guniuru, 1938} n 50 

5. Ibid, pp. 4.9, IS. 1721, 25,37. 


The Guntur Pat tana Grandhalaya Sangham had a 
novel scheme of distributing among the sick and the 
wounded books pertaining to cleanliness, literacy, natio- 
nalism etc. This scheme was inaugurated on November 
22,1936. Capt. Hopper of the Government Head-quarters 
hospital and Buddhiraju Ramachandra Rao played a key- 
role in this novel enterprise. 1 

Seva Srama Vani Mandiram, Peddapalem of Tenali 
taluq founded in 1919 by Malempati Rangayya, Putum- 
baka Sreeramulu and Pathuri Nagabhushanam, who were 
enthusiastic non-cooperators had magic lantern and 
slides and educated the villagers in various political prob- 
lems. 2 Patel Pathana Mandiram, Godavarru (Tenali taluq) 
founded in 1926 had also magic lantern and slides. 3 Their 
educative value on villagers cannot be under-estimated. 

The technique of satyagraha which Gandhii nitiated 
with success in South Africa formed the dominant ele- 
ment in India's struggle for freedom since 1919. There 
was general awakening of the masses to their political 
rights and privileges from that year. The Gunturu Mandala 
Grandhalaya Sangham contributed its mite to this great 
awakening. In 1920 the Sangham published a series of 
pamphlets touching changes in administrative set-up, 
vote-voter, taxation and how it should be paid, the glory 
of Ancient India, Acts and how they were enacted, natio- 
nal awakening, coins-currency, untouchability, non-co- 
operation etc. These pamphlets were distributed not only 
in the district but also in far-off places like Burma and 
received much appreciation. Kolavennu Ramakoteswararao 
evinced much interest in their publication as an integral 
part of thedistrict library movement. Tanguturi Prakasam, 

1, Gunturu Mandala Grandhalaya Sanghamu-3 0-7-1938 nundi iO-8-i940 varaku 

^^^Ul- -t f |tfn^-Mi sa. 1 Itr- -ft M **+ i ' Ji-.ll. -*~ii*rW-v ' . ' * . -* i" -** ffffmtfrtflii 

Karyadarsi Kasiuri Kutmnba Rao Nivedika(K.anagala, 1940) (Tclugu). p. 15 

2, Gunturu Mandala OrandbalayiT Churiira (Published by the Guntur Mandala 
Grandhalaya SanBhara; Author's name" not mentioned, Guntur, 1938) (*TcIuu)p, (4 

3, Ibid, p. 17. 


Jagarlamudi Kuppuswami Choudary, Bellamkonda Ragha- 
varao and N. V. L. Narasimharao financed this enterprise. i 
Impressive work of this kind might have prompted N. G. 
Ranga, who undertook an extensive tour of Britain and 
greater part of the Continent in 1922 to assert, "The 

British movement for rural libraries was only a 

beginning, whereas the Indian rural library movement 
had already passed its adolescence" 2 

The impact of the libraries in the district on the up 
and coming leaders was overwhelming. 1910 to 1916 
was the village library phase of N. G. Ranga's life. Sitti- 
ng in the library of his village, Ponnur, he familiarised 
himself with the teachings of Veeresalingam and Brahmo 
Samajists, evils of untouchability and caste-system, 
traditional taboos and the political teachings of Lok 
Manya Tilakand B. C. Pal, and ultimately introduced him- 
self to the national movement for freedom. 3 

The library movement in the Guntur district con- 
tributed not a little in furthering the national conscious- 
ness among the people. It enlivened rural life, and edu- 
cated politically the not-so-much educated rural youth, 
who had hitherto been only hewers of wood and tillers 
of soil. 


History gives numerous examples, where a genuine 
national reawakening is symbolised in literature, which 
in its turn sustains and speeds up the national movement 
so that one reacts upon the other. 4 For the out-break of 

1. "Gunturu Mandalamu lo Grandhalaodyamamu-Oraiulhaluyji CharitM." 
Ariticle of Saranu Ramaswamy Choudary and Adusumalli Srinivasa Rao in 
Gtmturu MandaU Sarvaswaimii p. 507. 

2. N. G. Ranga : Op. tit. p. 98. 

3. Ibid* p. 17 

4. R. C. Majumdar : Op. cit. Vol. II (Calcutta, 1963). p. 148 


the French Revolution the writings of Rousseau, Voltaire 
and Montesquieu and for the Great October Socialist Re- 
volution of Soviet Russia the writings of Marx and Engels 
Gorki and Lenin had tremendous effect. 

The cause of nationalism in India was also greatly 
furthered by the emergence of national literature. Bengal 
in this regard showed the way. Significant contribution 
in the field of national literature was made in Bengal by 
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, the author of Ananda Mutt 
which contains the national hymn Vande Mataram,, Mich- 
ael Madhusudan Dutt, regarded as the Father of Modern 
Bengali poetry, Dinabandhu Mitra whose Nila Darpan 
was a scathing satire on the indigo. planters of Bengal, 
and the great poet Ravindranath Tagore. 

The influence of patriotic fervour animating Bengali 
literature was not confined to the province of Bengal 
alone. It galvanised the youth from Karachi to Calcutta 
and from Lahore to Madras. Bankim Chandra's hymn Vande 
Mataram had been the national anthem of India upto 
1947. During the long and arduous struggle for freedom 
from 1905 to 1947 Vande Mataram was the rallying cry 
of the patriotic sons of India, and thousands of them su- 
ccumbed to the lathi blow of the British police or moun_ 
ted the scaffold with Vande Mataram on their lips. 1 On 
February 18, 1909, during Mahasivaratri festival there 
was a serious confrontation between the police and the 
festival revellers in Kotappakonda in Guntur district 1 ? 
when the police beat up the people on a flimsy ground, 
there was wholesale rioting and the air rent with the 
slogan Vande Mataram. 3 Under the leadership of one 
Chinnappa Reddy, whom the government tried and hanged 

1. R. C Majumdar." Op. clt. Vol.1 p 341. 

2. M. Venkacarangaiyya ; The Freedom Struggle in Anclhra Pradesh^ Andhra) 
Vol II (Hyderabad, 1969)rp.""39:^ ~~ 

3. Ayyadevara ftaleswararao r Na Jcevitha K.atha. Navyandhrtmu 

(Vijayawada, 1959)nreluBu). pp. 112, ||3: 


later, the festival revellers that day bared their breasts 
against the government bullets with full throated cries of 
Vande Mataram. 1 

Other non-Telugu nationalist literature that inspi- 
red the district people appear to be the writings of Vive, 
kananda and Rama Tirtha. Both of them condemned in 
their writings all that was drossy in the Hindu religion. 
N. G. Ranga was happy that he could find in their writi- 
ngs "an explanation for all the confusing and contradi- 
ctory social atmosphere with which I had been surroun- 
ded almost to suffocation"- 2 Vivekananda and Rama 
Tirtha created in him a revulsion against idol-worship, 
casteism and sacrificial ceremonies.? As R. C. Majumdar 
points out, "The revolt of the mind against the tyranny 
of dogmas and traditional authorities, beliefs and custo- 
ms is the first requisite for freedom of thought and con- 
science which lies at the root of progress in social, reli- 
gious and political spheres of life". 4 

According to Nidadavolu Venkatarao, Vande Mata- 
ram movement marked the beginning of national litera- 
ture in Telugu. 5 In 1907 Bipin Chandra Pal undertook a 
tour of the Andhra country, and as a part of it stayed in 
Rajahmundry from April 19th to 24th. Chilakamarthi 
Lakshminarasimham during the last meeting of Pal at 
Rajahmundry composed a verse in Telugu and read it to 
the audience: 

India is a gentle milch- cow 
And the starved calves are Indians 
The subtle cowherds muzzle them 
To snatch the entire store of milkt 

1. Ibid. 

2. N. G. Ranga ; Op. cit, p. 30 

3. Ibid 

4. H. C, Majumdar; Op. cit. Vol, . I 1 pp. 290, 291 

5. N. Venkatarao's article "Adhunika Yugamu-Gandhi SahitynmiT* 
^J^dlira^atrika (Vijayawada) Annual Number 1973 '74, p. 9. 

t M. Venkatarangaiya quotes the translation of Amarendra. 


The verse subsequently became popular throughout 
Andhra and was inscribed on walls in public places 1 The 
national literature gained momentum with the advent of 
Gandhi on the national scene and touched all branches of 
Telugu literature-poetry, novel, drama etc. Mudali Naga- 
bhushana Sarma who made a study of Gandhi's influence 
on Telugu literature enumerates the titles of eight hund- 
red poems, novels and dramas. 2 Some of the poems he 
cites were on the lips of practically all Telugu people 
during the national movement. Of them mention should 
be made of Garimella Satyanarayana's "Makoddu e Telia 
dora tanam" (We donot want this whiteman's rule). 
Nidudavolu Venkatarao says that between 1921 -23 every- 
one in the Andhra country hummed this tune. 3 Daruvuri 
Veerayya writes how as an young man he was inspired 
and jumped into 1941 Individual Satyagraha Movement, 
when Pathuri Appayya Sastry went about the streets of 
Sattenapalli singing this poem. 4 

Damaraju Pundarikakshudu, Unnava Lakshminarayana 
and Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya have a special place in 
national literature, vis-a-vis Guntur district. They belong 
to the district, and especially the last two, besides being 
first ranking political figures of the district, were also 
writers of eminence. They ably used their pen to rouse 
national consciousness, and point out the glaring social 
and economic injustices. 

Damaraju Pundarikakshudu wrote simple poems 
portraying the Chirala and Palnad people's struggle agai- 

1. M. Venkatarangaiya : Op. cit. Vol-II, pp. 1$. 19. 

2. Mudali Nagabhushana Sarma ; Tgjugu Sahiityamu ; Oandhiji Prabhavamu 
(Hyderabad, |970) (Telugu) 

3. N Venkatarao's article "Adhunika Yugamu -Gandhi Sahityamu" 
in And_ hra Patrika (vijayawada) Annual Number i97J~'74, p. 17. 

4. Daruvuri Veerayya's article "Ncnu na Jecvltam" in Qunturu Mandalu Sarvaswamu 
P- 338 


nst the British government during the non-cooperation 
days. 1 He wrote plays in Telugu like Swarajya Sopawmu, 
Gandhi Vijayamu, Panchala Prabhavarnu, Swarajya Radhamu, 

.etc. These were enacted by Tilak Nataka Samajamu 
formed in Guntur in 1921. The actors played the 
roles of Gandhi, Lajpat Rai, Malaviya and AM Brothers* 
and inspired vast audiences. Sometimes the atrocities 
committed by the martial law administration in the Pun- 
jab were the themes of the pfays of Pundarikakshudu, 
and when they were enacted, the people used to go home 
fully convinced that in the ejection of the British from 
India alone lay their salvation. The authorities, therefore 

"created much trouble to Pundarikakshudu and the actors 
of the Tilak Nataka Samajamu. Before one play was pro- 
scribed by the authorities another was forthcoming from 
the pen of Pundarikakshudu. He used the pen as his 
sword, and that was why he came widely to be known as 
the Andhra national poet. 2 The plays and poems of 
Pundarikakshudu produced many patriots in the district. 3 

Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya composed poems, recited 
them at various meetings held in Guntur and inspired the 
people. 4 

Unnava Lakshminarayana during his internment in 
jail for his role in the Palnad anti-forest law campaign 
during the non-cooperation movement wrote Malapalli. 5 
In this great novel Lakshiminarayana brought to light 
how the toiling masses were subjected to very cruel 

1, Damaraju Puudarikakshudu : Gunturu Goppa (Guntur, 1921) 
(TelufiuJ, ppi 9 to 24. 

f Mohammad AH and Shoukat AIL 

2, Mandala Veerabhadrarao : Dcsabhmkta Jeevita Charitra 
(Machilipatnam, 1966) [Telugu], pp. 6g. 697"*"* 

3, Daruvuri Veerayya's article "Nenu na Jeevitam" injGunturu Mandala 
Sarvaswainu- p. 339. 

4, Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya ; Chatuvulu (Bezwada. year of publication not 
mentioned) (Telugu), pp. 25, 28. 

5, Kanuparthi Varalikshmamma ; Op. cit. p. 34, 


exploitation. Kambhampati Satyanarayana vehemently 
asserts that October Revolution of Russia had its pro- 
found impact on Lakshminarayana, when he wrote 

Malapalli. 1 It is difficult to accept this assertion, as 
Lakshminarayana wrote much that was opposed to Mar- 
xism in Malapalli. Still as Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao 
in his foreword to Malapalli says : "It is a peerless 
work" and "Unnava Lakshminarayana's attempt to reco- 
nstruct life on a new rational basis" is most commend, 
able. 2 

The press, especially Telugu press, ably supple, 
rhentfed national literature in contributing to the growth 
of political consciousness among the people of Guntur 
district. Most of the newspapers "were crusaders against 
the foreign domination of the country. It was their 
mission to educate the people politically, help them to 
assimilate progressive ideas, and carry to them the doct. 
rines of the great political thinkers of the west. Topics 
like liberty, democracy, self-government and nationalism 
were discussed and examined in their columns. In the 
next place it was their constant effort to expose the 
misdeeds of the government and subject its wrong 
policies to merciless criticism. They made the people 
conscious of their rights and freedoms, and fearlessly 
advocated popular causes/' 3 That is why the press has 
been glorified everywhere as the Fourth Estate. 

Among the journals that made impact on the dis- 
trict were The Hindu (Madras), Andhra Patn'ka (Madras) 
and Krishna Patrika (Machilipatnam). The people who put 
themselves in tune with the national happenings through 
their assiduous study of the national its newspapers 

1. Khambhampati Satyanarayana ; Artha Satabda Kalamu Jo Andhrula JPaina 
OctobaruJViplava Prabhavamu (Madrai?7f97byTffeluttuh p. 9 II 

2. Unnava"Lakshminarayana : Malapalli (Sangha Vijayam) (Madras. |962), 
p. viii (Tclugu) "' 

3. S f P. Suda ; Indian National Movement (Meerut, 1973-74), p. 73. 


followed with rising emotions the inspiring activities of 
the national leaders. N. G. Ranga then an young man of 
Ponnur trying to understand nuances of politics writes 
that the editorials of the press "emboldened us, through 
their courageous espousal of India's cause, and their 
daring ..... made us all to think, talk and write openly 
and bravely against the British regime". 1 

The government in Fort St. George did not look 
kindly at the news-papers. The Annual Report of Telugu 
News- papers and Periodicals for the yeat 1921- '22' 2 gives an 
idea of how much displeasure and anger Andhra Patrika 
and Krishna Patrika created in the government. The report 
says, "the Andhra Patrika of Madras, a comprehensive 
and well conducted daily, and Krishna Patrika took the 
lead as in preceding two years in the inculcation of the 

principles of N. C. 0. Movement The extensive 

circulation of these papers in the Telugu districts and the 
considerable following, which they have secured for 
their dangerous cause, have contributed not a little to 
the phenomenal spread of very strong spirit of dissatis- 
faction and hatred in them towards the present system 
of government in the land. They were the redoubtable 
champions of Civil Disobedience as the last and the most 
necessary step in their struggle for independence". 

The same report speaks about some of the papers 
published from Guntur. Gunturu Patrika was the foremost 
among them. Its editor "has given much trouble to the 
government in Guntur and Palnad". The paper" professed 
to abide by the Congress and further the spread of the 
non-cooperation" in the district. The Swatantra also of 
Guntur was "extremely severe in its criticism of the acts 
of the government. It often placed before its readers 
extracts from the objectionable speeches and writings of 

1. N, G. Ranga ; Op. oit. p 20 

2. Andhra Pradnsh State Archives Document Number 


C. F. Andrews and others and had its own share in 
inciting hatred and contempt among the people against 
the government". 

It should not be supposed that the press was useful 
only for the educated of the Guntur district. G. V. Pun- 
nayya Sastry says, "Some times the educated would 
read out the papers to the uneducated, and thus all 
important news was carried to the masses" 1 , and this 
method followed by the enthusiastic educated young 
men engendered in the people of the Guntur district con- 
siderable national spirit and political awakening. 


i < 

Close on the heels of the formation of the Guntur 
district in 1904, the tragedy of the dismemberment of 
Bengal took place in the year 1905, which left "a pro- 
found and far-reaching influence on the public life of 
.Bengal and the future of the country"2 As Tara Chand 
remarks, "Curzon's utter contempt for Indian sentiment 
and mischievous measures to disrupt the progress of the 
national movement provided the match to the magazine 
which was filled up with powder". 3 The partition of 
Bengal acted as a catalytic agent which accelerated the 
process of anti-British sentiment. The people everywhere 
bestirred themselves and though the movement in the 
South "was not as vigorous as in Northern and Western 
India "it effected" almost all the disiricts" even in the 
South. 4 And to quote Prof. S. Gopal, "Curzon's partition 
of Bengal gave the unwitting initiative to events of 

1. Signed statement of G. V. Punnayya Sastry. 

2. Sir Surcndranath flanerjea ; A Nation in making (Oxford, 1963). p. 170. 

3. Tara Chand ; History of the Freedom movement in India VoMH [Now DelhiJ 
1972. p. 325, 

4. Ibid' p 324 


magnitude, and returned many years later to port with 
the cargo of freedom". 1 

At a public meeting held at Ongole on 13th July, 
1907 Mittadoddi Venkata Subbarau, Pleader, Ongole 
mounted scathing criticism against the Bengal partition. 
He called it "the standing monument of the administra- 
tive incapacity the construction of which is entirely due 
to the architectural skill of Lord Curzon and Mr, Bro- 
drick". 2 In the same meeting he vehemently lodged his 
strong protest against the repression let loose by the 
government in the form of "deportations and prosecu* 
tions in the Punjab, prosecutions and persecutions in 
Bengal, punitive police and quartering of troops in 
Madras, and stultifying students all over India". Espe- 
cially, the deportation of Lala Lajpat Rai irritated him. 
Every hook and corner of the Guntur district was con- 
cerned with the way the government was treating the 
national leaders and the rising tide of nationalism. 
Mittadoddi Venkata Subbarau asks, "Gentlemen, who- 
ever dreamt of shouting 'Lala Lajpat Rai ki jai f by masses 
in the village of Kottapatnamt of our taluq (Ongole). 
I know it is a most backward place of all backward 
places, Who is responsible for all this stir....? The stir 
is something like the growling and rumbling noises of an 
earthquake!!" 3 

The alien administration created such a revulsion in 
the people that Kotu Jayarami Reddi, a native of Chima- 

1. S. Gopal ; British policy in India. ia58-|QQS_fCambridgc. |S>65) p. 298. 

2. Mittadoddi Venkata Subbarau : The present political situation in India. 

An addreas delivered by Mittadoddi Venkata Snbbarau. Second Grade Pleader. 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^**^^^ M "^ M ^^^^^^^*^^^^^**^^^^^^^^^**^^^^^^^^^* lip '*^ l ^^** p *^^^"^^^^"^^"^*w^^^*m^-*w>^M * J ** rtat * 

Oagole Guntur District, Madras Preiidency at a public meeting held at Ongole 

.. JIM. ..u-ma; ^nfsiHmfHto ,m, n.ani^d,, ,t m , mim*?utM**i,*ti WPIM** ..'*... . ..-_^ 

on 13th July, 1907. (Place of publication not mentioned. 1907J, p 11. 

t Kothapatnam is a sea-side village about twelve miles cast of Ongole. 
3. Ibid, p. 22. 


kurthi in Ongole taluq, despised everything British, and 
began to don Khaddar ever-since. 1 

The people of the district started putting on a new 
political air. More than that, a fearless spirit was over- 
taking them. It was at this juncture that Bipin Chandra 
Pal, one of the national trinity - Lai, Bal and Pal t toured 
Andhra in April 1907. By that time, Pal's name was 
known throughout Andhra. As a part of his tour, Pal 
visited Kakinada, 2 Rajahmundry, 3 Bezawada* 4 and 
Guntur. 5 Some students headed by Darsi Chenchayya 
and Nallamalli Varadarajam tried to get Pal to Ongole, 
but Pal having prearranged lecture. programme in Madras 
could not stop at Ongole. 6 

Bipin Chandra Pal was a fiery speaker, and he incu- 
lcated in the youth a burning faith in 'Swadeshi' and a 
Passionate yearning for liberty. His phillippics against 
the alien rule received the dithyrambic approval in all 
quarters. More important, he drew the students to his 
cause like a magnet. The result was electrifying. The 
students in Guntur began attending classes with the full- 
throated cries of 'Vande Mataram'. Though this was 
nothing but a salutation to motherland, it sent a chill in 
the spine of whitemen. 7 

Pal's visit to Rajahmundry produced more far-rea- 
ching results. There was a serious confrontation bet- 
ween Mark Hunter, Principal of the Government Arts 

cSSXnt;!?" 1 -^^ 1 ^ 1 !''^ 111 ^ 1 * " 0n B la Talulca lo Bahumulcha Jaiceya 
Chaitanyamu in Gudlapalh Auduiarayanu Shastipurti Sunchika. COngole, 1972) 
(Telugu) p. 104. -~ 

T Lai, Bal, Pal stand for Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Oangadhar Tilak 

Bipin Chandra Pal. 
2 The Hindu (Madras) dated April 20,i907, 

3. The Hindu dated April 22, 23, 24, 25, 1907. 

4. The Hindu dated April 29, May 3 and II, 1907. 
* Bezawada is now called as Vljayawada 

5 Personal papers of N. V. L. Narasimbarao. 

6. Darsi Chanchayya ; Ncnu Na Desom. (Vijayawada, 1967) (Telugu;, p. 42. 

7. Personal papers of N. V. L. Narasimharao. 


students headed by Gadicherla Harisarvothama Rao. In 
spite of repeated instructions to the contrary the students 
persisted attending classes wearing Vande Mataram 
badges. 1 The government thereupon issued G. 0. No. 
864 (Public) dated November 16, 1907 expelling one 
hundred and ten students from the Rajahmundry Govern- 
ment College- 2 Among them were three from the Guntur 
district. They sought admission to the Government Arts 
College, Rajahmundry, as it was one of the nearest 
colleges to the district people seeking degree courses. 

- : The student incidents of Rajahmundry sent ripples 
round Andhra, and in a public meeting held at Qngole on 
July 13, 1907 Mittadoddi Venkata Subbarau condemned 
the action of Mark Hunter and the Madras Government 
rusticating many students. He protested: "I can under- 
stand the rustication of a student or two, but the rusti- 
cation of almost all the students of a college - a first 
grade college like the one under consideration - no 
sensible man can for a moment understand. This is 
unique in the History of Universities. Why not abolish 

the college? Mr. Hunter could be 

provided anywhere : what blunder is this? Sta- 
tesmanship seems to have left, if there was any, all the 
English politicians of the present day 

i: T. T> Logan, Acting Director of Public Instruction to the Secretary to Govern- 
ment (Education), Fort St. George, Madras, dated May 6. 1907. (Andra **rades>h 
State Archives, Hyderabad History of the Freedom Struggle Section. The letters 

pertaining to the freedom movement do not contain any serial number of the State 
Archives. They are arranged in the flies date-wise in the History of the Freedom 
Struggle Section The source of such leiters is hereafter referred to as A. P. State 
Archives H. F, S, Section) 

2. Government Order Number 864 (Public). Government of Madras, Fort St George 
Madras dated November. 161907. (Andhra Pradesh State Archives, Hyderabad 
History of the Freedom Struggle Section. The Government Orders pertaining to the 
freedom movement do not contain any serial number of the State Archives They 
are arranged in the files date-wise in the History of the Freedom Struggle Section 

The source of such Government Orders is hereafter referred to a A, P, State 
Archives, H, F. S. Section) 


Bahadurism is rampant. How far this Bahadurism 
succeeds time alone should decide. I hope the time will 
not be longer." 1 

More than any thing, the Rajahmundry incident of 
1907 unleashed a new force in the national movement in 
the Andhra districts-the force of the student-community- 
destined to play a vital role with far-reaching conseque- 
nces in the subsequent stages of the country's fight for 
freedom like Triple Boycott; Simon Commission Boycott, 
.Salt Satyagraha, Quit India Movement etc. 

* * 

|n the wake of Vande Mataram movement an event 
of political importance occured in the Guntur district - 
the Kotappakonda riot of 1909. 

Kotappakonda is a bare hillock. It is in the Nara- 
saraopst taluq of Guntur district. On the top of the 
hillock there is a shrine of Siva.t It has been customary 
to hold a car-festival every year on the MahasivaratrW 
Day. Manufacturers would bring their wares, and ryots 
their cattle, especially their bulls for exhibition. K. N. 
Kesari, who vividly describes the enthusiasm that 
pervades the festival in his autobiography, calls it a 
national fair. 2 

As usual pilgrims assembled at Kotappakonda for 
the Mahasivaratri festival in 1909. That year there were 
unusually large crowds which were far beyond the expecta- 
tions of the police, as a result of which police arrangements 
broke down. The police were excessively severe in con- 

Mi ttadoddi Vcnkata Subbarau : T h ,o J'resen tjpoli tic a I s it ua t i o a in In d I a . An 
Address delivered by Mittadoddi Venkata Subbarau, Second Grade Pleader, 

t Ongole 

on i3thjq|y 1907. (Place of publication not mentioned. 1907), pp 29, 30. 
t Siva ii one of the Hindu Trinity* the other two being Brahma and Vishnu. 
ft Birth day of Siva, 
K. N. Kesari ; Na Chinnu Nati Muehchatlu (Madras, l953HTeIugu) pp, 78.79. 

W^MM^iMIU^^B4BMMV4t4*fal*^BWnt'*nr>t l - ll ~J-Ir f *^*+t*&-&-* l'p-TWBtf 


trolling the crowds. There was confrontation between 
the government and the festival revellers under the lea- 
dership of Chinnappa Reddy who brought his best bulls 

for exhibition. 


Mutually contradictory causes of the rioting appear 
in the government documents on the one hand and in the 
writings of the district and other Congress leaders on the 
other. According to the C. I. D. report on the rioting 
"a Reddy was drunk and that a constable trying to arrest 
him was severely beaten and thrown down by him. A 
rumour spread that the constable had been killed. Imm- 
ediately some four or five constables from different 
places of the vast camps went to the scene and arrested 
the drunken Reddy and took him and the constable who 
had fallen down to the police station which had been 
improvised on the plain for that single day festival. A 
crowd quickly gathered and demanded the release of the 
Reddy. The constables at the police station (there were 
only seven or eight in number) refused and there was 
some altercation. The crowd began to pelt stones and 
sticks; the constables fired in the air. Suddenly some 
evil genius got behind the police station and set fire to 
the palmyra leaves of the shed which formed the station. 
The constables became panic-stricken and ran away. All 
this happened in an incredibly short space of time, per- 
haps in less than 15 minutes". 1 But, it is very difficult 
to believe that the arrest of a Reddy, that too when he 
was drunk and misbehaving could have led to a riot of 
that magnitude. It was the Mahasivaratri Day, considered 
to be very sacred for the Hindus. It is difficult to under- 
stand how the police concluded that Chinnappa Reddy 
was drunk. He was not arrested that day, and as such 
no medical examination was conducted on him. It was 
many days later that he was arrested, tried and hanged. 

1. C. I. D. file No. 4 of the A >. Slate Archives. H, F, S. Section, p. 64. 


K. N. Kesari. 1 and Ayyadevara Kaleswara Rao 2 give 
us the reason for the rioting. The bulls which Chinna- 
ppa Reddy brought for exhibition became unruly, and 
police who had been excessively severe opened fire on 
the bulls and killed them. This infuriated the mob. With 
full throated cries of 'Vande Mataram', 'Drive out the 
British' and 'We want Swaraj' the mob made the police 
and the police station the targets of their attack. Acco- 
rding to the C. I. D. report cited earlier one constable 
was killed, another burnt to death and One salt peon was 
also killed. Two Reddy youths were found dead on the 
spot. Many police officials were seriously injured. 

Later on forty five persons were arrested and 
committed to trial of whom twenty one were convicted 
one being sentenced to death, four to transportation for 
life and the rest to various terms of imprisonment. 3 The 
person sentenced to death was Chinnappa Reddy r who 
became the hero of the district. Ballads were composed 
extolling his martyrdom, and even today they are sung 
by the people of this area. 4 The Kotappakonda incident 
can be claimed as a shot in the arm of the nationalist 
leaders of the district. 


The murder of an Austrian Crown Prince by a Serb 
in 1914 sparked off World War I. Great Britain declared 
war on Germany on August 14, 1914, and made heavy 
demands on India for help in that hour of her crisis and 
need. Annie Besant saw India's opportunity in England's 
need. She organised the Home Rule Movement, and 
started two journals for the purpose, The New India and 

1. K. N. Kesari : Op. cit. p. 81 

2. Ayyadevara Kaleswararao : Op. cit. pp. 112. 113. 

3. M Venkatarangaiya ; Op. cit. Vol. II. p. 61: 

4. K. N. Kesari : Op. cit* p. 8|. 


The Common Weal. Bal Gangadhar Tilak also organised a 
Home Rule movement of his own on April 28, 1916 in 
Maharastra, Central Provinces and Berar with the aim of 
educating, public opinion and carrying on intense agitation 
for self-government. 

Although there were two Home Rule Leagues of 
.Besant and Tilak, they acted in close cooperation. There 
was an informal understanding between them that Bea- 
sapt's field of work wpuld cover the whole of India except 
the provinces of Bombay and C. P, where Tilak's League 
woulfl carry on the work. 1 . . . 

Prominent leaders-apt the Guntur district joined the 
League. Among them mention should be made of Konda 
Venkatappayya, Unnava Lakshminarayana and Gollapudi 
Sitaramasastry.a Besant undertook a tour of Andhra, 
and as part of it visited Guntur town with Wadia and 
some of her followers and .stayed with Kond Venkata- 
-ppayya as his guest?. 3 < 


As the Home Rule Movement was gaining momen- 
tum the government resorted to repressive measures. 
Besant was not allowed to enter into several provinces. 
At a public meeting of the Guntur Home Rule League on 
November 17, 1916 the action of the Chief Commissioner 
of the Central province and Berar prohibiting Annie 
Besant from entering those provinces was condemned. 
It strongly urged on the Government of India the imme- 
diate necessity of providing effective safeguards against 
the improper use of the Defence of India Act. 4 A worse 
measure of repression by the Madras Government under 
Lord Pentlancl was the arrest and internment of Besant 

1 R. C. Ma ju radar Op. cit Vol-II, p. 367. 

2. Ayyadevara Kaleswararao, Op. cit. p. 117, 

3. Konda Venkatappayya, Op. cit, p* 204. 

4. The Hindu dated November lz, 1916. 


and her two colleagues B. P. Wadia and G. S. Arundale. 
The government's determined hostility against the Home 
Rule League stirred the whole country. Protest meetings 
were held at Tenali, Bapatla and Guntur. 1 The campaign 
resulted, as Gandhiji put it, in Home Rule for India 
becoming "a mantram in every village". In Qngole, 
Mukthinutalapati Venkata Narayanasarma gave up his 
studies in protest and r Panchagnula.Sivaramayya resigned 
his job irt the Taluk Board Office. 3 S. Subrahmanya Iyer 
wrote a long letter to President Wilson of the United 
States drawing his attention to the repression let loose 
by the Government of India, and one of the signatories 
of the letter was Konda Venkatappayya. 4 When pressure 
was thus building up against the government, Besant 
and her colleagues who had been arrested on June, 1 5, 
1917 were released on September 17, 1917. 

At this juncture the enlightened public opinion in 
England realised that the despotic and irresponsible rule 
of bureaucracy in India needed a change and that a mea- 
sure of responsible government should be introduced. 
Montagu became the Secretary of State for India. Soon 
after assuming office he made a historic pronouncement 
in the British Parliament that responsible government 
was the goal of British policy in India. He and othe r 
members of his mission arrived in India on November 10 


1917 and received many deputations in this regard. 
Among others, the Home Rule delegation waited on him. 
It was led by Annie Besant. Among the Home Rule 
deputationists was Konda Venkatappayya of the Guntur 

1. M. Venkatarangaiya : Op. cit Vol-H, p. U3 

2. fl. Shivarao : Indj a's Fr eedj>mJMov^men t --_S omc ^otableJPigurei 
(New Delhi 1972) p 45. " ~ ~ " " 

3. Ramachandruni Venkatappa'i article "Ongolu Taluk a lo Bahumuka Jateeya 
Chaitanyamu" in Qundlapalli Audinarayana Shastipurthi Sanchika (Ongolc, 
1972) fTelugu), p. 107. 

4 Konda Venkatappayya ; Op, cit, p. 205 


district. 1 In the address and memoranda presented by 
the Home Rule League to Lord Chelmsford, Viceroy and 
Governor General of India and Edwin Samuel Mantagu, 
Secretary of State for India, the deputationists demanded 
"self-expression self- realisation and self. development. 
Our League, desires to press through you on the great 
.British democracy the position that free and constitutional 
forms of government are the sole means by which growth 
and progress can be ensured to the masses of the popu- 

; In the Home Rule phase of the freedom struggle 
Guntur district played her part and contributed her mite. 

Political associations and the formation of the Guntur 
District Congress Committee. 

The Guntur district was formed in 1904. Before 
that, except Ongole taluq the other areas of the district 
were a part of the Krishna district. Even after the forma- 
tion of the Guntur district a separate district Congress 
Committee was not constituted for almost eleven years. 
In 1915 the first Guntur District Congress Committee 
was formed with Patri Venkata Srinivasa Rao as President 
and Vishnubhotla Suryanarayana as Secretary. 3 

That some of the district people, however, kept 
themselves informed of the activities of the Indian 
National Congress even before the formation Of the 
District Congress Committee is evident from the auto- 
biography of Kondci Venkatappayya. In the third Indian 

|. Konda Venkatappyya : Op. cit. pp. 204, 203. 

2. The Home Rule League Demand ; Being the Address and Memoranda presented 
by the Home Rule League to H. E. the Viceroy ^ndjte jUoratarvjof State 
(Madras, M9 17) p. 45. 

3. Vishnubhotla Suryanarayana's article "Gunturu Maodahimu lo Jaieeya Udyftmumu 
in Gunturu Mandqla Sarvaswamu p. 308, 


National Congress that met on December 27, 1887 in the 
Pendal erected in Mackay's Gardens, Madras, presided 
over by Badrudin Tyabiji 1 , Konda Venkatappayya then a 
student of the Law College attended it as a volunteer and 
closely followed the "inspiring speeches" of W. C. 
Banerjee, Ma dan Mohan Malaviya and Bipin Chandras Pal 
regarding the introduction of the representative institu- 
tions in India; 2 

. - '' . v ';. ; v * '..'.. / , 

Long beforethe formation of the district and the 
constitution 6f the Guntur District Congress Committee 
there were some associations in the Guntur town, which 
though by modern parlance were not political associa- 
tions, stiJI drew the attention of the government to the 
public needs and grievances. One such was *Sadvichara 
Divya Gnana Sabha* started in 1890 by Chunduru Kotayya 
Sresti of Nellore. Gopalkrishna Gokhale sent to this 
association literature relating to the 'Sarva Janik Sabha 9 of 
Poona. People of Guntur town unaccoustomed hitherto 
to attending any social or political meetings began to 
discuss and debate various political problems of the day. 
The members of the Sadvichara Divya Gnana Sabha started 
Tax Payers' Association. 3 When in April 1892 the Gove- 
rnor of Madras Presidency, Wenlock, visited Guntur, 
Sanagapalli Ramaswami Gupta and Dupaguntla Purusho- 
tham submitted a memorandum requesting him to 
improve water-supply to the Guntur town and to increase 
the number of elected members of the Guntur munici- 
pality to ten. 4 

With the popular support they were receiving Kol- 
chana Appayya Dikshitulu, Nyapati Hanumantha Rao 
Panthulu, Annavarapu Pundarikakshudu, Vavilala Ven- 

1. Annie Besant: How India wrought for Freedom (Mad rat, 1 915;, p. 37 . 

2. Konda Venkatappayya : Op. clt. pp. 89. 90. 

3. Grandhi Venkata Subbaraya Sarma . Jeevita Dvayamu (Bezawada, 1933) 
(Telagu). pp. 34>35. 

4. Ibid' p. 36. 


kata Sivavadhanulu, Vinjamuri Bhavanacharyulu and 
BuddirajuKanakaraju Panthulu started the Krishna District 
Congress Committee on July 1, 1892. 1 

Prior to the formation of the district committee 
extensive preparations were made and meetings of the 
Congress leaders of the Krishna district were held on 
June 29, 30, 1892 in Guntur which was then a part of the 
Krishna district. Tremendous work was done by Sana- 
gapalli Ramaswami Gupta and other Guntur leaders in 
the formation of Krishna District Congress Committee. It 
was the first of its kind in Andhradesa, and no district 
Congress committee was till then formed* 2 Thus, the 
Guntur town showed the way for the formation of the 
first district Congress Committees. 3 

Though Guntur district was formed in 1904, the 
Guntur district Congress leaders functioned a? an integ- 
ral part of the Krishna District Congress Committee till 
1915, in which year the Guntur D. C. C. was formed with 
Patri Venkata Srinivasa Rao as President and Vishnubho- 
tla Suryanarayana as Secretary, as stated earlier. 

In the very first year of its formation the D. C. C. 
sent Patri Venkata Srinivasa Rao, Eka Pandayya, Konda 
Venjcatappayya, Neti Hanumantha Rao, Govindarajula 
Srinivasa Rao and Vishnubhotla Suryanaryana as dele- 
gates to the All India Congress meeting held in Bombay.* 
Eversince, the Guntur District Congress Committee took 

1. Ibid. pp.3*. 39 

2. Konda Venlcatappayya : Op. cit, p. 9$. 

3. 27va Quotum MandaU Sabha. SajteMi^j^j^ Srjyutha 
Nyapathi Hanumaatharao Panthulu aari Upaoyasamu f G u n t u r7 1 9 7i) ,Te I u g uj 
p. 19. 

Hereafter this is referred to ai Presidential address of the Nayapathi 
Hanumantharao Panthulu in the 27th Ountur Disidct Conference held at 
Sattenapalli in 1918- 

4. Vishnubhotla Suryanarayana's article 'Ounturu MandaUmu Io Jfatecya Udyamamu 
in Gunturu Mandala Sarvaswamu p. 308. ju 


a leading part in all national, provincial and local stru- 
ggles. It played a positive role in the formation of a 
separate Andhra Congress Committee on January 
20, 1918. J 

Gandhi emerged on the national scene in 1919 
after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the horrors of 
martial law in the Punjab. Soon after when he blew the 
conch of non-violent, non-cooperation against the alien 
(rule, the Guntur district extended overwhelming support 
to him. In some of the movements for national indepe- 
ndence the Guntur district came forward and led other 
Andhra districts. 

1. Ibid. p. 308. 


From Moderation To 
Non - Cooperation 


In 1915 the first Guntur District Congress was 
formed with Patri Venkata Srinivasarao as President and 
Vishnubhotla Suryanarayana as Secretary. Eversince, it 
became the rallying point for nationalists. It gave a 
concrete shape to the aspirations of the people in the 
district, and six years after its formation is completly 
dominated the political life of the district. 

However, thedistrict leaders till 1919 believed only 
in prayers and petitions and in passing of resolutions. 
The freedom movement was not still broad-based and 
much less mass-based. It was confined only to the 
intelligentsia. No doubt, delegates from the district used 

to attend the annual sessions of the All-India Congress; 


but the resolutions passed in them do not appear to have 
reached the masses. 

Even in the Guntur District Political Conferences 
and various other meetings the dominant strain was 
praying for reform and passing of resolutions. 

In a meeting held on May 10,1914 at Tenali the 
ryots of the Guntur district requested the government for 
irrigation facilities. l In the Guntur District Conference 
held on June 4 and 5, 1914 at Ongole, Vinjamuri 
Bhavanacharyulu, while requesting the government for 
more agricultural facilities and pleading for more non- 
officials in the local bodies, exhorted the people to attain 
all-round development "with the help and the coope- 
ration of the government". 2 Bhavanacharyulu regretted 
that though Lord Ripon introduced local-self govern- 
ment as far back as 1882, its benefits did not 
percolate to the Guntur district. To substantiate his 
assertion he gives a table to show the dominance 
of the official element in the District and Taluq 
Boards. 3 : 

Ex-officio Nominated Elected Officials Non- 

Guntur District 

Board 5 





Guntur Taluq Board 1 





Tenali Taluq Board 1 





1. Vinjamuri Bhavanacharyulu'i Presidential Address in the Guntur District Con- 
ference held at Ongole on June 4th and 5th, 1914. p. 14. 

2. Ibid, p 26 

3. Ibid. p. 9 


Ex-officio Nominated Elected Officials Non- 

OngoIeTaluq Board 1 8 8 4 11 

Narasaraopet Taluq 

Board 1 10 7 4 11 

^_^_ -^^^ fc^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^M^MMM^^^^^^*****^*^^^^^^^*!^^ 

In the twenty seventh Guntur District Conference held 
in 1918, the President of the conference Nyapathi 
Hanumantha Rao Panthulu felt gratified that the British 
government recruited soldiers from Andhra also 
thereby giving them an opportunity "to exhibit theij 
loyalty to the British government". 1 In the same confe- 
rence he requested the government to introduce compu- 
lsory primary education even by increasing land-tax. 2 
Making some other such request Nyapathi Hanumantharao 
Panthulu requested the people to take forward their 
district "with the help of the government and the English 
pefople". 3 In the special session of the Andhra Provin- 
cial Conference held at Guntur on Angust 17,1918, the 
President of the Reception Committee Eka Lakshmi 
Narasimham Panthulu of the Guntur town, welcoming 
the. delegates, appealed to the government to hold 
examinations for the Indian Civil Service in India also. 4 
This special session was presided over by Kasinadhuni 
Nsgeswararao, and well attended by "the major Land- 
holders". 5 The President remarked that "though many 

1. Presidential Address of Nyapaihi Hanumantha Rao Panthulu in the 27th Guntur 
District Conference held at Sattaoapalli in 1918 p. 3 

2. Ibid. p. 16 
3, Ibid, p 38 

4 Avaaarandhra Rastriya Mahasabha i9|8 August J7 Aahvanft Sanghatlhyakshulu 
SriyntaEka Lakshmi Narasimham Panthulu gari Swagaiopanyasimiu (Place and 
year of publication not mentioned) (Telugu), p. |2 

5. The Hindu dated August |9, i9|8, p. 3 


benifits were conferred on the people by the British 
government, the Indian nation was getting emaciated". i 
The conference requested the government to pursue a 
policy of "complete confidence in the capacity, intelli- 
gence, ability and loyalty of the Indian people". * 

The district leaders, especially Konda Venkatappa- 
yya, busied themselves from 1913 to 1917 holding con- 
ferences and carrying on intens propaganda for a sepa- 
rate state for the Telugu districts in the Madras preside- 
ncy. The district leaders were so seized of the issue that 
the very first Andhra Conference was held at Bapatla in 
1913 under the Presidentship of Bayya Narasimheswara 
Sarma, The Chairman of the Reception Committee was 
Konda Venkatappayya. 3 Choregudi Venk&tadri, pleader 
and social worker of Bapatla, devoted all his attention 
to make the conference a success. 4 In the second (1914) 
the third (1915), the fourth (1916) and the fifth (1917) 
Andhra Conferences held at Bezwada, Visakhapjtnam, 
Kakinada and Nellore respectively Konda Venkatappayya 
concentrated his whole attention and devoted all his 
energy to the creation of a separate Andhra State. During 
this period his autobiography does not speak of any other 
major activity he undertook, 5 Though this movement 
cannot be "regarded as inconsistent with Indian nationa- 
lism" 6 , it should be noted that it was the major issue 
with which the prominent leader of the district was 
seized. Vishnubhotla Suryanarayana, the first Secretary 
of the Guntur D. C. C. refers enthusiastically to only one 

1. Avasarandhra Rastriva Mahasabha - Ountur 17.18 August 1918 Kasinadhuui 
Nageawararao Panthulu gari Adhyakshopanyagarou (Place and year of publication 
not mentioned) (Telugu). p. .19 

2. The Hindu dated August 21, 1918. 

3. Konda Venkatuppayya ; Op. cit. p. 171. 

4. Ibid. p. 170. 

5. Ibid, pp 170 to 193. 

6. Sri. S. Radhakrishnan's article " The Andhra Movement " in the Twenty First 
Andhra Mahasabha Souvenir. 

(Place and year of publication not mentioned) (The souvenir is not paged; 


resolution passed by the D. C. C. It was the resolution 
of February 12, 1917 passed under the Presidentship of 
K. Kotilingam Panthulu. The resolution says that the 
D. C- C. was of "the unanimous opinion that it is abso- 
lutely necessary to establish a separate Provincial Con- 
gress Committee for the Telugu districts in the Madras 
presidency". Vishnubhotla Suryanarayana says with an 
air of success that as per the demand of this resolution, 
the Andhra Provincial Congress Committee was constitu- 
ted on January -20,191 8 with NyapathiSubba Rao as Presi- 
dent, Konda Venkatappayya as Secretary and C. R. Partha- 
sarathy lyengar of Chittoor and Siva Sankaran of Penu- 
gonda as Joint Secretaries, and that the head-quarters 
of the Andhra P. C. C. till 1921 was Guntur. 1 It was only 
after he plunged into the non-cooperation movement that 
Konda Venkatappayya stopped devoting his attention to 
the Andhra movement. 

The activities of the Congress were confined only 
to a few, and the masses were definitely not associated 
with them. The Home Rule Movement made some impact, 
and though protest meetings were held at Tenali, Bapatla 
and Ongole over the internment of Besant and her 
colleagues, the movement did not acquire the character 
of a mass movement. The Home Rule phase of the free- 
dom movement came to an end with the termination of 
World War I on November 11, 1918. 

The political activities of the year 1918 in the 
Madras presidency did not perturb the government in 
Fort St. George. In the Government Fortnightly Report 
dated June 1 r 1918, the authorities could record with 
satisfaction that " there was comparatively ttttle 

1- ViihnubhotlaSuryanarayana's article "Guniuru Mandalamu lo Jaiceya Udyamarau 
in Guntura Mandate Sarvaswamu. pp, 309, 3|0. 


political activity in the mofussil". 1 That the Congress 
did not make an impact till then on the people prompted 
Konda Venkatappayya to record his deep dissatisfaction 
over its activities. In his autobiography he records that 
though the Congress was established many years ago, its 
programme did not confer any benefit on the people, 2 It 
was by and large so on account of the non-association 
of the masses with the English educated class. 3 


A true national movement does not remain sluggish 
for long, and as R. C. Majumdar observes, history shows 
that genuine national movements have seldom failed to 
throw up a great leader in the course of their progress, 
not unoften from the most unexpected quarter.* In India 
the leader was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was 
the most dominant figure in Indian. politics and was the 
sole guide of the national movement from 1919 to 1947. 
With his emergence on the national scene in 1919-'Annus 
mirabilis' - a new chapter began in the history of freedom 
movement. "Never before had a leader emerged of 
Gandhiji's incomparable quality". 5 The year 1919 saw 
the end of petitioning, praying and passing of mere reso- 
lutions of the Indian National Congress. The year also 
witnessed the beginning of a new era, the era of 
Satyagraha which radically changed the texture and tenor 
of the freedom movement throughout the country. Guntur 
district was no exception. 

1. L. Davidson. Acting Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras, 

Fort St. George to S. R. Htgnell, Secretary to H the Government of IndU, Homo 
Department dated June 1. 1918 Letter No. 1551 W-i (A P. State Archives, 
H. F. $ section) 

2. Konda Venkatappayya: Op. cit, p* 221, 

3. Ibid 

4. R,C. Majumdar: Op. oil. Vol~I. p f 27[, 

5. Hircndranath Mukerjce ; India Straggles for Freedom (Bombay, |947A p, 1*9, 



Gandhi, who had earned great name for success- 
fully leading satyagraha movement in South Africa, Cha- 
mparan district in Bihar and Khera district in Ahmadabad, 
reacted sharply to the Rowlatt Bill which was passed in 
the first week of March 1919 by which the British gove- 
rnment in India armed itself with wide powers to intern 
people and to put down the national movement that was 
building up. Gandhi drafted a satyagraha pledge, which 

he wanted everyone that was prepared to suffer and 
sacrifice for the cause of the country to sign. The pledge 

ran as follows: "Being conscientiously of opinion that 
the Bills known as the Indian Criminal Law (Amendment) 
Bill No. 1. of 1919 and the Criminal Law (Emergency 
Powers) Bill No. 11 of 1919 are unjust, subversive of 
the concepts of liberty and justice and destructive of the 
elementary rights of individuals on [which the safety of 
the community as a whole and the State itself is based, 
we solemnly affirm that in the event of these bills beco- 
ming law and until they are withdrawn, we shall refuse 
civilly to obey these laws and such other laws as a com- 
mittee, to be hereafter appointed, may think fit and we 
further affirm that in this struggle, we shall faithfully 
follow truth, and refrain from violence to life, person or 
property". 1 This move for satyagraha evoked popular 
enthusiasm in Andhra as in other parts of the country,' 

The Rowlatt Act described as a monstrous act by 
Konda V3nkatappayya 3 was placed in the statute-book 
in spite of countrywide protests. Thereupon, Gandhi 
called upon the people to observe April 6th as a day of 
fasting, prayer and national humiliation. In his appeal, 
which he issued from Madras on March 23, 1919, he 

I T. G, Tendulkar: Life of Mahatma Gandhi. Vol-1 (Bombay. 195a), p. 293, 

2. Konda Verikatappayya : Op, ait. p, 1-6' 

3. Ibid. 


advised the people to observe 6th April as "a day of 
humiliation and prayer ...all work, except such as may 
be necessary in the public interest, should be suspended 
for the day. Markets and other business places shoul^l be 
closed ..I do not hesitate to recommend these two 

suggestions for adoption by public servents public 

meetings should be held on that day in all parts of India, 
not excluding villages, at which resolutions for the 
withdrawal of the two measures should be passed/' 1 In 
pursuance of thtjs appeal a complete hartal was observed 
on April 6th in Guntur. All work in factories, business 
houses and shops came to a standstill. A meeting held 
in the evening called upon the government to repeal the 
Rowlatt Act. 2 The Government in the Fort St. George 
was forced to accept that in "Guntur shop-keepers 
were induced to close their shops as they were told that 
under the Rowlatt Act, any Police Officer could imprison 
any person without trial for any offence 3 

This marked a definite break with the past. The 
days of protest by petition, prayar and mendicant reso- 
lution were over for the people of the district. Political 
work was no more confined to the educated elite, and 

Indian nationalism ceased to be purely intellectual. The 
factory worker, the peasant, the merchant, the student 

and above all the ordinar/ person, who had hitherto 
evinced no interest in politics, came to be vigorously 
associated with the national struggle for emancipation 
from the foreign yoke. ; With this change the national 
movement acquired robustness. It was indeed a stirring 
spectacle to see hundreds of the district people hitherto 

1. The Hindu dated April 2. 1919. 

2. The Hindu dated April 7. 1919. 

3. A. V. Campbell, Acting Secretary to the Government of Madras Revenue 
(Special) (War; Department. Fort. St. George, Madras to Sir James Duboulay. 
Secretary to the Government of India. Home Department dated April 21, i9i>, 
Letter No.2998-W-I (A. P. Stau Archives, H, P. S. Section) 


bound heart and soul to their professions and occupa- 
tions coming into the streets and taking part in political 
activities, some times legal and some times illegal, at 
the behest of the leaders, national and local. This par- 
ticipation of the masses was to unfold itself in the sub- 
sequent stages of the national movement with far-reach- 
ing results. This great psychological change in the 
society was wrought by the personality of Gandhi. 1 


Though April 6, 1919 passed off peacefully in 
Andhra, tragic events took place in the North. On April 
10th Dr. Kitchlew and Dr.Satyapal, the two important lea- 
ders of Amritsar, were arrested and taken to an unknown 
place. This angered the people of Amritsar, and they 
marched to the Deputy Commissioner in large numbers 
to demand the release of their leaders. The mob was 
turned back and fired at, as a result of which there were 
several casualties. The crowd carried the victims in 
procession and on their way set fire to a bank, a railway 
goods-shed and some other public buildings. The mob 
violence was also responsible for the death of five 
Englishmen. 2 There were also disturbances at Gujaran- 
wala and Kasur. Hearing of the disturbances in the 
Punjab, Gandhi started for Delhi; but on his way he was 
arrested and turned back on April 10th, 

The Government struck in a ruthless manner at the 
nationalists. When emotions were thus working up, a 
meeting was held on the 13th of April in Amritsar at the 
Jallianwallabagh to protest against the repression let 

1. Sarojini Regani : HiflJiihti j _cMhe__PfMdom Movemen^n 
Hyderabad, 1972), p. 66, " 

2, B, Pattabhi Sitaramayya : History of the Indian National Congresi. VoII 
(New Delhi. 1969). p- 163. ' 


loose by the government. When 20,000 people-men, 
women and children-gathered at the venue General Dyer 
entered the place at the head of a force consisting 100 
Indian troops and 50 British soldiers, while one Hansraj 
was lecturing the audience. After closing the entrance 
to the Jallianwallabagh, General Dyer ordered his troops 
to fire. In all ammunition of 1,600 rounds was fired at 
the people, as a result of which 400 people were killed 
and scores of others injured. 1 "The greater tragedy really 
was that the dead and dying were left to suffer the whole 
night without water to drink or medical attendance, or 
aid of any character." 2 Martial law was proclaimed in 
Amritsar, Lahore and other places in the Punjab. Sir 
Michael O'Dyer, Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab 
perpetrated untold misery, and the people of Amritsar, 
Kasur, Gujaranwala and Lahore were the special targets 
of his attack. 

Though the government tried to suppress the news 
from the Punjab, it trickled down to far-off places like 
Guntur piece-meal. Leaders like Konda Venkatappayya 
were horrified at the British atrocities. Their confidence 
in the British government was completely shaken. "The 
British government in India is becoming tyrannical every 
day and it is rendering the people illiterate and poor, and 
subjecting them to worst repression. 3 The atrocities of 
Michael O' Dyer in the Punjab became the theme of 
Damaraju Pundarikakshudu's play Panchala Parabhavamu. 
The play r where-ever it was enacted, created a chill Of 
horror in the people. The Guntur Bar Association dema- 
nded the impeachment of General Dyer. It also decided 
to collect funds for the rehabilitation of those, who 
were the victims of harassment at the hands of the gove- 
rnment. Konda Venkatappayya undertook the responsi- 
bility of raising the fund. 4 

1. Ibid, p | 64 

2. Ibid. 

A V %* 

3. Komla Venkatappayya : Op. cit, p, 221 

4. Dr. Sarojini Keyani ; Op, cit. p, 65 



Another factor that contributed to the tempo of 
the anti-British feeling among the Indians in general and 
the Muslims in particular was the publication of the 
Treaty of Sevres in May 1920 by which Britain and other 
European powers desired to dismember the Turkish Empire. 
This led to the Khilafat agitation in India under the lea- 
dershipof Moulana Muhammad Ali, Lhoukat Ali Dr. Ansair 
etc. Gandhi who was thoroughly dissatisfied with the 
Montagu-Chelmsf ord Reforms identified himself with the 
Khilafat movement. Time was propitious for him to 
launch the non-cooperation movement in the country 
with the active participation of the Muslims. Dr. Patta- 
bhi Sitaramayya says "The 'Triveni* of Khilafat and the 
Punjab wrong and the invisible flow of inadequate refo- 
rms became full to the brim, and by their confluence 
enriched both in volume and content tha stream of 
national discontent. Everything was ripe for non-coope- 
ration. 1 The Desabhlmani of Guntur endorsed the non-vio- 
lent non-cooperation movement of Gandhi. It wrote: 
"Just as Lord Krishna saved Arjuna, Gandhi has sounded 
his conch of non-cooperation to save the whole world. 
His message is a novel one. This win enable not only the 
Indians, but the whole world to attain salvation".* As 
Jawaharlal Nehru, pointed out, "a demoralised, back- 
ward and broken-up people suddenly straightened their 
backs and lifted their heads and took part in. ...... a joint 

action on a countrywide scale. This action itself, we 
felt, would give irresistible power to the masses. "* 


With the back-drop of the Punjab wrongs, the 
Khilafat agitation and the dissatisfaction generated by 

1. B, Pattabhi Sitaramayya: Op. cit. Vol I, p, 199, 

2 - Pesabhimaai (Guntur) dated August 29, 1920, 

3. Jawdharlal Nehru: An Autobiography (London, 1936). p.76. 


the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms the Special Session of 
the Congress met in Calcutta from 4th to 9th September, 
1920 "in the midst of most enthusiastic scenes." 1 
Konda Venkatappayya, Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya and 
Gollapudi Sitaramasastry attended the session from the 
Guntur district. 2 

The special Congress took momentous decisions. 
Among them the most important one was^with rfegard to 
npn-cooperationvThe resolution on non-cooperation was 
moved by Gandhi. The approved resolution runs as 

follows : "This Congress is of opinion that there is 

no course left open for the people of India but to approve 
of and adopt the policy of progressive non-violent non- 
cooperation inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi until the... 
wrongs are righted and Swarajya is established". 3 The 
Congress earnestly advised the people to surrender titles 
and honorary offices, not to attend government levees, 
durbars and other official and non-official functions, to 
withdraw children from schools and colleges aided or 
controlled by the government, to establish national 
schools and colleges, to boycott British courts, to boy. 
cott election to the reformed Councils under Montagu- 
Chelmsford Reforms and to boycott foreign goods. The 
non-cooperation resolution was carried by 1886 delega- 
tes against 884. 4 

Thirty Andhra delegates opposed Gandhi's resolu- 
tion. Among them was Konda Venkatappayya. The 
remaining delegates from Guntur stood solidly behind 
Gandhi at the Calcutta Special Congress. Venkatappayya 
opposed Gandhi's resolution "not because it was 
irrational" but because he thought that "there would 

1. B, Pattabhi Sitaramayya Op.cit, p, 200. 

2. A. Kaleswararao Op. cJt, p. z95, 

3. fi. Pattabhi Sitaramayya Op, cit. Vol-I. pp, a02, 203, 

... Ibid. 


not be many who would practise it, and hence it was 
impracticable". 1 

On his way home from Calcutta, Konda Venkatppa- 
yya was persuaded by Gollapudi Sitaramasastry and 
Ayyadevara Kaleswararao to join the non-cooperation 
movement. Venkatappayya had given up practice as a 
lawyer on December 31,1915, and had been devoting 
himself to public causes. He now gave up his membership 
in the Madras Legislative Council and decided to join 
the non-cooperation movement, 1 


The Nagpur Congress that met in December, 1920 
presided over by Salem C. Vijayaraghavachariar that 
''intellectual-giant from the South, imbued with the spirit 
of nationalism" 3 put its "imprimature. with almost rare 
unanimity" 4 on the resolutions of the Calcutta Special 
Congress. Gandhi declared in the Nagpur Congress that 
Swaraj should be the aim of people and that it should be 
achieved by all legitimate and peaceful means. A new 
Working Committee of the Congress was elected with 
Lala Lajpat Rai, Vittalbhai Patel, Kalkar and others. 
Konda Venkatappayya found a place in the Working 
Committee. 5 

With the Nagpur Congress "an intriguing problem 
of Indian politics was settled for good; the Congress 
which had always discourged agitational politics was 

1. Kouda Veitkatappayya : Op, oit. p, 223 

2. Ibid, pp 224, 225. 

Ayyadevara Kaleswararao alto refert to this in his auiobit graphy Na jeevitha 
Katha. Navyandhramu - (Vijayawada.1959) (Telugu), p, 20S 4 

3. M. V. Ramarao: A short hiitory of the Indian National Conqrrt* 
1959) p. 95, """" 

4. Re. C. Majumdar: Op, cit, Val-HI, p- 101, 

5. Konda Venkatappayya : Op, cit. p. 226, 


now to preside over the non-cooperation movement. No 
more would the so-called people's representative orga- 
nisation bear a complexion strikingly different from the 
awakened urge of the people" 1 Guntur district achieved 
the distinction, as we would see in the subsequent pages, 
of emerging as an important national laboratory for 
Gandhian political experiments under the guidence of her 
eminent leaders like Konda Venkatappayya. 


In pursuance of the Nagpur resolution, the Working 
Committee of the All India Congress met almost from 
month to month in 1921 at different centres. The Wor- 
king Committee that met in Bezawada on 31st of March 
and 1st of April, 1921 2 made tremendous impact on the 
progress of the freedom movement in the Guntur distinct. 
Hearing that important Congress leaders like Gandhi, 
Motilal Nehru, C. R. Das, Moulana Muhammad Ali, She- 
ukat Ali etc. were attending the meeting large numbers 
of people from far and near including the Guntur district 
poured themselves into Bezawada. Gandhi was escorted 
to Bezawada from Puri by Konda Venkatappayya and 
Gollapudi Sitaramasastry. 3 The crowds became unma- 
nageable, and when arrangements in Bezawada were on 
the verge of total collapse, Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya 
from Chirala stepped in with his Ramadandu volunteers 
numbering a thousand strong. The volunteers restored 
order and contributed considerably to the success of the 
meeting. Everyone was pleased, and all praised Gopala- 
krishnayya 4 who formed the Ramadandu volunteer corps 

1. RamGopal; How India struggled for freedom ^Bombay. 1967), p, 319, 

2. B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya: Op. cit. Vol-I. p. 212. 

3. Konda Venkatappayya: Op* cit, p. 254. 

4. Oummidhhala Venkata Subbarao : Andhra Ratna D. Gopalakmhnayya : Life 

i w i| 1 ,rF'. 1 *'*rtl* *"'!*< But ..,-,. vi- .*tmy n fat m I MiEiUfri^flaMfc^^g*g^jt ! Hil*l*^^^M^i^^ji^p^^^^g^^ 

and message (Bezawada, 5035 Sravanum), p. 106, 


with the object of inculcating in the people selflessness, 

wisdom, perseverance and non-violence, and to make 

them ready for the movement on which the country 
was embarking. 1 

At the Bezawada meeting of the A. I. C. C. the 
collection ofonecrore of rupees for Tilak Swaraj Fund/ 
enlistment of one crore of Congress members andjntrodu- 
ction of twenty lakhs of Charkhas ware enjoined upon the 
nation. The organisation of the panehayafs and dis 
couragement of drink were singled out for commenda- 
tion. 2 


After the meeting in Bezawada, Gandhi undertook a 
tour of Andhra and as a part of it visited Guntur town, 
Bapatla, Chebrole, Munipalle, Ponnur, Chirala and Veta- 
palem in the Guntur district. In these places he received 
overwhelming support to his cause. People everywhere 
enthusiastically welcomed him. He received liberal 
contributions towards the Tilak Swaraj Fund and it was 
a sight to see women in Guntur town parting with their 
jewellery. 3 


The decisions of the Calcutta Special Congress, 
which the Nagpur Congress ratified, found enthusiastic 
response from the people of the Guntur district. The non- 
cooperation movement in the district manifested itself in 
the following forms : boycott of elections, boycott of 
government educational institutions and establishment 

1. Duesirala Gopalakrishnayya Sri Ramadandu (Bezawada. 1*34.) CTelugu), p, 5, 

2. B. fattabhi Sitaramayya : Op* cit. Vol. -I, p. 212, 

3. Konda Venkatappayya ; Op. cit. pp. 259 to 262, 


of national schools, boycott of law courts, boycott of 
foreign cloth and promotion of temperance. Special 
mention should be made of defiance of forest laws in 
Palnadu, boycott of municipality in Chirala-Perala and 
the no-tax campaign in Pedanandipadu firka in Bapatla 
taluq and Addanki, Santhanuthalapadu and Duddukur 
firkas in Ongole taluq. These three attained countrywide 
publicity. They contributed to the growth of national 
movement so much that they are discussed in seperate 



At the time of the Calcutta Special Congress, 
Konda Venkatappayya was a member of the Madras Legi- 
slative Council. He was the only delegate to the Cal- 
cutta Special Congress from the Guntur district that 
opposed Gandhi's resolution on non-cooperation move- 
ment on grounds of impracticability. But when some 
lawyers of Guntur gave up their lucrative practice, as a 
loyal and disciplined Congressman, he tendered his resi- 
gnation for membership in the Legislative Council. 1 He 
also withdrew his candidature for a seat in the reformed 
Council under the 1919 Act. 1 Later, he undertook an 
extensive tour of Andhra which took him to far-off places 
like Kurnool, Cuddapah, Ananthapur, Bellary, Tadiparti, 
Hosepet etc. He exhorted the voters every where to boy- 
cott the coming elections. 3 A Vy*ya youth Mattampally 
Bala Subrahmanya Gupta making Bezawada his centre of 
activity extensively toured the Guntur district, and appea- 
led to the voters to boycott the elections. He veheme- 
ntly attacked in colloquial language the moderates and 
followers of the Justice Party. His lectures, which were 
delivered in the language of the people, had a tremendous 

1 Konda Venkatappayya: Op. cit p 2.25. 

2. The Hindu dated October 2, 1920 (Konda Venkatappayya's Statement) 

3. Konda Venkatappayya Op, cii. p. 243 


mass appeal. 1 Because of intensive propaganda of this 
kind most of the polling booths in Andhra returned pra- 
ctically empty ballot boxes. 2 At the Chirala centre only 
two votes were cast in favour of J. Kuppuswamy Chow- 
dary, an influential candidate. The two votes were 
those of his two clerks. 3 


The programme of boycott qf the government 
schools and colleges and the establishment of national 
schools evoked much response. Duggirala GopaNu 
krishnayya delivered lectures inTenali about the boycott 
as a result of which the students of Tenali Taluq High 
School went on strike on February 2, 1921, The authori- 
ties closed the school for a week. There was a strong 
demand from the students to convert the Tenali Taluq 
High School into a national school. 4 On the day of reopen- 
ing after the striken big procession wastakan out by the 
students and the local leaders with a large picture of 
Mahatma Gandhi on a cart, and everywhere offerings 
were made with comphor. After the procession a public 
meeting of 5,000 strong was held, D. Gopalakrishnayya, 
G. Sitaramasastry and Bh. Prakasarao addressed the 
meeting. Brahmandam Narasimharao a teacher took great 
pains in keeping up the strike. 5 In Bapatla also there was 
a student strike. Enthusiasm among the students in Bapa- 
tla was unabated for many days. The attendance in the 
school was miserably poor. 6 

Several students of the district gave up their stu- 
dies and plunged into the national movement. Dhenuva- 

1. Ayyadevara Kalcswararao Op eit. p. 296 

2. Konda Venkatappayya : Op, cit. p 250 

3 Gummidithala Venkala Subbarau : Op t cit, p' 127 

4. The Hindu dated February 4, 1921 

5 The Hindu_ dated February 11, 1921 

6 The Hindu dated February 4, 1921 

HI a TORY OP FRElDOtt ItoVlttEMT IN GUHTUR DriTRiCT ltll-47 5 1 

konda Subba Rao, Kota Viswanadham r Damaraju Ven- 
kateswarlu and Tanguturi Lakshminarasimham of the 
Ongole taluq gave up their studies. Chivukula Radhakri- 
shnayya and Janjhala Venkatappayya of Ongole, as stu- 
dents of the Medical College, Visakhapatham quarrelled 
with the Principal over the issue of wearing Gandhi caps 
and gave up their studies. Chivukula Krishna Parabra- 
hmasastry also of Ongolesang Garimella Satyaharayana's 
"Ma koddu e tella doratanam" (We do not want this 
Whitemen's rule)and was imprisoned. Ramachandruni Ven- 
katappa of Tangutur of Ongole taluq gave up his studies, 
went to Visakhapatnam, changed his name to Achyutuni 
Venkata Rao and was imprisoned in 1922 for five months 
for doing Congress? propaganda. 1 

In pursuance of the resolution of the National Con- 
gress on non-cooperation many teachers in the district 
resigned their jobs. In Tenali, K. Satyanarayana sarma, 
B. Punnayya Sastry, Bh. Subbaiah, K. Sambayya and 
M. Devendrudu of the Tenali Taluq High School resigned 
as teachers and placed their services at the disposal of 
the Guntur District Congress Committee. 2 In Ongole, 
Ramayanam Lakshminarasimham, Dovala Rama Durgaiah 
Naidu and Malladi Subrahmanyam resigned as teachers 
and became non-cooperators. 3 Gullapalli Ramakrishn- 
ayya gave up his professorship in the A. E. L. M. College 
Guntur and devoted his time and energy for the Con- 
gress work. 4 

1. Ramachandruni Venkatappa's article "Ongolu Taluka lo Bahumukha Jatceya 
Chaitanyamu" in Gundlapulli Audlnarayana Sbstipurthl Sanchika. (Ongole. 

1972) CTelugu), pp, 110, Ul 

2, The Hindu dated January 27, 

3, Ramachaadruni Vcnkatappa's article "Ongolu Taluka lo Bahumkha Jateeya 
Chaitanyamu ^n GujcIlapalU Audiaarayana Shastipurthi Sarchika (Ongolc 1972 

(Telugu) p, 111 

4, Konda Venkatappayya : Op* oit, p. 251 




,: To provide instruction to those who left the 
.government educational institutions and to play the role 
of nurseries of patriots several national schools were 
.started in itheGuntur district. Of them mention should 
.be made of the Qngole National School and Tenali 
National School. 

u. .. _ ^ 

"*;-.* . ' 

w , ; The genesis of a national school in Ongole was a 
monster meeting held there on February 8,1921 addre^ 
ssed by Tanguturi Prakasam, who spoke at length on the 
importance of national education. The local leaders. 

r * . ' * '..' . B- i . 

thereupon, in consultation with him resolved upon 
starting National High School on 9th February. As there 
wa no building .available for locating the school, 
Prakasam placed his newly constructed spacious build- 
ing at the disposal .of the local leaders. 1 The national 
school named Jateeya Vidyalaya, Ongole was started on 
9th February by T. Prakasam in his new building on the 
western side of the town. The school made rapid pro- 
gress and by the middle of March there were one hundred 
and forty five students of various communities including 
Muslims. There were eighteen members of the teaching 
staff. 0. M. Subrahmanyam was appointed Honorary 
Principal and P. L. Narayanarao, B.A.,LL.B. (Allahabad) 
was the Chief Professor in Hindi. Besides formal educa- 
tion, vocational training was also imparted to the 
students. Commercial subjects like short-hand, type- 
writing and banking were also taught. 2 An industry was 
started in the Vidyalaya - cutlery - comprising of the 
manufacture of peri-kniVes, razors, scissors and locks. 
This had been a traditional industry of a small family of 
goldsmith? in the neighbouring village of Cheruvu- 

1. The Hindu dated February 10, 1921 

2, The Hindu dated March 18, 19zl 


kommupalem (Ongole taluq). Sutaram Kotilingam of 
this family was invited to this school and was appointed 
teacher. 1 Some other teachers like Panchagnula Surya- 
narayana, Nayani Subbarao, Kuruganti Sitaramayya, 
Malladi Subrahmanyam and Dovala Ramadurgaian Naidu 
yvere nationalists and enthusiastic non-cooperators.* 
Neelamraju Venkata Seshayya r who received instruction 
in Telugu short-hand in the Vidyalaya, blossomed into a 
first grade journalist and retired as the Editor of 
Andhra Prabha, a leading Telugu Daily. 3 

Another important national school of the Guntur 
district started early in 1921 was Tilak Jatheeya Pathasala 
Tenali. It was located in the compound of Chundurj 
Hanumantha Rao, a Vysya. Students, who gave up 
their studies in schools wedded to government curri- 
culum, joined this institution and the total strength of 
the school since its inception was more than one hun- 
dred. 4 Gullapalli Ramakrishnayya who resigned his Pro- 
fessorship in the A. E. L. M. College, Guntur, was the 
first Head-master. 5 T. Siva Sankara Swamy, the eminent 
Telugu Writer, resigned his job in the U.L.C.M. College, 
Guntur r joined the institution, and taught Hindi, Sans- 
krit and Telugu. 6 K. Satyanarayana Sarma and B. Punn- 
ayya Sastry, who resigned their jobs in the Taluk High 
School on January 26, 1921. joined this national 
school. 7 The school followed a national curriculum 
drawn by Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya 8 , who made a 

1. Ramachandnini Venkatappa's article 'Ongolu TaJuka lo Bahumukha Jateeya 
Chaitanyamu in Oundlapulli Audinarayana Shastipurthi Sanchika, (Ongole 

1972) (Telugu;, p' I2|. 

2. Ibid. p. 120 

3. Ibid. 

'.. Signed Statement of T. Sivasankara Swamy. 

5 4 Signed Statement of C, V. Punnayya Sastry. 

6. Signed Statement of T, Sivasankara Swamy. 

7, The Hindu dated January 27* 1921, 

8 Signed Statement of T. Sivasankara Swamy. 


stint as teacher in Andhra Jatheeya Kalasala Machili 
patnam founded in 1910 by Kopalle Hanumantha Rao. J 
Besides general education instruction on nationalism 
and national movement was also given in the Tenali 
National School 2 . 

By February 18, 1921 there was a national school 
in Bapatla with more than a hundred students. Konda- 
nadu Hanumantha Rao trained the students who left the 
government schools.? Unnava Lakshminarayana after 
serving the one year sentencejpassed on him in July 1 921 
returned to Guntur, and with the active cooperation of 
his wife Lakshmibayamma started a national school 
called Saradaniketan in Guntur for girls. The Zamindar 
of Munagala gave financial assistance to this venture. 
In addition to Telugu, Sanskrit, Hindi and English the 
girls were taught sewing, weaving, carpentry, painting, 
music etc. 4 

* ' 

At the height of the non-cooperation movement 
there were eighteen^national schools in Guntur district 
and the National Education Committee - Gunturu Mandala 
Jatheeya Vidya Parishad - was constituted with Gullapalli 
Ramakrishnayya as President and Brahmandam Narasim- 
ham as Secretary.? ; . . 

I 4 ' 

Interest thus engendered in the district f or^national 
.education in the wake of, the non->copperation movement 
survived even after the movement was called off after 
the Chauri Chaura incident in February 1922. In 1925 
Guntur Mandala Jatheeya Vidya Parishad brought out a com- 
pact work called 'Jateeya Vidya 9 in which the writer Gulla- 

1. Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau : Op cit.-pp, 28, 30. 

2. Signed Statement of G. V, Punnayya S as try- 

3. The_ Hindu dated February 18, 1921. 

4. Kanuparthi Varalakshamm*; Op. cil, pp. 35. 16. 

5. Ayyadevar* Kalcswararao : Op, cit. p f 328. 


palli Ramakrishnayya made a comprehensive study of edu- 
cation, which included aims of education, curriculum, 
attitude of the students towards the teacher, elementary 
education, youth and woman-education etc. Even atti- 
tude to sex finds a place in his analysis." The writings 
of eminent educationists like H. A. L. Fisher of Britain, 2 
Aurthur Guiterman, 3 Justice Hughes, 4 Dean Burgess of 
U. S. A. 5 etc. were extensively quoted in this work of 
one hundred and fifty six pages. 

That the national schools 'in the Guntur district 
inculcated in the students intrepidity towards the 
government can be illustrated by a small incident that 
happened in Tenall. T. G. Rutherford, the District Magi- 
strate and Collector of Guntur, on 3 day came to visit 
the school without prior intimation. T. Sivasankara 
Swamy, engaged in teaching work, saw Rutherford 
entering the school smoking a cigar. He atonce sent a 
boy to tell the Collector that it was improper to smoke 
in the school campus. The boy went quickly and infor- 
med him. Rutherford threw away the cigar, came to the 
class and "sauntered a little. I asked my students not 
to look at him which they dutifully obeyed. The White, 
man went away some what piqued". 6 

That is why "in all ages and countries, despots 
and tyrants, as well as those who rebel against them 
make it one of their chief objectives to control education 
and enlist the sympathy and support of the students on 
their side."* 

1. Gullapulli Ramakrishnayya.- Jateeya Vidya (Guntur. 1925) (Teliiffu) p. 137. 

2. Ibid p 39. 

3. Ibid p 40. 

4. Ibid p 43. 

5. Ibid p i07, 

6. Signed statement of T, Sivasankara Swamy, 

7. R.C, Majumdar::Op cit. Vol-IIf. p 61. 




Immediately after the Calcutta Special Congress, 
Unnava Lakshminarayana, Gollapudi Sitaramasastry, 
M:adabhushi Vedantam Narasimhacharyulu, Nadimpally 
Venkata Lakshmi Narasimha Rao and Polisetty Hanu- 
mayya Gupta gave up their lucrative practice in the 
District Court of Guntur 1 . As stated earlier Konda Ven- 
katappayya five years earlier i. e., on December 31, 1915 
had given up his law-practice andeversince he had been 
devoting his energy and time for public causes.* 

.... . 

r ' 

At a meeting of the Guntur Bar Association held 
on Janutry 21, 1920, it was resolved that in pursuance 
of the Congress resolution Vakils shoud suspend practice 
for eleven months from 1st February. The following 
Vakils immediately announced their willingness "to sus- 
pend their practice and engage themselves in non-coope- 
ration": Aka Lakshmi Narasimham, Madhavapeddi Hanu- 
mantha Rao, Chinthalapati Dakshina Murthy, Aka Dan- 
dayya (Government Pleader), Kotamraju Hanumantharao, 
Patibanam Satyartarayana, Nadimpalli Sitaramayya and 
Gollapudi Ramanadhayya. Including Gollapudi Sitarama- 
sastry, N. V. L. Narasimharao, Madabhushi Vedantam 
Narasimhacharyulu, S. Parvatheesam and Barrister Hanu- 
mayya Gupta^ who had suspended practice immediately 
after the Calcutta Special Congress, the total is fourteen. 3 
> ' ' , . 

N. V. L. Narasimharao and Gollapudi Ramanadhayya 
went to Ongole and exhorted the vakils there to give up 
practice. In response to their appeal and exhortation 
twenty vakils of Ongole declared their intention to give 

1. Konda Venkatappajya : Op. cit. p, 225 

2. Ibid, p 188 A, Kaleswararao alao refers tO this in hia autobiography, p, 226 
Kaleswararao says that when Konda Venkatappayya gave up his practice* he 
was only 49 years old and that he was at the height of hi profession. 

3. The Hindu dated January 31, 12I. 


up practice, and issued a statement to that effect. Among 
them Neelamraju Chalapathirao r Valluri Narayanarao, 
Kondapi Ramakrishnarao, Sriramula Radhakrishnayya, 
Mallavarapu Subbaraoand Throvagunta Nandikeswararao 
carried on intensive Congress propaganda in Ongole and 
the surrounding areas. 1 Valluri Narayanarao was senten- 
ced to one year imprisonment for his role in the Duddukur 
no-tax campaign. 2 

In Narasaraopet, Kolavennu Ramakoteswararao 
gave up his practice. Later on he started Triveni, an English 
journal, and used it as a vehicle to propagate Congress 
ideals. 3 

Though it does not directly concern the Guntur 
district mention should be made of Tanguturi Prakasam 
giving up his legal profession in the city of Madras in 
January 1921. 4 After completing his Barrister's course 
in London and returning to India he set up practice in 
1907. Overcoming stiff competition from eminent law- 
yers like Bhashyam Ayyangar, Krishnaswami Iyer, Sun- 
dara Iyer, Alladi, N. Varadachari, TV R. Venkatarama- 
sastry and V. V. Srinivasa lyyangar, 5 he picked up good 
practice, and by 1919 he was taking from his clients one 
thousand rupees as fees for one day's arguments. 6 When 
he gave up such a practice and joined the non-coopera- 
tion movement, the prestige of the Congress organisation 
shot up in Andhra, 7 and as he was a native of the Ongole 

1. Ramachandruni Venfcatappa's article "Ongolu Taluk* lo Bahumakha Jatceya 
Chaftanyanui" in OundtupalU Audinarayana Shasxlpurthi Sanchika. (Ongole. 

M*tfMMmNMUt.W IBlillll ! I !!! \.r l^n^W MMMHM^HM*B^*lt-l*.l".4a . tjt H-TVM-lv%vpf ... -bl . .._, *-nifr*~r** 

1972). (Teluu), p. 1 10 

2. The Hindu dated January 15. 19a2, 

3. Kernel a Venkatappayya : Op. oit, p, 252 

4 T Tanguturi Prakasam: Najkeyiu .Yatra^ (Madras, 1972; (Tetugo), p 4 H3. 
$ t Ibid p 115 
6, Ibid p 125 

7* V Vcnkateswarlu: Andhra Keiari Taaguturi Frakaiam Panthulugari Jeevitamu 
(Madrai. 1951) (Felugu). pp. 76 to 78. 


taluq, his action was a tremendous moral -booster to the 
non-cooperation movement in the taluq. 1 

! " ... 

Merchants of the Guntur town took care to see 
that they did not go to government courts when dispu- 
tes arose between them. A panchayat court was formed, 
and the leading merchants became members, and pledged 
to refer all disputes to it. 2 The Andhra Congress 
Committee appointed Digumarthi Venkatramaswamy Pre- 
sident pf this panphayat court which settled disputes 
satisfactorily. 3 This panchayat court attracted the atteru 
tion of the, government. 4 


The Congress decided upon boycott of empire 
gocds especially cloth. By this method it aimed to "'hit 
theempirein weakest part viz., the Achilles heel of 
business the only part that is vulnerable and this does 
not require anything but will, wish and dtsire to do it 
and when this is done the will of British empire is sealed, 
signed and delivered". 5 

the government in the Fort St. George, Madras 
was shaken, and by threats, it. wanted to cow down 

. . t . , . * - ' . 

people's enthusiasm for boycott of foreign goods. It 
announced: "The Government wish their attitude towa- 
rds the movement for the boycott of foreign cloth shops 

1. Ramachandrtini Vankaiappa's article "Ongolu taluk* lo Bathumukha JaUcya 
Chaitanyamu In Gundlapalli Audinarayana Shasiipurthi Sanckika (Ongolc. 

1972) (Telugu) 4 p, 

2, The Hindu dated July 30* 19zl 

3, A, Kalcswararao : Op cit pp 338. 339* 

4. Report of the Inspector General Folice. Madras on (he iltuation in ihe 
East coast Districts, dated August 27. 1921 (A. P, State Archives. H. F. S, 

5. JL,. R Tairs^ : Boycott of British Empire Gooda^Aaa Buiincsaman Sew 
(Bombay, year of publication not raentionid), p, 16* 


to be clearly understood The government do not 

intend to tolerate disorder, and they assure merchants 
and importers of foreign cloth that they count on the 
support of the Government in opposing all unlawful att- 
empts to coerce them in this matter. To this end inst- 
ructions have been issued to all District Magistrates....* 
to take legal steps necessary to stop illegal picketing 
and to protect merchants, traders and their customers 
in the pursuit of their lawful avocations".! 

But the threats of the government and their att- 
empt at 'divide et impera' did not dampen the enthusiasm 
of the people. In fact, the merchants themselves came 
forward and decided not to trade in foreign cloth incu- 
rring considerable loss. The Guntur cloth and yarn 
merchants without any exception signed a statement not 
to import foreign goods any more. The weavers also 
signed not to weave foreign yarn. 2 

In Tenali the student and the youth raised an orga- 
nisation of volunteers numbering sixty. The students, 
youth and the volunteers picketed before foreign goods 
shops, and The Hindu dated December 22,1921 described 
the results achieved in Tenali as "phenomenal. During the 
month of December 1921, there was a steep fall in the 
purchase of foreign goods. Not even a yard of foreign 
cloth was bought" in spite of the counter importunities 

1. Order NO. 517 dated August 16, 1921 issued in the name of E. N. Marjoribanks. 
Acting Chief Secriary to the Government of Madras. Fort St. George 
(Andhra Pradesh State Archives. Hyderabad, History of the Freedom Struggle 
Section. The Government Orders, Communiques, Press Publicity Statements 
etc, pertaining to the freedom movement do not contain any aerial number 
of the Staid Archives, They are arranged in the files date-wise in the History 
of the Freedom Struggle Section, 

The source of such Government Orders, Communiquei, Press Publicity 
Statements etc* is hereafter referred to as A. P. State Archives. H, F. S, I 

2, The Hindu, dated October 3, 


of the local police, who had been deputed to the scene of 
picketing. The work was done with such self-restraint 
and remarkably non-violent persuasion that not one unto, 
ward incident occured, and many of the merchants meet. 
Ing the situation in good grace closed their shops, and 




Substantial work was done in Ongole taluq in the 

manufacture of Khaddar. Kpta Viswanadham and Kappara 

Narasimham did good work in the propagation of Khaddar 

jji Ghekurapadu, Madduluru and Uppugunduru of the 

Ongole taluq. 2 A Khadi Development Centre was started 

by Tanguturi Prakasam in Guravareddtpalem. Dhara 

GiQpala Sastry was appointed its supervisor. The AH 

India Spinners' Association (A. I. S> A.) gave a loan of 

Rs. 10,000/- to the centre. This centre did such a good 

work that it received the appreciation of A. 1. S. A. and 

Congress leaders like Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Jamanlal 

Bajaj. 3 There were half a dozen shops in Tenali dealing 

in khaddar. 4 Maddi Radhakrishnayya and Pendam Kesa- 

vulu toured Guritur, Mangalagiri, Bhattiprolu, Repalle 

and Pal nad to stimulate the production of hand- spun yarn 

and cloth and in every way to carry out the Congress 

resolution on swadeshi.* 

Khaddar, though coarse and rough, was accepted 
by the people in the true national spirit. Writing about 

1. 'The HlDdu datcid D'ecember 22. f92l. 

2. Ramachindruni Veiikatappa*8 article "OngoTu Talutc* lo Bahumukha Jatecya 
Chattaayamu^ in Gundtapalli Audinarayana Shastipofthi Sanchika 

(Ongolu.l972/ J (Telugu),p U2. 

3. Dhara Gopala Sastry's article "Andhra Ketari Panthulu gari to na parichayamu' 
in The ;Praka^aia pjrth Gcpiepary Souyenir (Andhru Pradesh. Hyderabad), 

Tel ug4i Seat ion. p; 42 ..... 

4. The Hindu dated December 22. 1921. 

5. The Hindu dated Augutt 15. 121. 


the picketing before the foreign cloth shops in Tenali, 
The Hindu dated December 22, 1921 commented that it 
was encouraging to see" rough Khaddar becoming more 
fashionable than Brummagem fineries of the West, which 
had lost their veneer for the youth". 


Anti-drink campaign made good progress in Guntur 
on account of the activities of temperance workers. The 
Hindus as well as the Muslim? cooperated whole-hear- 
tedly to organise anti-drink campaign. Volunteers appea- 
led to the contractors in the nameof patriotism and tem- 
perance to boycott Abkari sales. The volunteers proceeded 
to places where sales were conducted, and despite the 
vigilance of the police succeeded in persuading the inten- 
ding bidders not to bid. As a result of this sales had to 
be stopped. 

* . 

In the taluq centres of Guntur, Sattenapalli, Naras- 
araopet, Qngole and Repalli the people completely boyc- 
otted the toddy resales, when they were held in August, 
1921. l At Vinukonda. Patfbanda Satyanarayanarao, Bar- 
rister Dasaradharamayya and Anantachari were present, 
when the government conducted the Abkari re-sales on 
13th August. There were no bidders except one Christian, 
who subsequently applied for cancellation.* On the 29th 
August Palnad taluq resales at Gurajala attracted hun- 
dreds of people from surrounding villages to the ialuq 
office. Volunteers entreated bidders not to go in for 
toddy sales. All abstained from bidding, but the Muslim 
Salt Assistant Inspector dragged in two Muslim ryots 
standing by, and induced them by threats to bid. On the 
whole six shops were sold which fetched to the govern- 

1. The Hindu dated September 2. 1921. 

2. The Hindu flatcd August 12. 19ii, 


ment a revenue of R$. 12/- per month as against Rs. 
1/200/- per annum last year. 1 Dr. Syed Muhammad/ Sec- 
retary of the Bihar Provincial Khilaf at Committee arrived 
on Augnst 6th and addressed a large meeting in Guntur. 
He raised great enthusiasm among Muslims with regard 
to temperance. Among Muslims Shaik Fareed, a non- 
cooperator, did good work in preaching temperance. 
Unnava Lakshmibayamma was active in Guntur in appea- 
ling to the Contractors to boycott Abkari sales. 3 


* t .... j 

.:.:'' '."'' ' 

Thus, the boycott of the Council, law courts, 
schools and colleges aruj- the constructive programme 
parked by the establishment of national schools ahd 
anchuyat .courts, temperance and propagation of Khaddar 
on which Gandhi and the Congress wanted to raise the 
edifice of Swaraj was strongly laid in the Guntur district 
the whole year of ; 1921 . 

.,,... However^ it may b$ argued that the number of boy* 
cotting lawyers and. students was rather small and that 
the British courts,, educational institutions and govern- 
ment offices were not crippled in any way. The resigna- 
tions from government jobs were also insignificent. 
Kan da Venkatappayya under a separate chapter in his 
ajutobiggraphy refers to the resignations of Digumarthi 
Venkata Ramaswamy, Ravuri Ranga Rao, and Wadlamudi 
Mukteswara Prasada Rao and Brahmajosyula Subrah- 
.fnaiiy9m..Vfl&n$aoha4dru.nt V^nkatappa refers to the 

1. The i^ipdtf dp led Septem bet 2 ; 

2. The Hinda dated August 15. 1921, 

3. Madala Veerabhadrarao : Gun turn Zilla Swarajya Udyamamu 
Ujvala Ghattalu (Published by the author. 1974) (TeluBu), p. 39. 

4. Konda Venkatappayya : Op, ci, p. 250, 


' ' ' ' . . ' :' ' 

nation of Kappara Narasimham, Panchagnula Srikrishnaih, 
Achyutuni Govinda Rao and Achyutuni Pitchayya Sarma. 1 

The resignations of the government officials might 
be limited* The lawyers and the students that boycotted 
court and schools might also be small in number. But, 
it should be noted that for the first time in the Guntur 
district th3re emerged on account of these resignations 
and boycott-programme a band of whole-time leaders and 
workers who made attainment of freedom for the mother- 
country their only goal in life. 

They consecrated themselves'wholly tojts realisa- 
tion. A study of the lives and activities of those that 
gave up their professions, jobs and studies amply proves 
this. Before the emergence of Gandhi and the Calcutta 
Special Congress, Vinjamuri Bhavanacharyulu, Sanaga- 
palli Ramaswamy Gupta, Vishnubhotla Suryanarayana 
and for that matter even Konda Venkatappayya did not 
take up service to the country as a whole-time job but 
only as a pastime of leisure. Further, political work 
before Gandhi had been carried on so long as it did not 
hurt the pockets of those that were in it. But from 1920 
when Eminent lawyers, other professional people and 
enthusiastic students took to the freedom movement on 
whole-time basis Incurring considerable loss, the masses 
were galvanised. Politics ceased to be intellectual cal- 
listhenics; it came to be the business of common man. 
This .marks a definite break with the past. Moreover, it 
should be noted that it was not a mere boycott of British 
schools, colleges, courts and jobs. It was a boycott of 
the British Government, 

I. RamchsutdrAi Vcnlciiiappi'* article" Ongftlu T^lukd to SjUnmttkha Jaceeya 
Ch.itany*i*u" ia Gimaiapalti AuJinarayana Shmtipurthi Sanchika (Ogol. 

*. ,w MiWfJ.jwwwii.B- ' -^.. j - ,,^^^-,^-r,-r. W >^^-^'.^-*'^'--"^ '* "'> "" ' 

I97i) fTalUftu), p. Ul. 


1 . 

" The' success .of the boycott programme can be 
summed. up with the following observation of Netaji 
Subhas Chandra Bose: "The Triple Boycott had been 
fairly successful. Though the Legislatures were not 
empty, no Congressman had gone there. The Lawyers 
on the whole made a good response and the student 
community had come out of the ordeal with flying 
colours". 1 

: ^ 

Another important feature of the movement of 1921 
was that "the narrow domestic walls gave way" 2 and 
the women were drawn into the vortex of the freedom 

In the propagation of temperance Unnava Lakshmi, 
bayamma played a key-role in Guntur. After the Con- 
gress Working Committee meeting in Bezawada, when 
Gandhi undertook a togr of the Guntur district, women 
came forward and contributed their jewellery to the Tilak 
Swaraj Fund, 3 Patibandla Kotamma and Vasireddi Rajya- 
lakshmamma of Bapatla gave away their gold jewels to 
ajya Nidhr, When women, who for centuries chained 
narrow domestic life under the weight of tradition and 
custom, stepped into the streets, 5 and attached greater 
value to freedom than to their gold jewels, one can with 
cenainiiy say that Gandhi's call for independence reached 
every nook and corner of the district. 

; More than anything* the district people became 
intrepid and learnt the first scientific lessons to carry on 
an organised agitation against the government for the 
attainment of Swaraj. The Government let loose repres- 

1 . Subhas Chandra ISose -. The Indian Struggle 1 9aO~42 (Bombay, 1064). pp 55, 5<S. 

2. Pratima Asthana ; Women*! Movement in IndU (Delhi, 1974], p, U7* 

3. Konda Venkatappiiyya : Op. cit. p. 259, 

4. The Hind a dated Febraaro 18, 

5. Sarojioi Regaoi : Op 4 cit. p, 68, 


sion, and prosecutions were levelled against the people 
on flimsy grounds. According to the government acco- 
unt the highest number of persons who courted imprison- 
ment during the non-cooperation movement came from 
Guntur district "in respect of events arising out of 
N. C. O. and Khilafat agitation since the end of Qctober 
1921". 1 Still the people carried on the boycott progra- 
mme and constructive activity with great resolve and 

! . 

. ' I*" 

This intrepidity in the face of personal loss to life 
and property manifested itself in the defiance of forest 
laws in Palnad, the boycott of municipality in Chirala 
and the withholding of the payment of taxes in Peda- 
nandipadu firka of the Bapatla taluq and Duddukur, 
Addanki and Santhanuthalapadu firkas of the Ongolo 
taluq. In these places the freedom struggle passed from 
the stage of non-cooperation to the stage of civil dis- 
obedience. These three episodes made great history and 
they are separately dealt with in three chapters. 

The Guntur District Congress Committee shed its 
former attitude of prayer and petition and the passing of 
mere resolutions, and became so emboldened that in 
its General Body meeting held on October 13, 1921, 
Kolavennu Ramakoteswararao presiding, it appealed to the 
Indians not "to join the army, navy, police and other secu- 
rity services as it is detrimental to the honour of the coun- 
try and ideal of Swaraj".* Again the General Bodyof the 
Guntur District Congress Committee meeting on Novem- 
ber 10, 1921, Anche Sivayya presiding, appeal to the 

1. Acting Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras. Fort Sfc, George, Madras 
to the Secretary, Government of India, Home Department, New Delhi 
dated October 17. 1922, Letter No. 191-4 [A. P. State Archives, H. F.S. 

2. Resolution of the General Body of the Guntur District Congress Committee 
passed on U-10~'21 (available in its printed form in the Saras wathiniketan, 


rawyers arid students, who persisted in attending the 
courts and schools, to desist from doing so. It threatened 
them w?th social boycott if they did not heed to its 
advice. 1 The Guntur District Conference held on June 10th 
T921 with M. Ramaswamy Gupta in chair unanimously 
accepted the resolution proposed by K. Ramakoteswara- 
rao that the time was ripe for the withdrawal of govern- 
ment servants, crvi I and military. 2 The Guntur D.C.C.'s 
call to the army to abandon service was true to the mani- 
festo of Gandhi which said, "It is contrary to national 
Fnterest for any Indian to serve as civilian, and more 
espec ; iafly ; as a soldier under the Government". 3 

The willingness on the part of large numbers to 
make sacrifices for the sake of the country and the intre- 
pidity which the non-cooperation movement engendered 
ma cross-section of the people of the district created 
quite a deal of flutter in the bureaucratic dove-cots as 
is evident from the fortnightly reports prepared by the 
government. The report of 4th August 1921 says: "The 
situation in Guntur is threatening and strong measures 
&fllbfc required to counteract the prevalent contempt 
fbr authority-'. 4 The report of December 6, 1921 concl- 
uded that "Guntur continues to be centre of propaga- 
nda 1 ** the Inspector General of Police, Madras formed 
the opinion that the "demand for swaraj has been very 
widely and firmly implanted in the district of Guntur". 6 

1- Resolution of the General Body of tl> Ountiir District Congre Committee 
pasted OQ lCMl-21 (available ID its printed form in the S.rwwttlhinikeian, 
v Vetapalcm) 

2, The Hindu dated June la. 1921- 

3, D, G Tendulkar: Op. clt, Vol-H, p. 2, 

4, Quoted ia M, Venkatarangaiya's TheJFreedom Struggle in Andhra Pradesh 

*: ' " ^*"^^^"^ifc^iiPB*>i.^*-Tvi^. | ^.-nin , a , , fc ,^^^ MI1 ,, . Jrt -a^p^rt. L-..-ik . .%!-. - .' : T ' i . .. 

CAndhra) Vol-IH (Hyderabad. 1965> p, *0, 

5 * A Qrahaml. C, S t Acting Chier Secretary to the Government of Madrai, 
Fort St, George, Madras to S. >. O' Donnel. C. I t k. I. C S . Secretary to 
the Governnwnt of India Home Department dated December 6, W2I. (A, F. 
State Archives, H.F.S. Section') 

6. Report of'the Inspector Genetat of Police, Madras on the situation in the East 
Coast Districts dated August 27. 1921, (A, P, State Archives. L fVS. Section) 


The Government of India also had to conclude that "Mr. 
Gandhi's intensive movement during 1921 and 1922 had 
diffused far and wide among classes previously oblivious 
to political considerations a strong negative patriotism 
born of race hatred to the foreigner. The less prosperous 
classes both in the town and the country have become 
aroused to certain aspects of the existing political 
situation". 1 This was so inspite of the fact that the 
agitators were "dealt with frequently enough and prom- 
ptly enough " 2 

Gandhi's endeavour in the non-cooperation move- 
(nent was "to involve as many men as possible, and 
make sure of the ground he was traversing". 3 This was 
largely accomplished in the Guntur district. 


The Government made effort to build up an anti- 
non-cooperation campaign in the Guntur district with the 
help of one P. V. Krishnaiah Choudary "who was the only 
non-official who was making the slightest attempt to 
start an open and public anti-N.C.O, campaign*...." 4 
Such efforts on the part of the governmet did not make 
much headway. The Justice Party which was opposed to 
the non-cooperation movement did not get any response 
from the district. Sir. K. V. Reddi Naidu, its leader and a 
minister for one of the 'Transferred subjects* in the 
Madras presidency visited Tenali on September 15, 1921. 

1 India ial9zl-2. pp. 107. 108. 

2 oavidfion. District Collector. Guniur to Marjorlbanks, Chief Secretary, 
Government of Madras, Fort St, George Madras dated August 20, I9zl, 
(A, P, State Archives, H, F, S, Section) 

3, Nirmal Kumar Bosc & P.H, Patwardhan : Gandhi in Indian Politics 
(Bombay, 1967K p. 26, "" "" 

4, Robertson, District Collector. Guntur to Marjoribanks, Chief Secretary to 
the Government of Madras. Fort St, George, Madras dated June 26, 1921, 
(A. P. State Archives. H.F.S. Section) 


In a public meeting there, he referred to the non-coope- 
ration and said," by following the ways of the non-co- 
operators India would not gain what she wanted. Boy. 
cott of schools would only serve to steep India in igno- 
rance Again to give up foreign trade would also 

be a piece of madness. Foreign trade meant the increase 
of India's wealth".! His was a cry in wilderness, for the 
Tenali people whole-heartedly tried to implement the 
boycott call of the Congress, The neighbouring Guntur 
town gave a devastating reply to the entreaties of Sri- 
K. V. Reddi Naidu. P. C. M. Yathirajula Naidu leader of the 
Justice Party in the Guntur district* and Chairman of 
the Guntur municipality during 1918-21* lost the elec- 
tions to the non-cooperators in 1921 and in his place 
Muhammad Raza KhaqSaheb Belgani, an enthusiastic 
non-cooperator was elected Chairman. 4 The Congress 
in Guntut made its debut in municipal elections as the 
boycott resolution of Gandhi in the Calcutta Special 
Congress excluded the local bodies from its purview, 5 


True to the Khilafat spirit, the Muslims enthusia- 
stically took part in the non-cooperation movement. 
GhouseBeg, who was sentenced to twelve month impri- 
sonment in the 1921 movement/ testified to this com- 
munal harmony. 7 The election of Muhammad Raza Khan 
Saheb Belgani as Chairman of the Guntur municipality 
during the days when non-cooperation was at its height 
speaks 6f communal harmony permeating the district. 

1- O. V. Subbarao; Life and times of K. V, Reddi Naidu (Rajahmumlry* 1957) 
pp. 112*113. 

2. Personal papers of N, V, L. Narasimharao. 

3 Guntitru Mandala Sarvaiwamu (Telugu) p, 153, 

4. Personal papers of N. V. L. Naraaimharao, 

5. Bi Pattabhi Sitaramayya: Op cit Vol-I p 204 

6. Madala Veerabhadrarao : Op, cit, p, 182 
7- Signed statement of Ohouse Beg 


Ghirala -Perala 


India witnessed unparalleled political movement 
after the Calcutta Special Congress. The whole nation 
was galvanised, and "an unprecedented wave of enthu- 
siasm ran through India's teeming millions. Unparal- 
leled scenes of fervour, devotion and sacrifice were 
witnessed everywhere". 1 During this upheave! when 
"the old feeling of oppression and frustration was 
completely gone", 2 there emerged local variations of 
the non-cooperation movement. As Judith M. Brown 
observes: "Gandhi saw non-cooperation as a way of 
involving the whole spectrum of Indian society in a 

1. Tara Chand : Op- cit. VoI-HI, p. 493 

2. Jawaharlal Nehru ; Op. clt. p. 69 


political movement. His vision was achieved on a scale 
far beyond that of theRowlatt Satyagraha, because of the 

first time he made contact with groups who found 

in the techniques he offered ways of defending or pro- 
moting their local interests. The result was no mono- 
lithic political movement. Instead, non-cooperation 
became a chameleon campaign, taking colour from its 
^surroundings as it was shaped in each locality by the 
particular forces at work and the strains and stresses 
of the local power structure. Every province, indeed 
every district, in India would provide evidence of this, 
but a few examples will show not only how a continental 
campaign took on a variety of local faces but also how 
it ryvas precisely this flexibility which attracted men out- 
side the old political nation, whether in the presidencies 
or in the backward political areas". 1 

Dr. B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya also refers to the local 
variations of the non-cooperation movement. He writes: 
"In the year 1921 a spirit of resistance to authority was 
the dominant factor of publicise, and people practised 
this in different parts of the country in relation to the 
conditions of life around them and the local and civic 
.problems that confronted them". 2 

One sticlrepisode to resistance to authority of the 
year 1921 in the Guntur district was the struggle of the 
people of Chirala-Perala when a municipality was impo- 
sed on them much against their wishes. 

1, Judiih M. Brown : Gandhi's Rise to Power. Indian Politics 1915 
[Cambridge, 1972] p 322 

2, B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya Op. cit. Vol. I, p, 219. 



In November, 1919 the Government of Madras 
issued a notification to the effect that Chirala and 'Per a la 
should henceforth be formed into a municipality and 
Jartdrapet and Old Chirala should be separated from Chi- 
rala and Perala and should constitute themselves as a 
Panehayat Union, and if there were any complaints 
a^aifist this decision, they might be notified to the 
government by a certain date. 1 

* i 

As matter of fact, the government for various rea- 
sons had been trying to form a municipality for Chirala 
from the year 1914. When there was an out-break of 
plague in the Guntur district in 1914, Chirala was also 
afflicted and there were many deaths. 2 Asa result of 
this, the Sanitary Commissioner recommended a munici- 
pality for Chirala in place of the Panchayat Union. 3 But 
since the people were not in a position to bear the burden 
of taxation that the municipality would involve them, 
the District Collector of Guntur ftirmed the opinion that 
there was no need for a municipality for Chirala. 

In fact, though Ongole came under municipal 
administration even from 1876*, it was a victim of pla- 
gue in 1914, and the people of Ongole town in large 
numbers had to leave municipal limits and live on the 
out-skirts in palmyra sheds. 5 Whole streets of Pngole 

1. CJ . V. KrisKtur&o; Chirala and PeraU Tragedy .' An Episode of Voluntary Exile 

Kl -jjfc . ^- : -a -UhMCi. ie_ '***.- I.AOV- A T..-I ~i-. T i>ii li~ n^n i *- j*iJ-!*ft- -'H--*---^^"w* 

f Madras, 1922), p, 8 

2, Bsuvaraju Apparuo Sri Andhr- Ratna Dyutulu (Vijayawadt* 1963; 

(Telusu), p. 67 
3< Ibid, p, 68. 

4. Unclassified OnifOlc Municipal Administration fRccords. 

5. Ptsupttti Chidumbara S as try: Ongole Muhaminari (Ongolc, year of publication 

not mentioned) (Telugu), p. 4 


wore a desolate look. 1 That the towns under municipal 
administration were not pictures of good sanitation and 
cleanliness is evident from the condition of Ongole. 

M. Ramachandra Rao who reviewed municipal 
administration in South India beginning from 1888 and 
ending with 1905 brought to light many glaring defects. 
In matters of sanitation there was a cumbersome proce- 
dure. When the expenditure exceeded Rs. 200/-, even 
the most urgent schemes could not be undertaken 
without the prior approval of the Sanitary Board. 2 As the 
strangle-hold of the government officers was complete?, 
the municipal administration in the Madras presidency 
yielded very poor results. Moreover, Chirala then was 
not confronted with any major problems of sanitation. 
The soil was sandy and porous. There was no need on 
the part of the British officials to think of a permanent 
drainage scheme, Plenty of sweet drinking water was 
available in the. village, and hence it did not require a 
water scheme. 4 

. ' ' . . ' ' ; '' . ' 

Further, when the government contemplated a 
municipality and thrust it upon the people of Chirala r the 
towns of Bapatla and Ponnur, though bigger than Chirala 
did not have municipal councils. 9 

In spite of all these factors a municipality was 
duly constituted in Chirala-Perala in January 1920 with 
eleven councillors and a Chairman. 6 

I Ibid. p. 1, 

2. M. Ramafcfrandrarao, Municipal Reforms in South India (Madras year of 

publication not mentioned), p. 6, 
> Ibid, p. 5, 

4. G, V. Krishnarao, Op tit. p, 4. ; 

* " ' " ' ' 

3< fiasavaraju Apparao. Op. cit^ p> 70 . , 

6* G. V ( Krishnarao, Op, oit, p, 8. 


The inhabitants vehemently protested, when a 
municipality was forced on them much against their will. 
The reasons for the people to oppose the municipality 
were not far to seek. D. S. R. Rao, special Correspon- 
dent of The Hindu (Madras), who paid a visit to Chirala 
at the beginning of May 1921, found the villagers very 
poor. Under the Panchayat Union they were paying a 
taxation of Rs. 4,000/- When Chirala and Perala were 
formed into a municipality it was raised to RS. AtXOOO/-. 1 
About 90% of the population lived by dyeing and weaving 
which brought them bare wages 2 of 4 or 5 annas per day* 
(twenty five to thirty paise in the present denomination). 
The agricultural lands were not of good quality. Manu- 
facturing activity was little. There was only one rice- 
mill and fiothing else. 4 D, S. R. Rao says that when such 
poor people were suddenly called upon to pay about nine 
or ten times the amount that they had hitherto been 
paying, they felt the taxation to be "very oppressive*,. 
Added to that when the municipality was constituted, 
the councillors indulged in petty oppression. 5 

The people made known their dislike of the munici- 
pality in many ways. They formed the Rate Payers' 
Association on February 18, 1920 to protest against the 

. >.. w . ...... 

heavy taxes. 6 When the Minister of Local Self-Govern- 
ment visited Chirala in February 1921, the villagers sent 
a deputation to him to dissolve the municipality. The 
Minister never cared for the strong public opinion. He 

1, D. S. R< Rao's article "Chirala and self- determination" in The Hindu 
(Madras) dated May 27, 1921. 

2. G, V. Krishnarao: Op. cit, p. 52. 

3 D.S. R, Rao's article "Chirala and self-determination" in The Hindu 
(Madras^ dated May 27, 1921. 

4. G. V. Krishnarao: Op, cit. p. 52. 

5. D, S. R. Rao's article "Chirala and self-determination"' in The Hindu 
(Madras) dated May 27. 1921. , ^ 

6. G. V. Kriihnarao, Op cit. p. 53. 


threatened to post punitive police, to remove the railway 
station, post office and the hospital, and to station the 
military, if they did not agree to have the municipality. 1 

David Washbrook, who made a study of the country 
politics 0f ^Madras from 1880 to 1930, found out that 
from 1921 the government attached great importance 
to the Ministry of Local Self-Government. The Chief 
Minister acted as the Minister for Local Self Govern- 
ment also. 1 

The Chief Minister and the Minister of Local Self 
Government was Raja Ramarayaningar, the Roja of 
Panagal and one of the foremost leaders of the non-Bra- 
hmin movement. 3 When he saw the Chirala-Perala 
movement slipping into the hands of the non-cooperaters 
andDuggirala Gopalakrishnayya, a Brahmin, the Raja of 
Panagal did not budge an inch on the issue of Chirala- 
Perala municipality. On April 1, 1921 he superseded the 
council and appointed a paid Chairman on a fat salary of 
Rs. 390/- a month. 4 The people thereupon became rio- 
tous, burnt the toll-gate, placed the toll-bar across the 
rail-road and stopped the Calcutta Mail for sometime. 5 


'' ' ' H . . 

.When agitation wad building up against the muni- 
cipality, especially after the supersession of the council, 
the Publicity Bureau of the Government of Madras issued 
a statement. 6 The Bureau tried to make out that muni- 

1. Ibid. p. 10. 

2. John Gallagher, Cardon Johnson & Anil Seal (Editors) JLocuJiiy, Province 
and Nation (Cambridge. 1973 >, p, 185, - < *-. 

3. Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau, Op, cit pp 76,77. 

4. G V. Kri&fanarao Op cit p 10 

5. Ibid. p 11, 

6. The Statement of the Publicity Bureau is entirely reproduced In O. V. Krtalma- 
rao's Chirala and Perala Tragedy; An Episode of Voluntary Exile, pp* 43 to 48, 


cipality was established in order to confer on the people 
benefits and the privileges of local self-government. 
The statement among other things pointed out that Chi- 
rala had a flourishing weaving and dyeing industry, and 
that it was one of the biggest trade-centres in the diet- 
rict of Guntur. It had the capacity to pay th3 additional 
taxation. According to the Publicity Bureau, the town 
was in an insanitary condition, and the situation would 
improve only by converting the Panchayat Union into a 
municipality. But, the statement of the Bureau did not 
appear to conform to facts. Chirata was not in a flou- 
rishing condition. D. S. R. Rao. Special Correspondent 
of The Hindu who made a survey of the scene bears 
ample testimony to the poverty of the people. His con- 
clusion was corroborated by G. V. Krishna Rao 1 and 
Basavaraju Appa Rao.* Regarding the sanitation of the 
town D. S, R. Rao writes/' So far I can judge, Chirala 
did not look particularly insanitary. Granting that the 
situation could be improved, the turning of the Union 
into a Municipality at a stroke against the wishes of the 
people was no solution to the problem. In fact, great 
many municipalities in this country are a disgrace to 



At this juncture had not Duggirala Gopalakrishna- 
yya stepped in and taken the leadership of the movement 
the people would have definitely embarked upon civil 
disobedience and withheld payment of municipal taxes. 
There would have been an open conflict between the 
people and the bureaucracy, and violent incidents might 
have taken place, Gopalakrishnayya joined the non 

1. G. V, Kriftkturfto; Op, cit. p, 50, 

2, Basavaraju Apparao; Op, cit, p* 68, 


cooperation movement in 1920 hoping to get Swarajya in 
pne year, and Chirala Was the arena for his fight. 1 As 
Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau observes, "he decided 
to go the whole-hog for Chirala and through Chirala to 
establish Swaraj for India ". 2 


" * 

We have seen how Chirala had come under the 
spell of non-violent non-cooperation of Gandhi. In 
pursuance of the Calcutta Special Congress resolution 
the people overwhelmingly boycotted the elections to 
the council under- the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms. 
Only two persons cast their votes, and they were the 
clerks of Justice Party candidate J. Kuppuswamy Chow. 
dary. 3 We have also seen how the Ramadandu volunteers 
of Gopalakrishnayya restored order and maintained per. 
feet discipline at the Bezawada All India Congress Com. 
mittee meeting. Theppople of Chirafa-Perala gave to 
the Congress over Rs. 9,OQO/- by way of donation to the 
Tilak Swaraj Fund. 4 Now that a municipality was impo- 
sed much against their wishes, the people and their 
leader, took it as an issue to fight, against the British 
government. Thus, thgy wanted to contribute their mite 
for the attainment of Swaraj for the nation. 

At the time of the A. K C. C. rpeeting at Bezawada 
the Chirala.Perala movement had already taken some 
shape. In ft/larch 192t twelve of those, who refused to 
pay the taxes, including an elderly Udy-Ravuri Alamelu 
ManganfifTia 5 were arrested and sent to jail. She wa$ 
perhaps the first wpi^an in the whole country to be sent 
to p* tson fa; a political pffence* after Gandhi took com- 
mand of the national movement. 

' . 

1. Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau. Op; cil, p, 80 

2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid, p, 127, 

4. Ibid, p, 118, 

5. Aehyutuni Balakrishoa Murthy: Chirala Charitra - Jfateeya 
fChirala, 1970) (Telugu), p, J4. * 

6' M, Venkatarangaiya i Op. cit. VoMlI, p. 32, 



<3andhi's visit to Chirala on April 6, 1921 was a 
turning point in the movement. 

Gandhi garlanded the twelve patriots, including 
the lady, who had been sent to prison for not recognising 
the municipality. He said he had himself gone to jail a 
number of times in South Africa* He was jealous of those 
who had the privilege of going to jail, because he found 
greater freedom within the prison walls. He congratula- 
ted the women of Chirala on producing one lady atleast, 
who could goto jail. In his opinion the government 
grievously erred in imposing a municipality against the 
unanimous opinion of the people.' 

When Gandhi's advice was sought as to the course 
of action left for the people of Chirala. Perala, 2 he told 
them that two courses were open for them - either to 
offer non-cooperation with civil disobedience or to 
perform Hizrat as the Mussalmans, or as Tulsidas had 
"Desatyag"* Both weapons in his opinion were equally 
powerful and equally effective. He asked them not to 
depend upon the support of Congress, but to rely on 
their own strong arm, that was self-suffering, 3 "If the 
movement succeeded the glory would in part go to the 
Congress, but if it failed, the discredit of it should not 
attach to the Congress", he said. 4 

Gandhi laid the foundation-stone of the Ramnagar 
village and after the ceremonies were over, Gopalakri- 
shnayya saw him off, when the future of Chirala cam- 

1, The Hindu dated April K. 

*nr..4if *. 

2, B, Pactabhi Siiaramayya, Ojn cii. Vol. I, j> 4 

3, The Hindu dated April 8 t921, 

^B^^dMtWbltrilMVMVKV. TTtt, 1 

4 B Pattubhi Stur&mayy* Op eil VoM p 219 Konda Venkatappayya also 
refers to thU in his Swceya Cbarhra pj> *63 &264 


paign was discussed and settled. 1 Civil disobedience in 
this case meant refusal to pay taxes and readiness to 
submit the attachment of property/ and if necessary to 
go to jails, in large numbers. Duggirala Gopalakrishna- 
yya and the other leaders "apprehended that if they adopt 
civil disobedience, they might at any moment lose their 
patience and come into conflict with the bureaucracy, 
which watts with glee for an opportunity 'to make them 
[earn a lesson which they might not forget for another fifty 
years.' 2 According to the Historian of the Indian Natio- 
nal Congress, B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya/ -'Gandhi sugge- 
sted that if the people did not care for a municipality, 
they might leave the precincts thereof and live outside**.* 
If the evacuation was complete and successful, the 
municipality would automatically wither away. This was 
Gandhi's prescription to the people of Chirala-Perala. 
This conformed to the non-violent non-cooperation, 
which he had earlier inaugurated. It would avoid a direct 
confrontation between the people and the government. 
GopaJEkrishnaVya, who was "a great visionary" 4 and 
who wanted "to attain Swaraj for India, perhaps in Chi- 
rala by the help of the Andhras at least in the year of 
Christian Grace 1921" 5 decided upon people's evacua- 
tion of the town. The people, permeated with Gandhi's 
spirit of non-cooperation, readily responded to the cal| 
of Gbpalakkrishnayya to leave hearths and homes of 
their fore-fathers and to settle down in thatched huts 
^pttrnasalas- oh the outskirts of the villages of Chirala 
Perala 6 . 

1. Gummidithala Venktia Subbarau; Op. cil, p. JQ6 

2. G. V. Krishnarao; Op, cit. p. 12 

3. B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya; Op. cit 4 Vol-I, p, 219 

4. Sarojini Regani: Op. cit, p. 85 

5. Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau. Op, cit. p, 83 

6. Sarojini Regani. Op, cit p. 84 

HISTORY Of >tl DOM MOVEMENT |* fttUITUR DIITRtCt 1121*47 79 


The evacuation started on the night of April 25th 
with the beat of drums, and the night rent with the cries 
of 'Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai* : Basavaraju Apparao, was a 
personal witness of this high drama that night, records 
that all people without any distinction evacuated the 
town and expressed their determined opposition to the 
municipality, "When I saw that mid-summer night men 
and women, old and young carry their articles of every- 
day life to their new places of residence leaving their old 
Homes, 1 could not restrain myself. Tears trickled down 
my cheeks". 1 

The Hindu dated Aprih 26, 1921 also give a pen 
picture of the Chirala evacuation. "Chirala and Perala 
evacuation is proceeding rapidly. Rows of country 
carts, laden with furniture, traders and their goods are 
constantly the villages'. Poor men and women are 
carrying their belongingson head-loads. All classes of 
people are cheerfully partaking. Mahatma's advice is 
strictly followed, though the paid Chairman is causing 
petty oppression .Chirala and Perala are really abodes 

of heroes These places and their leader Gopalakrish- 

nayya deserve congratulation". 

D, S, R. Rao, Special Correspondent of Tfce Hindu 
visited Chirala-Perala about the beginning of May 1921 
and found out that "nearly 75 percent of the inhabitants 
of Chirala and 50 percent of those of Perala had evacu- 
ted their old homes. Those who could afford have rented 
houses in the neighbouring villages, but the vast bulk 
of the people were being sheltered under parnasalas, built 
of the bamboo and the palmyra. It was a sad sight to 
watch them and their furniture moved from their old 
homes to their new parnasalas. Street after street of 

1, Baiavaraju Apparto' Op. eit pp. $2. 


Chirala was deserted and hardly a voice was heard along 
the lovely thoroughfares. The creek of the heavily laden 
carts, the din of the hammer strokes, the odour of the 
sun-dried palmyra leaves and the sight of the patient 
men, women and children trudging the dusty paths to 
their new homes sweating under the weight of their 
belongings were an overwhelming phenomena-they were 
indeed an inspiration". 1 The evacuation was the cro- 
wning consummation of Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya's 
political career. 

That the revenue officials and the police tried to 
foil the evacuation-programme was borne out by the 
testimony of Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau, the bio- 
grapher of Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya. But such was 
the ingenuity of their ever-resourceful leader, and such 
was the vigilance of its ever-watchful Ramadandu, that all 
those efforts were of no avail. 2 

; The shifting greatly disturbed the economic life of 
the people. The poor villagers lost their wages for days 
on account of the dislocation of labour. The parnasala s 
cost them from Rs. 20 to 40 each, depending upon the 
size of the family to be accommodated, The temporary 
wells which were an immediate necessity cost about 
Rs. 5/- each, the more permanent ones about Rs. 50/- 
each. AM told the new settlement cost them not less 
than Rs. 30,000;-. In spite of these economic hardships, 
the evacuation was carried through, and the people bore 
their burden nobly. 5 As Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya put 
it, vAndhra Ratna D. Gopalkrishnayya put his whole 
heart .and conducted the exodus which reminds us of 


1. D. S. R. Rao's Article "Chirala and self-determination!' in The 
( Madraa) dated May 2 7, 1921 

2. Gummidithala Venkau Subbarau: Op; cit, p. 109 

3. D, S R. Rao's anicle "Chirala and self-determination" in The Hin<lu 
(Madras) dated May 27. 1921. 


the earlier Hijrat of the Muslims of Sindh into Afgha- 
nistan". 1 


It was in the 'Palmyra City' that people of Chirala 
spent nearly eleven months* Gopalkrishnayya practically 
ran a parallel government. His biographer says that 
there was complete order in the place. Panchayats were 
held to dispense justice effectively to the delinquents, 
and more than one loyalist was levied 'a handsome fine' 
for the benefit of the 'Exchequer'. Government officials 
were boycotted and had to return for want of bare food 
and even water. In the new "Palmyra City" Gopal- 
krishnayya's word was law.* "Everyday there were judi- 
cial tribunals, legislative enactments and administrative 
orders; and almost every affair of every individual 
citizen was within the purview of the Pane hay at over 
which Gopalakrishnayya presided". 3 News of this Pan- 
chayat administration reached far-off places. At a mee- 
ting in Allahabad, George Joseph of the Independent 
remarked "who is the Governor of Chirala? Gopalakri- 
shnayya or Lord Willingdon? It seems to me Gopalakri- 
shnayya is the Governor of Chirala and not Lord Wil- 
lingdon", 4 

I. B. Ptiubhi Suuramayya Op, cit, vol, 1 p, 219 

2 GumtnidiihaU Venkaia iiubbarau Op. oit, pp, 109. 110 

3, Ibid* p. 117, 

4, Qnotd in Ba-iavaraju App**ao** Andhra JUtna Dyutulu, p. 87. 

*. : = riw-.h 

Even before the cvacaaiion DugglraU Gopalakn'sUiuyya's leadership in 
CUirala-Pcr*U WM unchillengeil, C, R. Dai during one of hit impromptu 
specchca 10 tb vasi concourse of people that curae to Bezawada duriog ihc 
A.l.C, C, Ssion on March n> 19il remarked that in Chirala-Perala the 
authority of the Madras Governor had evaneiced end that Copula kriahnayy a 
had taken over the reins of administration. See Ayyadevara Kaleswararao'i 
Na Jeevitha Katha. Navyandhramu (Vijuyawada, 1959) (Telugu) p. 321 



Chirala-Perala people's determined bid to oppose 
the formation of the municipality and their subsequent 
evacuation of the town received the approval of natio- 
nalists. At a public meeting held at Bapatla it was 
resolved: "The public of Bapatla do hereby approve the 
procedure adopted by the people of Chirata and Perala in 
opposing a municipality forced on them and they extend 
their sympathy in .their difficulties" .' The citizens of 
Madias assembled in Iqrge numbers at the beach opposite 
the Presidency College 0;n August 2, 1921 to condemn 
the action of the government in forcing a municipality 
on an unwilling people and to express their sympathy 
with the people of Chirala "in their manly fight, suffering 
innumerable hardships". Among those present were 
S, Kasturi Ranga lyengar, S. Satya Murthy, Alladi Krish- 
nas.wamy Iyer, V. Ramadass, V. Venkateswarlu, V. L. 
Sastry, K. Bata Subrahmaaya Iyer and M. K. Achary. The 
meeting was chaired by S. Srinivas lyengar. Alladi 
Krishnaswamy Iyer moved the following resolution: "This 
meeting strongly condemns the action of the Government 
of Madras in persisting to impose a municipality on the 
people of Chirala-Perala against the wishes and the best 
interests of the people". S. Kasturi Ranga iyengar moved 
the second resolution. "This meeting expresses the 
sympathy of the people of Madras with. ...... the heroic 

conduct of the people of Chirala and Perala*'. The two 
motions were put to vote and carried unanimously. 2 

Small contributions poured in for the relief of the 
people. S, Srinivas Iyengar, Luz, Madras sent Rs. 1,000 
for the ChiraJa Relief Fund. 3 The Guntur District Cong* 

1, The Hindu dattd July 1?, 1921 

2. The Hindu dated August 3. 1921 
9. The Hindu dated April. 24 4 l9ftl 


ress Committee sent a donation of Rs. 250/-.? The 
Andhra Provincial Congress Committee granted a sum of 
RS. 3,000/- for the Chirala campaign. 2 Tanguturi Praka- 
sam arrived in Chirala on May 3rd and a meeting was held 
jn the evening in which Prakasam and P.Krishna Murty 
of Bobbili spoke extollingly of the determination and the 
nerve the people were exhibiting in the face of many 
hardships. A relief committee was formed with K. Ven- 
katappayya as President, Desiraju Hanumantha Rao as 
Secretary and Narasimha Rao as Treasurer, 3 



When enthusiasm was thus building up in and for 
the 'Palmyra City' the government officials and the paid 
Chairman resorted to repressive measure. They devised 
various methods to break people's determination. Chirala 
Rangayya, Raghavayya and Peraiah were arrested for 
driving an unlicensed cart with two men thereon, and 
prosecution was launched against them* The municipal 
and the police officials were the only prosecution witn- 
esses. The accused refused to defend themselves acco- 
rding to the creed of non-cooperation. Rangayya was 
sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment and 
Raghavayya and Peraiah to six months. 4 The Guntur 
district revenue authorities were also harden the Chirala- 
Persia people. The two hundred palmyra huts erected by 
the people were alleged to be encroachments on the 
government poramboke lands. The revenue officials resor- 
ted to levying penal assessment, and notices for forcible 
eviction were issued to the owners. Exhorbitant penal 
cesses were levied. The rate for each palmyra shed was 

f 'Wiiit~4t . -..i-u*. -.CMai^fcy^J-:*:- -.JtCKf:4Hv.t*P,3 

1. The Hindu tbud April 24, 1921 

2. GiunmidUhuU Vcnktu Subbaniu : Op. cit, p. lift 

3. The Hindu dated May tf, 

4. The Hladu ditcil June 


Rs.1026/^ though the shed itself did not cost more than 
Rs. 25/- 


! ' 

The problem of finance was very acute for Gopala- 
krishnayya. Small contributions were received and 
Gopalakrishnayya himself made door to door collections. 
But soon the 'Treasury'Df his 'Palmyra City' ran out, 
and Gopalakrishnayya had to go to Berhampur the venue 
of the AndHra Gonfererice held in September 1921 in 
quest of Sanjeevi the vital coin. 2 Basavaraju Appa Rao, 
who participated in the Berhampur Andhra Conference, 
says that Gopalakrishnayya delivered fiery speeches on 
27th ahd 28th September. He condemm&d the action of 
the Madras Government for the continued enforcement 
of a municipality inChirala against the will of the people, 
He made a frontal attack against the Minister for Local 
Administration Ramarayaningar. 3 On the evening of 
September 28th, when Gopalakrishnayya, accompanied 
by Basavaraju Appa Rao and some other friends, was 
coming put of .the house of Gurazada Krishnamurty 
PanthulUr 3 police officer served him with a warrant 
issued by T. G. Rutherford, District Magistrate, Ganjam, 
restraining him from delivering public speeches for a 
period of two months under Section 1 44 Cr. P. C. 4 Tho- 
ugh Pattabhi Sitaf anvayya and Tanguturi Prakasam advi- 
him not to defy the warrant, 5 a true non-cooperator 

1 The Hindu dated July 27, 1921, 

2. Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau : Op. cil p, 

3. Sasavaraju Apparao i Op, cif. pp t 91, 100, 

4. Ibid, p, 101. 
5 t Ibid. 


that he was, Gopalakrishnayya sent a wire to the District 
Collector which ran as follows: 1 


T. G. Rutherford Esq. 



Ramadas Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya will 
address, in due disobedience of your order 
dated 28th instant, a meeting this evening. 
Please take notice". 

Before he actually defied the order of the District 
Magistrate, Ganjam, he sent a message to the people of 
Chirala-Perala in which he appealed to them to continue 
their struggle and discharge their duty to Andhra Desa 
and India. 2 

On 29th September, Gopalakrishnayya disobeyed 
the order of the District Magistrate, Ganjam, by addres- 
sing a meeting in Berhampur, 3 attended by large sections 
of people including women. The student community was 
also present in large numbers.* He exhorted the people 
to participate in the non-cooperation movement, and rid 
the country of foreign rule. He spoke at length of the 
valiant struggle which the people of Chirala - Perala 
were carrying on against the British government. 
He told the people that the government educational 
institutions were reducing the students to sycophancy. 
The teachers were liku Chandamarkulu* of Hiranya- 

1, Quoted in Basavaraju Appurtt*tt Amfhni R*ciui Dyuculu, p. 103 

G. V. Kruhnarutt uKa wriU'S ubtnn the advance intimation which Gopalakrishnayya 
gave to Rutherford fft#tditt his intention to defy the order of the Government 
See o, V. Krfrbniircio** t luriitti tint! Peril* Trujiedy; An Episode of Voluntary Exile 

1SW -. .-..- .U .<..-. .. fJ!PAMLS.-Jt=:,^- C>- .!-* :.t :. .: ^Wi'i -! .. ;- rt"X-.l-.i -WWK-. i74M-^LAn-rtBtWM^IIBa*>B^H.iii I irA^IMA^B^B^^HM^^p^^^ 

(Mlr* ). P. 3* 

2. Basavaraju Appufuc* : O|. vii p, 107. 

3. G. V, Krbhnarao - Op, eii p 33 

4, Busavaraju Apptruo Op* <?it p, n2 

t According u the Htn4u tnyihulogy Chtioilftinarkulu were the mentors of ihe 


kasyapu's* times. There was no justice in the law courts 
he said. He appealed to the students and lawyers to come 
out of the schools and courts. 1 His appeal made such an 
impression on the audience that four teachers, one law. 
yer and one clerk rose up and announced their resolve to 
give up their jobs immediately. One student doing his 
law course also announced his intention of giving up 
studies. 2 The noble patriot of the Guntur district besides 
making Chirala-Perala house-hold names throughout the 
Ganjam district, carried the gospel of Gandhi there and 
buttressed the people's resolve to fight the alien rule. 

On October 1 when Gopalakrishnayya, Basava 
raju Apparao and Ghouse Beg were about to entrain at 
the Berhampur Railway Station for Chirala, Gopala- 
krishnayya was served with an arrest warrent, and on 
October 2 he was put on trail in Srikakulam before T. G. 
Ruthurford. 3 

The Hindu dated October 7, 1921 gives an account 
of the trial-sence. Some of the exchanges that took place 
between Gopalakrishnayya and T. G. Rutherford, the 
Magistrate are worth reproducing. 4 

Magistrate :- You made an obscene remark about 
the King Emperor? 

Gopalakrishnayya:- What is that? 

Hiranyakasyapu was a demon-king His son, Prahlada, was a devotee of 
Lord Vishnu, and hence incurred the wrath of his father. Ultimately when 
Hiranyakasyapu questioned the mnipresence of God out of * pillar He apptarej 
in the form of a lion and killed him. 

1. Ibid. pp. 115, 116 

2 Ibid' p. 116 

3 Basavaraju Apparao ; Op. cit. p, 120 

4. G. V. Krishnarao also gives an account of the trial scene of Duggirala 
Gopalakrishnayya and the exchanges that took place between Kim and 
Rutherford. See G. V, Krishnarao's Cherala and Pcrala Tragedy- An 
Episode of Voluntary Exile (Madras, 1922). pp* $2 tol>l 


Here the prosecuting Inspector read out a passage 
from Gopalakrishnayya's speech, which the ace- 
used denied. 

Gopalakrishnayya :- I compared the government 
to Ravana t, Bali tt and Hiranyakasyapu. I have 
been doing so for the last six or seven months 
particularly because they present the exact analo- 
gies to the different aspects of the existing 
government from the Puranas which alone are 
competent to be presented to the masses so as 
to help their understanding --_-- ... - 
"that the present government have ruined the 
country is true and not false. My assertation that 
it must and will be destroyed hold true. I never 
mentioned any months in the absolute sense, 
though it is our hope to attain Swaraj in three 
months according to Mahatmaji's gauging of the 

The Magistrate > You seem to be an exceedingly 

popular preacher. You raise laughter. 
Gopalakrishnayya:. Laughter prevents people 

from becoming morbid. It lubricates soul ...... 

about the mythological statement, I shall make 
a general remark to dispel delusion. First about 

Ravana I prefaced it with a correct thesis 

of Rakshasa's country according to the current 
notion, I said Rakshasas are not devils or demons 
but may be humans with an emphasis on a 

f R* van* was llu ten-headed demon-king Ho developed wild passion 
for Siu, consort of Lord Rama, which ultimately led to his destruction 
Thlt i$ the theme of aattmyjina. popular epic of India. 

ft Bali waa demon-king with a generoiw disposition, According to the 
Hindu mythology, h pestered Gods and Goddesses, Ultimately Lord Vishnu 
one of the Hindu Trinity, Jo the incarnation of Vamatta. the pigmy sized 
Brahmin, took advantage of BalPs generous nature, asked for three feet 
of land and cru&licd him into the nether-world. 


particular manifestation of egoism. That is why 
I instanced Ravana's snatching away of others' 
women and contrasted it with existing govern- 
ment snatching away other's wealth in a 

similar manner while bringing the analogy of 
Hiranyakasyapu I scid British Government stood 

to us in the relation of a father In the case 

of Bali, he gracefully and graciously offered 
what was asked of him and I said that it was a 
genuine relation which we all hoped for as an 

ally in an imperial brotherhood Generally 

speaking my view is in accordance with the 
Congress view and particularly I follow Mahatma 
Gandhi's precepts ...... Lord Willingdon resem- 
bled Havana with his ten heads, The eight 
ministers were the eight heads. Lord Willingdon's 
own head was the ninth and on the top of it all 
Sir P, Thyagaraya Chetty's* was the tenth. 

At the last remark the Magistrate burst out laugh- 
ing. The case was posted for judgement on Octobers, 
1921. The Magistrate sentenced Gopalakrishnayya to 
one year simple imprisonment as the latter refused to 
sign the bond and furnish security. Gopalakrishnayya 
told the Magistrate that as a Congressman, he could not 
do it and that he would "give security to a Free 
Government". 1 After the sentence was pronounced 
Gopalakrishnayya was removed to the Berhampur Sub- 
jail. 2 

On October 10, the police brought him to the 
Berhampur railway station to shift him to Trichinopoly 
Central Jail. Malladi Krishna Murthy Panthulu, V, V. Giri, 

t Sir P. Thyagaraya Chetty was the leader of the non-Brahmin movement 
of South India* He was a loyalist of the British government and a 
enemy of the Congress, 

1. G V, Krishnarao; Op cit. f* 90 

2, Basavaraju Apparao i Op, cit. j>, Ii4, 


Nyapathi Narayana Murthy, K, Ramakoteswararao and 
Muhammed Hyder Saheb met him on the platform. 
Gopalakrishnayya anxiously asked Giri about the condi- 
tion of Chirala-Perala movement. Giri told him that 
everything was safe. 1 

After being removed to the Trichinopoly Central 
Jail another case was brought up against Gopalakrishna- 
yya under Section 124 A Indian Penal Code. The case 
was posted for trail at Machilipatnam on 10th November.2 
The subJBct of the prosecution was a speech which 
Gopalakrishnayya delivered at Ellore on June 26, 1921. 3 
The trail which started on November 10,1921 before 
H. H. F. M. Tyler C, 1. E., LC. S., the district Magistrate, 
Krishna 4 concluded on November 14th. 5 Gopalakrishna- 
yya was sentenced to nine months simple imprisonment 
running concurrently with the old one, 6 

G. V. Krishnarao who was present throughout this 
trial says that Gopalakrishnayya issued a message to the 
nation from the Machilipatnam sub-jail in which he 
said, "the Punjab wrong, Khilafat treachery and Chirala- 
Perala tragedy are but the Avarohanas - the descending 
notes - in the song of Swaraj whose Arohanas - the 
ascending ones - are the establishment of Swaraj in 
Iqdia and also in England, which awaits you in your 
oncoming struggle". 7 


In the great enthusiasm which the non-cooperation 
movement of Gandhi created throughout the country 

1, Andhra Ptrlka (Madras) dated October 14, 1921. 

2 Krishna paints.* (MuchiHpatnumJ dated November 5, 1921, 

3i "o."V. Krithitaruo: Op, 

4. Ibitl, p, 100, 

5, Ibid, p* 150, 
6 4 ibid. 

7 t Ibid, p, 133. 


Gopalakrishnayya thought that Swaraj was round the 
corner and that the Chirala-Perala municipajity would 
automatically wither away. But on account of eruption 
of violence in Chauri Chaura, Gandhi suspended the civil 
disobedience movement, and when Gopalakrishnayya was 
gaoled, the people of Ramanagar were demoralised. 
Though Dr. Subrahmanyam, Secretary of the Andhra 
Provincial Congress Committee had undertaken to 
continue the work of Andhra fiatna Gopalakrishnayya, 
staying in Chirala, and though Tanguturi Prakasam 
promised to visit Chirala frequently, 1 in course of a few 
months, "the movement slowly ebbed away and died". 2 


The people of Chir&la-Perala pmbarked upon the 
evacuation of the two places to compel the government 
to withdraw the municipality. They thought that if they 
stayed out of the municipal limits, the municipality 
would automatically wither away. In this process they 
were subjected to untold suffering. Their economy was 
Chattered. While engaged in raising the new township, 
they lost wages for severe! days- The police and revenue 
authorities and the paid Chairman were hard on them. 
They exposed themselves to the rigours of weather in 
their palmyra sheds. They passed one of the worst 
summers, when temparature reached 1l3o> They braved 
10" of rain. 3 During their stay in the 'Palmyra City' 
Chirala - Perala became mostly depopulated. Houses 
became dilapidated. Thieves knocked off wooden stru- 
ctures of the abandoned houses. 4 But, within eleven 
months of their resolve they became demoralised, came 

l - The Hindu dated October aO 1921, 

2 Guromiditbala Venkata Subbarau; Op. cit p. 118. 

3. TheJHindu dated July 27. 1921. 

4 Baaavaraju Apparao: Op. cit. p, 88. 


back to their old places of residence and accepted the 

The causes for this are not far to seek. The issue 
was confined only to a small area with a population of 
15,000. When Chirala-Perala people started evacuating 
the villages on April 25, 1921, the Indian National 
Congress did not yet give green signal for any area to 
start civil disobedience. The Congress gave people 
permission to start civil disobedience at the Ahamada- 
bad Congress session held in December 1921. Though 
Gandhi and Gopalakrishnayya decided to evacuate the 
people from the municipal limit to avoid direct confron- 
tation with the government, it was civil disobedience 
they prescribed with all attendant risks - persecutions 
and prosecutions. Since the sheds were pitched in 
government lands, the revenue authorities resorted to 
levying penal cesses. Though the people evacuated the 
villages, still the government had the right to collect 
all municipal taxes, wherever they resided. In limited 
areas, where communities small in numerical strength, 
resort to direct confrontation with government on small 
issues, the latter have always an edge to win. Rama- 
rayaningar, the Minister for Local Self - Government 
never cared for the public opinion. He was the leader of 
the Justice Party and the non-Brahmin movement. He 
was the sworn enemy of the Congress and the non-co- 
operation movement, He resorted to all means to break 
the will of the people. A small group of people, however 
much determined they might be, could not put up pro- 
tracted resistance against a government that was totally 
oblivious of the difficulties of the people. 

Though the national and provincial leaders here 
and there expressed their solidarity with the people of 
Chirala-Perala, it was a lone battle that they and their 
leader fought. The Congress did not make it a major 
ssue to fight with th government at different levels. 


Gandhi himself warned that it should not be taken up 
under the aegis of the Congress. No national or provin- 
cial leader visited Chirala to guide the movement and 
give encouragement to the people. Gopalakrrshnayya 

himself said, "Why Chirala failed was that ever- 

since they started the Chirala affairs, the leaders-all 
honour to them, honour for their valour and death for 
their ambition-had exhibited indecision and want of 
self-confidence ..... Except Mr. S. Srinivasa lyengar of 
Madras, none came there. No Congress committee came 

to enquire into their conditions They lacked the 

sense of responsibility". 1 G V. Subbfau also attributes 
"jealousy of fellow Congressmen of Andhra" for the 
failure of the movement. He says : "The foremost leaders 
of the province were either lukewarm or a fully jealous 
of Gopalakrishnayya and his work". 2 G, V, Krishnarao 
also speaks of his-Gopalakrishnayya's-enemies and theif 
jealous hearts. 3 N. V. L. Narasimharao writes about the 
misunderstanding that grew up between Gopalakrishna- 
yya and Pattabhi Sitaramayya. 4 Gopalakrishnayya him- 
self said that "in spite of one of their leaders. Dr. 

Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the Congress ultimately gave 
Rs. 3,000/- to carry on the movement*'. 5 

^ ' ' 

Another factor that contributed to the collapse of 
the movement was lack of adequate funds. Chirala-Perala 
people were poor. The evacuation considerably dislocated 
their economic life. The tempo of the struggle could not 
be maintained without adequate financial assistance 
from outside. Only small contributions were received, 
and the Andhra Provincial Congress Committee sanc- 

1. Quoted in Gummidiihala Venkata Subbarau's Andhra fUtna 

; - . V -...", ;.,- .v-.i-i - . f i. ^ *** 

Gopalakrishnayya: Life and Message (Bezawada* 5635. Sravanam) pp. 120, 121* 

2 Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau; Op. cit, p. 120, 

3. G V Krishnarao. Op. cit, p. 37. 

4. Personal papers of N. V. L. Narasimharao. 

5. Gammidithala Venkata Subbarau: Op, cit, p. 121 < 


tioned a paltry sum of Fs. 3,OCO/-. ;it was mainly for 
funds that Gopalakrishnayya visited Berhampur, where 
he was jailed. 

In the early days of the evacuation programme there 
was great enthusiasm in Rcmnagar. In the first flush of 
their scoring a point over the authorities, the people 
never thought of developing a second line of leadership. 
D. S. R. Rao, Special Correspondent of The Hindu found 
"deep conviction on the part of the people". "What would 
occur if something happened to your leader?" he asked a 
man,A/vho did not look particularly educated. "There are 
ten ready to jtake up his place" was the quiet and reassu- 
ring reply. 1 But unfortunately that was not so. It was 
largely a one man's show. When Gopalakrishnayya was 
sent to jail, no other person came forward to take up 
his place, and^as a result the movement collapsed. 

Gopalakrishnayya was jailed in October 1921, when 
the movement was at its peak- In February 1922, a mob 
attacked the police station at Chauri Chaura, 15 miles 
from Gorakhpur and set fire to it. The policeman who 
were inside the station were roasted alive, Gandhi was 
taken aback at the outburst of violence, and he suspen- 
ded the non-cooperation movement* The withdrawal of 
the movement resulted in a great slump of political 
activity throughout the country, and Chirala was no ex- 
ception. With Gopalakrishnayya's imprisonment in Octo- 
ber 1921 and the withdrawal of the non-cooperation 
movement throughout the country in February 1922, the 
struggle of the people of Chirala-Perala became weake- 
ned, and it slowly died. The people returned to their 
hearths .nd homes, which they had abandoned eleven 
months ago, 

1. D.S.R, Rao's ankle "Ohinila and sc'f deicrmniuiion" in The Hindu [Madras 
UtticU May 27, 



Now the question arises whether the movement 
was a total failure or whether the national movement 
for independence gained anything from this experience. 
It should be noted that for full eleven months there was 
no municipality in Chiraia - Perala. Gopalakrishnayya 
organised a parallel government in Ramnagar. Dr. B. S. L. 
Hanumantharao remarks, "Ramnagar looked like a self, 
governing island in the ocean of British imperialism". 1 
In the history of the Indian national movement it is hard 
to recall any other episode when people in such large 
numbers evacuated their places of residence, raised a 
new township, ran a parallel government and defied the 
might of the British for full eleven months. A move- 
ment of this kind had never bean attempted before any- 
where; it was a pioneering and in a sense revolutionary 
concept. The Chirala-Perafa movement anticipated the 
far greater mass movements later under Gandhi. That 
itself was a mighty achievement. 

Chirala-Perala became house-hold names throughout 
the country during the non-cooperation movement. It 
was the hour of glory for the Guntur district. Move- 
ments of this type were the great rehearsals for the 
attainment of Swaraj and that of Chirala-Perala should 
be ranked as one of the foremost of them. 

The Chirala-Perala struggle ripened the experience 
of the people of Andhra in general and Guntur district 
in particular. It threw the Guntur district into a ferment. 
As Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau remarks, "Under 
this inspiration, whole areas began to prepare themsel- 

1, Dr< B S L Hanumantharao : Guntur thro"jjh Ages (Brochure issued by ihe 
A, I. C. C during its session in Nchruaagar, Guntur on November 7,8 9, 1964. J 



ves for mass civil revolt, including the non-payment of 
Governmental revenues." 1 

The simple village folk of Chirala-Perala showed 
their determination for full eleven months "not to be 
ruled against their will. Chirala is only an index of what 
India may do when she realises her plight and makes up 
her mind to act. This heroism does indeed deserve the 
admiration of those, whose goal is Swaraj and whose 
watch-word is 'non-violent non-cooperation'. 2 

\ t Gummidiihala Vcnkata Subbarau ; Op, cit, p, 179, 

T D, S f R, Rao ? a article "Chirala and self-determination" in The Hinnu (Madras J 
dated May 27. 1*21. 


Palnad Forest 


In the Palnad taluq of Guntur district the non-coop- 
eration movement manifested itself in the defiance of 
forest regulations. The taluq though "traditionally 
known as the land of heroes"' remained economically 
stagnant under the British administration. The system 
of communications was primitive. The railways did not 
yet reach Palnad, and people had to trek twenty five to 
thirty miles to take a train.* The land was parched, and 

1. M Venkatarangaiya : Op. cit. Vol-III. p. 36. 

2. Dandu Narayenaraju, C, V, Rangam Sresti and Gonuguntla Vcnknta 
Subrahmanyam; Palnati Durantam ulu * __ AndhraJR as t r a^J a t e c yp p a_S angh^a 
Niyamita Vicharana Sangha Sabhyula Nivedlka [Place of publication not 
mentioned. 1923] [Telugu], p, 10. 

Enquiry Commission Report submitted by Dandu Narayanaraju. C. V Rangnm 
Sresti and Gonuguntla Vcnkata Subrahmanyam on the atrocities coinmlucd by 
the government in Palnad. Hereafter this report is referred 10 as 'Three 
M ember Palnad Enquiry Commission Report/ 


irrigation facilities were few. Most of the land was un- 
fit for agriculture. Heaps of stones and pebbles were 
the scenes that came strikingly to sight to persons from 
the delta regions. Agriculture was confined to small 
areas around tanks. So even this was dependent upon 
the vagaries of weather. In 1919, 1920 and 21, when 
rains failed, the people were subjected to severe econo- 
mic hardship. They subsisted on leaves, roots, bark, and 
jungle berries 1 . Conditions did not improve much since 
the times of Poet Srinotha, who described Palnad as the 
land of small stones and little temples, scorpions and 
snakes. 5 

In this land of limited agriculture and practically no 
manufacture or industry, people took to rearing of cattle. 
Fodder was no problem, as the place abounded in forests. 
Though not dense or extensive, the forests provided 
ample fodder for the cattle. But most of them were 
declared 'Reserves' by the government, which levied 
exhorbitant grazing tax called Pullari*. As David Wash- 
brook observes, "From its creation in 1878 the forest 
department sought to control the use made of jungles 

and lands unfit for cultivation. This meant that it 

restricted access to land from which ryots traditionally 
obtained grazing for their cattle, crude fertilisers, fire- 
wood and various food stuffs Relations between 

the forest department and the ryots under its jurisdic- 
tion were always strained/' 4 Legislative Councillors 
from the dry districts, such as P. Kesavapil I ai, continually 
pressed Fort St. George to reform forest administration, 5 
but it was of no avail. 

1. Ibid. p. U. 

Madala Vccrabhadrarao also refers to the failure of rains during this period and 

the resultant economic hardship of the people. 

See his Deflubhukta Jecvint Charitra [Machilipatnam, 1966] [Telugu] pp. 81, 82 

1 ' -' ..-... , * '. - -, 1 !* 

2. Three Member Pitlnad timiuiry Commission Report, p, II. 

3. Ibid. pp. H, \2. 

4. John Gallagher, Gordon Johnson ami Anil Seal: Op. cit, p, 184. 

5. Ibid. 



The result was confrontation between the people on 
one side and the forest administration and the police on 
the other, Especially after the Nagpur Congress, the 
people of Palnad became extremely defiant of the gove- 
rnment. 1 Goli Mallikarjuna Sastry carried the gospel of 
non-violent non-cooperation movement to the four cor- 
ners of Palnad. 2 In the Mutukur village under the leader- 
ship of a person called "China Gandhi" people organi- 
sed themselves to defy the governmant.* Ranga Chen- 
chayya, a Vysya, did intensive propaganda and made 
social boycott of the government officials a success. 4 
In Rentachintala, Nalam Mattupalli Sresti did Congress 
propaganda. 5 The Guntur District Congress Committee 
also evinced keen interest in the forest affairs of Palnad. 
In its General Body meeting held on November 10,1921, 
Anche Sivayya Chowdary presiding, it was resolved, 
that the defiance of forest laws in Palnad should hence- 
forth be conducted under the auspices of the Congress. 6 
The executive of the Guntur D. C. C. meeting on Novem- 
ber 14, 1921 resolved to start panchayals in Palnad to 
prepare the people for civii disobedience and send thirty 
enthusiastic people to do Congress propaganda. Goli 
Mallikarjuna Sastry as an observer took part in the de- 
liberations. 7 The Palnad Conference was held on August 
15, 16, and 17, 1921 at Karampudi. Thousands from all 

1. Three Member Palnacfu Enquiry Commission Report, p. 12 

2. Gadde Rangaiah Naidu : Palnadu Duranta Vicharunopa Sangha Nivediha {Place 
and year of publication not mentioned] [Telugu], p. 12. 

Enquiry Commission Report submitted by Gadde Rangaiah Naidu on the atroci- 
ties committed by the government in Palnad, Hereafter this report is referred 
to as Single Member Palnad Enquiry Commission Report 

3. Three Member Palnad Enquiry Commission Report, p. 13 

4. Konda Venkatappayya Op. cit. p. 231. 

5 Single Member Palnad Enquiry Commission Report, p, 3, 

6. The General Body meeting resolutions of the D.C.C-, Guntur, held on October 
10. 1921 are available in Saraawathiniketan. Veiapalern Guntur District 

7. The Executive Committee meeting resolutions of D,C,C., Guntur held on Novem- 
ber i4 1921 are available in Saraswathinikeran, Vetapalem, Guntur District. 


villages assembled to hear the leaders and obtain advice 
regarding their confrontation with the government. The 
villagers were prepared to graze cattle in the forest 
without paying grazing fee, thus inaugurating civil dis- 
obedience. Social boycott of the government officials 
was ultimately decided. 1 

The government itself accepted that the cause of 
trouble in Palnad were unfavourable season, great 
shortage of fodder and water, strict enforcement of 
forest rules and the non-co-operation agitation. 2 


With the rising tide of non-co-operation in the dis- 
trict the government wes determined to implement forest 
regulations rigorously in Palnad In the 'Reserves' a 
grazing tax of Re. 0-12-0 (Re. 0.75) on each cow and 
Re. 1-8-0 (Re. 1.50) on each buffalo for every six 
months was imposed. The goats were declared as 
enemies of the forest and they were not permitted to 
enter them. 3 Any person found in the forest without a 
permit was prosecuted. 4 

1. The Hindu dated August 22, 1 02 1, 

2. Robertson, District Collector Guntur to Marjoribar.ks, Acting Chief Secretary, 
Government of Madras, Fort St. George. Madras dated June 17, I92L. 

(Andhra Pradesh Slate Archicves, Hyderabad, History of the Freedom Struggle 
Section. The letter* of the District Collectors to their superiors in the Fort 
Si, Cjcorge. Madras do rmi contain any serial number of the State Archieves. 
'I hey arc urranp.eit in the les date-wise in the History of the Freedom Struggle 
Section. The source of such letters is hereafter referred to as A. P. State 
Archieves, II. F, S. Section J 

3 UnnavAjUtkshmimiruyanu and MuUabhushi Vedantam Narasimhacharyulu: 
Palnati Adaci Ibhaiululu Place and year of Publication not mentioned) 

"' ; .-Jw. 

(Telugu), |> i 

(Enquiry Commission Ki'pcn submittrd to the Andhra Provincial Congress 
Committee on the grievances of the people of l alnud) 
4. Ibid. 


In Julakallu and Kallagunta people could not pay 
grazing tax, and they had to sell their cattle at cheap 
rates. As they had no other occupation, they were 
reduced to utter poverty and begging. The forest offi- 
cials were mostly corrupt. The villagers of Wutacherla 
had to spend most, of their income towards bribing the 
officers and also towards fees to the lawyers to wriggle 
themselves out of the prosecution cjses which the police 
brought against them, 1 On February 16 and 17, 1922 the 
revenue authorities, accompanied by the police cons- 
tables, went to Ramapuram and Jangameswarapuram 
and insisted upon the people paying taxes of three inst- 
alments within twelve hours. When the villagers pleaded 
helplessness and requested for more time, the Tahasildar 
indulged in foul language and threatened the people 
with dire consequences^ In Jattipalem, the people were 
denied access to water in the forest stream. When their 
cattle were drinking water, they were impounded by 
the forest authorities.-' When the villagers of Jangame- 
swarapuram, Ramapuram, Jettipalem and Minchalapadu 
were unable to pay grazing tax, the Collector of Guntur 
proceeded to these villages with Armed Reserve and 
Mounted Police in February 1921 and distrained their 
cattle in very large numbers/ 


With the government attitude towards grazing tax 
becoming stiff the people decided upon social boycott 
of not only forest officials but also of revenue officials. 
The Deputy Tahsildar in Macherla could not obtain milk 
for his children. When the District Collector of Guntur 
camped at the outskirts of Macherla, his peons could 

1. Ibid, pp. 2, 3. 

2. Three Member Palnad Enquiry Commission Report, pp. H. I 5 

3. Ibid p. 1 6. 

4. Single Member Palnad Enquiry Commission Report, p. 2. 


not secure eggs for him, and they had to get them from 
Guntur, When the Collector wanted to make his orders 
known by the beat of drums, the village Munsiff made 
the submission that all the drums in the villages were 
either damaged or out of order. 1 The Deputy Tahsildar 
Ponnada FUma Koteswararao, tried his best to secure 
coffee for the Collector but all his attempts proved 
futile. The forest and revenue officials could not secure 
food anywhere in Macherla as the hoteliers refused to 
serve them.Th3 re venue 'officers could not secure carts to 
carry their effects back to Guntur. In the beginning the 
social boycott was confined only to the forest officials* 
but as the revenue officials secretly passed on some of 
their supplies to the forest officials, the people 
extended social boycott to the revenue officials also,, 1 
The social boycott became such a great success that the 
District Collector, Guntur, had to ruefully report to his 
superiors in the Fort. St. George that "It was impossible 
to get either supplies or 'Bundles' either for the Collector 
or for the District Superintendent of Police'V 


The situation became grave with the passing of every 
day. The people resorted to withholding of the gra- 
zing tax. The Andhra Provincial Congress Committee 
met in July 1 921 in Venkatagiri at rhe residence of the 
prominent Congress leaders Katikineni Venkata Ramarao 
and Kalyanarao to take stock of the situation in Palnad. 

1. Komlii Vvnkatuppayya . Op. cit, pp. -K.;l. JS ,!.'.. 

2. Unnuvu Lalcvliminarayuna and Madubhushi Vodantana Narasimhacharyulu. Op. 
cit. pp. fi, /. 

3. Daniel Collector, Guntur to R.A. Graham, Chief Secretary to the Government 
of, I^ir i ,St ifeorKc. M:iJruB dated February 2!i, I912. 

(A. P. State Archive-;, UK S .St-ccion) 


The Andhra Provincial Congress Committee resolved to 
depute Unnava Lakshminaravana and Madabhushi Ve- 
dantam Narasimhacharyulu to make en on-the-spot 
study and submit a report to it. 1 

In pursuance of this resolution of the Andhra Provin- 
cial Congress Committee Unnava Lakshminarayana and 
Madabhushi Vedantam Narasimhacharyulu visited Karem- 
pudi, Guttikonda and Julakallu on 17th July and enqui- 
red about the difficulties of the people of these places. 2 
Later Lakshminarayana proceeded to Macherla. As the 
District Collector, Guntur was camping at Macherla 
then, Lakshminarayana thought it proper to represent 
the long-standing demands of the people of Palnad to 
him. He represented to the Collector that 1) half of the 
forest should be declared reserved forest and the other 
half unreserved, 2) the rates of the grazing tax should 
be reduced, 3) the ryots should be allowed to cut wood 
in the forest for agricultural implements, 4) head-loads 
of fodder should be allowed to be taken out of theforest 
after obtaining permits, 5) people should be permitted 
to collect leaves, 6) with the payment of one instal- 
ment of taxes the cattle should be allowed to graze 
anywhere in the forest of the district for one full year, 
7) forest lands fit for agriculture should be allotted to 
the ryots on application and 8) if the cattle were found 
grazing without the payment of taxes in the 'Reserves' 
they should be impounded, but compound fees should 
not be collected from their owners. 3 But the Collector 

Ayyadevara Kaleswararao Op. cit, p. 336. 

Konda Venkatappuyya also refers to this, Sec his autobiography Swceya_ Charitr_a 

pp. 230, 23 I. 

Katikineni Venkata Ramarao and Kalyanrao famous then in Amllua political 

circles as Katikineni Brothers were the sons of Vijaramayya They were closely 

related to the Venkatagiri Zaminclar, a loyalist. See GuUdeti Vcera Subrahmanyam't 

Satyagraha Samara Charitra (Gudur, I9S6J (Telugu), pp KM, lOii 

Unnava Lakshminarayana and Madabhushi Vedantam Narasimhacharyulu 
Op. cit p, I. 
Ibid pp. 5, 6. 


replied that the government would not change any forest 
rules, and if the ryots would abuse or manhandle forest 
and revenue officials or cut their supplies, he would 
bring in Armed Police, and collect punitive tax. This 
attitude of the Collector greatly disappointed the 

When talks between Lakshminarayana and the Col- 
lector failed, social boycott against forest officers was 
organised more vigorously in Macherla and the surroun- 
ding villages. In fact, the presence of Lakshminarayrna 
and Narasimhacharyulu, the two popular leaders of the 
Guntur district, added high-octane fuel to the flames of 
protest that were engulfing Palnad. The Muslims also 
began to take part enthusiastically in the social boycott 
of the government officials. On July 21st when two fo- 
rest-guards were taking food secretly in a house in 
Kothapalli, a village near Macherla, three Muslims 
namely Nabi Saheb, Chintapalli Hussain Saheb and John 
Ahmed entered the house and threw theguards out when 
they were half-way through their meal. On the next day 
(22nd July) the three Muslims were tried under Sections 
352, 452 Cr. P. C. (Assault, Trespass) and convicted to 
two months imprisonment under the first section and 
six months under the second section. 2 


When the trial of the Muslim leaders was going on, 
the police served a notice on Unnave Lakshminarayana 
under Section 107, Since Madabhushi Vedantam Nara- 

1. Ibid. pp. (>, /. 
2 IbiU pp. ( i. in. 


simhacharyulu was away on tour in other villages, a 
similar notice could not be servtd on him immediacy. 
Later both of them were tried on charges of inciting the 
people of Palnad to defy forest laws, organising social 
boycott of revenue and forest officials and acting in 
such a way as to creat law ^nd order problem. 

Lakshminarayana was taken to the Magistrate's 
Court in procession on horse-back to the beat of drums, 
the very drums which the Collector could not secure 
anywhere in Wlacherla to make his orders known to 
the people, When the Collector saw the enthusiasm of the 
people and their respect for Lakshminarayana, he re- 
marked to those around him: "They say that Swaraj 
would come some day, but now 1 see Swaruj around me l " 

As Lakshminarayana and Nar&simhacaryulu refused 
to excute a bond and give security, both of them were 
convicted to one year simple imprisonment. 2 

On the imprisonment of Lakshminarayana and Nara- 
simhacharyulu, Krishna Patrika wrote: "The Collector 
after a trial of five minutes gave them each one year 
simple imprisonment. The fire of fury kindled in the 
people of Painad by the imprisonment of these two 
patriots defies description, Who can say that, if they had 
not previously enjoined Mahatma Gandhi's 'Ahimsa' on 
the people, the pure waters of Chandravanka, which was 
flowing by, would not have become purple? These heroes 
of Palnad shed lustre on the non co-operation movement 

Konda Venkatappaiah: Op. cit. p, 232 

Unnava Lakshminarayana and Madabhushi Vedantam Narasimlu chary ulu 
Op. cit. pp. 10, II. 

Konda Venkatappayya also refers to the trial and imprisonment of the two leader:; 
See hisSweeya Charitra. p 233. Most of the these points are corroborated by 

Ayyadevara Kaleswararao. See his Na Jcevijha Katha Nuvyimdhramau, p . 6 


by their patience and self-control". 1 News of the 
imprisonment of the two leaders reached other parts 
of the Guntur district, and protest meetings were hold 
at many places. Narnsaraopet observed a complete 
hartal. Pleaders did not attend the courts. The officials 
tried their best to induce the shop-keepers to end the 
hartal, but everywhere they met with the determined 
reply : "Release our leaders". 2 In Bnpatla vakils boy- 
cotted courts. AH shops were closed. In Ongole 
courts wore a deserted look. Complete hartal was 
observed/ 3 

In Guntur town the hartal was observed for six days 
from 24th July. 4 Konda Venkatappays, Gollapudi Sita- 
rama Sastry, Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya, Chatti Nara- 
simharao, N. V- L. Narasimha Rao, Barrister Gupta, 
Maddi Venkata Subbayya and Chimakurthi Basavayya 
went round the town daily for six days and saw to it 
that the town observed complete hartal. All educational 
institutions, shops and factories were closed. The 
Collector and the District Superintendent of Police 
exerted all their power and influence to break the spirit 
of the people, but their efforts did not fructify. 5 "Such a 
thing was not known to the people till then. It stupefied 
all government officials." 6 

On 29th July there were violent incidents in the 
Guntur town. When Bhattiprolu Surya Prakasarao was 
calling students out of the Town High School, the Sub- 

I. Krishna Patrika duted AuKiist (> 19'.' I . 

'*- !!. If A uI M dutud J uly 2U, \ W I , 

. Thciiiiidu dated July VJ. 1921, 

1 The Hindu dated July -Kh rr^!I. 

!.i. Konda Vutikatuppuyya ; Op. cit. p. 237. 

6. Ibid. pp. 7.J5, 2.i6. 

The Hindu dated July ,n v I92I writes: "for organisation, orderliness and duration 

the hitrtal is unprecedented" 


Inspector of Policfe Subbayya Naidu arrested him. 1 
When several young, boys followed Surya Prakasarao 
to the police station the Sub-Inspector of Police whipped 
them. Some young boys sustained serious .injuries. 2 
When tempers were rising high, the Deputy Collector, 
Gundurao, arrived at the High School in a horse-driven- 
cart. The presence of the Deputy Collector incensed 
the people who threw mud clods and small stones at 
him. 3 Konda Venkatappayya appeared on the scene 
and did all he could to disperse the crowd peacefully/ 
As he stood between the crowd and the Depu-ty Colle- 
ctor's cart, some of the stones hit him, and he sustained 
bleeding injuries on his fingers. But for Konda 
Venkatappayya, Deputy Collector Gundurao might have 
been seriously injured. In spite of this the Deputy 
Collector wrote to the District Collector a report that 
Konda Venkatappayya was responsible for all the violent 
incidents of the day, and on the basis of this report 
Venkatappayya was arrested along with Maddi Venkata 
Subbayya, Chimakurthy Ramaswamy and Barrister 
Gupta. 6 

The arrest of Konda Venkatappayya and other leaders 
created tremendous indignation among the people of 
the Guntur district. Many lawyers gave up their practice, 
The clerks of the Collectorate decided to resign their 
jobs immediately after taking their salary for the month 
of July 1921. 7 Many news-papers in the country con- 
demned the arrest of Konda Venkatappayya. Krishna 
Patrika in a long article under the heading 'The rise of 

1. Hindu dated July 30. 1 92 1, 

2. The Hindu dated J uly 30, 1 921 . 

3. Konda Venkatappayya: Op cit. p, 238, 

4. The Hindu dated July 30. 1 92 1 . 

5. Konda Venkatappayya: Op. cit p. 239. 
6 Ibid p. 243. 

7. Ayyadevara Kaleswararao Op cit, p, 3i8. 


popular power in the Guntur district' wrote: "Gundurao 
shamelessly swore and deposed in the public court that 
Konda Venkatappayya, who had saved him from danger 
and his wife from widowhood, got a crowd to throw 
stones at him What remains to be said? The 


whole of the Andhra Country was in great commotion.... 
The people began to say that war had broken out. For 
those four forty thousand were offering togotothejail... 
Section 107 which was intended for bad characters, 
badmashes and rowdies was applied to Venkatappayya 
Panthulu, who was venerable and like a saint. Thirty six 
lawyers gave up their profession. Well done, Guntur: 
From now on courts of justice have become dark cells.... 
When courage, hope and daring spring up in the hearts 
of the people, instead of despire, on the arrest and 
imprisonment of innocent patriots, one need not hesitate 
to say that Swaraj has been established".' 

The news of the arrest of Konda Venkatappayya 
reached Gandhi who exclaimed: "I wish he was shot 
down" 2 Ayyadevara Kaleswararao says that Gandhi's 
opinion was that with the supreme self-sacrifice of 
Konda Venkatappayya there would be unparalleled politi- 
cal awakening in Andhra Desa to fight for national 
freedom. 3 

Thecollector sensed thetension created in the whole 
of Guntur district on the arrest of Konda Venkatappayya. 
During Venkatappayya's trial thousands of people thro- 

Krishna |atrika dulcet August 6, I 92 I , 

Ayyadevara Kalcswurarao Op cit. p, 338. 

Konda Venkatappayya writes that Gtindhi made this remark during the A.I.C.C. 

meeting in Bombay. Tanguturl Prakasam who was present at the meeting later 

informed Venkatappayya about this 

See Konda Vcnkaliippayya's Swccya Churitra^p. V. 

Ayyudevaiu Kalcswararao Op- cit p 338, 


nged the court precincts. The government had to bring 
in additional police even from far-off places like Visakha- 
patnam. After a trial of two days Venkatappayya was 
acquitted. The Collector in his judgement felt that 
Venkatappayya and others that were arrested along with 
him did not conduct themselves in isny way prejudicial 
to the maintenance of law and order . 

During the hartal following the arrest of Unnava 
Lakshminarayana and Madabhushi Vedantam Narasimha- 
charyulu and during the commotion caused by the arrest 
of Konda Venkatappayya, Unnava Lakshmibayarnma wife 
of Lakshminarayana took an active part. Lakshmi- 
bayarnma and Yannini Puma Tilakam 1 " led processions of 
ladies, held protest meetings in Guntur and collected 

large amounts of money towards the Tilak Swaraj Fund 1 , 
She went to distant places like Visakhapotnam and 
Vijayanagaram, distributed Gandhi caps among the 
students there and was responsible for many students 
quitting government educational institutions. During 
the jail term of one year of her husband, Lakshrnibayamma 
loured extensively and carried on intensive Congress 
propaganda. 1 


The imprisonment of the three Muslims viz. Nabi 
Saheb,Chintapalli Hussain Saheb and John Ahmed andthe 
sentence of one year simple imprisonment passed on 

!. Konda Venkatappayya Op. cit. p. 245. 

t Yamini Puma Tilakam belonged to the Dcvadasi community IK-vadasis were 
professional dancing girls. In 1919 Yamini Puma Tilakam became a di.v-iple of 
Gandhi, participated in the national movement ami went lt> jail huvcral times. 
Working closely with Darsi Chenchayya and Yarramilli Nurayana Murtliy 
Panthulu, she arranged marriages for dancing girls and did good work for their 
social upliftmcnt. See Darsi Chcuchayya'a Na_Divya Siwruthulu (Vijayuwada, 
1961 ) (Telugu), pp. 78 to 83 
2 The Hindu dated July 30. 1921. 

3. Ayyadevara Kaleswararao: Op. cit. p. 337. 

4. Kanuparthi Varalakshamnia: Op cit. p, 33. 


Unnava Lakshminarayana and Madabhushi Vedantam 
Narasimhacharyulu infuriated the people They practi- 
cally launched a no -tax campaign by sending their cattle 
jn to the reserved forests without paying the usual Pullari. 
Many clashes occured between the people on one side 
and the police and the forest officials on the other. When 
the cattle was impounded, the people overpowered 
the police and rescued their cattle. The inhabitants of 
Jattipalem forcibly rescued from the pound over a hundred 
cattle which had been found grazing without permits 
and had been impounded by the Forest Department. 1 In 
Mutukur the people c:irne frequently in to clashes with 
forest officials. Forest rules were constantly defied by 
the inhabitants of this village. 2 In Jangameswar apuram 
a person who had been arrested under Section 188O.P.C. 
was forcibly rescued by the villagers. The condition of 
Palnad created a great problem to the government, and 
the District Collector conceded that in Palnad 
"Several villages have proclaimed Swaraj". 4 


But the most serious confrontation between the 
people and the government occured on February 26, 1921 
in Minchalapadu, which was a hamlet of Kolagutla 
village. 2 The people of this village wete of Telega, 
Golla, Odiga and Harijan castes, Telega being the domi- 

1. District Collector, Guntur to tt A. Graham, Chief Secretary to the Government of 
Madras, Fori St George Madras dated February 2i>, 1 922, 

(A P. State Archives U.F.S. Section) 

2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid 

4. Guntur District Collector's D,O. No. I to R.A. Graham, Chief Secretary to the 
Government wf Madras, Fort St.George. Madras dated February H, I922, 

(A. P. State Archive*, H F,$. Section) 

5. Cfuntur District Collector's D,Q. No, I & to R,A, Graham, Chief Secretary to the 
Government of MUulra Fort St.Georue, Madras dated February 27 r 

(A. P. Sutc archives H.F.S. Section) 


nant caste. Their main occupations were agriculture 
and cattle rearing. 1 There were so many cases of people 
rescuing their cattle seized by the Forest Department 
that the forest officials expressed their complete help- 
lessness to deal with the situation.*- So a party of Reserve 
Pol ice consist ing of twenty men and two Head Constables 
under a Sub-Inspector, G. V. Raghsvayya, were sent to 
standby the forest officials. The forest party found one 
hundred and twenty buffaloes and fifty goats in the rese- 
rve forest to the south of Minchalapadu, and intended to 
drive them to the Mutukur pound They arrested two 
grazers and a woman who were in charge of the cattle, 
But as the party was passing Minchalapadu with the 
cattle the villagers stopped it and rescued one arrested 
person and thirty buffaloes. They also succeeded in 
driving away all the goats.^ At this stage the Karanam 
of Kolagutla of which Minchalapadu was the hamlet 
persuaded the villagers to withdraw from the scene and 
stop their attempts to rescue their distrainsd cattle, 
According to the Collector of Guntur, H, A. B. Vernon, 
the people regrouped and attacked the government party 
with greater force. About two to three hundred people 
including women began pelting stones. The govern- 
ment version runs thus : "As this particular locality 
....abounds in sharp stones, whir;h are very dan- 
gerous missiles and as the Sub-Inspector was of 

opinion that the situation was becoming serious, he 
drew up the Reserve Police in line with the cattle and 
the forest officers behind them and ordered them to fix 
bayonets for 'rnob firing', and all to load with buck- 
shot. He then warned the crowds three times in an 
audible manner to disperse, as they were an unlawful 

I Single Member Palnad Enquiry Commission Report, p, II, 

2. H A B, Vernon, District Collector, Guntur to the Chief Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of Madras, Fort St, George, Madras dated March I, 1922, 

(A P. State Archives, H.F S. Section) 

3. Ibid. 


assembly, and warned them that he would fire. As this 
had no effect on the mob who persisted in their assault, 
the Sub-Inspector ordered the Reserve to fire a volley 
and one man was observed to fall. The mob, however, 
did not disperse and still kept on pelting the police with 
stones. The Sub-Inspector therefore ordered six con- 
stables to load with ball and the remainder with buck- 
shot and ordered the six men who had loaded the boll 
to fire a voliey. As a result of this two more men were 
observed to fall, and the mob ran away. This occurence 
took place between 4 and 5 in the after-noon". 1 

The first man to fall at the police firing was Kanne- 
ganti Hanumanthu. The second who fell dead was 
Ellampally Seshudu, agricultural labourer and servant 
of Hanumanthu. The third casualty was the syce of the 
Sub-Inspector of Police. 2 

When the news was communicated to the District 
Collector, H A.B.Vernon, he proceeded to Minchalapadu 
between 3 and 4 in the morning of February 21. 1922, 
accompanied by the District Superintendent of Police, 
District Forest Officer, Captain Machonochie and the 
Military force. The village was surrounded and an 
identification parade was held. Twenty eight men and 
nine women were identified as having taken part in the 
affray. They were arrested.' 


The Andhra Provincial Congress Committee was 
much agitated over the events in Palnad in general and 

H A.B Vriu>a Di&trtut Collector. Guntur to the Chief Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of Madras, J'Ort Si George, Madras dated March 1, 1922. 
A.I* Staur Archives. H F S. Section 

Single Member l\tlu;ul I-itquiry Commission Report, p. 16. 

H.A 0. Veriion, niunct Collector Gumur to the Chief Secretary to the Govera- 
nicut of Madras. ! ui t Si George, Mudrui dated March 1 , 
(A, P. Statft Archive*, H F,S. Section) 


Minchalapadu in particular. The Andhra P. C. C. 
meeting in Guntur on April 30, 1 922 constituted a sub- 
committee with Panguluri Venkata Subbarao and 
S. Srinivas lyengar to make an enquiry into the police 
firing of Minchalapadu. But the sub-committee 
constituted, however, could not go to Palnaci So the 
P. C. C. at its meetting inTirupati on July 22, 1922 set 
up another sub-committee with Dr. Dharvada Rama- 
chandrarao end Gadde Rangayya Naidu to enquire into 
the police firing. Since Charvada Ramachandrarco 
could not go to Palnad. Gadde Rangayya ISIaidu alone 
proceeded there in the last week of October 1 922, con- 
ducted enquiry in Minchaiapsdu and submitted a report 
to Tanguturi Prskasam, President, Andhre. Provincial 
Congress Committee. 1 

Gadde Rangayya Naidu visited only Minchalapadu, 
and so the Andhra Congress Committee felt that the 
report submitted by him w^s not comprehensive. It 
constituted another sub-committee on June 14th, 1923 
with Dandu Naroyanareju, C. V. Rungam Srasti, Gonu- 
guntla Subrahmanyam and Kanneganti Suryanarayana 
Chowdary. Since Suryanarayana Chowdary could not 
make himself available to go to Palnad, the other three 
members of the sub-committee toured Palnad, between 
June 21st and 26th and submitted a report to Tanguturi 
Prakasam, President, Andhra Provincial Congress 
Committee on September 6, 1923. 2 

Both the enquiry committees squarely found fault 
with the police for the incident of 26th February 1922, 
Gadde Rangayya Naidu says that when the cattle was 
distrained there was altercation between thu police and 
Pasupuleti Chennayya, son-in-law of Hanumanthu in 

1. Single Member ?alnad Enquiry Commission Report, pp.2, 4, 

2, Three Member Palnud Enquiry Coinmisjiiou Report p. 2, 


which a police constable beat Chennayya with the butt- 
end of his gun. A woman then ran into the village and 
informed Hanumanthu that his son-in-law -was being 
killed by the police. Hanumanthu then ran to the scene 
of fracas. Police, thereupon, fired at him, and felled him. 
Though fallen to the ground wounded, Hanumanthu was 
alive, but the police fired at him a second time. The 
secondfiring also did not take away his life. Hanumanthu 
became delirious and cried for water. 1 Neither the 
police brought him water, nor allowed any villager to 
do so. The firing took place at six in the evening and 
Hanumanthu died at twelve in the night. 2 The Three 
Member Palnad Enquiry Commission also corroborates 
this. 3 Gadde Rangayya Naidu personally interviewed 
Kanneganti Gangamma, wife of Hanumanthu, Miryala 
Pitchamma, Hanumanthu'sdaughter, Pasupuleti Chenna- 
yya, Hanumanthu's son-in-law, and five other villagers 
of Minchalapadu - Miryala Pitchayya, Nallabothula 
Yellakondayya, Kanneganti Nagayya, Kanneganti Venka- 
tayya and Beerneedu Rosigadu on October 27, 1922. 
All said in one voice that the police did not make any 
attempt to give medical aid to Hanumanthu who was 
alive many hours after the shoot-out, None was allo- 
wed to bring him water when he cried for it deliriously. 

That the police made indiscriminate firing was evi- 
dent by the death of the syce of the Sub-Inspector. 
The Collector reported, "'It cannot be stated with 
certainity how he came to be in the line of fire, but it is 
known that the horse of the Sub-Inspector broke away 
and he probably ran towards the crowd in order to 
catch it." 4 But the Collector stated earlier that the 

I Single Member Palnatl Inquiry Commission Report, pp.1 b, 16 

2, Ibid. 

3, Three Member Palnad Enquiry Commission Report, p. 17. 

4, H.A.B Vernon District Collector. Guntur to the Chief Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of Madras, Fort St. George* Madras dated March 1, 1922. 

(A,P, Suto Archive:; U F.S, Section) 


Sub-Inspector gave sufficient time for the mob t 
disperse. But could he not wait till his own syce 
returned with the horse which had broken loose and ran 
towards the mob? 


The next morning the Collector and the District 
Superintendent of Police accompanied by the militarv 
surrounded the village to mske arrests. All malepopu 
lation was taken out of the village. Then some police 
people entered the houses of the villagers and carried 
with them whatever they found there - cash, jewels 
cfothesetc. Even ghee and rice were not left behind i 
Kanneganti Gangamma reported loss of articles 
worth Rs. TOO/-.' The Mounted Police terrorised the 
people who were subjected to all sorts of atrocities 
Most of the famale members of theviliage sought refuae 
m the jungles to spare themselves from the ire of the 
t p '"; e - Those that could not "cape were treated with 
the butt-ends of the guns, and their feet were crushed 
under the jack-boots. The women were subjected to 
every humiliation. 3 

Some of.the Government officials themselves were 
taken aback at the atrocities of the police and the mili 
tary, and reported the matter orally to the District 
Collector, Vernon. Instead of bringing the guilty to 
book the Collector replied: "They came here on y 

086 '' ' ln 

h Hr a man ^r high.y reminiscent of 

the Hunter Comm.ttee findings on the Jalllanwalaba 9 h 

1 . Single Member Palnad Enquiry Copuntalon Repor,. D . '..> 

2. Ibid. p. 26 

Palnad Enquiry Commission 


massacre, Collector Vernon exonerated the Sub-Inspe- 
ctor of Police for the shooting order. The Collector 
wrote to his superiors in the Fort St. George : "I am of 
opinion that the Sub-Inspector carried out hisduty with 
bravery and discretion; that he refrained from firing 
until the last possible moment and when he did fire, did 
not continue) longer than was absolutely necessary". ' 

Later, the government made large scale arrests. 
The arrested were lodged in Macherla sub-jail for two 
months and Narasaraopet sub-jail for another two 
months. They were later brought to trial in the court 
of Deputy Collector Jambunatha Iyer, Kanneganti Na- 
gayya,Nallabothula Venkayya, Enugula China Narasayya, 
Miryala Narasayyu, Miryala China Krishnamma, Miryala 
Pitchayya, Nallabothula Yellakondayya, Enugula Vee- 
reyya, Kanneganti Venkatayya, Oddi Venkataswamygadu, 
Kosani Kotayya, Kandarapu Venkatesugadu, Kandarapu 
Gurivigadu, Beerneedu Rosigadu, Beerneedu Yellamanda 
and Baerneedu Venkatesamgadu were convicted and 
sentenced to various terms of imprisonment ranging from 
one month to one year. Seven women-Polapula Kotamma, 
Miryala Mangamma, Yerragorla Balamma, Kota Aude- 
mma, Enugula Ramamma, Miryala Kotamma and Konda 
Venkamma were fined Rs. 75/- each. Even young 
children, Miryala Chinnayya aged sixteen years and 
Miryala Bangarayya aged ten years, were fined Rs. 75/- 
each. China Ammigadu, another boy of very young age, 
was sentenced to one and half months imprisonment. 2 


Atter the autopsy was, conducted Hanumanthu's 
body was buried on the outskirts of Kolagutla village 
on 27th February, 1922. Four days later it was exhumed 

I H.A.B, Vernon, District Collector, Guniur to the Chief Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of Madras, l-ori Si.Geortfe, Madras dated March I, !922. 
(A P, Stale Archives, II.F.S. Section) 

1 Single Member Ptilnad Enquiry Commission Report- pp. 


by the members of Hanumanthu's family and after 
religious rites was buried in Kolagutla village near the 
banks of the stream Dantaiavagu. fifteen yards away 
from the Local Fund Road. 1 A memorial inscription on 
stone was raised at the grave. It ran as follows: 
"On Vijayabhyudaya Salivahana Saka 1844, i. e., on 
26-2-'22 which is equivalent of the year Durmatinama, 
month Makha, tidhi 30 at 12 A. M. the District Collector 
of Guntur, Vernon, determined to crush non-coope- 
ration movement arrived in Palnad taluq and sent the 
Sub-Inspector of Durgi, Raghavayya Naidu, with mili- 
tary to Minchalapadu hamlet of Kolagutla to impound 
the cattle of people who did not pay grazing tax. There 
was altercation between the officers and Kanneganti 
Hanumanthu. Thereupon, the police fired at him and 
twenty six pellets were lodged in his body. Later, after 
a wordy duel he died at 12 in the night", 2 This inscrip- 
tion was raised by Atmakuri Punnayya on the explicit 
wishes of Hanumanthu's wife. 3 

The contents of the inscription were published in the 
Guntur Patrika and received wide publicity. The govern- 
ment thought that the tablet would be a standing monu- 
ment of defiance of authority. Through the Karnam of 
Kolagutla, the government got it removed to the house 
of Hanumanthu's wife. Later, on January 22, 1923 
revenue officers appeared at the house, broke the tablet 
into pieces and got them scattered in the shrubs in 
which this village abounded. 4 

The Andhra Provincial Congress Committee meeting 
in Cocanada on December 16, 1923 condemned "the 
unjust conduct of the British officials who during the 

1. Ibid pp 13, 14. 

2. Quoted in the Single Member Palnnd Enquiry Commission Report p 2'A. 

3. Three Member Palnad Enquiry Commission Report D 1 9 

4. Ibid, p, 34. ' 


height of nonco-operation in Andhra Desa cruelly shot 
dead Kanneganti Hanumanthu of Minchalapadu in the 
Palnad taluq, Guntur District on the ground that forest 
dues were not paid up", it conveyed its sorrow to the 
members of his family. Regarding the destruction of 
the memorial inscription the P. C. C. passed the follow- 
ing resolution proposed by Gadde Rangayya Naidu : 
"The conference condemns the perverse act of certain 
other officers who destroyed the tablet erected at the 
site of Hanumanthu's tomb by his wife and other rela- 
ation describing how his life came to end and resolves 
the tablet be put in again writing thereon the further 
conduct of the destroyers and that for this purpose 
calls upon the Provincial Congress Committee to make 
necessary arrangements risking satyagraha if it should 
become necessary in resetting the tablet". The resolu- 
tion was carried unanimously, 1 But nothing appears 
to have come out of this resolution. The newspapers, 
the government reports and the contemporary writings 
are silent about the issue. 


With the repression let loose by the government 
and with the withdrawal of the civil disobedience move- 
ment in other parts of the Guntur district, especially in 
Pedanandipadu, the Palnad Forest Satyagraha was 
considerably weakened. Slowly normalcy was restored. 
By March 4, 1922, the government in its communique 
issued for publicity could say that most of "the villa- 
gers are now paying up their grazing fees". 2 

, December I ft, 

2 Communique for publicity issued by the Government of Madras, Fort St. George 
Madras dated March *1, 19^2. 
(A.I*. State Archives, H.F.S, Section) 


No-tax Campaign 


Throughout the year 1921 the non-cooperation 
movement was in full swing. According to Pattabhi 
Sitaramayya, over twenty thousand individual civil 
resisters were in jail, and their number was soon to 


swell to thirty thousand. 1 Madala Veerabhadra Rao 
gives the names of more than a hundred who courted 
imprisonment during the non-cooperation movement in 
the Guntur district. 2 By the end of the year all the 
prominent national leaders save Gandhi were serving 
various terms of imprisonment. Gandhi had promised 
swaraj in one year, if his programme was adhered to, 
but the year was about to come to a close, it was in 
this tense atmosphere that the A. I. C. C. met at Delhi 
on 5tK> November. There for the first time the pro- 
gramme of a no-tax campaign was discussed. It autho- 
rised every province, on its own responsibility, to 
undertake mass civil disobedience including non-pay- 

1. B Pattabhi Sitaramayya; Op. cit, VoJ-I. p 'm. 

2. Madala Vecrabhadrarao Gunturu Zil la Swarajyotlyamamu ! 920 -' Ujvala Ghattalu 
(Published by the author, 1974) (TeJugu), pp 173 to I 1 ?!*. 


merit of taxes in the manner considered suitable by the 
Provincial Congress Committee subject to several condi- 
ions. The conditions were as follows : every indi- 
vidul civil resister must have fulfilled that part of the 
N. C. 0. programme applicable to him, should know 
spinning, must have discarded foreign cloth and taken 
to Khaddar, must be a believer in Hindu-Muslim unity 
must believe in non-violence as absolutely essential for 
the redress of the Khilafat and the Punjab wrongs and 
the attainment of Swaraj, and if a Hindu must by his 
personal conduct show ttuit he regarded untouchability 
as a blot on the nation's life. 1 These conditions later 
became famous as Delhi conditions throughout the 
country. With regards to the mass civil disobedience 
the A I. C. C. cecidsd to treat a district or Tahsil as a 
unit. There the majority of the population should have 
complete faith in the principles of N. C. 0. 2 

In the back-drop of large scale arrests, national 
yearning for bwaraj and the Delhi A. I. C. C resolutions 
of 5th November, the annual session of the Congress 
was held in Ahmadabed towards the end of December 
1921 . C. R. Das was to have presided over the Congress. 
But due to his incarceration/ Hakim Ajmal Khan of Delhi 
presided. The resolutions adopted at this session of 
the Congress were of very vital importance to the pro- 
gress of non-cooperation movement. They 3 run as 
follows : 

"Whereas, since the holding of the last National 
Congress, the people of India have found from actual 
experience that by reason of the adoption of non-violent 
non-cooperation, the country h'as made great advance 

1 ll, Putiubhi Stlurumuyya ; Op. oil; VoI-J, j>. 2 1 9. 

2 Ibid. 
J. Ibid, 


in fearlessness, self-sacrifice and selfrespect, and 
whereas the movement has greatly damaged the prestige 
of the government, and whereas on the whole the coun- 
try is rapidly progressing towards swaraj, this Congress 
confirms the resolutions adopted at the Special Session 
of the Congress at Calcutta and reaffirmed at Nagpur, 
and places on record the fixed determination of the 
Congress to continue the programme of non-violent 
non-cooperation with greater vigour than hitherto in 
such manner as each province may determine, till 
Punjab and Khilafat wrongs are redressed and swarajya 
is established and the control of the Government of 
India passes into the hands of the people from that of 
an irresponsible corporation". 

"This Congress is further of opinion that civil 
disobedience is the only civilised and effective sub- 
stitute 'for an armed rebellion whenever every other 
remedy for preventing arbitrary, tyrannical and emas- 
culating use of authority by individuals or corporations 
has been tried, and therefore advises all Congress 
workers and others who believe in peaceful methods 
and are convinced that there is no remedy save some 
kind of sacrifice to dislodge the existing government 
from its position of perfect irresponsibility to the people 
of India, to organise individual civil disobedience and 
mass civil disobedience when the mass of the people 
have been sufficiently trained in the methods of non- 
violenceand otherwise in terms of the resolution thereon 
of the last meeting held at Delhi". 

The resolution appealed to "every person of the age 
of eighteen ond over" to join the volunteer organi- 
sations. 1 

2. Tbicl. p. 226. 


Another important feature of the Ahmadabad session 
of the Congress was that Gandhi visited each camp and 
explained the technique of civil disobedience. 1 In tne 
Andhra camp Gandhi offered to answer questions of the 
delegates. Cheruvu Venkata Subrahmanya Sastrv, dele- 
gate from Ongole, put the following question : "In the 
light of the non-cooperation programme iuclusive of the 
refusal of the payment of taxes, and in view of the fact 
that the tax-collection commences in the Madras 
Presidency in the month of January, what advice do 
you give us in the matter of withholding of taxes with 
which we are going to be confirmed as soon as we reach 
home?" In reply Gandhi said that those places in which 
the people could be said to have fulfilled the Delhi 
A. I. C. C. conditions - Hindu-Muslim unity, removal of 
uniouchability, propagation of Khadi and foith in non- 
violence - were eligible for taking up civil disobedience 
inclusive of withholding of taxes. 3 


Deriving inspiration from Gandhi's answer, the 
A. P. C. C. met at Bezawada on January 7, 1922 and 
decided that no-tax campaign as an integral part of 
civil disobedience movement should be carried on in the 
districts of Guntur, Godavari and Krishna. It also 

F, Ibid: p . 

2, Signed Statement of Cheruvu Venkata Subrahmunya Sastry, hereafter referred to as 
signed statement of C. V.S. Sastry. C. V, S Sastry's Statement is corroborated by 
R a m achandruniVcnkucuppa. See C> u i nil I a nail i And i n a ray an a J5h astjpu rt h j_ a n ch i ka , 
pp. ia ll.i Korula Vuikatappayya also writes of Gandhi's visit to the Andhra camp 
Scchi.Swecya Chariira, p '2^, He Hindu dated December 30, 1 92 1, Ahmadabad 

*f .*f.iT : 115.4. T.VJP .1 IWI' 1 - 

writes: "The Andhrus seem to have taken very earnestly the question of civil disobe- 
dience this morning a crowded mealing of delegates and visitors was held in the 
Andhra camp with Gandhi in the chair to hear from him the practical methods ol 
earring on civil disobedience. One main question discussed was the non-payment of 
taxes since the time of the payment of taxes was approaching. Gandhi emphasised 
that non-payment was a privilagc to be exercised only when all the remaining parts 
of the programme have been completely fulfilled'*. 


resolved to give freedom to the District Congress 
Committees to decide which areas in their respective 
districts fulfilled the Delhi conditions to be eligible for 
launching mass civil disobedience. 1 

In order to decide which areas of the Guntur district 
were eligible for no-tax campaign the Guntur District 
Congress Committee met at Ponnur on 12th January 
and resolved unanimously that land revenue for the 
January Kist should not be paid throughout the Guntur 
district except a few firkas in Tenali, Guntur, Ongole 
and Repalle taluqs, 2 

On the day the D. C. C. met at Ponnur the District 
Magistrate promulgated Section 144 Cr. P. C. by the 
beat of tom-tom and by affixing a copy of the order on 
a prominent place in Ponnur. About 4,000 people 
collected from different parts of the district. Gollapudi 
Sitaramasastry and Maddi Radhakrishnayya took promi- 
nent part. Gollapudi Sitaramasastry announced the 
resolve of the Committee to disobey the Magistrate's 
order. There was keen competition among the people 
to come forward and disobey the Magistrate's Order by 
making speeches and abvocating non-payment of taxes. 
But, for the time-being the D. C. C. selected only ten 
persons to defy the Magistrat's Order on 12th January. 
They were Gollapudi Sitaramasastry, Maddi Radha- 
krishnayya, Unnava Lakshmibayamma, Md. Ghouse Beg, 
Patri Anantarao, Mantina Nagaraju, Machiraju Rama* 
murthy, Itikala Suryanarayana, Kamaraju BhanumarthY 
and Saranu Ramaswamy Chowdary. 3 

1. Signed Statement of C. V.S. Sastri. Sec also Konda Venkatappayya's 
Sweeya Charitra. p. 286. 

2. The Hindu dated January 1 5, I 922. 

3. Personal Assistant of the District Superintendent of Police, Guntur to the District 
Collector and Magistrate, Guntur (Copy) dated January I 2, I 922. 

(A.P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 


Even before a formal consent of the D, C. C. was 
obtained Konda Venkatappayya, President of Andhra 
provincial Congress Committee and Goilapudi Sitarama- 
sastry its Secretary toured the villages in the Guntur 
district in the first days of December 1921 and prepared 
the people for no-tax campaign. They practically covered 
all the villages. 1 

After the Ahmadabad Session considerable propa- 
ganda in favour of no tax campaign was done in the 
Ongole taluq. Responsibility of organising and conduc- 
ting Congress affairs in the taluq mainly devolved on 
Dhara Gopala Sastry. Cheruvu Venkata Subrahmanya 
Sastry, Ramanayanam Lakshminarasimham, Kota Viswa- 
nadham, Chivukula Radhakrishnayya, Kappera Nara- 
simham and Valluri Narayanarao made extensive tour of 
the Duddukur firka and carried the Ahmadabad resolu- 
tions of the Congress to the masses.- 

But two events gave great impetus to the no-tax 
movement in the Guntur district. They were the resigna- 
tions of the Village Officers and the formation of a 
volunteer corps called Peace Brigade, the Santi Sena. 


In the Pedanandipadu firka all the Village Officers of 
eighteen villages except one resigned. 3 The leader of 
the movement was Machiraju Ramamurthy, the Karnam 
of Chandavolu. He was an enthusiastic non-cooperator. 

IMKft.-J.F*' IMWJil9 

I, Konda Venkatappayyu; Op. cit, pp: 280 r 281. 

2 Signet! statement of C.V.S, Sastri. 

3 A. Galleti, District Collector, Guntur to the Chief Secretary to the Government 
of Madras, Fort St. George, Metlras dated January 8, 1922. 

(A P. State Archives H.F.S, Section) 


He and Parvataneni Veerayya Chowdary who spearhe- 
aded no-tax movement in Pedanandipadu firka toured 
villages and were responsible for the wholesale resig. 
nations of the village officers in Pedanandipadu firka 
of the Bapatla talup. 1 In the Duddukur firka of Ongole 
taluq many village Officers tendered their resignations. 
Among them Rachapudi Govardhanarao, of Rachapudi, 
Abbaraju Subbarayudu of Koniki and Tammavarapu 
Lakshminarayana of Tammavaram were enthusiastic 
non-cooperators. 2 Duddukuru Sri Krishnamurthy, Kar- 
nam of Duddukur was warned by Akbfcr Hydari, Sub - 
Collector, Ongole for his earlier participation in poli- 
tics. 3 In all resignation letters of the Village Officers 
of twenty nine villages in the Guntur district were 
reported to have been received by the government. 4 

The government officers expressed different opinions 
as to the actual cause of Village officer's resignations. 
A. Galleti, District Collector, Guntur who visited Peda- 
nandipadu firka discussed the matter with the resigning 
officers. He reports : "They are rich men. They main- 
tain with warmth that they have not resigned for politi- 
cal reasons, but because the Government have not 
redressed the service grievances put forth by the Village 
Officer's Associations. The Board and the Government 
are familiar with these; too little pay and toomuch work; 
being constantly sentfor, being treated with little 

respect but the last end the decisive factor in the 

revolt is the recent reductions of the village establish- 
ment, by which they are deprived of Assistant Kamarns, 

1. Konda Venkatappayya: Op. cit, p. 2'JB, 

2. Signed Statement of Kota Viswanadham. 

j. -'No-tax campaign in Duddukur of Guntur district as narrated b Sri Duddukuru 
Sri Krishnainurtby, Karnam, Duddukur." 
(A P State Archives, H.F.S. Seciion) 

4. Report of Harris, Member, Board of Revenue on the situation in Guntur KHsbna 
and Godavari dated January 16, 1922, 
(A. P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 


Assistant Headman Vettis and Mohatad?. Even the loyai 
headmen complained bitterly of this; how was he, he 
said, to distrain movables and guard them or attach 
immovable property and prevent its cultivation without 
Vettis and Mohatads?". 1 

But according to Harris, Member, Board of Revenue, 
"The immediate cause is the instigation of Village 
Officers' Associations and District Congresses : the 
latter are now holding meetings all over the delta advo- 
cating non-payment of taxes"- He further opined 
"There is one outstanding cause of the present situation 
the N. C, 0, movement - working on the real and imagi- 
nary grievances of the Village Officers and ryot (but 
chiefly the former) through the District Congress, the 
Village Officers' Association and the agitator : the 
'grievances' are many and some of them are real., but 
none of them by themselves, nor all of them together, 
could have produced this situation wthout N. C. 0. 
manipalation> ! 

Harries appears to have arrived at a correct under- 
standing as to the cause of the resignation of the 
Village Officers, Konda Venkatappayya says that 
Machiraju Ramamurthy and Parvataneni Veerayya 
Chowdary entered heart and soul into the no-tax cam- 
paign in the Pedanandipadu firka, Machiraju Rama- 
murthy was the Secretary of Andhra Desa Grama Palana 
Sangham and the editer of "Grama Palanam" published 
on behalf of the Andhra Village Officers' Association. 

1. A OaUcti, District Collector, Ountur to the Chief Secretary to the Governmeat 
of Madras Fort St. George, Madras dated January B, 1822. 

(A P, State Archives, H.F.S, Section) 

2. Report of Harris, Member* Board of Revenue on the situation in Krishna, Guntur 
and Godavuri, duted January 16. 1922, 

(A. P. State Archives, H,F.S. Section) 


He took a prominent part in the Guntur District Congress 
deliberations in which no-tax campaign was decided 
upon. He was one of the ten who defied Section 144 
Cr. P. C. imposed in Ponnur. He resigned the Karanam- 
ship of Chandavolu and had been instrumental in in- 
fluencing a large number of his fellow V. Os in the 
district to resign their appointment and take part in 
the no-tax campaign". 1 The Village Officers of certain 
villages publicly announced thsir resignation at the 
D. C. C. meeting held at Ponnur in which no-tax 
campaign was decided. They were the village Officers 
of KoIIimerla, Munipalle, Mamillapalli and Patchalatadi- 
parru of Bapatla taluq, Siripadu, Pittalavaripalem, 
Machavaram, Penumudi and Mulukuduru of Repalle 
taluq. 2 What more concrete proof is required to assert 
that though the Village Officers had genuine service 
grievances, their main cause for resignation was the 
N. C. 0. agitation as Harris, Member, Board of Revenue 
pointed out ? 

The government did all it could to break the resi- 
stance of the Village Officers. It tried to remove some 
of their grievances. It authorised the Collector to 
assure the Village Officers that there would not be any 
loss of hereditary rights for them and that with the 
object of raising their pay the Board had long ago advi- 
sed the government to reimpose the Proprietary Estates 
Village Service Cess. 3 This had no effect on the attitude 
of the Village Officers. The government attempted to fill 

1. The Hindu dated January 19,1921. 

2. Personal Assistant of the District Superintendent of Police, Guntur to the District 
Collector and Magistrate. Guntur (Copy) dated January 12, 19^.2. 

(A P, State Archives H F.S. Section* 

3. Report of Harris, Member, Board of Revenue on the situation in Krishna 
Guntur and Godavari, dated Januaty 16, 1922. 

(A. P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section; 

The government announced in the press communique issued by the Publicity 
Department dated January 20, 1922. "The questioa of reimposing the Proprietary 
Estates Village Service Cess for the pur ose of increasing the pay of Village 
Officers in Proprietory Estates is under consideration; meanwhile the Government 
propose to introduce legislation forthwith depriving permanently of their heridi- 
tary rights of ihe families of Village Officers dismissed for disloyalty though they 
have no intention at present of interfering otherwise with the hereditary rights 
of the village Officers" 

Press Communique issued by the publicity Department, Govcnmcnt of Madras, 
Fort St. George, Madras dated January 23, 1 922: 
(A. P. State Archives H.F.S. Section) 



,the vacancies that arose on account of the resignations. 
In selecting men to fill the posts the Collector was au- 
thorised to disregard the rule as to the educational qua_ 
lifications provided that he was satisfied that the per. 
sons appointed were capable of discharging their duties 
ofoffice. 1 But neither entreaties nor threats unnerved the 
Village Qfticers. The collector ruefully reported to his 
superiors in the Fort St. George "There are candidates 
'for the vacant posts, especially Assistant Karanams who 
had lost their jobs, but when the Sub-Collector attemp- 
ted to put one in-charge r with Reserve Police camping 
in the village, the man's courage failed him", * Ruther- 
ford, whom the government sent to deal with the situ- 
ation in Pedanandipadu informed his superiors that in 
Varagani of Bapatla taluq the Munsiffs had resigned and 
the Karanam was the leader of the movement. The 
village menials were also absent, and he faced complete 
non-cooperation. ' 


The Working Committee of the Guntur District Cong- 
ress met on December 9 1921 and resolved to organise 
Santi Sena. It constituted a sub-committee with N.V.L. 
Narasimharao, P. H. Gupta and Maddi Radhakrishnayya 
to enlist volunteers. 4 In pursuance of this resolution 
volunteers were enlisted in many villages. Parvataneni 
Veerayya Chowdary enlisted hundreds of them in many 

I. G. 0. No. 130, Revenue Department, dated 1 9th January, 1 922. 
(A,P. State Archives, M.F.S, Section) 

2 A. Oalleti, District Collector* Guntur to the Chief Secretary to the Government 
of Madras, Fort St, George, Mcdras dated January 8, 1922. 
(A.I*. State Archives, H.I'.S, Section) 

3. Rutherford to K.A. Graham. Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras, Fort 
St. George, Madras dated January 26, 19/2. 

(A.l. State Archives, II p.S. Section) 

4. The Hindu dated December 10, 1921 . 


villages of Pedanandipadu firka. The volunteers were a 
dedicated lot. They were intrepid, and even in the face 
of grave provocation by the police or revenue officials 
they did not lose balance. Some of the volunteers 
served as messengers. They toured villages day and 
night and carried information to their leaders especially 
Konda Venkatappayya. 1 The Santi Sena organised the 
people so well for the no-tax campaign that the govern- 
ment officials faced complete non-cooperation in the 
villages. Rutherford wrote : "A crow of volunteers 
in uniform and with lathis hung in the background and 
if anyone was seen speaking to me or the peon there 
were shouts of 'don't say anything' and a volunteer 
would come lounging up". 2 The Santi Sena created such 
trouble to the Government that the District Collector 
sent proposals to the government to Fort St. George 
to declare it an unlawful association. But the govern- 
ment, however, did not resort to it. Itinstructed Colle- 
ctor Galleti "to take proceedings without any delay 
under the Security Sections of the Criminal Procedure 
Code against the leaders of the volunteers and if possi- 
ble the promoters of the organisation in the first 
instance." 3 


With the resignation of large numbers of Village 
Officers and the formation of the Santi Sena the stage 
was set for the implementation of no-tax campaign as 

1 . Konda Venkatappayya: Op. cit. p: 290. 

2. Rutherford to R A. Graham, Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras, Fort 
St, George, Madras dated January 26, 1922. 

(A P State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 

3. Instructions to the District Collector, Guntur dated January 30 1922 
(A.P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 


per the Ahmadabad Congress resolution. Konda Venka- 
tappaya sent a telegram to Gandhi which said : 

" The movement is far ahead. Village officers 

including Panchama and Christian Vettians are resigning 
in large numbers. Arrests of workers, batch after 
batch, are increasing in different places. Co-ope- 
rators were converted by volunteer corps in most 
villages. Panchamas andChristians are enlisting, excava- 
ting wells, untouchabtlity is disappearing. The attach- 
ment though very provocative the people are submitting. 
Cooking vessels, even with food, are distrained even by 
Christian officials entering Brahmin kitchens, but these 
acts are not objected to. The taluqs in experiment are 
self-sufficient in Khaddar. Not less than 60% in villages, 
including women, wear khaddar. We respectfully sumit 
that Delhi conditions are satisfied. 

The military arrived at Guntur, with armoured cars 
and motor lorries. Advocacy of payment under the 
circumstances will result in the ultimate effacement 
of our district from the movement, seriously jeopar- 
dising even other districts. Awaiting your favourable 
consideration, reply, 

Konda Venkatappayyez, 

Andhra Provincial Congress Committee. 

Nadimpalli Narasimharao, 

Andhra Provincial Congress Committee. 
Polisetty Hanumaiah Gupta, 

To this telegram Gandhi's reply was : 

"You are the best judges of the situation. If Delhi 
conditions are satisfied and if you feel confident, I have 


no right to interfere. God speed. He will bless all 
honest efforts. Keep me daily informed. 

Gandhi", 1 

There were, however, leaders who pleaded restraint. 
N, Subba Rao Panthulu from Rajahmundry, : "I feel that 
one false step taken now lands us in irretrievable loss 
and misery, and there is no use of regrets and heart- 
burnings afterwards. A heavy responsibility rests on 
the leaders to offer sound advice and guide the masses 
aright at this juncture. Over-enthusiasm should not 
be mistaken for a steady determination guiding the 
conduct of life. Witness the exuberance of college 
students in 1908 when they went out on strike because 
they were not allowed to Wear Vande Mataram medals 

and how soon they repented of their hasty step Such 

instances need not be multiplied. I am aware that the 
present movement is vastly different and more wides- 
pread but the laws of social and political progress are 
the same. We cannot hope to escape from them by 
sudden jumps without patience and severance of disci- 
pline ". 2 P. V. Subbarao, M. L. C , wrote that 

the Guntur District Congress Committee should know 
that serious disorders would result, as the ryots had 
not been trained to be non-violent. "The committee 
must accept full responsibility for their action. Even 
in their own interests the non-cooperator should see 
that the failure of the movement in the district will only 
stiffen the attitude of the Government" '. P,V Subbarao 
was a Justice Party member of the Madras Legislature. 
He was a staunch cooperator, and his aim was to 
distract thepeople and the Congress from their cherished 
goals. But even the advice of well-meaning leaders 

1 . Konda Venkatappayya's telegram and Gandhi's reply were quoted in The Hindu 
dated JanuarY 23, I922, 

2. The Hindu dated January 25, 1922. 

3. The Hindu dated January 24, 1922. 


like N. Subbarao Panthulu was not to the taste of the 
masses. The die was cast, and there was to be no 
retreat, at least, till some one of national stature advi- 
sed them to the contrary. 

The non-tax campaign was in full swing in the 
Guntur district in general and Pedanandipadu firka in 
the Bapatla taluq and Dtiddukur Addanki and Santha- 
nuthslapadu firk^s in the Ongole taluq in particular 
from the day the District Congress Committee took the 
momentous decision on January 12th till the middle 

of February when Gandhi advised its suspension till he 
experimented it himself in Bardoli. During this period 
there was a battle royal between the people of these 

firkas on one side and the government on the other. 

The people showed solid determination to bring the 
government to naught and the government was deter- 
mined to break the will of the people as it was afraid 
that "the infection will soon effect"' other districts. 


With the refusal of the people to pay taxes, the 
government brought in the army. At the request of the 
District Magistrate a detachment of the Governor's 
Body Guard was stationed in Guntur. 2 The soldiers 
toting machine guns conducted route-marches in the 
various villages of Pedanandipadu in order to instill 
fear in the people. 3 Armoured cars also showed 

I. Report of Harris, Member, Board of Revenue on the situation iu Krishna, Guntur 
and Godttvuri, dated January 16. 1922, 
(A, P. State Archives, H,F.S, Section) 

2 R A, Graham, Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras to S. P. O. Donnel, 
Secretary to the Government of India, Home Department, dated February 16, 1922 
(A. P. Slate Archives, H.F.S, Section) 

i. Kondu Vcnkfttuppayya. Op. cit. p; 295. 


themselves up where resistance to the authorities was 
much. ' The police force was considerably increased 
and under Section 15 of the Police Act of 1861 the 
inhabitants of Pedanandipadu firka were ordered to pay 
the cost of their maintenance. 2 

Distraint and attachment of movable and immovable 
property was resorted to by the government. In this 
connection the rules were considerably amended. Land 
or movable property attached was immediately brought 
for auction. L. T. Harris, Member, Board of Revenue, 
who was sent to Guntur to take such measures as he 
might find neceasary, decided to stimulate collection 
of taxes by ordering to "reduce to an absolute minimum 
the delay that need occur between the attachment 
(distraint) and sale of immovable (or of movable) 
property. In this emergency movable property should 
be liable to sale on the spot immediately after distraint 
and immovable within three days. All officers con- 
sulted are agreed that no deterrent will be so effective 
against the wilfull defaulter as actually seeing his land 
sold, the sale of land for arrears is a very rare event, 
except in some very exceptional citcumstances : it is 
almost immediately redeemed before the attachment 
period expires. The same may be said* in lesser degree, 
in regard to movables," 3 

1. Ibid. p. 291. 

The government in its communique stated **A small body of Infantry and a section 
of armoured cars have been gent to Guntur in support of the civil tin chorines, and 
it is hoped that their presence will put heart into the loyal part of the population 
and encourage them to resist intimidation". 
Government communique dated February 2, 1922. 
(A. P. State Archivei, H.F.S. Section) 

2. Proclamation issued by the Government of Madras, Fort St. George, Madras 
dated January 20, 1922. 

(A. P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 

3. Reportof Harris, Member, Board of Revenue on the situation in Krishna, 
Guntur and Godavari, dated January 16, 1922. 

(A P, State Archives, H,F,S, Section) 


The revenue officials adopted various measures to 
confuse the people into submission. In Duddukur, 
Tahsildar Somayajulu managed to get to his camp three 
ryots who were habituated to drink. He paid taxes from 
his own pocket and caused receipts issued to them. 
He then spread a rumour in the village that the three 
ryots had voluntarily paid the taxes. This he did to 
demoralise the villagers. 1 

As was wont with it, the government tried its hand 
at divide et impera'. It announced that when the land 
was bought in by the government, when bidders were 
not forthcoming to take part in auction, the land so 
bought would be allotted to the members of the 
Depressed Classes. 2 This measure contemplated by the 
Government was welcomed by Gandhi. He said that 
such arrangement was would suit both parties, "Non- 
coperators have undertaken to be non-violent, to risk 
the loss of their all for the purpose of gaining their end, 
and must, therefore, allow their belongings to be 

sold ...The proposal to allow the Depressed Classes 

to bid for and purchase forfeited lands is ideal. What 
can be better than that the forfeited lands should be 
temporarily occupied by the very classes whom we want 
to see raised from their depressed state ? I used the 

adverb 'temporarily' for the present occupiers must 

know that they must get Swaraj and that under Swaraj 
they must be restored to their original status with 
honour added thereto. The Depressed Classes, who are 
being used as pawns in the game by the government 
cannot be adversely affected by dispossession, for it 

1, Ramachandruni Vcnkaiappa's article "Ongole taluka lo Bahumukha Jateeya 
Chaitanyamu" in Gundlapalll Audinarayana Shaslipurthi Sanchika (Ongole t l972) 
(Telugu), p, 1*4. 

This information is corroborated by C. V, S. S as try in hi* signed statement. 

2. Press communique issued by R. A. Graham, Choif Secretary, Government of 
Madras. Fort. St. George, Madras dated January 20, 1922. 

(A P, State Archives, H.F S, Section) 


will be the primary care of the Swaraj Government to 
see them well-settled, happy and contended". 1 

The Government was so ruthless in attaching the 
property that it stopped at nothing. Land, grain, house- 
hold utensils, furniture and cattle were attached. In 
Addanki, Tahsildar Somayajulu attempted to seize from 
the neck of Kota Sundaramma her mangala sutra. She 
took two steps backwards, removed the chain herself 
and threw it at the face of Somayajulu. 2 

The authorities took recourse to strong-arm-tactics 
in Guntur district because as the Governor of Madras 
himself put it later, the district attempted "to destroy 
the very foundations of administrative authority by 
refusing to pay taxes which were due to the state". 3 
L. T. Harris, Member, Board of Revenue realised that the 

happenings in Guntur would have repercussion in other 
districts. He observed : ''At the present moment the 

Collector of Guntur considers the situation in his 
district very serious and likely to develop rapidly unless 

strong measures are taken very quickly. The Collector 

of Kistna realises that if the movement is not 

suppressed in Guntur the infection will very soon effect 
Kistna." 4 

1 . M K. Gandhi's article 'Awakening in Andhra Dcsa' in Young Tndiojdatcd 
February 2, 1922. "" 

2. Signed statement of Kota Vi a wanadaham. Koia Simduramma was the aunt of 


Ramachandruni Venkatappa refers to this episode. Sec GundUpaMi Audmaroyana, 
Shastipurthi Sanchika.^ p. 116, ' * "" 

3. Governor's reply to the addreas presented to him by the Municipal Council, 
Guntur. See TheJHJndUi dated July 8, I 922. 

4. Report of Harris, Member, Board of Revenue on the situation in Krishna, 
Guntur and Godavari, dated January 16, 

(A P State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 



Despite the presence of military, mounted men, 
armoured cars, distraints, auction and arrests, and a 
plethora of other repressive measures the resistence of 
the people could not be broken. Parvataneni Veerayya 
Chowdary, though not much educated on westren lines 
kept up the morale of the people by touring practically 
all villages mounted on horse. The Santi Sena volun- 
teers under his leadership became the eyes and ears of 
the no-tax movement. They and the people were 
unperturbed even under grave provocation from either 
the military or the police. 1 This was in accordance with 
the advice given by Gandhi who wrote in Young India 
"When the Government military is opened on them, they 
are expected to expose their willing breasts, not their 
wunwilling backs to the bullets, and still not harbour 
revenge or resentment". 2 

With the presence of the volunteers everywhere and 
at all times and- with the exhortations of leaders like 
Konda Venkatappayya and Parvataneni Veerayya Chow- 
dary, the ryots become intrepid and refuse to pay taxes. 
In Edumudi and Duddukur, the volunteers and the Cong- 
ress workers advised the house-holders not to keep 
valuable jewellery or cash in the houses to avoid 
attachment. 3 

Social boycott 01 the government officials was 
thoroughly organised. The merchant co1rimunity;refused 
to sell them articles of^dail-y use.* In Duddukur, sub- 

1 . Konda Vcnkatappuyya: Op. cit. p: 211. 

2. M K. Gandhi's article 'Awakening in Andhra Desa' in Young India dated 
February 2, 1922. 

3. C V S Sastry in his signed statement says that the villagers were instructed not 
to keep anything in their houses except earthern pots for cooking purposes: 

4. Konda Vcnkattippayya :Op. ei't. p: 291. 


collector Akbar Hydari and Tahsildar Pillalamarri Soma. 
yajulu could not secure even water. 1 In Duddukur com- 
plete social boycott of government officials for fifteen 
days was organised by Abbaraju Subbarayadu, Karanam 
of Koniki. He saw to it that all villages were lom-tomed 
not to make supplies or sell provisions to government 
officials. 2 Rutherford who was deputed by the govern- 
menttodeal with the situation in Pedanandipadu had 
to face complete social boycott whereever he went, 
He wrote, "I went out originally to see how the 75th 

Carnatics were getting on The peon with me did 

not know exactly which was the village, and when we 
first arrived, none would tell us whether it was Nandipad 
or where the troops were. They either ran away or said 
they did not know". Rutherford faced up-hill task with 
regard to distraint and attachment of properties of the 
defaulters. He writes about his experience in Varagani, 
a village in Pedanandipadu firka : "the village munsiffs 
have resigned and the Karanam is a leader of the move- 
ment. The village menials were absent. To attach 
lands the Revenue Inspectors have to find each survey 

number by the help of the survey plan There was 

practically nobody to be seen except volunteers who 
moved off as soon as I approached while others moved 
up from behind. Nobody would say where the defaulters 
were living and we were only able to find the homes 
through the fact that villages in this district were 

surveyed in detail All doors were closed. The first 

house was empty and on the door being opened nothing 
was found. In the next house the women marched out 
and the owner refused to appear. Grain had to be 

Ramachandruni Venkatappa's article "OngoluTalofca lo Bahumutcha Jatceya 
Chaitanyamu" in Gundlapalli Audiuarayana Shastipurtbi Sanchika 

(Ongole, 1972) (Telugu,, p, 1 14. " ' 

No, tax campaign in Duddukur of Guntur District, as narrated by DudUukur 
Sri Krishnamurthy, Karanam, Duddukur,. 
(A.P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 


arched and the measuring of it, tying up and marking 
of'bags, writing attachment lists took two hours. The 
reserve Police had to do all the coolie work". 1 


Arrests, distraints, military route-marches and 
armoured cars could not cow down the people's deten 
mination not to piy government taxes. But among the 
leaders, howevar, there was difference of opinion as to the 
starting of no-tax campaign and its continuance when 
once it was started. Some entertained serious doubts 
whether the places selected for non-tax campaign had 
fulfilled Delhi conditions. So, the Guntur D. C. C. met 
on January 26th in the house of Konda Venkatappayya 
with Anche Sivayya presiding and appointed a sub- 
committee consisting of T. Prakasam, K. Nageswararao 
and D. Narayana raju to visit the areas in the district 
where payment of taxes was suspended to ascertain 
whether they satisfied conditions laid down at Delhi. 2 

The sub-committee toured through the various parts 
of the district from 31st January to 7th February and 
prepared a report. 3 According to the findings of the 
sub-committee there werefour thousand national volun- 
teers doing excellent organisational work, in matters 
of Khaddar the villagers were self-contained, attempts 
to remove untouchability made "extra-ordinary pro- 
gress" and the people as well as the volunteers gave 
"abundant proof of non-violence and self-sacrifice". 

1. Rutherford Of R. A, Graham, Chcif Secretary, Government of Madras, 
Fort St. George, Madras dated January 26, 1 922. 

(A. P. State Archives, H.P.b, Section) 

2. The Hindu dated January 28, 1922. 

3. The Hindu duted February II, 1922. 


However, the sub-committee felt it difficult to say now 
far the masses could remain absolutely peaceful if more 
drastic and inhuman a measures were employed by the 
government. The sub-committee therefore recommen- 
ded "the postponement of this campaign until atleast 
it is tried in Bardoli by Mahatma Gandhi ".' 

On February 1 1th the District Congress met at Konda 
Venkatappayya's house to consider the recommenda- 
tions of the Sub-Committee and to decide whether the 
movement should be continued or not. 2 When the debate 
was going on some one thrust into the hands of Konda 
Venkatappayya a small note from Gandhi in which the 
latter recommended the suspension of no-tax camp- 
aign. The note said, "If Andhra stops civil disobe- 
dience, I shall be glad. But if it cannot stop, I shall 
not mind it, provided of course control is attained 
over forces of violence and all conditions are fulfiiled- 
M. K. Gandhi". 3 This note was found on N V. L. Nara- 
simharao when he was arrested. The Collector sent it 
in original to the government/ However, the note of 
Gandhi and the recommendations of the sub-committee 
dampened the enthusiasm of the D. C. C, which recom- 
mended the suspension of the no-tax campaign 
throughout the district. The decision of the D. C. C. 
was announced by Prakasam to the vast gathering that 
assembled in the compound of Konda Venkatappayya's 
house. 5 

I The Hindu dated February II, 1922. 

I District Collector. Guntur to R. A Graham, Chief Secretary to the Covernment 
of Madras da' e4 February 14 1922, 
(A.P S rate Archives, H.FS. Section) 

3. Konda Ventailftpp yya :Op. cit. p.- 297, 

T he note is reproduced inO.O. No. 362. Public Department. April 26 r 1922. 
(A P. State Archives, H,F,S. Section) 

4. District Collector, OimtUr to R. A. Graham, Chief Secretary to the Government 
of Madras dated February 1 4, 1922. 

(A.P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 

5. Konda Venkatappayya: Op. cit. p; 298. 


With the announcement of ttve suspension of the 
movement by the D. C. C. people started paying taxes. 
By February 14th, 1922 the Collector could report to 
the Chief Secretary, Government of Madras, "It seems 
clear that the resistance of Pedanandipad firka is brea- 

k j n g my latest information is that collections are 

proceeding briskly in Pedanandipadu and the Special 
Officer expects to get most of the arrears by 20th of 
this month and I donot anticipate that it will be neces- 
sary to issue anymore attachment notices". 1 By 
February 20th the collections reached "the highest 

daily figures so far obtained ". 2 By July 1922 

normalcy was restored throughout the Gunutur district 
and Rutherford, who took over the administration of the 
district as Collector recommended that "the payments 
for punitive police shouldcease after six months instead 
of after a year which was the original intention". The 
recommendations of the Magistrate were adopted by the 
government, 3 


The withdrawal of the campaign caused much 
anguish to those who led it Konda Venkatappayya was 
much disheartened at the receipt of Gandhi's note reco- 
mmending the suspension of the movement. 4 When the 
decision of the D. C. C. was announced to the people 

I. District Collector, CJuniur U> R, A. Graham, Chief Secretary to the Government 
of Madras dated February 14. 1922. 
(A P. State Archives H.F.S, Section) 

2 District Collector. Gumr to R, A. Graham, CW*f Secretary to the Government 
of Madras duted February 22, 1 9*2. 
(A,P, State Archives, H,F,S, Section) 

3. Governor's reply to the addreis presented to him by the Municipal Council, 
Guntur, See The Hindu dated July 8, 1922, 

. .:.. . . <. .-!** 

4. Konda Vcnkaluppayya : Op. cit. p. 297. 


that gathered in the ^compound of Venkatappayya's 
house, there were vehemernt protests and jeers, 1 

The D.C.C. meeting on 12th January with so much 
fanfare resolved that the entire district of Guntur except 
a few areas was fit for no-tax campaign, and urged the 
people to make the campaing a success. But when the 
movement was at its peak, it met on February 11th, and 
cried halt In this case, it was not the people yielding to 
the mounting pressure of the government. For one full 
month they saw their cattle, land, utensils, grain etc,, 
attached and destrained. They suffered ignominy at 
the hands of the police and military. They saw de- 
dicated workers jailed. They received sumptous treat- 
ment from the butt-ends of the guns of the tommies, 
Their very life was totally disorganised. Still they kept 
up their morale and faced the might of the British 
bureaucracy bravely. They never even once showed 
signs of submission. When the movement was at its 
height it was the leadership that cried hult end suspen- 
ded the movement. It was a clear case of the leader- 
ship letting down the following but not vice versa. But 
it can be stated that the movement was confined to a 
few firkas, and faced with the might of the British it was 
bound to collapse sooner or later. It is arguable that 
had the provincial and national leadership taken cue 
from Pedanandipadu and Duddukuru-they attained all 
India fame at the height of their struggle* and extended 
the movement to the greater part of the province dnd the 
country, the British bureaucracy could not have concen- 
trated their might on these firkas, and the pace of the 
freedom movement would have definitely quickened, and 
the British might have quitted the country much earlier. 

Though the withdrawal cf the movement caused 
much heart-burning and disappointment to the local 

I. Ibid, p. 293. 


leaders, as disciplined congressmen, they abided by the 
verdict of Gandhi and district congress committee. As 
a leader of the Duddukuru no-tax campaign put it, "We 
were very much disappointed, but still as disciplined 
congressmen we had to obey the instructions of Gandhi, 
who held complete sway over us. But for him we would 
not have suspended the movement. He actually wielded 
a magician's wand". 1 


As to the nature and character of the movement 
David Washbrook calls if "the least spontaneous al- 
though the most celebrated of all the strikes". 2 Judith 
M. Brown opened, "the heart of the movement to post- 
pone payment of taxes was Pedanandipadu firka in 
Bapatla taluka, where a majority of officials resigned. 
Here were people like the patidars of Gujarat, influential 

in village life but not part of the political nation in 
relation to the institutional politics of nationalism". 3 
David Washbrook's contention is that the Guntur no-tax 
campaign was not a spontaneous movement, and that it 
was engineered by the Village Officers, and in the begi- 
nning the Andhra Congress was "wary of associating 
itself with such as obviously dangerous movement". 
Later the Congress according Washbrook, was forced 
"tojoin in order to keep upits political credibility". 4 
Judith M. Brown states that Village Officer's whose 
heart was not in the national movement brought about 
the no-tax campaign. 

1. Signed Statement of Kcrta Viswanntlium, 

2. John Cal'aghur. Gordon Johnson and Anil Seal (Editors) ; Op, cit. p,!93. foot-note, 
3 Juiliih M. Brown ; Op. cit p. -23. 

4. John Ciullttitlier, Cordon Johnson and Anil Seal (Ed j tori) ; Op. cit, p. 1 98, foot-note. 


It should, however, be noted that a no-tax campaign 
throughout the country was first mooted in the A I.C.C, 
meeting held in Delhi in November 1921 and resolutions 
to the effect were passed in the Ahmadabad Congress 
session during the fag end of December 1921. The 
Guntur D. C. C. drew inspiration from the Delhi resolu- 
tions and Ahmadabad resolutions, and embarked upon 
no-tax campaign. Without encouragement from above, 
the D. C. C would not have taken such a course. So 
inspiration for the Gunutur D. C. C, to encourage the 
people to withhold taxes came from the Ail India Cong- 
ress resolutions, but not the strike of the Village Offi- 
cers. The Village Officers' strike came handy to the 
D. C. C. It was, no doubt much helpful to the movement, 

The revenue authorities, deprived of the assistance of 
the Village Officers, found it hard to locate the defaul- 
ters to distrain their property and to auction it. Even 
if the Village Officers had cooperuted with the autho- 
rities, there would not have been much difference as to 
the progress of the movement. When the people could 
withstand the onslaught of the military, police and re. 

venue authorities, could it be anymore hard for them 
to withstand the Village Officers who could at best give 
them a pin-prii.ks? As a matter of fact, there was never 
a chasm between the Village Officers and the village 
communities, as was the case with other revenue offi- 
cers and the village communities. The village Officers 
were a part of the village life* 

As to the spontaneity of the movement, there can 
not be two opinions. All sections of the people whole- 
heartedly plunged into the struggle. There were no 
caste distinctions. The uneducated and the unsophisti- 
cated introduced himself to the national yearning for 
liberty and became a willing partisan in the political 
struggle. Though the guiding spirit of the movement 


was Konda Venkatayya its guiding hand was that of 
Parvataneni Veerayya Chowdary, a villager by birth, who 
did not receive any formal education on western lines, 
Hitherto, the educated played peripheral politics, and 
to him politics was a pastime. During the non-coope- 
ration movement and the no-tax campaign, all sections 
and all communities entered the fray. This created 
quite a commotion in bureaucratic circles. As L. T. 
Harris put it "The movement is usually referred to as 
non-cooperation or civil disobedience; it would be more 
appropriately described as attempted revolution; its 
express object is to subvert the existing Government". 1 

Bal Gangadhar Tilak even as far back as 1896 decla- 
red : "The country's emancipation can only be achieved 
by removing the clouds of lethargy and indifference 
which have been hanging over the peasant, who is the 
soul of India. We must remove these clouds and for 
that we must completely identify ourselves with the 

peasant " 2 During the non-tax campaign, the 

clouds of lethargy and indifference of the peasant were 
substantially removed in the Guntur district. He was 
as much prepared as the student and the teacher, the 
worker and the vakil to suffer and sacrifice for the 

The peasants became intrepid in their attitude to- 
wards the government and its agencies of repression - 
police and military. At the height of the campaign in 
Duddukuru, Sub-Collector Akbar Hydari of Ongole 
proceeded to a village called Maddirala-Muppalla, and 
distrained a box in the house? of a ryot tcwur-.s, \ e put 
the box in a cart and he was returning to Duddukuru. 

I. Report of Harris Member, Board of Revenue on the situation in Krishna, Guiitur 
and Godavari dated January I 6, 1922. 
(A p, State Archives H F.S. Section) 

1. Quoted in D, V, Ttthmaukur'h Surdwr I'ate) (London, IW) p. 92. 


The lady of the house Chigurupati Chinnammi ran after 
him, stopped the cart and did not allow the Sub-Collec- 
tor to proceed. This happened in the full presence of 
the police and military, The Sub-Collector had to 
surrender the box and coolly go away. 1 This was indi- 
cative of the spirit defiance of authority in the Villages 
of Guntut district at that time. As C. V. S. Sastry puts 
it succintly, "The atmosphere in the villages. ..was so 
charged with dynamism that during those days the writ 
of the British Government had no effect on the people 
anywhere. Though thesubsequent stages of the freedom 
movement called for greater sacrifices aud suffering, 
One can with certainty say that the spirit of those days 
could never be seen again". 2 

1. Kothapally Dasaratharamayya's article 'Ongolu taluka lo Fannula nirakaranamu 1 
in Gundlapalli Audinarayana Shasjipnrth^ ^ganghifc^p 76 C V. S. Sastry and 
Kota Viswanadham refer extollingly to the courage of this lady in their signed 

2. Signed statement of C. V. S. Saslry, 


The Interlude - 1923 to 1929 


On February 5, 1922 twenty one constables and a 
Sub-Inspector of police were burnt alive in Chauri 
Chaura near Gorakhpur in U. P. Tho AM India Congress 
Committee met at Bardoli on 12th February, and suspen- 
ded the non-cooperation movement The A. I. C. C. 
requested all Congressmen "to stop all activities 
designed to court and arrost and imprisonment, all 
volunteer processions and public meetings merely for 
the purpose of defiance of notifications."' One day 
earlier the Guntur District Congress Committee met at 
Konda Venkatappayya's house and on the advice of 
Gandhi and the recommendation of D. C.C. sub-commi- 
ttee suspended the no-tax compaign in the Guntur 

In spite of the withdrawal of the movement at the 
national and district level, the government continued 
its policy of repression. All important leaders were 

Patublu Suttfttnjttyya; Op. cit Vol-!, pp, 235, 


jailed. Rutherford and the Governor's Body Guard 
(Infantry) camped on the outskirts of Pedanandipadu 
and arrested those who were suspected to have taken 
part either in the no-tax campaign or had any contacts 
with Santi Sena. The arrested were tried and sentenced 
to various terms in jail. Parvataneni Veerayya Chow- 
dary was arrested and lodged in the Guntur sub-jail. 
Later he tendered apology to the Government and ob- 
tained release. This caused great anguish to Konda 
Venkatappayya. 1 The government brought up a case 
against Venkatappayya. Rutherford tried him, and 
awarded one year simple imprisonment. 2 

What happened at Ramapuram, a village which lies 
on the banks of the Krishna about 43 miles from IMarasa- 
raopet, was illustrative of the repression let loose by the 
government in Guntur District. The villagers of Rama- 
purm were accused of obstructing the Tahsildar in the 
discharge of his official duties. The treatment given to 
the villagers on February 13, 1922 the Collector himself 
recorded : "When we reached Ramapurm, well before 
dawn, we surrounded the village completely with the 
Body-guard and the Reserve, most of the villagers being 
asleep. When the village was surrounded I and the 
Distrjct Superintendent ot Police, the Divisional Officer 
and the Deputy Superintendent entered the main en- 
trance and calling up the Village Officers, we directed 
all the villagers to assemble in order that we might 
hold an identification parade and discover and arrest 
those guilty of resisting the Tahsildar and the Inspector 
of Police. When the villagers found that the village was 
completely surrounded an.d that resistence was impossi- 
ble we had little difficulty with them. Some attempts at 

I . Konda Venkatappayya: Op. cit. pp. '299, 300. 
2. Ibid. p. 302. 


escape were frustrated. By about an hour after dawn 
toe'had assembled practically the whole of the male 
population of the village and the identification parade 
was commenced. Altogether eighteen arrests were 
made. I then warned the villagers as to the extreme 
folly of their behaviour and advised them to desist from 


I ^f I 

listening to evil advisers".' 

The District Collector's account of the incidents in 
Rarnapuram on 13th February, and the incidents in 
Minchalapadu of February 26th described in detail in the 
Fourth Chapter under the caption Palnad Forest Saty- 
agraha indicate that though the A. L C. C. and the D.C.C 
suspended the non-cooperation movement, there were 
still pockets of resistance to the British authority in 
the district. 

As a matter of fact, the leaders found it hard to 
explain the rationale behind their decision suspending 
the movement. When Konda Venkatappayya was expla- 
ining to the ryots in Pedanandipadu that though the 
movement was withdrawn for the present it would be 
started again at an appropriate time and that Indians 
were bound to get swaraj a not-too-literate ryot con- 
fronted him with two questions : "Without waging a 
war is it possible to achieve independence ? Is there 
any country which attained independence this way?". 2 

However, it may be noted that leaderless and faced 
with this might of British bureaucracy with all its 
coercive and repressive measures, the people could not 
stand long. It produced deep depression among the 

italli.-ift.-ww;, o 

1. District Collector, Outuur to Graham. Chief Secretary to ihc Government of 
MadruB Fort St. Cioorfcc, Madras dated February 22, I-922. 

(AP, State Archives, H.F.S. Section) .- ;.* 

2. Konda Venkaiiippnyyft -'Op. cit. p: 301. 


people. As A. K. Majumdar put it, "with the end of 
non-cooperation movement began lean years of the 
Congress".' This continued till 1929. Though during 
this period the movement for independence remained 
dormant, it should not be supposed that there was no 
political activity in the Guntur district. Though there 
were no jail-goings and violation of British laws on a 
massive scale, there were incidents, national and local 
that kept the embers of freedom movement aflame. 


With the arrest of Gandhi on March 13, 1922 and the 
sentence of six years passed on him on March 18th, 2 
a shadow descended on the Congress at all levels. It 
was widely debated whether the country was prepared 
for civill disobedience. It was also thought necessary 
that a clear reassessment of the situation should be 
taken. With the slackening of the movement, the govern- 
ment set in full motion its machinery of repression. 
So a section of Congressmen wanted to revive civil 
disobedience in someform or other. To find solution to 
those problems, the A. I. C. C. met at Lucknow on the 
7th, 8th and 9th of June 1922 and authorised the Presi- 
dent Hakim Ajmal Khan to nominate a committee to tour 
the country and report on the situation. Accordingly, 
the President nominated Motilal Nehru, Dr. Ansari, V. J. 
Patel, S. Kasturi Ranga lyengar, C, Rajagopalachariar 
and Seth Chothani. Hakim Ajmal Khan was the Chair- 
man of the committee. Seth Chothani could not join 
the committee, however. This committee later became 
famous as Civil Disobedience Enquiry Committee. 3 

1 . A. K. Majunodar : Advent of Independence (Bombay, 1 963) p. 98, 

2. B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya : Op. cit. Vol-I, pp. 237, 238. 

3. Ibid. p. 243. 


As a part of their tour programme the Civil Disobe- 
dience Enquiry Committee visited Guntur on August 1* 
1922. When the train stopped at Tenali station large 
crowds gathered "to express their patriotism." Telugu 
verses cordially welcoming the committee were read. 
Motilal Nehru, Dr. M. A. Ansari, Kasturi Ranga lyengar 
and other members of the committee expressed their 
happiness for the splendid welcome extended to them 
by the Tenali people. They exhorted the people to carry 
on the constructive programme of the Congress. 1 

In Guntur large sections of people gathered to wel- 
come the Civil Disobediance Enquiry Committee. The 
Sub-divisional Magistrate promulgated Section 144 Cr. 
P. C. prohibiting Congress and Khilafat volunteers from 
taking part in the reception of the leaders or in the pro- 
cessions connected therewith. Even before the arrival 
of the committee to Guntur, 250 people were arrested. 
Among them were Unnava Lakshminarayana and Mada- 
bhushi Vedantam Narasimhacharyulu. The pandal raised 
in order to hold a public meeting was pulled down by 
the police. 2 

But the most important event connected with the 
visit of the Civil Disobedience Enquiry Committee was 
the civic address presented by the Guntur Municipal 

Council. The Municipal Council had earlier voted a 
public welcome address which had been vetoed by the 
Collector "who chose to constitute himself the public 
censor of the Council's conduct". 3 However, it was re- 
solved that the Chairman of the Municipal Council, 
Raza Khan Saheb, should read the municipal address. 

datcd August 2, (922. 

2. ThejJindu dated August 2, 1V22. 
3 ^-l!Il!!.^ dated August 2, I92J. 


Since section 144 Cr. P. C. was promulgated, the Chair- 
man lost nerve and fled the scene. Thereupon, Tangu- 
turi Prakasam enjoined N. V. L. Narasimharao, a member 
of the council, to read the address. N. V. L. Narasimha. 
rao replied that if he was nominated Chairman of the 
Council by the large crowds that gathered there, he 
would defy Section 144 Cr. P. C. by reading welcome 
address to the committee. Thereupon, Motilal Nehru 
addressed the people that gathered there thus: "lam 
vetoing the veto of the Collector. Your Chairman has 
absconded. I am appointing Narasimharao as your Chair- 
man. Do you agree?" The vast gathering rapturously 
applauded and approved the proposition of Motilal 
Nehru. N. V. L. Narasimharao read out and presented 
the welcome address to the Civil Disobedience Enquiry 
Committee.' Pandit Motilal Nehru, in his reply, expla- 
ined the peculiar significance and the value of the muni- 
cipal address. The address and the reception accorded 
to them showed that the people of Guntur were firmly 
on the side of the Congress and wedded to the ideals of 
swaraj in spite of adverse circumstances, 2 

The incidents that took place in Guntur during the 
Civil Disobedience Enquiry Committee's visit caused 
anxiety to the government. FLA. Graham, Chief Secretary 
to the Government of Madras called it a "revival of 
non-cooperation propaganda-'. The Chief Secretary in 
his letter to S.P.O. Donnel, Secretary, Home Department, 
Government of India referred to the "large meeting in 
the evening at which one of the non-cooperatingcouncil- 
lors of the municipality read, as coming from the people 

I Personal papers of N. V, L. Narasimharao. 
2 The Hindu dated August 2, 1922. 


of Guntur, the address voted by the council but vetoed 
by the Collector". ' 


The Civil Disobedience Enquiry Committee come to 
the conclusion that the country was not prepared for 
civil disobedience but authorised the P. C. Cs to "sanc- 
tion limited mass civil disobedience on their own res- 
ponsibility " Three members of the committee-Hakim 

Ajmal Khan, Motilal Nehru and V. J. Patel - recommen- 
ded that "non-cooperators should contest the elections 
on the issue of the redress of the Punjab and Khilafat 
wrongs and immediate Swarajya, and make every endea- 
vour to be returned in a majority". If the non-coopera- 
tors were to be returned in majority they should oppose 
all governmental measures and scuttle the functioning 
of the Houses. This was opposed by M. A. Ansari, 
C. Rajagopalachari and S. Kasturi Ranga lyengar. But the 
committee, however/ unanimously recommended that 
non-cooperators should seek elections to the Munici- 
palities and District and Local Boards with a view to 
facilitating the working of the constructive programme. 2 

These recommendations illustrate ( the mood of the 
top leadership of the Congress. There was a tendency 
to change programme, shift emphasis and alter tactics. 
There emerged two wings in the Congress-pro-changers 
and no-changers. Those that favoured Council entry were 
the pro-changers and those that opposed it were the no- 
changers. C. R. Das and Motilal Nehru were the important 
leaders who advocated Council entry to render the 

1. R. A. Graham, Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras to S. P. O. Donnel, 
Secretary, Home Department, Government of India, dated August 16, 1922. 
No, 68/0- 1. 

(A.P. State Archives, H,F,S, Section) 

2, B. Fatmbhi Slturumayyu : Op, oit, VoM, pp. 216, 247. 


reforms of the government unworkable from within. 
Orthodox Gandhians like Rajagopalachari, -Rajendra 
Prasad and Vallabhai Patel were for continued boycott 
of the Councils. 

The controversy between the pro-changers and the 
no-changers came to a head at the Gaya Congress held 
in December 1922. The President of the Congress, C.R. 
Das, made an impassioned plea for Council entry, but 
no-changers' group carried the day. The resolution 
passed at Gaya regarding the Council entry was as 
follows. "Whereas the boycott of Councils carried 
out during the elections held in 1920 has destroyed 
the moral strength of the institutions through which 
Government sought to consolidate *.its power and carry 
on its irresponsible rule : And whereas it is necessary 
again for the people of India to withhold participation 
in the elections of the next year as an essential pro- 
gramme of non-voilent non-cooperation: This Congress 
resolves to advise that all voters shall abstain from 
standing as condidates for any one of the Councils and 
from voting for any candidate offering himself as such 
in disregard of this advice, and to signify the abstention 
in such manner as the All India Congress Committee may 
instruct in that behalf".' 

In spite of his defeat at the Gaya Congress on the 
Council entry C R. Das was undaunted. He resigned 
the Presidentship of the Congress and with the active 
cooperation of Motilal Nehru, Vithalbhai Patel, Malaviya 
and Jayakar formed the Swaraj Party. C. R. Das was the 
President and Motilal Nehru was one of the Secretaries 
of the Swaraj Party which announced a policy of 
"uniform, continuous and consistent obstruction with a 

I. Quoted in Jagadish Sharma's India^ Struggle for Freedom 
Vol. I ( New Delhi, 1962 ) p. 93, ~ 


view to make Government through the Assembly and the 
Councils impossible". 1 

On March 23, 1923 the Guntur branch of the Swaraj 
Party was formed under the presidency of Madabhushi 
Vedantam Narasimhacharyulu. A committee was formed 
with Unnava Lakshminarayana, G. Ramalingayya, B. 
Raghvarao, Patri Anantarao, S. Suryanarayana Chow- 
dary, Eluru Hanumantharao, G. S. A. Narasimharao, 
K. Rajeswararao and V. Rangachari, the last mentioned 
acting as the Secretary. It was also resolved that U. 
Lakshminarayana, M. V. Narasimhacharyulu and G. 
Ramalingayya to form a sub-committee to undertake a 
tour of the district and enlist members. 2 

C. R. Das started en a tour of South India which 
"was one of the strong-holds of Gandhism". 3 Asa 
part of it Das visited Guntur on June 29, 1923 
accompanied by V. Ramadass and V. L. Sastry, Andhra 
Swaraj Party leaders. The Hindu's account of the visit 
of C. R. Das shows that the people of Guntur were 
"strongly opposed to Council entry". The paper wrote 
that Das "had to meet with a great deal of opposition 
to his programme in this once strong centre of Non- 
cooperation in South India", The reception accorded 
to Das was "a poor one*'. "At the public meeting the 
gathering was small and there were just 600 persons". 
Four addresses were presented to him on this occasion 
out of which two expressed themselves against the policy 
of the Council entry. 4 The address of the Guntur Munici- 
pal Council presented by N.V, L. Narasimharao, itsChair- 
man, who did not subscribe to the Council entry 5 was 

I. Bipin Chandra, Antilles Tripathi and Barua De Op. cit. p. H4, 

2 The Hindu dated March 2/i, IW. 

3 J P. Sud a Op cit. p. 2I3. 

4, The Hindu dmcd June JO, l9J!i. 

- . . . .. u.VS-. 

5 Personal piiptrrM of N. V. L. Nurusimharao. 


according to The Hindu "a candid statement of the 
view of the people there". The paper quotes from the 
address : "We have now embarked upon a programme 
which is fraught with uncertainties and your path is 
more thorny than that of Mahatmaji because- when 
Mahatmaji launched his world revolutionising move- 
ment our National Congress not only blessed the move- 
ment but also adopted it, thus minimising greatly 
Mahatmaji's responsibility either for its success or 

otherwise Allow us to sound a note of warning that 

any false step on the part of your followers will adversly 
effect the position of the Congress". The address 
further pointed out that but for the soul purifying move- 
ment of the non-cooperation " the Guntur Satyagraha 
would have been impossible in this land of slavery 
and stagnation". ' 

There were also heated exchanges between C. R. Das 
and members of the audience in the public meeting held 
on June 29th. The Hindu in its issue of June 30, 1923 
wrote, "Members of the audience from all sides 

showed restlessness and interrupted the speach In 

the result the meeting became a boisterous one Das 

was heckled with questions At one stage Das grew 

indignant and excited". The Hindu also gave in detail 
the exchanges between C. R. Das and Duggirala Gopala- 

It becomes evident, therefore, that the Swaraj Party 
did not make much head-way in the Guntur district 
which under the leadership of Gandhians like Konda 

Venkatappayya remained largely wedded to the orthodox 
section of the Congress. 

1. The Hindu dated June 30, 1923. 


However, the schism between the Congress and the 
Swaraj Party did not last long. Gandhi suddenly took 
III during his imprisonrr.ent of six years, and had to be 
operated upon for appendicitis on January 12th, 1924- 
Gandhi rapidly recovered and he was unconditionally 
released on 5th February Thereafter, when he was 
taking rest at Juhu, a sea-side resort near Bombay, 
conversations took place between Gandhi and Das, ! 
which bore fruit. According to the understanding 
reached at, C. R Das and Motilal Nehru were able to 
get the sanction of Gandhi to try the experiment of 
Council entry. 2 

Though the Swarjists did not make much headway 
in the Guntur District Congress, they were busy with 
election work to the Council of State, Local Boards and 
the Guntur Municipal Council. On January 29, 1925 
they sponsored the candidature of V. Ramadass to the 
Council of State to the vacancy caused by the resig- 
nation of V. S. S, Sastry. ' The Hindu of August 3, 1925 
reported that V. Rangachari, the leading Swarjist of the 
Guntur district engaged himself with Local Board 
elections. It also reported that the Swaraj Party made 
an impressive mark on the Taluk Board elections. In the 
municipal elections conducted in August 1925 Swaraj 
Party made a good show of itself. 4 

When the controversy was going on between the 
orthodox and the heterodox forces in the Congress, an 
incident occured which brought the Guntur district into 
national lime-light. The A. I. C. C. that met in Bombay 
on May 26, 1923 decided that no propaganda be carried 
on amongst the voters in furtherance of the resolution 


. B. Patiubhi Siiaramuyyu : Op. eil. V^l-I, p. 267, 
2 Ibid, p 274. 

3. This Hindu dated January 29. 1925. 

4, The Hindu dated August ?l. l'J25. 


passed at the Gaya Congress with regard to the boycott 
of the Councils. As a result of this, C. Rajagopalachari, 
Vallabhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Brij Kishore Prasad, 
G. V. Deshponde and Jamanlal Bajaj resigned from the 
Working Committee. So the Working Committee was 
reconstituted and work was carried on under the Chair- 
manship of Dr. Ansari. ' The Bombay compromise was 
not to the liking of a number of Provincial Congress 
Committees. The A. I. C. C. met in the second week of 
July 1923 at Nagpur and declared its adherence to "the 
propriety and validity of the compromise resolution 

passed by this Committee on 26th May " The A.LC.C. 

proceeded to condemn the Tamiinadu Congress Commi- 
ttee for acting contrary to the Bombay resolution. This 
was objected to by a section of the A. I. C. C. The house 
agreed to drop proceedings agasinst the Tamiinadu 
Congress. Thereupon, the mover of the proposal 
Jawaharlal Nehru and the Chairman Dr. Ansari resigned, 
The resignations were accepted by the A. I. C. C. and 
a new Working Committee was constituted with Konda 
Venkatappayya as the President J and Duggirala Gopala 
krishnayya as the Secretary. * This was a unique honour 
to the Guntur district which played such an important 
role during the non-cooperation movement. Till the 
third week of September 1923 when the Special Session 
of the Congress was held at Delhi under the President- 
ship of Moulana Abul Kalam Azad 4 the All-India Con- 
gress Committee was led by the two great leaders of the 
freedom movement in the Guntur district. 

Another important result of the A. I- C. C. meeting 
of Nagpur was the Nagpur Flag Satyagraha. The 
genesis of this Satyagraha was the objection of the 

1. B. Paitabhi Sitaramayya : Op. oil. Vnl-I, p. 2i5. 

2. Ibid P. 256. 

3. Gummidithala Venkata Subbarau : Op. Cit. p, 2-10, 

4. B, Pattahhi Sitaramayya : Op cit. Vol-1, p. 260. 


police to the carrying of the National Flag by a proces- 
sion proceeding towards the Civil Lines of the city. 
Section 144 Cr. P. C. was promulgated on May 1, 1923 
in Nagpur. When the processionists insisted on their 
right to carry the flag they were arrested and sentenced- 
The Nagpur Flag Satyagraha soon developed into an all 
India issue 1 , and volunteers were sent from different 
parts of the country to Nagpur to take part in the satya- 
graha. Donthireddy Ramireddy, Singampally Subbarao, 
Malladi Venkata Krishnayya, Mattam Balasubrahmanyam 
Gupta and Bhattiprolu Surya Prakasarao took part in the 
Nagpur Flag Satyagraha on behalf of the Guntur district. 
After their return from Nagpur, a meeting was held in 
the Swaraj Maidan, Guntur on September 19, 1923 under 
the Chairmanship of Gopalam Ramalingayya. National 
Flags and Gandhi caps were presented to the Nagpur 
Satyagrahis on this occasion. 2 Thus, while the battle 
between the no-changers and pro-changers within the 
Congress raged the country and with it the Guntur dis- 
trict was alive "to larger issues involving the self res- 
pect of a people who had been woken up from their 
slumber by Gandhi". 3 


When the Congress and with it the country was 
convulsing with differences between the no-changers 
and the pro-changers, and when there was a slump in 
the political activity between 1923 and 1929, the people 
of the Guntur District embarked upon considerable 
constructive programme of Gandhi. 

The Guntur District Congress Committee issued a 
notification on March 12, 1923 requesting the people 

1. Ibid p, 

2. The Hindu Uutcd September 29, 1 923, 

3. M V. Rumanarno : Op cit p. 


of the district to observe National Week till 18th March 
by hawking Khaddar at reasonable rates, enrolling Con- 
gress members, forming village Congress committees 
and collecting Tilak Swaraj Fund. The people were 
particularly requested not to forget Gandhi's Khaddar 
message and to hawk Khaddar. The people were also 
requested to make arrangements on 18th March, the day 
of Gandhi's incarceration, to clothe the blind, the lame 
and the sick among the Harljans. ' In pursuance of this 
appeal the 18th of March, 1923 was observed with 
" charecteristic simplicity" in Guntur. Khaddar was 
hawked early in tho day. There was large sale of 
Khaddar in spite of the petty tyranny practised by the 
government. In the evening a public meeting was held 
in which Bhavanacharyulu spoke at length on Gandhi 
Saka - Gandhi Era - and appealed to all to adopt it. 2 

Along with the propagation of Khaddar, the district 
people did not lose sight of the evil of foreign goods, 
especially foreign cloth. The Guntur public observed 
March 12, 1929 as the Foreign Cloth Boycott Propaganda 
Day. There was a big procession which wended its way 
through the municipal streets and thoroughfares. The 
procession was led by Konda Venkatappayya, N. V. L. 
Narasimharao, Maddi Venkata Rangayya and G. V. 
Punnayya Sastry. A number of enthusiatic youngmen 
went through the town and collected a big bundle of 
foreign cloth and made a bonfire of it. In the public 
meeting held in the evening Konda Venkatappyya exhor- 
ted the people not to buy or wear foreign cloth. 3 

Propaganda against drink was carried on by the 
district leaders in the true Gandhian spirit by holding 

I. The Hindu dated March 13, 1923. 
2 The Hindu dated March 21, 1923. 
3- The Hindu dated March 13, 1929. 


Prohibition Days. Of them the most memorable was the 
one held on March 24, 1929. A procession of Congress- 
men headed by G. V. Punnayya Sastry went through the 
streets of Guntur. A public meeting was held that day 
presided over by Chatti Narasimham. Kalluri Subbarao, 
prominent Congress leader of the Anantapur distinct, 
spoke at length on swadeshi. Ch. Bhavayya Chowdary 
enumerated the details for an organised political 
campaign in the district. ' 

Of all the items of constructive programme the one 
that attained recognition far and wide was "Universal 
Brahmanisation", a scheme planned by Duggirala 
Gopalakrishnayya with Chirala as the centre. By this 
Gopalakrishnayya wanted to root out casteism in the 
Hindu religion. According to him "the present day 
Brahmins are Brahmins only in name. They must first be 
destroyed. And with them, the non-Brahmins also will 
go. Then must begin the creation of a neo-Brahminical 
race, which will have no distinction of caste or creed, 
touchable or untouchable. Then there will be only one 
caste in the country viz., of Brahmins". 2 To attain 
Brahminism, he prescribed three tests viz., 1) wearing 
of Khaddar, 2) practising of ahimsa or non-voilence and 
3) the recital of Gayatri. 3 * Gopalakrishnayya propaga- 
ted this new scheme practically from the time he was 
released from Trichinopoly jail on October 2, 1922 till 
his premature death on June 10, 1928. But Gopala- 
krishnayya's neo-Brahminism did not make much head- 
way. The caste system was too much enmeshed in the 
Hindu religion as to be rooted out by mere enunciation 
of some new ideas. Further, neo-Brahminism did not 

I. ^he_Hta4u dated March 27, 1929, 

2 Gunimidithalft Vcnkata Subbarau : Op- cit. p. 23 j, 
3, Ibid, p, 2' 9. 
* According to tradition CJayatri i,s u hymn which Brahmins alone can recite. 


receive the approval of Gandhi. When this matter was 
broached by Konda Venkatappayya, Gandhi questioned 
that instead of Brahminising "why not we Harijanise 
every-body ?". ' As Prof. M. Venkaiarangaiya observed, 
Gopalakrishnayya's ideas were too radical to be 
accepted. " He had to plough a lonely furrow and be 
satisfied with merely propagating them through his 
lectures and writings. But they are all ideas which have 
an originality and vitality about them and which have 
served as source of inspiration to several sections of 
the people in Andhra. They constitute one of the 
permanent legacies of... the constructive programme". 2 


The current of the freedom movement in the Guntur 
district again attained high velocity with the appoint- 
ment of the Simon Commission by the British Cabinet 
with a view to determining what further action should 
be taken to extend, change or lessen the degree of 
responsible government then existing in India. This 
Commission was composed of seven members with Sir 
John Simon as the Chairman. Since there was no Indian 
on this body which was to draft a constitution for India, 
the Indian National Congress resolved, among other 
things, to organise mass demonstrations in several cities 
on the day of the arrival of the Commission in India, 
and to organise public opinion by vigorous demonstra- 
tions for the boycott of the Commission, " 

In pursuance of this resolution on February 3, 1928, 
the day of the arriaval of the Commission in Bombay, a 
complete hartal was observed in Guntur. AH most all 

1. G. V. Subbarau's article " Desabhakta Komia Vcnkatappayyu Panihulu" in 
Dcsabhakta CenJcnary Souvenir. Editor Prof. M Venkatar;nij;aiya 

2. M. Venktttarangaiya ; Op. cit. Vol III, p. 6-1, 
3.. B Pattuhhi Sitaramayya : Op. cit. VoM, jv UH. 


shops were closed and the bazar put up "the appearence 
of a deserted village". All educational institutions 
and the Municipal and Taluk Board Offices were closed. 
A very big representative meeting was held in the 
evening. Konda Venkatappayya and others made 
"inspiring speaches". Tenali also observed a complete 
hartal. ' 

In Andhra, Guntur and Ongole were selected for 
the Commission's visit. T. Prakasam, V. Ramadass and 
V. V. Jogayya issued a statement to the press in which 
they "earnestly" appealed "to the public and local 

bodies of Guntur and Ongole to maintain national 

self-respect and make the boycott effective and real in 
both places. Let not Guntur and Ongole betray the 
Country's cause at this juncture". 2 


The Commission arrived in Guntur on February 23, 
1928. The Congress leaders and the students took out 
a process! n from the Swaraj Office with innumerable 
black flags and placards with the motto "Simon, go 
back" and other boycott slogans. Huge lines of black 
flags were waved on either side as the Simon Commis- 
sion motored from the special train. 3 Students of 
various educational institutions enthusiastically took 
part in the boycott programme. J. Roy Strock, Principal 
of the Andhra Christian College indirectly appealed to 
the students to leave the college that day if they had 
any patriotism in them. Similarly Buddiraju Rama- 
chandrarao. Headmaster, Town High School did not allow 
police into the premises of the Town High School to take 
away some slogan shouting students. He shouted at 

1. The Hindu dated February 6, 1928. 

2. The Hindu dated February 22, 1928. 

3. The Hindu dated February 2-1. 1928. 


the police: "This institution is my estate. Nobody 
can enter the premises of my school without my permis- 
sion, and I am responsible for the behaviour of my 
students, who are my children ". l 

On 23rd evening a huge public meeting was held 
under the presidentship of N. V. L. Narasimharao. 2 
Ayyadevara Kaleswararao arrived earlier in Guntur with 
three thousand Santi Sena volunteers. N. V. L. Nara- 
simharao introduced him to the vast audience as 
"Tandra Papayya that had come from Bezawada to 
defend the ramparts of Guntur ". 3 Konda Venkatappayya, 
N. V. L, Narasimharao and Ayyadevara Kaleswararao 
made eloquent and inspiring speeches emphasising the 
boycott of the British goods and congratulating the 
people of Guntur on the complete, successful and non- 
voilent hartal. ' v 

On February 25th the Simon Commission visited 
some rural areas near Guntur. In Chebrole and Kotta- 
reddipalem boycott arches greeted the Commission. In 
Kottareddipalem the Commission managed to visit the 
Panchama Labour School. ** When the Simon Commission 
Special Train steamed through Tenali and Chirala, large 
crowds gathered at the railway stations and raised full- 
throated cries : " Simon, go back ", " Mahatma Gandhi 
ki jai". 6 


The appointment of the All-White Simon Commission 
produced one good result for Indian politics, It brought 

I . Signed statement of Boddapati Suhbarao. 

2. The Hindu dated February 24, 1 928. 

3. Ayyadevara Kaleswararao : Op. cit. p. 47-I. 

4. The Hindu dated February 24, 

5 heHindu dated February 25, 

6, The Hindu dated February 28 I92'<. 


all the important political parties together. The All- 
Parties' Conference held 25 sittings, and on May 19, 
1928 appointed a committee with Motilal Nehru as 
President to draft the principles of a constitution for 

The Motilal Report "a rare feat of statesmanship" 2 
recommended declaration of rights, parliamentary 
system of government, bicameral legislature, adult 
franchise, redrawing of the boundaries of the provinces 
on the basis of language and an independent judiciary 
with Supreme Court at its apex. 3 The report accepted 
Dominion Status for India. 

Again the All-Parties' Conference met at Lucknow 
on the 28th, 29th and 30th of August, 1928 and declared 
in favour of Dominion Self-Government. Some political 
parties pleaded for complete independence. The con- 
ference, however, did not restrict the liberty of action 
to those political parties whose goal was complete 
independence. 4 

An All-Parties' Conference was held at Guntur on 
October 13, 1928 when Besant and her party visited the 
town. Representatives of all political parties enthusia- 
stically took part in the Conference. Among those 
present were Konda Venkatappayya, Unnava Lakshmi- 
narayana, Gollapudi Sitaramasastry, N. V. L. Narasimha- 
rao. K, Rajeswararao, M. Hanumantharao, K. Subrah- 
manya Sastry (Repalle), N. Subbarao (Tenali), S. Rama- 
swamy Chowdary, M. Jayanarayana (Bapatla), Bhavana- 
chari and others. The Conference recorded its deep 


1. B. Puttabhi Situramuyya : Op. cit. Vol-1, pp. 322, 323. 

2. K. M, Munshi ' Pilgrimage to Freedom, Vol-I, 

(Bombay, 1964) p. 2<t, 

3. Quoted in Tara Chanel's Hjsrory of Freedom Movement in India^ Vol-IV, 

PP iu, in ' " 

4. B. Puitahhi Sitarumayyu : Op. cit. p. lU'j. 


appreciation of the labours of the sub-committee of AIU 
Parties' Conference and accorded its cordial support to 
the resolution adopted by the Conference held at 
Lucknow "Without resticting the liberty of action of 
those political parties whose goal is complete indepen- 
dence " the Guntur All-Parties' Conference declared 
that 1) the form of government to be established in 
India should be responsible - a government in which the 
executive should be responsible to a popularly elected 
legislature possessing full and plenary powers and 
2) that such form of government should in no event be 
lower than that of self-governing dominion. The 
Conference called on all organised political parties in 
the country to carry on sustained propaganda in 
furtherance thereof. l 

By 1929 Guntur district fully got over the little 
inertia that had overtaken her since the suspension of 
the non-cooperation movement. She was again all 
ready to plunge into the subsequent movements of the 
freedom struggle for which the national and local 
leaders were preparing blue-prints. 

The Hindu dated October 15. 1928, 


Salt Satyagraha and Civil Disobedience 


With the Lahore session of the Congress in December 

1929 presided over by Jawaharlal Nehru "the hero of 
the youth of India and the symbol of their new resolve 
for freedom " ' the lean years of the freedom struggle in 
the Guntur district were past. The Lahore session 
changed the Congress creed from dominion status to 
complete independence. It appealed to the nation 
"zealously to prosecute the constructive programme of 
the Congress ", and authorised the All India Congress 
Committee to launch a programme of civil disobedience. 
The Working Committee decided to observe January 26, 

1930 as Independence Day and authorised Gandhi to 
start civil disobedience in the way he thought best. 
Gandhi started the movement marching from Sabarmati 
to Dandi with the intention of breaking Salt Laws* 2 
R. C. Majumdar's account of Gandhi's march to Dandi 

1. K. P. C. Mcnon : Nehru, the Sprinff of Eternal Youth 
(Lahore. Year of publication not mentioned), p. 68. 

2. R R. Diwakur ; Satyagraha, the power of Truth 
(Hinsdalc, Illinois, I968), pp. 79, 80 


and the inauguration of civil disobedience is worth 
quoting: "On March 12, 1930 Gandhi with 79 male 
and female members left the Sabarmati Ashram on foot 
and reached the sea at Dandi on 5th April. It was a 
veritable triumphal progress. The villagers flocked 
from all sides, sprinkled the roads, strewed leaves on 

them, and as the pilgrims passed, sank on their knees 

Early on the morning of the sixth of April Gandhi and his 
party dipped into the sea-water and picked up some salt 
left by the waves". It was a "deliberate act of 
defiance to the mighty British Government", and "it 
was a signal to the nation". ' " Saft suddenly became a 
mysterious word, a word of power. The salt tax was 
to be attacked and the Salt Laws were to be broken". 2 

Konda Venkatappayya first entertained grave doubts 
as to the efficacy of the breaking of Salt Law, He felt 
that the mighty British government would in no way be 
shaken by manufacturing contraband salt. 3 But when 
he saw the entire nation galvanised after Gandhi's Dandi 
march, 4 his doubts cleared, and he became an enthusia- 
stic participant, 


The Working Committee of the Guntur District Con- 
gress met on March 29 under the Presidentship of Unnava 
Lakshmibayamma. The committee entrusted the satya- 
graha movement to a War Council (Satyagraha Samara 
Sangham) consisting of N. V. L. Narasjmharao, Anche 
Sivayya and Seeram Subbarao Naidu. They were 
empowered to nominate their successors as occasion 

1 R. C. Majumdar: Op. cit. Vol-IH, p 

2 1C. P. C Mcnon : Op cit. p 69, 

3. Konda Venkauppayya ; Op. cit. p .'H4. 

4. Ibid. p. 347. 


arose. The committee made plans to enlist three 
thousand volunteers. The volunteers made extensive 
propaganda in the towns and the country-side of the 
district ' before they reached Guntur where a vast 
'Sibiram* was established in Yedavallivari choultry. 2 

To supervise and guide the satyagraha Unnava 
Lakshminarayana was appointed the dictator. 3 When 
he was arrested Seeram Subbarao Naidu took his place. 
When he was also jailed Kailuri Chandramouli was 
appointed dictator 4 

Unnava Lakshmibayamma worked hard to bestir the 
women to join the salt satyagraha. She took out 
processions in Guntur, and by celebrating the traditional 
religious functions in which generally women of India 
participate drew the woman into the vortex of the 
movement. One such function was ' Swarajya Lakshmi 
Vratam* celebrated with eclat on April 1 , 1 930. In the 
evening the ladies of Guntur again met and singing 
national songs went round the town and exhorted the 
local women "to take their due share in the salt 
satyagraha campaign". 5 

Throughout the salt satyagraha the Guntur Municipal 
Council under the Chairmanship of N.V. L. Narasimharao 
remained the bastion of the movement. Besides the 
Guntur Municipality, the Taluk Boards of Ongole, 
Sattenapalle and the Municipality of Chirala passed 
resolutions sympathising with civil disobedience 

1. The Hindu dated March 31, 1930. 

-,* -.wi..ri-'uilrrflM-.Wi"li.--i.i>t 

2. Kondu Venkauppayya ; Op. cit. p. 347. 

3. BoddapatI Subbarao's article * Guntur ZiUa to uppu Satyagrahamu nati smrutulu ' 
Krishna patrifca dated August 19. 1972, p, 12. 

4. Th^Hindu dated June 5, 1930. 

5. The Hindu dated April i2, 1930. 


movement 1 in spite of the government warning earlier 
that it would not hesitate " to resort to the powers of 

supersession and dissolution " - The Guntur Munici- 

pality did all it could to make salt satyagraha a success 
in the Guntur town. N. V. L. Narasimharao says that 
as the Chairman he handed over the municipality to the 
satyagrahis. j On March 15, 1930 the Council placed on 
record their " heartfelt appreciation for the campaign 
of satyagraha started by Mahatmaji and prayed for its 
success".- 1 The District Collector, Guntur, wrote to 
his superiors that the "Guntur Municipal Council is 
probably the worst offender in the presidency. It has 
been discovered that it was actively assisting the 

volunteers who assembled in Guntur The Sibiram 

accounts show that a Municipal Sanitary Inspector was 
actually managing the Sibiram and keeping the funds". b 

With the active participation of the municipality and 
the general enthusiasm sweeping the rural and urban 
areas, the stage was set for the defiance of the Salt Law. 
The volunteers from the different taluqs, after touring 
villages and towns, converged on Guntur on April 6, 
1930 where they wore received by the local volunteers, 
They reached the tank called Krishna Sagar, where, seated 
on the steps of the reservoir, everyone of them took the 
firm oath to fight for the freedom of the country with 
all the might at their command, Konda Venkatappayya 
sprinkled sandal-water on every one of the volunteers. 
From there the volunteers marched in a procession to 
the Central Camp - Pradhana Sibiram- in Yedavallivari 

1. D. O. No. I 9249 R-2-2, L & M elated July J. 1 93'.;, 
(A.P, State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 

2. D. O. No. 2'||4, L&M.. dated June I 7, I9JO. 
(A P, State Archives, II F.S. Section) 

3. Personal papers of N. V. L. Narasimharao. 

4. Enclosure to Collector's letter dated July 25, I ra i C. B. Coitorcll. Chief 
Secretary to the Government of Madras. Fort St. George, 

A P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 

5. Ibid. 


choultry. Gandhi's portrait was carried on a double- 
horse coach all through the procession. There were 
many women in the procession. Unnava Lakshmi- 
bayamma, Eka Ratnamba, President of the Gunturu Sanatan a 
Dhatma Mandati* P. Satyabayamma wife of D. Venkayya, 
Professor of A. C, College and the students and the 
teachers of Saradaniketan were in the procession. On 
the morning of 7th Gandhi's successful breaking of the 
Salt Law at Dandi the day earlier was announced to the 
volunteers. Konda Venkatappayya asked the volunteers 
and the satyagrahis not to be puffed up with the news. 
He said that Gandhi's breaking of the Salt Law was 
not the culmination of the satyagraha but only its 
beginning. ' 

Konda Venkatappayya's residence was selected for 
breaking Salt Law. On 9th April 2 Konda Venkatappayya, 
Gollapudi Sitaramasastry, Lakshmibayamma, See ram 
Subbarao Naidu and others of the Guntur District 
Congress proceeded to Vadarevu and brought salt brine 
in pots to Venkatappayya's house. They boiled the brine 
and manufactured contraband salt. The salt thus 
prepared was taken out in small packets by the enthusi- 
astic volunteers and sold to the people. The volunteers 
after haw/king the contraband salt assembled at the 
tank near Uu shrine of Lord Siva where they were 
received by Konda Venkatappayya and Unnava Lakshmi- 
bayamma, the latter singing "Veera gandhamu techchi namu, 
veeru levvaro tclupudi " (Tell us who the heroes are, we 
have come to anoint them). * * 

I The Hindu dated April 7. IVJO. 

2, District Magistrate F. W. Stewart's Account of tho Salt Satyagraha Movement 
; h. r=,...,.. ^:*../-f dated January 2J7~i93l. 

(A.P, Stale Archives, H.F.S. Section) 

3. Konda Venkatappayya : Op. cit. pp. 350, 3 l )\ . 

* Tripuruneni Ramaswamy Chowdary of Tcnuli composed this verse during the 


This was the beginning of the salt satyagraha in 
Guntur which soon spread to other areas in the district- 
In the Guntur town bands of enthusiastic volunteers 
went round residential areas and sold contraband Salt 
packets. N.V.L. Narasimharao put the first packet of salt 
for auction, Cheruvu Nageswarorao, a leading timber 
merchant, bought it for Rs. 46/-. D. Hanumantharao 
Panthulu paid Rs. 1 16/- for another packet. In all salt 
packets were sold for Rs, 400/-. Batches of volunteers 
were also sent to Chirala, Tenali, Narasaraopet and 
Bapatla. They sold contraband salt packets in open 
streets and public response to these sales was tremen- 
dous despite the knowledge of the implication of buying 
contraband salt. ' The volunteers conducted themselves 
strictly in acccrdance with Gandhian ideals, and even 
the District Magistrate F- W. Stewart had to concede 
that the "volunteers behaved well." < 

After breaking the Salt Law technically, the leaders 
as well as the volunteers encouraged the villagers to 
make or collect contraband salt on a commercial scale. 
Among those places selected for this purpose were 
Vadarevu on the sea nearChirala,Ganapavaram in Bapatla 
taluq and a place near the Kanuparthi Salt Factory 
in Ongole taluq. The satyagrahis set up a sibiram in the 
house of Tanguturi Prakasam at Devarampadu near the 
Kanuparthi Salt Factory. Since good salt was available 
there theCongress leaders of Ongole taluq concentrated 
their attention on Devarampadu. * The government 
made every attempt to breakup the Devarampadu Sibiram 
and the two natural deposits of salt there. Here is the 
District Collector's account of the action taken by the 

' TheHindudated April iO, II, 12, !9jQ. 

2. District Magistrate F__5^,^arTs^ Saiyarlia Movement 

in the Guntur District dated January 20." toTf"" ~ " 

(A. P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 

3. Ramachandruni Venkatappa'i article " Ongolu utuku Jo bahumufcha jatceya 
chaitanyamu" in Gumilapalli Audinarayana Shasiiourthi S.mA.'k*. (Onijolo. 
1972) (Telugu), p. I2x " ' 


government : "Near Kanuparthi the volunteers occupied 
the house of T. Prakasam in Devarampadu and found two 
natural deposits One was easily destroyed by the 
factory establishment but the other was a deep depres- 
sion filled by waves of the sea at high tide once or 
twice a month. The Salt Inspector seized the salt 
as it was collected and he was resisted. Neighbouring 
villagers took interest as the salt was very good. 
The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. P. Sourirajulu 
Naidu and three Head Constables and thirty Police 
Constables of the Reserve camped in the factory from 

April 26th The plan was to arrest the leaders and fill 

up the depression. This has been accomplished The 

police finished up by raiding Prakasam's house. They 
destroyed the salt collected there and seized some 
papers which provide useful evidence against persons 
who like to keep in the background". ' In Vadarevu 
and Ganapavaram the government faced considerable 
difficulty in containing the satyagraha. The Collector 
had to suggest that the Salt Department should spend 
more money to obliterate the brine pits in order to 
remove temptation to the satyagrahis. 2 


At the start of the salt satyagraha movement the 
district administration did not contemplate drastic 
action against satyagrahis. It was in pursuance of the 
instructions which the Government of Madras issued to 
it on March 27, 1930. The government stated that it 
did not want "whole-sale arrests should be made or that 
insignificant people should be arrested. It may in 
certain circumstances consider the arrest of leaders 

I, Guntur District Collector, Guntur to C. W. E. Cotton, C. I. E-, I. C.S., Chief 
Secretary, Ootacumuiul dated Muy 6, 1 9 JO. 

(A. P. Siutc Archives, IU ; .S, Section) 
1 Ibid 


or other individuals or standing <v,d influence, but the 
Government desire to be consulted before such an arrest 
is effected", i But with the rising tide of the movement 
in the district, thu government resorted to the arresting 
of not only prominent leaders but also volunteers and 
ordinary participants in the futyagrahci. Netht Chalapati 
Rao who was working at Vacidrevu wi*s imprisoned under 
Section 108 Cr. P. C. on April 22, 1S3Q. Anna^ragada 
Kameswararao whom the District Collector F.W.Stewart 
described as "a turbulent man" was jailed on April 23, 
1930. On April 24ih K. V. L. Narasimharao was treated 
similarly. 2 Gollapudi SiUtumusastry "the brains 
behind the War Council " was arrested on 29th April 
at Yelavarru. -l Konda Vonkatappayya was sentenced to 
one year simple imprisonment and was lodged in Vellore 
Central Jail b . 1 he number of people jailed in the salt 
satyagraha runs into hundreds. 

The government made every effort to close down 
the main sibiram in Guntur. For this purpose it made 
free use of Section 144 Cr. P. C* On the morning of 15th 
June, Section 144 Cr. P. C. was proclaimed in Guntur 
within a radius of five miles. The police served notice 
on Kalluri Chandramouli, the District Dictator, Nagalla 
Kiishnayya Chowdary, T. Sivasunkara Sastry and others. 

L_ Government of Madras D, O. V;Ui dutcd March JL/, I'M t,i ihc District 

Magistrate, Guntur, 

(A I*. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 
2 District Magistrate F._W..Stc\vrrit Account oi 1 the Siilt S.irv.iKr,iha Movement in 

l tl5iL?}^. Dis , lr i ( L t tlatctj January Ji . I Vj ! , 
(A P. StuU Archives, H.KS, Section) 

To the trying Magistrate's ciuestiun what hi.s pnit'c.:,nut v,,;-, N. V. L. NaraNJmharto 
replied, "Honorary preacher of sedition. My present ocvtipulitin ir. nianufiicturing 
contraband salt ". 

Personal papers of N. V. L. Naraaimharao. 

3. District Magistrate F__W_. Stewart's .Account of ihc Salt Satyasraha Movement in 

^fiyt dated January 2 :i. 1931. ' 

A p. State Archives, U. F. S. Section) 

5, Konda Vcnkutappayyu : Op. cit. p i :,,.;. 


"The police went to the Congress sibirarn at Guntur and 

declared the volunteers that gathered there an unlawful 

assembly and asked them to disperse. On the refusal of 

the volunteers to do so, the police under orders of the 

District Superintendent of Police and District Magis. 

trate, who were both present on the scene, charged the 

volunteers with lathis and several members of the 

crowd received injuries. Some of the lady volunteers 

in the sibiram on refusal to move were forcibly brought 

out". ; After the "sibiram was locked up" and placed 

under the police-guard, the district administration 

could report to their superiors that a "steady but thin 

trickle of volunteers came into Guntur during the next 

two months" and that they "were duly imprisoned" and 

that "the main body had been definitely driven home". 

The volunteer was made to feel that "the only refuge 

was in his own house ". 2 


The government did not stop with the mass arrests 
and breaking up sibirams. It felt uneasy even at the 
sight of the symbols of Congress especially the Gandhi 
cap. On June 20, 1930 the District Magistrate, Guntur, 
F.W.Stewart issued the following order: "Whereas 
the public tranquility has been disturbed by the Civil 
Disobedience Movement and where as information has 
been received that a notice is being printed to disturb 
the public tranquility by inciting the public to wear 
Gandhi cap which is a symbol of one's sympathy for the 
Civil Disobedience Movement I, F. W. Stewart, I. C. S. 
having considered it my duty to maintain public peace, 
hereby direct that the public should not wear Gandhi 

1. The Hindu diUciI June 1 6. I9JO. 

2. District Magistnitc F. W. Stewart'^Actfounl oJ^he^SttU_Siatyaera_hn Movement in 
the Guntur District dated January 20, 1 93 I . 

(A,l. State Archivci, II F.S, Section) 


cap in any place, frequented by the public within the 
limits of Guntur Municipality and a radius of five miles 
therefrom for a period of two months from this date", 

The district administration immediately put the 
Magistrate's order into execution. Orders of arrest and 
sentences of imprisonment were passed in the wake of 
the Magistrate's order. Alaparthi Subbayya Chowdary 
and Meka Raghavayya Chowdary were arrested for 
wearing Gandhi caps. Madabhushi Chc-illayachary was 
sentenced to six months rigourous imprisonment by the 
stationary sub-magistrate, Guntur. J 

The Magistrate's order and the arrests in its wake 
evoked considerable criticism. Tallavajjula Sivasankara 
Swamy, Govindaraju Vankata Krishnarao, Dr. A. S. 
Chalapathirao sent the banned Gandhi cap along with 
the order of the Magistrate to Frenncr Brockway, a 
member of the House of Commons, London, who was 
known for his broad sympathies for nationalist aspira- 
tions of the Indians. * 

Leading public figures led deputations to the Collec- 
tor demanding that he should rescind his order C. V. 
Srinivasarao, C. V. Chowdary, Advocates, J. Kuppu- 
swamy Chowdary, President, District Board, P. Laksh- 
mayya Pantulu r Chairman, Guntur Municipality, Ch. 
Hanumantharao, Honarary Magistrate, V, Bhavana- 
charyulu, A. Sitapathirao, D. L. Narayana, Vakils, and 
M. Venkata Subbayya waited on the Collector and 
represented the matter, 3 but it was of no avail. 

1. The Hindu dated June 23, I 9 JO. 

2. Signed statement of T, Sivasunkftru Swamy, 

3. The Hindu daied June 20, 


Instead of censuring the Collector for passing this 
."obnoxious" ' order, the government in the Fort St. 
George upheld it, C. B. Cotterell, Acting Chief Secre- 
tary wrote: "in enforcing the orders, the Police appear 
to -have directed particular attention to those persons 
wearing Khaddar and more especially Gandhi cap. This 
is understandable, for the Gandhi cap has never been an 
ordinary article of headwear in this district; the District 
Magistrate reports that it had been very rarely seen 
until the Civil Disobedience Movement started in March, 
and after that it was used almost exclusively by the 
volunteers The cisp was banned frankly as a politi- 
cal symbol; it was not worn in the Guntur District until 
the Civil Disobedience Movement started; it was worn 
after that as a token of sympathy for Gandhi and there- 
fore with the anti-Government campaign which he had 
inaugurated and in the disturbed condition of Guntu r 
the flaunting of such tokens of sympathy with the 
movement and of defiance of the Government was likely 
to encourage and incite others to join it and thus endanger 

the public peace the order proved most effective in 

checking the dangerous activities of the volunteers 
among the ignorant population of the town and the 
district. - 

When representations to the government were of no 
avail, the Magistrate's order banning Gandhi cap was 
taken to the Madras High Court. Justice Pandalai 
delivered judgement on August 1 1 , 1930 setting aside 
the orders passed by the Magistrate. On the judgement 
of Pandalai, The Hindu wrote: "We are glad that Mr. 
Justice Pandalai has defined the true nature and extent 

1, M. Venkftlurungaiyu : Op cit Vol-llli p I-17. 

2. C. B. Cottcrell, C I E , I C $.. Acting Chief Secretary to thcGovcrnment of Madras 
to the Secretary, Government of India (Public Department) dated August I, 1 930. 
Loiter No. 7S-1-S. 

(A P, Suite Archives II F S. Section' 


of the revisions! powers of the High Court in these cases 
in terms which Sir Lawrence Jenkins long ago used, 
and has resisted the tendency that had grown in certain 
courts recently to narrow the functions of the High 
Court in the Administration of Justice and in the main, 
tenance of law and order in which it has only too often 
been claimed that the executive must be law unto them- 
selves and that their decisions and notions under the 
plea of emergency must be deemed conclusive", ; Thus 
theGuntur district made history by curbing the tendency 
of the executive to restrict the little liberty the people 

The popular protests which the District Magistrate's 
order evoked and the judgement passed on it by Justice 
Pandala? of the Madras High Court was an eye-opener 
to the Central Government. It advised the government 
in Fort St. George : "The Government of India do not 
wish to criticise the action of the District Magistrate in 

this particular instance, but in their view the issue 

of orders of this nature against the use of such emblems 
or symbols is of doubtful wisdom, save in very excep- 
tional circumstances. The Government of India hope, 
therefore, that it will be found possible to avoid the 
issue of similar orders in future ". * 

To cap all its attempts to curb the satyagraha 
movement/the government declared the Guntur District 
Congress Committee as unlawful. ' 

1. 'I he Hindu dated August 12. IvjO. 

2. H W. Emerson, C, I, E-, C, B. K . i C. S , Secretary to the tfnvcrmiienr of India, 
Home Department to the Chief Secretary. Government <!' 

dated August 12, I9jj. 

Letter No, D-b741 Political. 

(A. P State Archieves, H. F, S. Section) 

3. Report of Inspector General of Police, Mud my No. 
dated October 3 1, 1931. 

(A. P. State Archives, H. F. S. Section) 



In addition to following a policy of repression, the 
district administration resorted to counter-propaganda 
against the salt satyagraha. The government felt that 
the Madras press had great influence in the shaping of 
satyagraha in the district. The Hindu and Andhra Patrika, 
particulary, had enormous influence in the district. 
Janmabhumi of Machilipatnam published a series of 
articles on how Ireland was freed. ' To convert the 
Congress adherents " who are saturated with onesided 
newspaper propaganda " the government planned " the 
resuscitation of the Durbar as a Government paper". 2 
Ultimately, the government purchased in bulk the copies 
of Durbar and Yadardha Vadi a weekly started in Repalle 
"at the instance of the Tahsildar" and distributed them 
among the people. 3 On the suggestion of Rai Bahadur 
P. V. Srinivasarao, a loyalist the government also 
contemplated to propagate among the people "what the 
British Government has done for India"* 4 


In the midst of the breaking of Salt Laws the satya- 
grahis did not lose sight of the constructive programme. 
As during the non-cooperation days, they organised the 
boycott of foreign goods, especially foreign cloth. For 
this activity, Tenali was the centre where foreign cloth 

I. District Magistrate I- 1 . W, Stewart's Account of the Salt Satyagrahaiovement in 

lhc Jl un l u .. r .P.ia.Jn.*- 1 dated January 20, 1931, 
(A, P. State Archives, H. F. S. Section) 

2. District Collector, Guntur to Cotterell, Chief Secretary to the Government of 
Madras dated June 17, 1930. 

(A. !>, State Archives, II. F. S. Section) 

3. District Collector, Guntur to C. F. V. Williams, I. C- S., Under Secretary to the 
Government of Madras, Public Department, Madras dated July 21, 1930. 

(A. P. Slate Archives, H. F. S. Section/ 

4. District Collector, Guntur to Cutierell. C hicf Secretary to the Government of 
Madras dated June 17. 1930, 

(A. l\ Stare Archives H. F. S Section) 


shops were vigoursly picketed. "Training was given as 
to how picketing was to be clone on non-voilent 
methods" Practically, everyday throughout the year 
1930a batch of four or five persons was sent into the town 
to do the picketing. Another batch was kept ready when 
the first batch was taken into custody. Pavuluri Rama- 
rao, Sheik Ismail Saheb, Nadella Krishnayya Chowdary 
and Neelam Raghavayya were the active participants in 
the Tenali foruign goods boycott programme. ' Bharati 
Devi Ranga was the leader of the women picketers 
before the foreign cloth shops. 

Local Bodies and leading professional associations 
passed resolutions asking the people to boycott foreign 
cloth. I he Tenali Municipal Council passed a resolu- 
tion on May 9, 1930 calling upon the municipal officers 
to dispense with foreign cloth and wear khaddar. The 
resolution of the Chtrala Municipal Council pdssed on 
April 30, 1930 called upon the Municipal Councillors 
and employees to wear khaddar. '* The Bar Association, 
Bapatla, meeting on April 12, 1930 under the presidency 
of M. Kalidas Panthulu passed the following resolution 
unanimously : "In the opinion of the Bar Association it 
is desirable that the members of the Bar should wear 
khadi clothing while attending the courts", 4 in Narasa- 
raopet foreign cloth was collected and bonfire of it was 
made. lj 

I ' r JlPl t :_[? o yi:(Ut Movement in Tcnuii l'> '' i 
Statement of Neclain Kaghsivay>a 
A I*. State Archives, H. f S. Section) 

2. N. G Raugu : tthurathi IJcvi SmrutluUu (Niuubrolu. I '/ J ( I'elutfu), n. *"" 

3. Cottercll C. 1. E-. I C. S-, Acting Chief Secretary to (tovcrmneni <f Madras to the 
Secretary Government of India (Home) Letter No B/-M dated September 10, i930, 
(A. P. State Archives, H.F S. Section, 

4. The Hindu dated April 14, 19^0. 

5. The Hindu dated June !, I9.i0, 


Of all the items of the constructive programme of 
the Guntur district the one that received widespread 
attention and caused concern to the government was 
propaganda against drink which manifested itself in the 
cutting of palmyra spathes and trees. * The Guntur 
District Congress War Council passed instructions 
to the satyagrahis to take care of the pernicious 
evil of drink, and see to it that palmyra trees were 
chopped off. This was in accordance with the social 
philosophy of Gandhi who had once gone to the extent 
of saying : "If I were appointed the dictator of India 
for one hour only, the first thing I will do will be to 
close without compensation all the liquor shops". ' 
The felling of palmyra trees in the Guntur district was 
particularly high in Chebrole, Mangalagiri, Khajipalem 
and Angalakuduru. - By the month of May the spathe- 
cutting took a dramatic turn. 3 The district administra- 
tion was much agitated, and the Collector reported to 
his superiors in the Fort St. George :. " At one of my 
subsequent meetings with the ryots, one defended 
spathe-cutting because he had known so many well- 
to-do-ryots, who had lost their fortunes by drink. There 
is a general realisation in the taluqs that leisure and 
money bring such temptation as drink and dancing girls, 
and I have no doubt that the cutting of spathes was 
regarded as a measure of social reform spathe- 
cutting was the most dangerous phase of the movement, 
as it brought the ordinary ryot into active opposition to 
Government ". 4 

* Siip of palmyra trees wlicti fermented becomes highly intoxicating. 

1. Srimuu Naraiu,' Gandhi, the Man and Hit Thought (Now Delhi, 1972;, p. 28. 

.. tti- r "- 

2. The Hindu dated April 5. 1930. 

3. District Collector, Guntur to C. F. V. Williams, I. C S., Under Secretary to the 
Government of Madras, Public Department Madras dated July 21, 1 930. 

(A. P. State Archives, II.F.S. Section) 

4. District Magistrate F. W.Jitewart's_Accounr o_lheJSaitjSatyagruha Movement 
in the Guntur District dated January 20, 

(A.P, State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 


The toddy yielding palmyra trees were felled in 
such large members that the government had to 
authorise the Collector of Guntur to waive the collec- 
tion of motiirpha, ' 

The Municipality of Guntur under the Chairmanship 
of N. V. L. Narasimharao concerned itself with the evils 
of drink, N. V. L. Narasimharao issued a notice to the 
Collector which ran as follows : 

" Please take notice that location of 
toddy shops within my limits is 
Prohibited, and if they are not 
removed within twenty four hours 
necessary action will follow. 

N. V. L. Narasimharao, 

Guntur Municipality, Guntur". 2 

Though N. V. L. Narasimharao was not within legal 
jurisdiction to issue such notice to the Collector, the 
notice was indicative of the spirit of the times. 

The satyagraha movement launched on April 9, 1930 
lasted till the end of the year in the Guntur district, 
During this period the district waged an intensive 
struggle facing the government repression cheerfully 
without ever resorting to violence. The mJn features 
of the satyagraha were civil breach of Salt Law, non- 
voilent raids on salt depots and pans, breach of govern- 
ment orders, boycott of foreign goods, especially cloth 
and constant propaganda against the evil of drink. 

1. G. O No. II (S) Mis., Dated June > !9;< 
(A. P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 

2. Personal Papers of N. V. t. Nurusimharuu. 

KISTOKY 07 FREEDOM :,KV U ' { r.U. : N T !N GUNTUn DISTRICT l'Jil-47 181 


If viewed from the national angle, the civil disobedi- 
ence movement demonstrated the awakening of the 
political consciousness among the people undreamt of 
before. Gandhi's call to the nation to suffer and sacri- 
fice evoked such a response that the mighty British 
government found it imperative to reach some sort of 
agreement with the Congress. Gandhi who was arrested 
on May 4, 1930 was released on January 26, 1931. 
Negotiations started between Gandhi and Lord Irwin, 
the Viceroy. On May 5, 1 S31 Gandhi - Irwin Pact was 
concluded, according to which the Congress agreed to 
discontinue civil disobedience movement and to partici- 
pate in the Round Table Conference on Indian constitu- 
tional reform. The government in its turn agreed to 
release al! political prisoners, and withdraw prosecu- 
tions. The government also agreed to allow people to 
collect salt purely for personal consumption but not for 
commercial purposes. The government agreed to with- 
draw ordinances promulgated in connection with the 
civil disobedience movement. The government also 
agreed to reinstate government servants and Village 
Officers and restore propsrties confiscated during the 
movement. ' 

On the receipt of news of the Gandhi - Irwin Pact in 
Guntur Konda Venkatappayya who had been released 
earlier held a meeting in Guntur on March 5, 1931. 
Venkatappuyya says that the meeting was held to celeb- 
rate the peace pact. * In the meeting, according to the 
police version, Venkatappayya during the course of his 
speech exhorted the audience to carry on vigourous 
picketing of foreign cloth shops. He also said that India 

I- S. Gopitl: The Viccroyully iin.nrd Irwiii I02o-|9-.l (Oxford, 19!>7), pp. I07-IIO. 

Also see appendix for the text of the sellloinunl published on March 5, 193 1. 
pp. UO-I-H. 

'i. Koiula Venkatuppiiyy.i : Op. cit. p. 3!jfi. 


could achieve so much by CO, 000 cjoimi to jail and that 
if 60,00,000 cf people were to <j.o to jail federal govern- 
ment with safeguards must bn given or the British 
government would have to run avv.iy, For this speech 
Venkatappayya was arrested on iVlurchG, 1931 under 
Section 17 (1) Cr. L. A, Act. To protest against the 
arrest of Venkatnppayya, a mecjtincj was hold at the 
Swaraj Maiclan, The police declared the meeting unlaw- 
ful 'and charged theperople with Ittthit. A number of 
people including Neti Chalapathirao vvoru injured. l Konda 
Venkatappayya was, however, rt! leased on March 7th 
following government instructions issued on March 6th 
to withdraw all the pending cases. On his release 
Venkatappayya issued a press statement that he never 
advocated civil disobedience und thai the meeting held 
on March 5th was purely in connection with peace 
celebrations. '< 

But for these incidents cf Murch 5th and 6th there 
were no breaches of the Gandhi-lrwin Pact in thuGuntur 


After attending the Round Table Conference Gandhi 
landed in Bambay on December 2Q f 1931 and found 
repression in full force in many parts of the country. 
Gandhi wrote to Willtngdon, the new Viceroy protesting 
against the Ordinance /to/. Gandhi tried to present the 

I. S. B. Report of the District Superintendent t' I'nlicc Guntur to the Chief 
SecrcUry. Goveruincut ul' Miiilra:, tl;itci! March '> \ j ' 
A 1* Suite Archives, 11, !. S. Section i 
Hcl'urencc to this Uthi ch;vrr,i: is niiivJo in the utipuhlr.ififtUI.tii ics i>f M antt-n;i 

Vciifcntaruju under the date captinn March '. l> '. Ncli ChalanatliirrtO and 

Muntcna Vcitkataraju addressed the yathcrinv When the polica'A'd the 
people both Chalapathirao and Yenkataraju received ijtijuru-, VenKataraju 
received a minor injury on the .slum Icier whcrcjiv Chalaputliiruti received a s 
skull injury. Mantena Venkatttruju'g unpublished dailies I 
2 The Hindu dated March 9, 1931. 


Congress point of vie/*/ to Willingdon, but as the latter 
was unyielding, civil disobedience was resumed. Gandhi 

wired to the Viceroy on January 3, 1 932 : " I wish 

to assure Government that every endeavour will be 
mads on the part of the Congress to carry on sttuggle 
without malice and in strictly non-violent manner". 
Thereupon Gandhi and other prominent Congress leaders 
were arrested on January 4, 1932. ' 

With that the period of truce was over, and the 
Guntur district with the rest of the country resumed 
civil disobedience. 

with the resumption of the civil disobedience, the 
government struck at the Congress ruthlessly. All 
District Congress Committees in Andhra were declared 
unlawful associations. Practically almost all important 
leaders were arrested and sentenced to various terms of 
imprisonment. Konda Venkatappayya, Gollapudi Sita- 
ramasastry and Maddi Venkata Rangayya were prohibited 
from participating either in meetings or in demonstra- 
tions aimed at furthering the objects of civil disobedi- 
ence movement. Malladi Yagna Narayana of Bapatla 
was convicted for refusing to execute a bond for good 
behaviour, " and Gollapudi Sitaramasastry was senten- 
ced to one year simple imprisonment for making what 
the government thought a seditious speech. 3 Mantena 
Venkataraju a prominent Congress leader of the Guntur 
district and Yenamadra Venkatappayya of Karamchedu 
were sentenced to one year rigourous imprisonment 
under Section 112 of Cr. P. C. * In Ongole, Sagi Vijaya 

1. B. Pattabhi Silaramuyya : Op. cit, Vol-l, p. -'l f '- 

2. The Hindu dated January I, \')12. 

3. The Hindu dated January 1-1, 1932. 
4 The Hindu dated January I, I93/. 


Ramaraju, Narahari Padman.vbhain and Chakiri Krishna, 
swami were sentenced to various terms of imprison- 
ment. ' The arrests and sentences of imprisonment 
were in accordance with the pattern followed by the 
government throughout the country. As Subhas Chandra 
Bose remarked, ''Within a week almost everybody who 
was somebody in the Congress Party was in prison". l 

Searches of the Congress Party offices and residen- 
ces of leaders and confiscation of property were also 
resorted to by the government The office of the Guntur 
District Congress Committee arid the houses of Maddi 
Venkata, Rangoyya, Tallavajjula Siv;;sankora Swamy, 
Jonnalagadda FUmalingayya, K. Suryanarnyana Murty, 
Ch. Bhavayya Chowdari and Kailuri Chandromouli were 
searched. <; 

When convicts refused to pay finer,, their property 
was seized. Ghalib Saheb of Guntur was fined for taking 
part in the movement. When he refused to pay the fine 
imposed on him, the wooden tables of his brother's 
laundry were seized by the police. 

The police did not spare oven young boys when they 
were round helping the movement in any way. In 
Qngoie, Gudimella Thiru Vengadacharyulu, an young boy 
of 14 years, when found distributing political leaflets 
was seized by a police constable, and was brutally 
belaboured. 6 

I Ramachandruni VtMikatappa's article ''Ormolu lalufca In H.ihumokltn Jtituvya 
Chaiiuriyamu" Jin GmuMapalli Audinarayaua Sliasiijuu iht S;I.MI hika 
(Oiigolc IJ'/^j. p. i-fH. 

2. Subhas Chandra . Op. cit p. 334. 

3p 2JLV!ji! niJ " d;itcc! January I I, I9.i2. 

4. ' Jlie ., H . il ! tlu Dinted January 12, \y-.2. 

I). 'I he Hiddu dated February 26 IV3X. 

6 Kaimichandruni Vcnkatappa's article ' On^olu Tuluka to Hahumukha Jaiccya 
Chaitanyamu" in _Gu!Hilapalli Audinarayana Sliastipurthi SaiKhika 
(Ongole 1972), p. U i. 


When the government repression was in full swing 
the Congress managed to hold the annual session in the 
month of April, 1932 under the Clock Tower in Chandni 
Chowk, Delhi. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was the 
President-elect of the Congress. But as he was arrested 
en route, the Congress was presided over by Seth 
Ranchhoddas Amritlal of Ahmadabad. The Congress 
passed resolutions reiterating complete independence as 
the goal of the Congress, whole-heartedly endorsing the 
revival of civil disobedience, congratulating the nation 
on its splendid response to Gandhi's call and reaffirming 
the faith in the non-violence even in the face of acts of 
grave provocation from the authorities. ! In spite of 
police vigilence five hundred delegates attended the 
Delhi Congress, 2 

The Guntur district sent the highest contingent from 
the Andhra districts. The responsibility of selecting the 
delegates and sending them safely to Delhi was entrus- 
ted to Dr. Amancherla Sesha Chalapatirao, 3 The dele- 
gates that participated in the Delhi Congress from the 
Guntur district were Konda Venkatappayya, his private 
secretary Subbaramayya, Uppala Knshnayya, Muvva 
Audinarayana, Koppalli Ramachandrarao, Unnava 
Lakshmibayamma, * Madabhushi Vedantam Narasimha- 
charyulu, Gullpalli Ramakrishnayya and Boddapati 
Subbarao, * The delegates had to suffer various priva- 
tions during their journey. They had to change trains, 
identity and dress, and devise various ether ways to 
reach the venue Those that ultimately reached Chandni 

1. B. Puttubhi SiUruniiiyya : Op. cit. Vol-I, p 5.- 1. 

2. Ibid 

3. Boddapati Subburao'.s article " 1 932 Saiyagrahaniu ; Swatniitrodyamamu Nati Na 
Smrululu" ifl Krishna Putriku dated September 1 6, I9/2, pp.7. 17. 

4. The Hindu dated April 27, 1932. 

5. Boddapati Subbarao's article "1932 Satyagrahamu : Swatantrodyamamu nati na 
smrutulu" in.J^rishna PatrlkajJated September 16, 1972 p. 17, 

186 HISTORY OF FREEDOM MOVFMENT if* ."UNTtiR TiMklCl :yi',*47 

Chowk were arrested and lod<j-3<l in Delhi District Jail 
for twenty days. ; 


When the national struggle for freedom was in full 
swing the country heard the news that Gandhi was 
going on fast unto death against the Communal Award 
announced by the British Prime Minister, Ramsay 
Macdonald. Gandhi regarded the creation of separate 
electorate for Harijans "as the thin onci of the wedge 
for separating these classes from the Hindu fold" 2 
Unnava Lakshminarayona, groat champion of the removal 
of untouchibility, undertook a sympathetic fast in 
Guntur. l 

However, the fast of Gandhi coussed consternation 
throughout the country. Leaders of all political parties 
like Rajagopalachari, Jayaknr, Sapru, Maiaviya and 
others held prolonged discussions with Dr. Ambedkar. 
An agreement known as the Poona Pact was concluded 
by which joint electorates were restored subject to 
certain conditions. Gandhi who began his fast in the 
Yerawada Jail on September 20, 1932 brok it on 
September 26th. * 


Gandhi was released on May 8, 1933. On the same 
day he issued a statement recommemUny the suspension 
of the civil disobedience. The Actiny President of the 
Congress in obedience to his wishes suspended the 
movement at first for six months and extended it for a 
further period of six weeks. Ultimately utter a meeting 

1, Ibid. 

2. Edward D* Cru/, S. J Iruli.i the tjucsl h-r Nuti<nlhmil iB")bay ' '* '/;. 
* ,'!. ho Hindu Uaitid September 21. I'J.-.JL. 

4. D, G. Tendulkar : Op. eit, p ! Va 


of Congress workers in Poona on July 1 2, 1 933, mass 
civil disobedience was discontinued and only individual 
civil disobedience was permitted. ' Viewed even from 
the national point the individual civil disobedience 
"passed away unnoticed into the limbo of oblivion". 2 
In these circumstances, the Working Committee of the 
Congress held sittings at Patna on May 18, 19 and 20, 
1934. It recommended the adomption of the Council- 
entry programme. It suspended civil disobedience and 
called upon all the Congressmen to abide by the 
decision. ; The Congressmen of the Guntur district 
obeyed this directive along with those of the whole 
country. The civil disobedience movement stood 
suspended on May 20, 1 934. <r Thus the struggle for 
full independence that started in the first week of 
January 1930 was terminated on May 20, 1934. At the 
height of the movement 191 persons were convicted in 
the Guntur district under the Special Powers Ordinance, 
the highest in the Andhra districts. b 

1. Jugiulish Shunuu . Op cit. p I i ;. 

2. R. C Mujuiiular Op. cit. Vol-Ml, p. -183. 

3. B PatUbhi Siiaramay a : Op. cit. Vol-I, p. 572. 
<1. Ibid 

ij Inspector General of Police. Madras to the Chief Secretary to the Government of 
Madras Madras dated August 1 7. I 932. JLciier No. 2-19-KSB-J2. 

(A. P. State Archives, II.I'.S. Section) 

Final Phase of the Freedom Movement 


After the suspension of the mass civil disobedience 
movement throughout the country on July 12, 1933 
political activity in the Guntur district considerably 
slakened till the Government of India Act of 1935 came 
into force and Provincial Ministry was formed after the 
elections. However, even during this interregnum new 
political forces came to the fore which kept political 
activity live. One such was the Rama Needu Peasant 
Institute, inaugurated byGandhi inNidubrolu in January 
1934. N. G. Ranga was the guiding spirit of this 
institute. He acted as the first Honorary Principal, 
Gandhi remarked, "How romantic to find a full-fledged 
Oxford Professor, placing his family property and his 
own services at the disposal of this institute? ' The 
Rama Needu Peasant Institute attracted the attention of 
the government as a centre of political activity. l 
Nidubrolu became the seat of Kixan Publications under 
the guidence of G. L. Narayana and N. V. Subbayya The 
first book to be brought out by this publishing house 
during this period was Ha.ijan Nayak written by 
N. G. Ranga. 3 

1. NG Ranga: FigjhtjW Freedom (New Delhi, l '''.*.;). p 16:-. 

2. Government (Madras Fortnightly Report daicti May =5. H M. 
(A P. State Archives, H. F. S. Section) 

3. N.G. Rangu: Op cit p. 164 


In addition to the peasants starting to organise 
themselves under the leadership of Ranga, the Commu- 
nists, inspired by the Bolshevik achivements in Soviet 
Russia, began to show themselves up in the district. 
Since a ban had been imposed on the Communist activity 
in the country, the Communists changed the name of 
their party and formed the Labour Protection League 
in Guntur in March, 1935 and in Tenali in August 1935. 
Three Communists were active in the Labour Protection 
League of Guntur. They were P. Rama Subbayya, 
J. Rama I ing ay y a and D. Krishna Murthy, In the year 1935 
the Communists were active organising the workers of 
the Guntur town. They succeeded in organising 
Press Workers' Union, Zutka Drivers' Union and 
Jute Mill Workers' Union. They also published 
twelve pamphlets for which J. Rarnalingayya, P. Rama 
Subbayya and D. Krishna Murthy were convicted, 
and sent to jail. The Communists in the Labour 
Protection League of Guntur tried to disseminate red 
literature in the whole district. ' The Labour Protec- 
tion League was the real beginning of the Communist 
movement in the district which was to acquire mass 
base and strength in the succeeding years. In 1936 the 
Communists celebrated Labour Days and Anti-imperia- 
list Days. '' 


With the peasants and the workers meking their first 
attempts to organise themselves into unions, the 
elections held for the Provincial Legislature of Madras 
under the Government of India Act of 1935, activised 

1. Report submitted by the Superintendent of Police, Guntur, Special Branch, C.l.D. 
in reply to ibc Government Memo. No. fi-45-l-H-36 dated May 20, 1 936, 

(A.P. Slate Archives, H.l-'.S. Section) 

2. Ibid. 


all the political sections in the district. In the elections 
held between 1 5th and 20th February, 1 937 the Congress 
got overwhelming victory and the Justice Party was 
routed, ! When the Governor of Madras invited 
C. Rajagopalachar i, the Congress Legislature Party 
Leader, to form the ministry, the latter refused on the 
ground that the Governor had not assured him that he 
would not use special powers or that he would not set 
aside the advice of the ministers. - ! Thereupon, the 
Governor invited K. V. Reddy Naidu to form the ministry 
which he did on April 1 , 1937. K. V. Reddy Naidu's 
Justice Party Ministry came to bo known as Interim 
Ministry. It held office till July 14, 1937. 

The Interim Ministry was averse to the national 
aspirations and progressive ideologies. The Congress 
Socialist Party, in which Communists joined, organised 
the Summer School of Economics and Politics in Kotha- 
patnam, Ongole taluq from May 1,1937. It attracted 
170 students. Among them were Putchalapally 
Sundarayya, Kolla Venkuyya, Makineni Basav&Punnayya, 
Vasireddy Sivalinga Prasad. Jonn<j|igaddaRamalingayya f 
Chimakurthi Sethumadhavzirao and Pkiathalii Ranga 
Reddy. Indulal Yagnik, Swamy SahajrirumcJj Saniswati, 
Prof. Ranga, Jaya Prakash Narayan, Achyut Piitwardhan, 
Bottliwallah and other eminent left-oriented leaders 
gave lectures on important topics of politics and 
economics. In addition to lectures, the students were 
given training in military drill by Chandra Rajeswararao, 
techniques of guerilla Warfare by Annupragada 
Kameswararao and the use of sword by Vijayarama- 
raju. 3 This was too much for the loyalist government 

1. G, O No '9'S (Pubic) Elccftnii ilatod March . V !"/ 
(A P State Archives, U.F.S, Sci-iion). 

2. The liindu dated May /./. iV.7. 

3. Ramachandruni Venkatappa* article " On^ole taluka h> Hahumukhit Jatecya 
Chaitanyarnu" in Gundliipalli Audinaruyunu ,SU;*iiiipuahi Sauchika. 

(Ongole. I97i, iTclugu . p. I ft. 


of K. V. Reddy Naidu to bear, and on May 18, 1 937 it 
declared that the existence of the school was a threat 
to public peace. The Government Order stated among 
other things that "in the opinion of the Provincial 
Government the association known as the Summer 
School of Economics and Politics and Training Camp at 
Kothapatnam in the district of Guntur has for its object 
interference with the maintenance of law and order, and 
constitutes a danger to the public peace. Now, there- 
fore, the Provincial Government are hereby pleased, in 
exercise of the powers conferred on them by Section 16 
of the Indian Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908, to 
declare the said Summer School of Economics and 
Politics and Training Camp to be unlawful". l After 
declaring the school unlawful the government sent two 
van-loads of Reserve Police to the scene, and made a 
severe lathi charge on the students and teachers in 
which C. P. Elango, Vasireddy Sivalinga Prasad, Anna- 
pragada Kameswararao and others received serious 
injuries. Several arrests were also made. 2 


But, events moved fast which enabled the Congress 
to form the ministry in the Madras province- On June 
22, 1937 the Viceroy of India Lord Linlithgow gave 
broadcast-message in which he stated that the Governer 
of the province was bound to " the executive authority 
on the advice of his Ministry". The Viceroy stated that 
the Governer could under the Act contrary to the advice 

1. C; O. No. SS'-fi-'j, Puhiic dated May Ifl I937. 
(A.I*. State Archives, II, FS. Section 

2. Ramuchanclruni Vcnkutuppu's article ' Ongole Taluka lo Bahuumkha Jateeya 
Chitanyamu" in Gundlupulli Audinarayuna Shastipurthi Sanchika. 

(Onyolc, 19/2). p. 139 


of the ministers. "But tho scope of potential inter. 
ference is strictly difineci and t In/re is no foundation for 
suggestion that a Governor is free, or is entitled, or 
would have the power, to interfere with the day-to-day 
administration of a province outside the limited range 
of the responsibilities especially confined to him", i 
The working committee of the Indian National Congress 
meeting between 5th and 8th of July, 1937 permitted the 
congressmen "to accept office in tho provinces where 
the Congress commanded a majority in the Legisla- 
ture " Th-3reupon, the) Conyress Ministry was 

formed in Madras on July 14, 1937 with C. Rojagopala- 
chari as the Chief Minister. One of the thirty acts of 
Rajagopalachari's Ministry was to release all those, 
who were arrested and chargesheeted by the Interim 
Government in connection with the events of Kotha- 
patnam summer school of Economics and Politics. But 
the order releasing the prisoners stated inter alia that 
the government would not tolerate such activities and 
would "take all steps necessary to prevent the dissemi- 
nation of class harled cind ideas involving the 

use of organised and unorcjiinised violence in 
furtherance of any object". ' ! This part of the order 
was not to the liking of the reluased prisoners or their 
sympathisers. It caused greater puin to them than the 
baton-charge made on them earlier by the Interim 
Government. ij 

The Congress Ministry received complaints from the 
Salt Department that the people of the Guntur district 
were misusing the provisions of the Gandhi - Irwin Pact 

1. Marquess of Linlithgow : Speeches :imt Stui ncrii-< i * --4 
New Delhi, 19-lv,; p. 8>J 

2 Jagadish Sliarma ' Op cit. Vol-I, p. '',>'* 

3. The Hindu dated July I-} Iv-;/. 

4. The Hindu dated July !8, l r j.:;. 

5. Ramachandruni Vcnkatappa*s article " Onifolu lutuku l< bohunuikhu 
Chuitunyumu" in CJundlupalli Audi(iar.-iy;na Mi.i?>f i(>url'-i Sam htLt. 
(Ougole. 1972). Ii9. ' 


and that they were manufacturing greater amounts of 
salt than allowed and carrying them to distant piaces 
for sale. ' The Chief Minister, Government of Madras, 
wrote to Gollapudi Sitarama Sastry thus: "I have 
received complaints against the people who manufacture 
salt in Bapatla range from the officers of the Salt 
Department that they were abusing the privileges they 
were offered in connection with the manufacture of 
salt. Please enquire into the matter". 2 Thereupon, 
the Gun tur District Congress Committee met on July 27, 
1938 and appointed a sub-committee with Gollapudi 
Sitarama Sastry (convenor), Sagi Vijayaramaraju, Neti 
Venkata Chalapati, Kudipudi Pundarikakshayya and 
Kalluri Chandra Mouli to enquire into the matter and 
take necessary steps. Vijayaramaraju visited all the 
salt-beds of the Ongole taluq and enquired into the 
complaints He explained to the people all the terms of 
the agreement reached at by Gandhi and Irwin, and 
appealed to them not to violate any one of the terms. 
Boddupalli Venkata Subbayya and Kudipudi Pundarika- 
kshayya did similar work in Bapatla and Repalle taluqs 
respectively. 3 

In zamindari- areas the ryots over-burdened with land 
taxes. To set it right a Zamindari Enquiry Committee 
was constituted by the Madras Government with 
T. Prakasam, Revenue Minister, as its Chairman. To 
assist this enquiry committee the Guntur D.C.C. appoin- 
ted a sub-committee with Sogi Vijayaramaraju and 
Gundlapalli Audinarayana. This committee toured all 
the zamindari areas of the Ongole taluq explaining to 
the ryots the purpose and efforts of the enquiry. The 

I. Annual Report of the Guntur District Congress Committee __19_3_8_-_39_, 

(The report is available in the Andhru Pradesh State Archives. Hyderabad 
in type-script). 

'L Ibid 

3. Ibid. 


sub-committee prepared at! the statements required for 
the government enquiry. Some loading ryots were taken 
to Madras to give evidence before Zamindari Enquiry 
Committee. ' 

During their period of office two Congress Ministers- 
Bezawada Gopalareddy, Minister for Local Self-Govern- 
ment and Tanguturi Prakasam, Minister for Revenue 
made extensive tour of the urban and rural areas of the 
district and took notice of public grievances and 
complaints. 2 

These events show that there was considerable 
rapport between the Guntur District Congress and the 
Provincial Congress Ministry. At the surne time the 
District Congress did not give up its ultimate objectful 
independence for the country. It appointed Vavilala 
Gopalakrishneyya to propagate among the people that 
the ideal of the Congress was complete independence, 
and that it would strive to achive it. Gopalakrishnayya 
undertook an extensive tour of the district between 
June and August 1939 and educated the people on Con- 
gress history, national aspirations, wars and their 
effects. In his tour Gapalakrishnayya was assisted by 
Patibandla Suryanarayana Roy and Putta Ramadass. :j 

During this period the Congress engaged itself in the 
amelioration of social and political backwardness of 
the Harijans. The Congressmen of the Guntur District 
Harijan Service Society- Gunturu Zilla llarijana Sevaka 
Sangham- did substantial work for the betterment of the 
Harijans. They ran schools and hostels for Harijans in 

I. Ibid. 

2l If^iX? 1 ^ 3 .. Congress Committee Report- ll-i-.^io U-i-,9 (Tcnali. 
(Telugu) pp. 7, 8, 

3 Vavilala Gopaiakrishnuyya : Jatceyu Vanchha (Guntur, I 1 '.'') 
(Telugu) pp. 5 lo 7. 


Guntur, Pedanandipadu, Sattenapalli, Gurajala, Santha- 
nutalapadu and Alapadu. : 


The year 1939 was remarkable for an event which 
changed the course of the world history. On September 
3, 1939 Britain declared war on Germany, and the World 
War II started. Without the consent of the Indian 
leaders India was dragged into the war as an appendage 
of Britain. Though the Congress leaders were opposed 
to German Nazi and Italian Fascist philosophies, which 
stood for ruthless totalitarianism and racialist bigotry, 
they stated that India would have nothing to do with an 
imperialist war The Guntur District Congress Com- 
mittee categorically declared that India's resources in 
men and meteriul should not be used in the pursuit of a 
war which hud an imperialist character. 2 It was in 
confirmity with the All India Congress Committee policy. 
The parliamentary Sub-Committee instructed the Con- 
gress Ministers in the provinces to tender resignations. 3 
In accordance with this resolution the provincial Minis- 
ters resigned one after another, Madras leading with its 
resignation on October 28, 1939. * 

With the attitude of the government unchanged, the 
struggle for independence was soon to begin under the 
guidance of Gandhi. This time Gandhi did not think of 
mass civil disobedience. He decided that the campaign 
should be limited to select individuals. In October 1940 
the individual civil disobedience started. Vinoba Bhave 

I Gunturu 2illa Harijana Scvuka SaiiBhuui Report (I -10-39 to 30-9-40) 

Guntur, I910> U'clugu), PP- 3 lo 6. 

2. Gunturu Zillu Congress Committee : X u ddhaniu;Con,ercss_(Report) (Year and 

place of publication nol mentioned) (Tclugu) p. 3. 

3. B, Pattnbhi Sitaramayya : Op. cit, VoI-II, p. Ul. 
4 Ibid p \-\'L 


was selected by Gandhi to be the first .wrv./i?rfif. The 
campaign was opened r>t Faunaur on October 17, 1940, 
when Vinoba Bhave made a public speech in which he 
preached the Congress war policy and exhorted the 
people not to help the government in their war effort, as 
all war was immoral and bad. For this he was arrested 
and sentenced to three months imprisonment. ' The 
Ongole Municipal Council meeting on October 31 , 1940 
condemned "the sction of the Government in arresting 
Sri Vinoba Bhave who is fighting for freedom of 
speech". 2 

The individual satyagraha started on October 17, 
1940 and continued till the end of 1 941 . During this 
period as many as 119 individuals offered satyagraha in 
the Guntur district. Among them were eight women. * 

Gandhi directed Congressmen to march on foot 
towards Delhi, explaining to the people The Congress 
war policy, as they marched. '* in response to this call 
some satyagrahis of the Guntur district toured many 
villages and towns, and carried the Congress gospel to 
the people during their march to Delhi in February 1941. * 

During the individual satyagraha movement Konda 
Venkatappayya, Neti Chalapathi, G. Subrahmanya Sastry 
and K. Sampath Kumarachari toured the villages and 
enthused the satyagrahis. 1 

I R R Diwukar : Op eit pp > 2, 83. 

2. G. O. No. i64 Public (Confidential) dated February .' I I'M- , Madrai Government. 
(A P. State Archives, H.F.a. Section) 

3. R. R. Diwakar: Op. cit. p. 84. 

4. The list of I 19 satyagrahis Is i'ilcd in the A P. State Archives, U Ucrahatl. The list 
is authorised by Muntena Venkataraju of the Guntur District Congros Committee. 
(A P. State Archives, H. F. S. Section) 

5. R R. Diwakar Op cit p. Hi. 
6 The Hindu dated February 20, 

i . ._ ] m- 

7. The Hiddu dated July 26 


Arrest warrants were issued against Puiupula 
Sivayya, Annapragada K;uneswar<KuO and Jonnalagadda 
Ramalingayya under the Defence of India Rules. But 
they went under-ground and evaded arrest. The govern- 
ment announced a reward of Rs. 100/- for anyone who 
would give information leading to the arrest of anyone 
of them. ! 


The war in Europe reached its climax in 1941. 
Germany having overrun Poland, Belgium, Holland, 
Norway and France launched u surprise attack on Russia 
in June 1941. In December, Jtapon, Germany's ally in 
Asia, made an attack on Perl Harbour. The Japanees 
War machine grabbed Philippines, Indo-China, Indo- 
nesia, Malaya, Singapore and Burma in quick succes- 
sion. By March 1942 Japanese were at the very gates 
of India. It was one of the bleakest periods for Britain. 
She was desperately in need of India's full and active 
cooperation in war. So the British government sent Sir 
Stafford Cripps to India with a Draft Declaration. 

The Draft Declaration promised Dominion Status 
immediately after the war ended. It also gave India the 
right of succession. A Constituent Assembly would be 
set up after the termination of war. In the Assembly 
representatives of both British India and Native States 
would take part. Any province, if it so desired, could 
remain outside the Indian Union. During the War the 
defence of the country would be looked after by the 
British Commander-in-chief, though there would be an 
Indian Defence Minister. 2 The proposals of Cripps were 
rejected by all political parties. Gandhi told Sir 

1. The Hindu dated December 12, 1941. 

2. The Drnf i Declaration is quoted in Jagdish Sarma's 
(New Delhi, 1962) pp. !/J2, !/y,i. 


Stafford: "If this is your entire proposal to India, 
1 would advise you to take the next plane home ". ' 

The failure of the Cripps Mission, the success of the 
Japanese in South-East Asia and the presence of the 
Japanese forces at the very gates of India wrought great 
change in the attitude of the Congress. The Congress 
Working Committee met in July 1942 and passed the 
resolution calling upon Britain to withdraw from India. 
If the appeal failed, the resolution stated, they would 
take all non-violent steps for the realisation of political 
rights and liberty under the leadership of Gandhi. 2 The 
All-India Congress Committee, meeting in Bombay on 
August 7th and 8th, 1942 endorsed this action. It 
passed the famous Quit India Resolution. The Commi- 
ttee resolved to start "a mass struggle on the widest 
possible scale, so thdt the country might utilise all the 
non-violent strength it has gathered during the last 22 
years of peaceful struggle ". J With the passing of this 
resolution, the government moved with lightning speed. 
Gandhi and all the members of the Working Committee 
were spirited away. All Congress Committees were 
declared unlawful, and all leaders in all provinces were 
arrested. 4 

When the leaders at all levels - national, provincial, 
district and taluq - were jailed the people's passion 
raged high. Every individual and group, bereft of leader- 
ship and guidance acted in the way they thought best. 

The August revolt was on, and the Guntur district 
was one of the principal centres of the revolt. Railway 
stations, telephone and telegraph offices and other 
government offices became the special targets of mob 

1 . B Pattabhi Sitaramayya : Op. cit, Vol-I I, p. .; I /. 

2. Ibid p 3l2. 

3. Quoted in R. R. Diwakar's Satyaraha, ihc Power of Truth <Hin*UiiIc, Illinois, 
1 968), p. 84, 

4. M. V. Ramarao : Op. cit. p. 222, 


fury. The revolt was not confined only to the urban 
areas. The villagers joined the fray and brought the 
government to naught. The incidents in Tenali, Chirala, 
Guntur and Nidubrole deserve special mention. 

When the news of the Quit India Resolution and the 
arrest of all the prominent leaders reached Tenali, the 
people were fired by "patriotic emotionalism provoking 
even the peace-loving-non-political individuals to act 
in their own way for the success of what was generally 
believed the last and the final struggle to throw off the 
foreign yoke." ' In the early hours of August 12, 1942 
a handful of local town Congressmen started a proces- 
sion from one corner of the eastern part of the town. 
The procession marched towards the southern side 
shouting nationalist slogans, attracting large groups of 
people into it. By the time it reached the Taluk High 
School it was more than a thousand strong. On hearing 
the inspiring slogans the students, nearely one thousand, 
abruptly left the classes in the flash of a moment and 
joined the procession. When this "stream" of people 
reached the Gandhi Chowk the leaders of the procession 
were in a " mental conflict "- whether to erupt on the 
Taluk Office, local sub-jail and the police station or to 
turn their wrath on the railway station. Already the 
labourers of the rice mills in Morrispet joined the 
procession with their crude weapons like crowbars. At 
this juncture "the saner elements" prevailed and 
diverted the course of the procession to the railway 
station. * 

Here is the government account of what happened at 
the Tenali railway station. The processionists "asked 
the Station Master and the staff to vacate the premises. 

1. Signed statement of L. Mulctcswararao, Retired Headmaster, Municipal High 
School, Tenali. 

2. Ibid. 



Then they demolished a Booking Office, set fire to the 
Station Master's room and the Refreshment Hall and 
burnt the records and furniture. They also set fire to 
the Train Examiners' Office, where oil was stored for 
use in the railway engines. The Puri Passenger from 
Madras was stopped outside the station by tampering 
with the semaphore of the outer signal. Passengers 
were made to detrain and some of the carriages were set 
on fire with Kerosene oil brought from the station." ' 
There was one English passenger in the first class 
compartment of the Puri Express. The mob did not 
contemplate physical harm to the White passenger. 2 

The demonstrators saw to it that telephone and tele- 
graph links with the district head-quarters town-Guntur- 
were snapped. But they did not know that telephone 
link between the Public Works Department and Guntur 
was intact. Somehow the local authorities managed to 
send information to the District Collector. Here is an 
eye-witness account of the arrival of the District 
Collector and the Reserve Police in Tenali, their 
confrontation with the furious mob and the subsequent 
police firing : It was 12-30 P. M. The crowds having 
caused the greatest possible havoc in the railway station 
now were swarming into the Morrispet centre, the 
present bus-stand area. The Armed Reserve was on 
the main street in the south. The crowds were in an 
excited and emotional temperament biding their time to 
overrun the Armed Reserve. The Collector used his 
utmost tact and restraint, and tried to persuade the 
crowd to disperse. But the crowds were in no mood to 

relent In the meanwhile P. Raghavayya, a local 

lawyer and a member of the War Council went into the 

1. G.O.No. 1013. Public (General; dated April 9, I j-U. Calender cvenu of Civi 
Disobedience Movement ,: August - December, 19-U. 

(A P. State Archives, H. F. S. Section) 

2. Signed statement of L. Mukteswarurao. 


crowds to prevail on them to disperse. Even when he 
was still in the crowds, thj siiuatjon worsened. When 
it seemed thcit the crowds vvcro making a determined bid 
to advance on the Reserve Police the Collector yet 
quite reluctantly ordered the police to open fire. 

p. Raghavayya, who was engaged in pacifying the 

people, was injured" along with a number of other 
people. ' 

According to the government account twenty one 
rounds of ammunition were fired. The casualties were 
six killed and eleven injured. 

Shortly after the incident at the railway station a 
crowd attacked the P. W. D. Wharf Station. In the 
evening Section 144 Cr. P. C. was promulgated, 3 Later 
the government made many arrests under various 
sections ot the Defence of India Rules. ' ; 

On the samu day i.e., August 12, wild scenes were 
enacted in Chirala and Bapatla also. A procession of 
500 students in Chirala caused damage to the Court of 
the Sub-Magistrate and raided the Offices of the Sub- 
Registrar and Sale Tax and then stoned the Police 
Station, The procession then swelled to 1 500 strong. 
The processionists then went to the railway station and 
attacked thu cabin, cut the telephone and the signal 
wires. With great difficulty the goods shed was saved 
from being set fire to. The damage caused to the rail- 
way property at Chirala was estimated at Rs. 1,00,000/"-. 

1. (bid 

2. G U. N.i 1,IH Public (General) dated April 9, 1913. 
Calendar CVCMI-, i|" Civil DLsobcdieueu Movement ; August 

(A l k . State Aiwlirvc::t. H.KS Section). 

1 Ibid 

1 Khan S.theli Mil AJnlul A/i/ Sahcb B.iluidsjr. District Magistiate. Gunltir to the 
Chid Scf.claiy, tiuveniinent uf Madras, IMblic COenerat; Kc. N S'J confiden- 

tial } t. -I dated Ma> /'J. 1."i 1. 
(A, I*, Jiiate Archives II KS>. Sccli" 


InBapatia the excited mobs attacked the railway station, 
broke insulators and telegraph posts and damaged tele. 
phone equipment. l Earlier the mobs attacked the court 
of the Subordinate Judge. Kappagantulo Ramachandra- 
rao occupied the seat of the Sub-judge and declared the 
town a Free Town and the court a Frea Court. 

On August 13 students and other youngsters numbe- 
ring about 2,000 gathered as a riotous mob, and threw 
stones at the police in Guniur. A lathi charge was 
made without any effect. A number of constables 
received injuries on account of "violent stone throwing". 
When the mob advanced towards the Rosfcrvo Party "in 
a menacing attitude" the order to a\y$n firu was given. 
In all twenty rounds were fired, killiruj two and injuring 
twelve. j 

The August Revolt was not confined only to the 
urban areas of the Guntur district. Thu rural purls were 
considerably excited and the railway .stations and the 
government offices became the targets of mob fury at 
many places. From August to December there were 
violent incidents in various places like Chiruvur, Duggi- 
rala, Sangam Jagariamudi, Appapuram, Uppulur etc. 
The railway lines were tampered with and the govern- 
ment had to press into service "a company of the 
Cameronian Highlanders" in order to patrol the railway 
lines. 4 


The government resorted to levying collective fines 
upon people near and about the places, where railway 

I G. O. No. lOl.i. Public Genera! dated Aptil ' C.*S.. (..'.ifrtufer ocnis of Civij 

(A P. State Archives, H.F.S. S 
2. Unpublished diaries of Mantvita 
3 G O No, J013 Public (Gcncrau dated April 1 ,', 194,*. dlcmlcr events of Civil 

Disohudiencc Movement Auiuiat-Dcccmbcr, 
1. Ibid 


property or government offices were destroyed. Accor- 
ding to G. 0. No 1013, Public (General) dated 9-4-1943 
showing the "Calendar of events of Civil Disobedience 
Movement of August - December 1942" an amount of 
RS. 3,21,681 was imposed as collective fine in the 
Guntur district upto December 31, 1942. This was the 
highest amount collected in the Andhra districts. 1 The 
government, however, in case of some villages like 
pjttalavaripalcm, Mantennvaripalem, Allur and their 
hamlets exempted all government servants, retired 
government servants, non-resident land-holders and 
persons who gave information leading to the arrest of 
offenders from the apportionment of the fines. 2 

Though the Guntur district was largely wedded to 
the idea! of non-violence in its fight for national free- 
dom some attempts to manufacture bombs were made in 
the Guntur district. Three country bombs were blasted 
in the Guntur town. In these incidents the damage 
caused was little, offenders could not be traced and the 
cases were declared undetectable. ' In Ongole, Chima- 
kurthi Seshagirinio, Ravinuthala Venkateswarlu, Mudi- 
varthi Satyanarayana and Vemuri Venkata Subbayya 
manufactured a country bomb to destroy the record 
room of the District Munsiff Court on January 26, 1943. 
But as it was mishandled, it exploded and caused 
injuries to Ravinuthala Venkateswarlu and Vennuri 
Venkata Subbayya. The latter was sentenced to one and 
half years imprisonment. Chimakurthi Seshagirirao and 
Mudivarthi Sutyanarayana went underground, and when 
the Prakasam Ministry was formed in 1946 arrest 

t. M. Vcnkaturanf.aiya Op, cit Vol-IV, p. I6'j. 

2 G No :M--l Public General/ Department elated October 26, 1942. 

(A P. State Archives, HJ-'.S, Suction) 
3. Khan Saheb Mil. Abdul A/.i/ Sahcb Bahadur, District Magistrate, Guntur to the 

Chief Secretary, Government ol' Madras. Public (Gcneril) Re, I 150 confidential -43 

C-l dated May 29, 1 94 '3. 

(A. P, Stale Archives, 11. !'. .S, Sect ion) 


warrants against them were withdrawn. ] Kadiyala 
Yanadayya, a prominent loader of the Cnrtole taluq was 
taken to the police station for interrogation in connec- 
tion with the Ongoie Bomb Case !t appears B. Subba- 
rao Naidu, the police officer, during the course of 
interrogation lost temper and kicked Yanadayya at the 
most sensitive part of his body, Yanadayya fell to the 
ground dead. This happened on February 12, 1943 2 

The government blamed Gandhi and the Congress for 
the violent incidents of the Quit India Movement. In its 
communique the government stated that "the damage 
done was so extensive as to rn:;ko it incredible that it 
could have been perpetrated on the spur of the move- 
ment without special implements and previous prepara- 
tion; and in many instances the manner in which it was 
done displayed a great deal of technical knowledge". 3 
Gandhi disclaimed till responsibility, ami decided to go 
on fast for 21 days "in vindication of truth and 
justice". 4 The fast commenced on Ful.mjary 10, 1943. 5 
The whole country was plunged into deep anxiety, as 
Gandhi had undertaken the fast at the advanced age 
of 74. The Bar Association of Narasaraoput meeting on 
February 17, 1943 passed the resolution which stated: 
"This meeting expresses its deu ; j concern over the fast 
of Mahatma Gandhi and requests the government to 
release him immediately and unconditionally so as to 
enable him to examine the situation in the country, 
'de novo' and devise ways and means of ending the 

1. Ramachandruni VcnUatappa's article " OiiKl T:iluU;i In (ialiunuikJia Jatceya 
Chuitanyamu" in Gundlapalli Audinarayana MiaMipurtli StstuhiU. pp. 1 JMO l!>l. 

2. Ibid pp. Iii2, IIJ, 

H.Subbarao Naidu became notorious as U:ii'P"Kt Sulib.iriivuiiu " U.ippuU ' is a 

Telugu term which means country drum:,- KuMuijo u u u c<* diMurb tcress 
niuuting;; by beating * Dappulu ' 

See ..f?^ ndl " pa]I ' Au ^inarayaaShaMipujthi Sanctiiku pp f ! -t 

3. Quoted in R C. Majumdar's Hi.Mt.ry of Ficcilom Mn\rmsr!it in Imlia, Vol-lH 
(Calcutta, 1963), p 4R8, - " 

4. J. M Deb; _Blod aiul Ter s (Uombuy I04 f u s p 7.', 

5. B I'aitabhi Sitaramayya : Op cjt Vul-II. p. 48. i. 


present impasse as expressed by him in his letter to the 
Viceroy. This meeting further requests the Government 
to make use of the services offered by Mahatmaji in the 
task of forming a Notional Government forthwith to 
fight Fascist powers". ' "Gandhi's spirit triumphed 
over the flesh, and he emerged unscathed from the 
hazards of foodless weeks". ; He broke his fast on 
March 3, 1 943, : and the nation heaved a sigh of relief. 


The August revolt was the culmination of the Indian 
freedom movement, and the close of 1943 marked practi- 
cally the end of the movement in the Guntur district. 
After 1943 it was only a matter of determination of the 
mechanics of the transfer of power, over which the 
district did not have any control or influence The 
district did not have any bearing on the subsequent 
stages of the freedom movement like the formation of 
the^lndian National Army, the revolt of the Royal Indian 
Navy (February, 1946), the Cabinet Mission (March, 
1946), the interim Government and the direct action by 
the Muslim League for the vivi-section of the country 
into India and Pakistan except that three persons from 
the Guntur district - P. R- Bavaji, Shaik Silar and Kotha- 
palli Peter - joined the Indian National Arrny of Subhas 
Chandra Bose. " ; 

However during this period, considerable construc- 
tive work was done in the Guntur district. A training 
camp was started in 1945 at Vimiyacramam for spreading 
basic education, ij Due to war prices of essential 

I, S P. Thomson. Registrar. Hieh Court of Judicature, Madras lo the Secretary, 
Home Department, Government, ol Madras dated September 8, 1914, 
(A. P, State Archieveu, H. I- 1 . S. Section 

2 V, B Kulkurni : British Dominion in India and After (Bombay, 1964), <->. 

3. H PattabhiSitaramayya: Op. cil. Vol-II , p -i7y. 
4 Signed statement of P. K BavHJi. 

5. Fortnightly repnri of the District Magistrate, Guntur uatcd July u. 
>A. P Stale Archive?,, II. I : S Section) 


commodities skyrocketed. The Congressmen and the 
Communists formed United People's Food Committees 
and worked for proper distribution of grain. ' The 
district Communists who worked clandestinely in 1935 
under the name of the Labour Protection League, came 
overground and acquired considerable following among 
the agricultural labourers, youth, students and the 
factory workers between 1943 and 1947. They carried 
on agitation against corrupt officials, organised famine- 
relief-work, agitated for control over essential commo- 
dities and collected food and money for the famine- 
stricken in Bengal - 

Though the Guntur District Muslim League was 
formed in December 1945, the district was free from 
communal virus. The District Collector reported that 
"there were no clashes between the Hindus and the 
Muslims ". 4 


A war weary Britain under the Prime Ministership of 
Clement Attlee sent Lord Louis Mountbfitten to arrange 
transfer of power. As the Muslim League mounted up 
pressure for the creation of Pakistan, the Congress had 
no option but to accept the plan of the new Viceroy, 
which provided for two separate dominions - India and 
Pakistan. The British Parliament passed the Indian 

t. Madala Veerabhadrarao Guniuru 2 ilia Aahara S.nn^y., U'l.u-cul publication 
not mentioned. I W) (Tclugu). p.*. 

2 - ^LL ea . Vil _ Gunturu zllla Communistu Muliaiablia Report (il;u-c ami year of 

publication not mentioned) (Tclugu) pp. II, 12. 
3 Ibid, p 25. 

4. S. M. Hussain, District Magistrate, Guntur to the Registrar Uifih Court ol* 
Judicature Madras dated December 19, ly-ix 
(A. P. State Archives, H. !'. S. Section; 


Independence Bill on Juiy 15, 1947, and on August 15, 
1947 India became Independent. 

August 15, 1947 was a day of rejoicing for the 
people of the Guntur district, who contributed not a 
little to the freedom movement. The day was marked by 
prabhat pheris* processions, flag hoistings and public 
meetings. It was in the fitness of things that the 
freedom fighters gathered at the house of Konda 
Venkatappayya to celebrate to day with eclat. ' 

I. Madala Veerabhailraruo : Dcsahhukta Jccvita Charjtru Machilipatnam I966) 
), P- I7f 


Review and Conclusions 


The Guntur district was in the forefront of the 
freedom movement among the Andhra districts, since 
Gandhi took command of the Indian National Congress 
after its Calcutta Special Session in Soptemper, 1920. 
Before the emergence of Gandhi on the national scene 
there had been sporadic anti-British incidents in the 
Guntur district like the Kottappakondu riot of 1S09, 
when Chinappareddy made supreme sacrifice with the 
full throated cry of ' Vande Mataram ' and the Tenali 
Bomb blast of the same year in which several people 
were sent to jail to serve various terms. Delegates had 
enthusiastically participated in the annual sessions of 
the Congress. The Guntur District Congress Committee 
also had boen one of the earliest in ArHhni. T!u> District 
had made its impact felt on the Homo H-.Jle League too. 
But the manifestation of <;nti-British feelinrj or action 
should not be mistaken for u scientific approach to the 
national question. As a matter of iuot, ihe Indian 
National Congress acquired that sceintific approach 
with tha emergence of Gandhi us its undisputed leader. 
The district with the rest of the country under his leader- 
ship waged a relentless war till it achieved on August 
15, 1947 what she had set out to do in September 1920, 


During the non-cooperation days the district was 
ahead of other Andhra districts. There were also 
incidents and episodes which had not been enacted in any 
other part of the country. The whole population of a 
town - Chirala - Perala - evacuated their hearths and 
homes and braving burning heat and biting cold resided 
in mud and palmyra huts for full eleven months, and 
refused to be ruled against their will. It is hard to 
quote any other incident from the history of the Indian 
freedom struggle involving whole communities presen- 
ting such determined opposition to the alien rule and its 
unpopular acts of commission and omission. Even 
before no-tax campaign was experimented anywhere the 
district come forward and showed the way. The accounts 
of Harris and -Rutherford, officials sent by the govern- 
ment in the Fort St. George to deal with the situation 
arising out of the no-tax campaign in the Guntur district, 
show the solidarity of the masses and the leadership, 
the singleness of purpose and broad avenues which the 
district opened for the freedom fighters elsewhere. The 
government felt totally isolated during the campaign. 
This the local leadership and their following achieved 
without assistance from the national leadership. Some 
of the local leaders mused that had Gandhi come down 
to the district and guided the movement, they would 
have achieved greater successes. ' 

During the non-cooperation days it was not in the 
rich delta regions alone that the freedom movement was 
in high pitch. The not-too-rich and the not-too-literate 
uplands of Palnad were also considerably awakened. 
The Palnad Forest Satyagraha waged in such remote 
corners like Veldurthy, Jangameswarapuram and 
Minchalapadu amply proves this. 

I. Rurnachandruni Venkatappa's article "Ounolu Talukalo Baliumukha Jateeya 
Chttitanyaruu '* in Chmcllapiilli AudinamyiUui Shastipiirthi Sanehikti. p. 117. 

21 O HISTORY OP FREfePOM MOVf.-MlMT IN .*t;WTL l f? WSTklC.T 10^1-47 

Either in intensity or in initiative tho Guntur district 
was the pace-setter durinrt the non-cooperation move, 
ment The District Collector h;.cl to accept that he saw 
Swaraj established around him. One can understand his 
plight. Social boycott of the government officials was 
complete and thorough. He could neither secure food 
nor transport. He felt completely ostracised. Ruther- 
ford could not get the services of even one person in 
Pedanandipadu to guide him to the police-post. 

It can safely be said that 1922 is 'annus mirabilis' 
in the history of national movement in the Guntur 
district. It received all-India attention, and the govern- 
ment had to devise various ways to mow down the spirit 
of the peopie. 

In the subsequent stages of tho fruedom struggle 
like the salt satyagrahu, 1 932 civil disobedience and the 
August revolt of 1942 the Guntur district WHS ahead of 
other Telugu districts. Tho Chiuf Secretary to the 
Government of Madras reported to the government of 
India that during the salt satyagraha the Guntur district 
was the worst effected in the Madras presidedcy, as it 
was during the non-cooperation movement of 1921. l 
The pace of the movement was so quick that the 
district administration could not cope up with the 
situation. When promulgation of Section 144 Cr. P. C-, 
whole-sale arrests, raids on sibirams and lathi charges 
failed to mow down people, the administration became 
jittery, and fell heavily on even token symbols of the 
Congress. The result was the banning of the Gandhj 
cap which brought the administration odium from far 
and near. During the August revolt of 1942 the district 

I C. B. Coiterrci. C. I, Ii., I.C. .S, Ading Chief Secretary t> ihr Crovenmieii' of 
Madras to the Secretary to the Government ol' India. Public I>iTpmiiucnt Letter 
No 74-i-S dated August J. 19)0 

State Archives II. F S. Section) 


did not lag beeind. According to the 'Calendar of 
events of Civil Disobedience Movement August - Decem- 
ber 1942' prepared by the Madras Government, Guntur 
district was "the storm centre among the Andhra 
districts ". ' 


What then were the forces that pushed the Guntur 
district to the fore in the Andhra districts in all move- 
ments and the country in the non-cooperation movement 
during the national struggle for independence?. 

The pioneering activity of the missionaries in the 
educational field and the subsequent establishment of a 
number of educational institutions by the government 
and the philanthropic public on western lines brought 
about early political awakening in the district. Even as 
far back as the year 1913 Vinjamuri Bhavanacharyulu 
could enumerate 1770 schools attended by 17,234 
students. 2 With these educational institutions with 
A. E. L. M. College at their apex the Guntur district 
gained political lead. With the rapid strides made in 
education the people came to grips with the exploitative 
character of British imperialism. Analysing the 1932 
movement in the Guntur district, particularly Tenali, 
the District Magistrate refers to "the fairly widespread 
literacy "and the educated" rural ryot class which 

developed a taste for news-paper reading ". 

He says that Andhra Patrika was read daily "in almost 
every village ". That was why the area under his juris- 
diction had at least "ten years of history of anti- 
Government agitation." J 

I. G. O No. I-JH Public (General) Madras Government dated April 4, 1943. 
(A.I*. Slate Archives, H.F.S. Section) 

2. Presidential address of Vinjamuri Bhavamiehuryulu in the 23rd Guntur District 
Conference held at Ongolc on 4-b-l9M p 6. 

3. Guntur District Magistrate to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras, 
da ted May 3, IU32. 

(A.I>, State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 


Tho establishment of ;.; ;^g~ number of educational 
institutions brought Into existence & new power in 
politico - the power of tlr^ student community -which 
supplied to the leadership much combustible material 
for agitation. The students learnt their first lessons in 
political agitation during the non-cooperation days, 
Boycou of government schools and colleges and the 
establishment of national educational institutions on 
which Gandhi had laid stress evoked much response in 
the district. A good number of teachers also resigned 
and the effect of their sacrifice on the students cannot 
be underestimated. The principals of tl,e Andhra Chris- 
tian College like Rev. Struck and Dr. Sipos were not 
averse to the national aspirations ut the Indians. During 
the '1921 movement there we;y student strikes on a 
massive scale. Many students U;U Cnn.puses and be- 
came whole-timers in the notion-.! taru^jie for indepen- 
dence The national schools started in the district 
served as nurseries of patriots. This new found power 
of the students unfolded itself with greater vigour 
during the subsequent stages of the freedom movement. 
When the Congress gave "Quit India" coll to the british 
and when leaders at ail levels - nation;*!, provincial and 
local - were jaiied, the students joined the v,xcaed mobs 
and in a frenzy of fury made government offices and 
railway stations the targets of their ait.ick. Highly 
emotional as they were enthused by I&IUILTS, touched to 
the quick by the British attitudes to Inciio and the Indidns 
and inspired by the national movements in Arnjrica, 
Italy and Ireland a larg^ student body in tho district 
plunged into the notional movement and kupt up its 

Economic prosperity brought the people a certain 
amount of leisure by which they exercised themselves 
in political activities. Prof. IVL Vonkwtarangaiya says: 
" it js only when the prosperity of a people shows signs 
of growth that revolutionary movements emerge". He 


opines that constant preoccupation with the necessities 
of life would often result in the withdrawal from any 
important kinds of activities unrelated to staying alive. ' 
The District Magistrate in his report on the civil disobe- 
dience movement refers to this aspect. He says: 
"Cultivation being predominantly that of paddy gives 
the ryot atleast six months leisure in the year". 2 The 
result was his active participation in the movement. 

Economic prosperity coupled with advancement in 
education gave Guntur district among the Andhra 
districts leadership in the national movement for 


In the Guntur district it was the Brahmin community 
that was in the forefront of the freedom movement 
during the non-cooperation days. Konda Venkatappayya, 
Gollt?pudi Sitaramasastry, Unnava Lakshminarayana, 
N. V. L. Narasimhcsrao and Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya 
were all Brahmins and were the first to respond to the 
clarion call of Gandhi to boycott government institu- 
tions. It was they who were in the forefront and led the 
non-cooperation movement. It was understandable. 
The Brahmins were the first to receive education on 
western lines. Prof. M. Venk^ta Rangaiya says, "for 
ages they were the only educated community in South 
India, They had a monopoly of learning and scholar- 
ship Brought up in such a tradition they were the 

first to resort to the syste \\ of English education. .....The 

other communities took to English education much 

I . M. VunkuturuiiKaiya's article ' Sociology of the Freedom Movement in Andlira ' in 
Itihus Journal of llic Audhru Pradesh Archives. Vol-I, No. 1. p. I 65. 

7. Guntur District Magistrate to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Madrai, 
dated May .., 1932 

(A P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section). 


later. It is this time factor that is responsible for the 
Brahmins community leading the movement." ' 

During the subsequent stages of the freedom strug- 
gle, as education made rapid strides among all sections 
economically stronger castes came to the forefront 
politically. The Government of Madras concluded that 
in the 1932 movement the Kamma caste had been 
" specially prominent in hostility to the Government " 
and had "provided more than one leader and a consider- 
able proportion of the rank and file ..." - 

Important groups of Reddis, Tclagas, Rcijus and 
Veiamas also enthusiastically participated in the 1930 
and 1932 movements. * 

Vysyas were traditionally conservative and were 
wholly wedded to their profession - business. But 
they also participated in the movement since the non- 
cooperation days. The various hartals that the district 
witnessed might not have been possible but for their 
cooperation and assistance. During the non-cooperation 
days the Vysyas themselves came forward in Guntur and 
decided not to trade in foreign cloth incurring consider- 
able finbncial loss. When picketing was at its height 
in Tenali, merchants themselves closed their shops in 
good grace and went home. The Vysyas also came 
forward to donate towards the Tilok Swaraj Fund. 
Konda Venkatappayya ' ] and the government ' advance 

1. M. Venkataran K aiy;i's article ' Sociology of the I rrini.Mu Mm.-ii-.eiit in Amlhra' in 
Hih_as_ Journal of tht AnUhra PraticshArLhives \ol-l Nu |,p .*, 

2. Chief Secretary to the Government ol' Madras n> the S^MV,HV M rhe (iovcmment 
of India. Home Department dated May I 2, i >j-i letter S< MS /.i' S. ./) 
,A.1>, State Archives H.F.S. Section i 

3. Guntur District Magistrate to llic Chief Secretary in the t iuxcrninciil of Madras, 
dated May , 1 932 

(A P. State Archives, H.F S Section 

4. Konda Venkatappayya . Op. cit. p ?.S v i 

5 Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras to the Si-ercury to the Government 
oflndia Home Department dated May 1 2 IVJ2 Lccicr No Mb7j6l<> I/) 
(A P State Archives II. I- 1 i>. Section) 

O-7 PKCEOOM MOVrMFNT (N eil/NTUR otsrfcirT -:<;! d? 216 

identical explanation for the active participation of the 
Vysya community in frooaorn movement. As Gandhi was 
a Vysya, they developed u sentimental attachment to 
him and to his causes. 

Whosoever was in the leadership the people rose 
above narrow communal and caste feeling and whole- 
heartedly fought the alien government. The Justice 
Party, a loyalist non-Brahmin party, did not make any 
impact on the district political life. 1 hough the Justice 
Party indentified itself as a non-Brahmin party, non- 
Brahmin leaders and the masses never associated them- 
selves with it. 

The people of the Depressed Classes, however, were 
outside political life, and were not enthusiastic partici- 
pants in the national liberation movement. The reasons 
are not far to seek. From times immemorial they had 
been in a state of social and economic bondage to the 
caste Hindus. The Guntur district Magistrate wrote 
in 1932: "the depressed classes, generally may be 

considered to have no ideas in the matter these are 

generally so much under monetary or other obligations 
to other classes that their opposition to the Civil Dis- 
obedience Movement is more dorment than active". l 

The women of the district extended their hand of 
cooperation to their men, though not wholly or mas- 
sively, but substantially and impressively. The 
Bezawada All India Congress Committe meeting on 
March 31 and April 1, 1921 and- Ganchi's tour of the 
Guntur district immediately after it marked the entry of 
the women of the district into the national movement. 
They came forward to liberally contribute towards Tilak 

I . Guntur District Magistrate to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras, 
dated May J, 19J2. 
(A. P. State Archives, H.F.S. Section) 


Swaraj Fund. There were incidents, when women p?rted 
with all their jewellery for tho national cause. During 
the non-cooperation ci.iys the women picketed before 
shops dealing in foreign yoods, especially cloth. Unmva 
Lakshmibayamma, Yamini Purrvj Tilakam and Bharrthi 
Devi Ranga led batches of women and marie boycott 
programme a success. The massive cvaci.'ation of the 
population of Chirala-Perala - during Chirala-Perala 
Satyagraha against the imposition of a municipality 
might not have been possible but for the willing coopera- 
tion of the women. It was during this movement that 
Ravula Alameiu Mangarmna, an elderly, lady, courted 
imprisonment for refusing to pay municipal !;, xts. She 
was probably one of the first women to go to juil in the 
Andhra Districts for political offences. In the Peda- 
nandipadu and Duddukur no-tax campaign the women 
were active in the social boycott of the government 
officials. During the Pulmid Forest Satyagrahti the women 
developed intrepidity and in the full presence of mounted 
police and machine-gun toting tommies they rescued 
their cattle from the pounds. In the subsequent move- 
ments also the women of the Guntur di stric t were active- 
They ran Sibirams, braved lathi charges, suifered every 
indignity at the hands of the police, and courted long 
terms of imprisonment for the national Ciiuse. 


A salient feature with regards to the freedom move- 
ment in the district was communal harmony between 
the Hindus and the Muslims. At the heujht of commu- 
nal frenzy in miiny pcrts of the country, the District 
Magistrate, Guntur, reported thdi "there were no 
clashes between the Hindus uui the Muslims" in trie 
district. ' 

r S 11. Mussain. Disirict M;iK'i\tr;ite, Cruniur to the Registrar, II u'.h Court of the 
Judicature Madras dntvd December IV, lMij, 
(A P State Archives, H F*. S- Section) 


Yet another salient feature of the freedom movement 
in the Guntur district was absence of violence on the 
part of freedom fighurs after Gandhi had t?ken over 
reins of the national movement. During the worst 
periods of repression the people's confidence in the 
Gandhian techniques of satyagraha were not shaken. 
They braved lathi charges, frequent promulgation of 
Section 144 Cr, P C., whole- sale arrests, police searches 
and the like, but never even once did they swerve from 
the path of non-violence. Chauri Chaura type of 
incidents were not enacted in the district. 

The August revolt of 1942, however, was an excep- 
tion. But in this case the government was much to 
blame for the incidents. All leaders - national, provin- 
cial, district and t&luq - were jailed, and there was no 
responsible person to guide the people. So every person 
proved a leader unto himself, and the mobs in a frenzy of 
fury resorted to the destruction of railway stations, 
government offices and other symbols of British autho- 
rity. The mobs in Tenali on August 12, 1942 in a state 
of high excitement destroyed all that came in their way. 
But they had the nobility to conduct a White passenger 
to a place of safety in the railway station. Further 

".. whosoever did anything in this movement, 

although not always in conformity with the strictest 
code of non-violence, did it in a mood of uncontrollable 
excitement and not out of my intention of knowingly 
disobeying the leadership". ' 

There were bomb blasts - three in Guntur and one in 
Cngole - during the Quit India Movement. Even accor- 
ding to the government version there was no loss either 

I. S. K.. Patil : The Indian NutioniiljCungrcss - A case for i 
lAundh, I94V, P IB. 


to life or to property. ! These incidents were only an 
exception, not a rule. The bomb-cult did not evoke 
response in the district. 

I. Khan Sahcb M,i. Abdul A/i/ Saheh Bahadur. District M.isiMratc. Guntur to the 
Chief Secretary 10 the Government uf M;u!rus Public Kicncral) Department 
Madras dated May 39, i M.i 

Re. llbO-Conf-i/c 
A. P Slate Archives, II, F S 



(In the text ail Indian words are italicised, when they 
occur for the first time.) 




Andhra Keaari 

Andhra Ratna 
















Presidential Address 
Lion of Andhra 
Diamond of Andhra 
One sixteenth of a Rupee. 
After the introduction of the 
metric system annas were 
withdrawn from circulation. 
Bad character 

From the Later Vedic times 
the Hindu society came to be 
divided into four castes - 
Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vysya and 
Sudra - based on the division 
of labour. The Brahmin occu- 
pied the highest stratum in 
the Hindu society. 

Spinning Wheel 
Stray verses 
Country drums 


Voluntary exile 
Harvest year 



..l.'NTl,- r:| 

|',f l'i?.1-47 













Khadi \ 

Khilaphat ( 





of Mohammad 
nny flight. 

Ac ; ;ninistr it ive unit of a 

uiluq inainiy for revenue 

Clarified butter 




: People of the depressed 

classes. The term is coined 

by Gandhi. 

: Closure of all business- 
houses, educational and 

other institutions as a mark 

of protest 
: The flight 

from Mecca 
: Victory 
: Motherland 
: National 
; College 
: The high caste sudras, tillers 

of the soil, 
: Village Officer in-charge of 

village records 
: Secretary 
: Lion 

: Hand spun cloth 

: It was the post-world War 1 
movement to protect the 
interests of Khalifa, the 
Sultan of Turkey. 


Collection of Land revenue. 
A heavy stick used by the 
police to disperse crowds. 

Hindu Goddess of wealth & 






Mangala Sutra 















Birthday of Lord Siva, one of 

the Hindu Trinity. 

Great Sou? 


Residential area of the Hari- 

jans in a village 



Sacred thread which a Hindu 

woman wears after marriage. 
: Hymn 

: A learned Muslim 
: A village servant who assists 

the Village Officers 
: A cess on trade 
: Village Officer in-charge of 

law and order. He also 

collects land revenue. 








People of the depressed 

: A village administrative unit 

or a council of village elders 

to decide petty cases. 
: A respectable term for a 

Brshmin, especially a Neogi. 

Neogis are secular Brahmins, 
: Humiliation 

: Council 

: Thatched huts 

: School 


P.. * f ;: ,, ... 
< ... '- a i C! 

-x a 

f i'i 















Scinti Sena 

S -j r v cs s w a m u 
Sevak Sangham 
Shastipu; thi 


^ ,.". S^.'-cJ p 1 ., i" 

v ;.. ;? iO - 1 ^ nr 

^ing To ^ town 

'. U' i' ''> iTi 

in the early 

e o;--v. n. 

! n i : i : t; i ! 

c. lax 

B o o k 

Che. riot 

Kii>,:i. In the Tuiugu country 
tiit. word '' i" : l;.!J,.. ' 

*.: - "i s t e , , j c a s i ^ t ] . v' o i, :-, ::1 r. o 1 he 
\AjU-ncfc; M ; the; ccun'. ry. 

: i-iitj!': c^.i-jtu Gu ;;,.&, liliurs of 

the soil. 
: The i'a ijfidi;rd Indian coin 

C ,----., t 

. r u o i- s 1 1 

: Litei^-turj 

I i.'J J 

: Society 

: Edition or i ssue 

: Association 

: Century 

* *-i *"' i 1 ' | ' * i 'i rl *i >-\ 

a i*-- * ' ^--^ ' *-j* I *-J * ./r 1. J t^- ^ 4 ? i_j 

: Civ ii r5K;.--it iu;o 
: One who prci;isB8 satyc:graha 
: Soci-jl Service oaj;.inistJtion 
: Coiugiuuon o; sixty years in 

ii num's life. It is a day of 


HZSTOVV ? ..p ?:?tt:ir>M MC 

Ssbiram * 

Srr.ruthulu : 

Sopanamu : ^;-J:vMv 

Suddhi : r'^'ifir:,i!if;n 

Swadeshi : ru-;i r.?!i..-,j io r,nt;'s own 

Swaraj ') . c ,, r , , 

_^ . " ... ' -i i \ I ' t >.." 

Swsrejya s 

Sweeya Cliaritra : Autobinnr -;piw 

Tahsiidar : A t;jlnk ri{ r :hnr(jo of 

the colloriirp. of l.jnr 1 rovo- 

;K-;iv. y. 

TIII * Aonvnistrnti vc division of n 

' a f ''ir^ri'-.t nK.inly for '.ne revenue 

Telugu : i\;lo;hi.:r toiujuo of Ancihra 

Tidhi : D;.ite in ' |-ie 

Tom-tominq : B:;iini(i Iho c : r;i;^ to attract 

V' * * 

the iitention of the people 
hofore n jjovernrn^nt notifi- 
cation or order is announced. 
r ven tociay information is 
cnrried to the people in the 
vil!;gs by tom-toming. 

Triveni : Confluence of three rivers. 

Udyamamu : Movement 

Vf.kil : Indian attorney 

Vi-.nde Mataram ' : Sntutainn to thee Oh, 


VeUimas : High caste Sudras 

Vetti : A village-servant who assists 

the kriranam and the Munsiff 

Vichcrana : Enquiry 

Viriyalaya : Educational institution 

Vidya : Education 



Vivaha Vidhi 




: Victory 

: Revolutionary 

: Conventions of the institu- 
tion of marriage 

: Religious ceremony 

: The third caste in the Hindu 
religion. The main profession 
of the Vysya is business. 

: Journey 

: A land-lord who pays land 
revenue direct to the govern- 

: District 

: Horse-driven coach. 


( Unpublished ) 

I Andhra Pradesh State Archives documents pertain- 
ing to the years commencing from 1919 and ending with 
1947, They include official letters, C. I. D. reports, 
Police findings, Government Orders, District Magistrate 
F W. Stewart's Account of lie Salt Satyagraha Movement in the 
Guntur District dated January 20, 1 931 , Report of Harris , 
Member, Board of Revenue on the situation in Krishna, Guntur and 
Godavari dated January 16, 1922, Calendar evcfitx of Civil Dis- 
obedience Movement August - December, W42, Government 
(Madras) Fortnightly Re/torts, statements of patriots 
collected and filed etc. The letters, reports and other 
documents cited above are not classified, and hence 
do not contain any particular reference number. They 
are arranged chronologically in the files of the History 
of the Freedom Struggle Section of the Andhra Pradesh 
State Archives (Central Record Office), Hyderabad. 


II Questionnaire is presented and signed statements of 
the following freedom fighters of the Guntur district 
are obtained: Bavaji, P. R., Ghouse Beig, Mukteswara- 
rao, L,, Narasimham, S. V. L., Punnayya Sastry, G., 
Sastry, S- V. S., Sivasankara Swamy, T. Subbarao, 
Boddapati and Visweincidham, Kota. 

( Published ) 

1 Andhra Christian College (Guntur) Annual Calendar 

2 Annie Besant: How India wrought for freedom 
(Madras, 1915) 

3 Asthana, Pratima : Women's movement in India 
(Delhi, 1i74) 

4 Banorjee, Sir Surendranath : A Nation in Making 
(Calcutta, 1963) 

5 Bayly, C. A,, : The Local Roots f Indian Politics: 
Allahabad 1880-1920 (Oxford, 1975) 

6 Bose, Nirmal Kumar & Patwardhan, P. H. Gandhi in 
Indian Politics (Bambay, 1967) 

7 Bose, S. K. : Surendranadh Banerjec (New Delhi, 1 974) 

8 Bose, Subhas Chandra : The Indian Struggle 1920-42 
(Bombay, 1964) 

9 Chandra, Bipin, Tripathi, Amales & De, Barun 
Freedom Struggle (New Delhi, 1972) 

10 Collins, Larry & Lapierre, Dominique Freedom at 
Midnight (New Dedlhi, 1975) 

11 Deb, J. M: Blood and Tears (Bombay, 1945) 

12 Dcsabhakta Centenary Souvnir 

13 Desai, A.R: Social Background of Indian Nationalism 
(Bombay, 1966) 

14 Diwakar, R.R: Satya gratia* the power of Truth 
(Hinsdale, Illinois, 1968) 

15 Edward d' Cru z, S. J: India the Quest for Nationhood 
(Bombay, 1967) 


16 Frykenberg, Robert Eric: Guntur District 1788-1848 
(Oxford, 1965) 

17 Gallagher, John., Johnson, Gordon & Seal, Anil; 
Locality, Province and Xation (Cambridge, 1973) 

18 Gopal, S: British Policy in India 1858-1905 
(Cambridge, 1965) 

19 -do- The Vicerovaltv of Lord It win: 1926-31 
(Oxford, 1957) 

20 Gwyer, Maurice Sir & Appadonii, A : Speeches and 
Documents on the Indian Constitution /V2/-/7, in two 
volumes (Oxford, 1957) 

21 Hanumantarao, B.S. L. : Guntnr Through A gen 
(Brochure issued by the A. L C. C. during its session 
in Nehrunagar, Guntur on November 7, 8, 9 1964.) 

22 India in 1921-22 

23 Krishnarao, G. V: Chinila and Pcnilu Tragedy: An 
Episode of Voluntary h'.\i le ( M u d r a s . 1922) 

24 Kulkarni, V. B : British Dominion in India and after 
(Bombay, 1964) 

25 Majumdar, A. K: Advent of Independence 
(Bombay, 1963) 

26 Majumdar, R. C : History of Freedom Movement in India 
in three volumes. (Calcutta, 1963) 

27 Mansergh, Nicholas : Documents on the Transfer of 
Power, 1942-7 Vols. I to V (London, published during 
different years) 

28 Marques of Linlithgow: Speechex and Statements 
1936-43 (New Delhi, 1945) 

29 Memorandum /minted to A/r. Malte Lindh, Secretary, 
International Committee of the Young /V0 />/</ union of the 
Baptist Union of Sweden on the occasion of his v/v/r to the 
A. B. M Junior College, On gale on 2fi-7~'7I hv the 
Principal & Staff of t/w A. B. M. Junior Collet Ongole, 
(Ongole, 1971) 

30 Menon, K. P. C : Nehnt* the Spring of Eternal Youth 
(Lahore, Year of publication not mentioned) 

31 Menon, V P: '//,* Transfer of power In India 
(Bombay, 1957) 

HISTORY OP PHl-tD^M MOVJ-McNf *N '..UNIUh UibVKlCT 1921-4? 227 

32 Moon, Penderal Sir: !)i\'!tL' wit! Quit (London, 1961) 

33 Mukherjes, Hirondrrinaili : India Stni$i\k's j\*r Freedom 
(Bombay, 1947) 

34 Munshi, K. M : Pil^nma^c to Frtc.dom* (Vol. I) 
(Bombay, 1964) 

35 Nohru, Jawaharlal : An Autobiography (London, 1 936) 

36 Ongo/e (.iirh 9 School .-tnHivarsaries ( Harriet Cloitgh Memorial 
Training School far Wumm) (Qncjoie, 1957) 

37 Patii, S. K. : Tlw. Indian National Congress- A Case for 
its R: organisation (Aundh, 1945) 

38 Pattabhi Sitaramnyya, B. : History of the Indian 
National Congress in two volumes. (New Delhi, 1969) 

39 Philips, C. H : The Evolution of India and Pakistan : J85 7 
to 1947 (Oxford, 1982) 

40 Rarnachanciraryo M : Municipal Reforms in South India 
(Madras, Year of publication not mentioned) 

41 Ramanarao, M. V : A Short History of the Indian National 
Congress (New Delhi, 1959) 

42 Ranga, N. G : l<jght for Freedom (New Delhi, 1b68) 

43 Ram Go pa I : How India Struggled for Freedom 
(Bombay, 1967) 

44 Sarojini Regoni : High-lights of Freedom Movement in 
Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad, 1972) 

45 Sharma, Jagdish : India's Struggle for Freedom (New 
Delhi, 1962) 

46 Shivarao, B : India's Freedom Movement - Some Notable 
Figures (New Delhi, 1972) 

47 Spear, Percivai : India, A Modern History (A.nn Arbor, 


48 -do- : A History of India, Vol-II (Pelican 
Series) (London, 1965) 

49 Subbarau, Gummidithala Venkata : Andhra Ratna 
Duggirala Gopalakrislmayya: Life and Message 
(Bezawada, 5035 Sravanam) 


50 Subbsrau, G. V: Ufe and Times of A'. V. Reddi Naidu 
(Flajshmundry, 1957) 

51 Subbarao, Mittadoddi Venkata : The Present Political 
Situation in India. An address delivered hy Mittadoddi 
Venkaia Subharao, Second Grade ra Wrr, Qngols, Guntur 
district, Madras Presidency at a public meeting held at 
Ongole on July 13, 1907. 

52 Suda, J. P : Indian National Movement (Meerut, 

53 Statistical Ail as of the Guntur District: 1360 (fasti) 
(Hyderabad : 1950-51) 

54 Swavely, C. K : The Luthrrn Enterprise in India (Place 
of publication not mentioned, 1352) 

55 Tahmankar, D. V: Stmhir Paid (London, 1970) 

56 Tairse, L. R : Boycott of British /w //>/> Goods - As a 
businessman sees It (Bombay, Ye?;r o- publication not 

57 Tara Chand : History of Freedom Movement in India 
(in four volumes) (New Delhi, 1972) 

58 Tanduikar, T. G : /;//> of Mahatma (ianJhi (in two 
volumes) Bombay,: (published in 1351-52) 

59 The Home Rule League De'nand. Rein;: the Address and 
Mtwwanfla prewired hy the Hume Rule l.cagiw to If. E. the 
Viceroy and the Secrctury of State- (M.'!(!r;!S, 1917) 

60 The Prakasam Birth Centenary Swtwnir (Andhra Pradesh, 

61 Twenty. First Andhra Mnha Sahha* tirnntr* 26th ami 27th 
AugiMti 1939 A souvenir. 

62 Unclassified Andhra Christian College (Cf-infur) records. 


63 Unclassified Andhra University (Waltair) records. 

64 Unclassified Ongo/e Municipality (Ongolc) records. 

65 Venkatarangaiya, M : The freedom Struggle in Andhra 
Pradesh (Andhra) in four volumes. (Hyderabad, 
published in different years) 

66 Weiner, Myron : Party Building in a M?r Nation 
(Chicago, 1967) 

( Unpublished ) 


IM. V. L. Narasimharao recorded important events of 
the freedom movement, his own impressions of them 
and his contribution to the freedom movement in the 
Guntur district. Narasimharao was an active partici- 
pant in the various struggles connected with the 
freedom movement since the non-cooperation days 
of 1921. 

The papers are neither classified nor paged. They 
are now in the possession of N. V, L, Narasimharao, 
Kottapet, Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) 


The diaries are now in the possession of Mantena 
Venkataraju's son M. V. R. Krishnamraju, Mantena- 
varipalem, (Via) Chandole, Bapatla Taluq, Guntur 
District, Andhra Pradesh. 

( Published ) 

(Inclusive of autobiographies, biographies, speeches, 
shastipurthi sanchikas r reports of political parties 
and social service organisations and resolutions of 
the Guntur District Congress Committee) y 


1. Andhra Desa Grandhalaya Cliuritra (Published in the 
name of Ayyanki Venkataramanayya, Secretary 
Andhra Desa GrancJha Bhandagara Sangham) 
(Author's name not mentioned) (Bezawada, 1916) 

2. Apparao, Basavarflju : Sri Andhra Ratna Dvutulu 
(Vijayawada, 1963) 

3. Avasarandhra Rashtriya Mahaxahha 1VIX August 18 Aahvana 
Sanghadhyakshulu Sriyuta Eka Lakshmi Narasimham 
Pant hit In gari swagatopanyasamit 

(Place and year of publication not mentioned) 

4. Avasurandhra Rashtriya Mahasabha - (ntnturu, /7, / 
August 1918 - Kaiinadhuni Xitvsw-aranw Panthulu ari 
Adhyakshopanvusanm (Place cinci year of publication 
not mentioned) 

5. Balakrishna Murthy, Achyutuni : Chirala Charitra - 
Jateeya Udyamamu ( C h i r a I a , 1970) 

6. Chenchayya, Darsi : ;Vr/ Divya Smnttuhi (Vijayawada, 


7. -do- : Nenu, Na Dcxtmiu (Vijayawada, 


8. Chidambara Sastry, Pisupati : Ongolu Mahummari 
(Ongole, year of publication not mentioned) 

9. Gopalakrishnayya, Duggjrala : Chunmilu (Bezwada, 
year of publication not mentioned) 

10- -do- : Rama<himln (Bezawada, 


11. Gopalakrishnayya, Vavilala : Jateeva Vanchu 
(Guntur, 1939) 

1 2 Gundlapalli Audinarayana Shastipurti Stmcfnka 
(Ongole, 1972) 

13. Guntutu Mandala (jranthalayti Chart tra 

(Published by the Gunturu Mandala Granthalaya 
Sangham) (Author's name and place of publication 
not mentioned, 1939) 

14. Gunturu Zilla Congress Committee : Yuddhamu -Congress 
(Report) (year of publication and place not 


15. Gunturu Zilla llarljana Scvaka Sanglmm Report (1 -10-39 
to 30-9-40) (Guntur, 15*40) 

16. Kaleswararao, Ayyadevara : Na Jcevitha Katha, 
Navy and/i ramu (Vijayawada, 1959) 

17. Karvadarsi Nivedik : Gunturu Mandala Grandhalara 


Sangham- 30-7-1938 nundi 10 -ft -40 varaku (Kanagala, 


18. Kesari, K, N, : Na Chinna natf Muchchatlu (Madras, 


19. Lakshminarayana, Unnava : Malapalli (Sanga 
Vijayamu) (Madras, 1964) 

20. Lakshminarayana, Unnava, Narasimhacharyulu, 
Madabhushi Vedantam Falanati Adavi Ihhandulu 
(Place and year of publication not mentioned) 
(Enquiry Commission Report submitted to the 
Andhra Provincial Congress Committee on the 
grievances of the people of Palnad) 

21. Nagabhushana Sarma, Mudaii : Telugu Sahityamu- 
Gandhi Prahhavamu (Hyderabad, 1970) 

22. Nalgava Gunturu Zilla Communism Mahasahha Report 
(Place ond year of publication not mentioned) 

23. Narayanaraju r Dandu, Rangam Sresti, C. V-, & 
Subrahmanyam, Gonuguntla Venkata., : Palnati 
Durantamuhty Andhra Rastra Jateeyopasangha Niyamita 
Vicharana Sangha Sabhyula Nivedika. 

(Enquiry Commission Report submitted to the 
Andhra Provincial Congress Committee on the 
atrocities committed by the government in Palnad) 
(Place of publication not mentioned, 1923) 

24. Prakasam,T: Na Jeevita Yatra (Madras, 1 972) 

25. Pundarikakshudu, Damaraju : Gunturu Goppa (Guntur, 


26. Ramakrishnayya, GuMapalli : JateeyaVidya (Guntur, 


27. Ranga, N. G ; Bharathi Devi Smruthulu (Nidubrolu, 



28. Rangayya Naidu, Gnclde: Palmidu Durnuta Vichamnopa 
Sangha Nivcdika (Enquiry Commission Report sub- 
rnitted by Gadde Rangayya Naidu to the Andhra 
Provincial Congress Committee on the atrocities 
committed by the government in Palnad) 

(Place and year of publication not mentioned) 

29. Resolutions of the Guntur District Congress 
Committee on various events and topics (available 
in printed form in Saraswathi Niketun, Vetapalem) 

30. Satyanarayana, Kambhampati : Artha Sutahda Kalamu 
lo Andhrula Paina October Vi plava Pnihhavanni (Madras, 


31. Sresti, V. V : Gunturu Mandnla Grandhahya Charitra 
1931-32 (Guntur, Year of publication not mentioned) 

32. Subbaraya Sarma, Grandhi Venkata : Jwita Dvayanm 
(Bezawada, 1933) 

33. Subrahmanyam, Guddeti : Siityar(ihti Samara Charitra 
(Guciur, 1956) 

34. Tenali Congress Committee Report : 11-4-3H to 30-4-39 
(Tenali, 1939) 

35. Varalakshamma, Kanuparthi : Unnuvu Dampathulu 
(Srimannarayanapuram, Krishna district, 1963) 

36. Veerabhadrarao, Madala: Desahhuktu Jeevita Charitra 
(Machilipatnam, 1966) 

-do- : Gunturu /.ilia Ahaani Sainasya 

(Place of publication not mentioned, 1947) 

-do- : (juntum '/.ilia Smirajyodyamamit 

1920-30 Ujvala Ghattaht. (Place of publication not 
mentioned, 1974) 

39. Veerayya, Daruvuri : Gunturu Mandala Sarvawamu 
(Guntur, 1964) 

40. Venkatappayya, Konda, : Sweeva Charitra 
(Hyderabad, 1966) 

41. Venkata Ramanayya, Ayyanki : Andhra Dcsa Grcwdha- 
laya Charitra (Bezawada, 1916) 


42. Venkateswarlu, V : Andhra Kcsari Tangutnri Prakasam 
Panthulugari Jeevithamu (Madras, 1 951 ) 

43. Vignana Sarvaswamu, Vol-llI (Madras, 1959) 

44. 1914 June 4> 5 tedula Ongole nandu j angina 23 va Gunturu 
Mandala Sabha yandu Sriyuta Vinjamuri Bhavanacharyuhi 
gar f A gnisanadhi pa tyo panyasamu 

(Vinjamuri Bhavanacharyulu's Presidential address 
in the Guntur district Conference held at Ongole on 
June 4th and 5th, 1914,) 
(Place of publication and year not mentioned) 

45. 27 va Qimturu Mandala Sabha, SattenapaUi-Sabhadhyakshu- 
dagu Sriyuta NyapatJii Hanumantharao Panthulu gari 
Upanyasamu (Guntur, 1918) (Presidential speech of 
Nyapathi Hanumantharao Panthulu in the 27th 
Gunturu District Conference, Sattenapalli) 



Itihas (Published by the 

Andhra Pradesh 
State Archives, 

The Hindu (Madras) 
Younglndia (Ahmadabad) 


Andhra Patrika (Madras) 

Andhra Patrika (Weekly) 

Annual Number 1 973-74 


Desabhimani (Guntur) 

Krishna Patrika (Machili- 


Gunturu Patrika (Guntur) 



Addanki, 49 

Ahmad, John, 103 

American Baptist Mission, 6 

Ananda Mutt, 15 

Andhra Christian College, 6, 10 

Andrews, C. F., 21 

Apparao, Basavaraju, 75, 79, 84 

Appayya Sastry, Pathuri, 17 

Arundale, G. S., 29 

Audinarayana, Gullapalli, 193 

B ' 

Bajaj, Jamanlal, 60, 156 

Bailie, Miss Helen L., 7 

Banerjee, W. C., 31 

Baptist Missionaries, 5 

Basavayya, Chimakurthi, 105 

Basavapunnayya, Makineni, 190 

Beg, Ghouse, 68 

Belgani, Muhammud Raja Khan, 68 

Besant, Annie, 28, 29 

Bhavanacharyulu, Vinjamuri, 32, 35, 63 

Brown, Judith M, 69 

Chalapatirao, Neelamraju, 57 
Chandra, Bipin, 9, 16 
Chandramouli, Kalluri, 172 
Chatterjee, Bankim Chandra, 15 
Chenchayya, Darsi, 23 
Chenchayya, Ranga, 98 

Chmnammi, Chigurupati, 144 

Choudary, Bhavayya, 159 

Choudary, Kuppuswamy Jagarlamudi, 14, 76 

Choudary, Parvataneni Veerayya, 124, 127, 135 

Choudary, Saranu Ramaswamy, 11 

Clough, Dr. J. E., 7 

Curzon, Lord, 22 


Dandayya, Eka, 32 

Das, C. R., 151 

De, Barun, 9 

Devarampadu, 171 

Dikshitulu, KoSachana Appayya, 31 

Dontalavagu, 1 16 

Dutt, Michael Madhusudan, 15 


Elango, C. F., 191 

Fareed, Sheik, 62 
Frykenberg, Robert Eric, 2 


Galleti, A., 124, 128 
Gandhi Cap Case, 173 
Giri, V. V,, 88 
Gopal, S., 21 

Gopalakrishnayya, Duggirala, 8, 17, 18, 75 contd. 159 
Govardhana Rao, Rachapudi 124 
Graham, R. A., 150 

Gundurao (Deputy Collector), 106 
Guntur Patrika, 20 

Gupta, Polisetty Hanumayya, 127 

Gupta, Sanagapalli Rcmaswami, 31, 32, 63 


Hanumantharao, Dr. B S L r 94 
Hanumantharao, Desiraju, 83 
Hanumantharao, Nyapathi, 31,36 
Hanumanthu, Kanneganti, 111 
Harisarvothama Rao, Gadicherla, 24 
Harris, 125, 132 
Heyer, Rev. C. F., 5 
Home Rule Movement, 28 
Hopper, Captain, 13 
Hunter, Mark> 24 
Hydari, Akbar, 124, 143 


lyengar, Pardhasarathy, C. R., 38 

Jangameswarapuram, 100 
Jallianwallabagh, 33 
Jayakar, 152 
Jefferson, 9 


Kaleswararao, Ayyadevara, 27, 107, 162 

Kameswararao, Annapragada, 172 

Kanakaraju Pantulu, Buddhiraju, 32 

Karempudi, 98 

Kesari, K u N., 25, 27 

Kesava Pillai, P., 97 

Kotamma, Patibandla, 64 

Koteswararao, Kolavennu, 13 

Kotilingam, Sutaram, 53 

Kotappa Konda, 15, 25 

Kothapatnam, 190 

Krishna Murthy Pantulu, Gurazada, 84 

Krishna Patrika, 19, 20 


Krishna Rao, Govindarajula Venkata, 76, 89 
Krishna Swamy, C., 184 


Lakshmibayamma, Unnava, 62, 64, 108, 167 
Lakshminarasimharn, Chilakamarthi, 16 
Lakshminarasimham, Ramuyanam, 51 
Lakshminarasimharn, Tanguturi, 51 
Lakshminarayana, Unnava, 8, 12, 17, 18, 28, 102, 104, 

Lakshmi Narasimha Chetty, Gujula, 2 

Leiden, Karl, 4 


Macherla, 101 
Malapalli, 18 

Malaviya, Madan Mohan, 31, 152 
Mangamma, Ravuri Alamelu, 76 
Minchalapadu, 109 
Mitra, Dinabandhu, 15 
Montegu, Edwin Samuel, 29 
Muhammad, Dr. Syed, 62 


Nagabhushanam, Pathuri, 13 

Nageswararao, Kasinadhuni, 11, 19, 36, 137 

Naidu, Gadde Rangayya, 112 

Naidu, Ethirajula, 68 

Nallapadu, 6 

Narasimhacharyuiu, Madabhush' Vedantam, 102, 104, 


Narasimham, Kappera, 60 
Narasimham, S. V. L., 11 
Narasirnharao, Chatti, 159 

Narasimharao, N, V. L., 8, 9, 14, 127, 150, 162, 180 
Narayanarao, P. L., 52 
Narayanarao, Valluri, 57 


Narayana Raju, Dandu, 112,137 
Nellore r 1 1 

Nehru, Jawaharlal, 165 
Nehru, Motilal, 148, 150, 151 
Nila Darpan, 15 

o, 52 

Paine, Thomas, 9 

Pal, Bipin Chandra, 14, 22, 31 

Pandalai, 175 

Patel, Vittalbhai, 152 

Patel, V. S., 138, 151 

Ponnur, 122 

Prakasam T., 8, 13, 57, 60, 83, 137 

Prakasarao, Bhattiprolu, Surya, 105 

Prattipadu, 6 

Prasad, Dr. Rajendra, 60, 156 

Pundarikakshudu. Annavarapu, 31 

Pundarikakshudu, Damaraiu, 17, 18 


Radhakrishnayya, Chivukula, 51 
Radha Krishnayya, Maddi, 60, 127 
Raghavarao, Bellamkonda, 14 
Raghavayya, Chirala, 83 
Raghavayya, G. V., 110 
Rajagopalachari, C., 148, 192 
Raja of Panagal, 74, 91 
Rajeswararao, Chandra, 190 
Rajyalakshmamma, Vasireddi, 64 
Ramalingayya, G., 153 
Ramachandrarao, Buddhiraju, 13> 161 
Ramachandrarao, M., 72 
Ramadandu, 76 


Ramadas, V., 82, 155 
Ramakoteswararao, Kolnvennu, 57,89 
Rarnakrishna Rao, Kondapi, 57 
Ramamurthy, Machiraju, 122, 123 
Ramapuram, 100, 146 
Ramaswamy Chowdarr, Tripuraneni, 10 
Ranga, Bharatj Devi, 178 
Ranga, N. G,, 8, 9, 14, 16, 188 
Rao, D. S. R., 13, 75, 79, S3 
Reddy Naidu, Sir K. V., 67, 68, 1 90 
Reddy, Chinnappa, 15, 26, 27 
Roberts, Miss. Susan, 7 
Rutherford, T. G., 84, 128, 13G 

Sadvichara Divya Gnana Sabha, 

Saheb, Chintapalli Husswin, 103 

Saheb, Nabi, 103 

Sarva Janik Sabha, 31 

Sastry, Cheruvu Vonkata Subrahmnnya, 121 

Sastry, Seetarama, Gollapudi, 2& t 122. 193 

Sastry, V. L., 82 

Satyamurthy, S., 82 

Satyanarayana, Garimella. 17, 51 

Schmitt, M., 4 

Seshagirirao, Chimakurthi. 203 

Seshayya. Neelamraju. 

Seshudu, Ellampuili, 111 

Shelley, 9 

Simon, Sir John, 160 

Sipes. Dr. H. A., 6, 10, 11 

Sitaramayya, Dr. Pattabhi. 70 

Sivaramciyya. Panchagnula, 29 

Sivayya, Anche. 65, 66. 91 

Sivavadhanulu, Vavilala Venkata, 31 

Somayajulu, Pillalamarri. 133 


Sresty, Mattupalli Nalam, 98 
Sresty, Rangam, C. V., 112 
Srinivasarao, Adusumalli, 11 
Srinivasarao, Govindarajula, 32 
Srinivasarao, Pati Venkata, 30, 32 
Stephen Van Husen, 5 
Strock, Rev. J. Roy. 6, 10. 161 

Stokes, H.. 6, 10 

Subbarao, Dhenuvakonda, 51 

Subbarao, G. V., 80, 94 

Subbarao, Mittadoddi Venkata, 22, 24. 76 

Subbarao, Nyapathi. 38, 130 

Subbarao, P. V., 301 

Subbarayudu, Abbaraju, 124 

Subbayya, Venur Venkata, 203 

Subrahmanyam, Gonuguntlci, 112 

Subrahmanyam, 0. M., b2 

Suddhi Movement, 10 

Sundaramma, Kota. 134 

Sundarayya, P., 190 

Suryanarayana Chovvdary, Kanneganti 

Suryanarayana, Vishnubhotla, 30, 32, 37, 63 

Swavely, Dr. C. H., 5, 10 

Tagore, Rabindranath, 15 
Tilak, Lokmanya, 14.128 
Tilakam, Yamini Purna. 108 
Tenali, 149 
Tripathi, Amales, 9 
Tirtha, Rama, 16 
Tyler, H. H. F. M., 89 


Uhl, Dr. B Mrs. L. L., 6 



Varadarajam, Nallarnalli, 23 

Venkayya, Tadanki, 12 

Veerabhadrarao, Madala, 118 

Veerayya, Daruvuri, 17 

Veeresalingam, K., 8, 14 

Venkatadri, Choragudi, 37 

Venkatappayya, Konda. 1 . 23 29, 32, 106, 128, 129, 207 

Venkatappayya, Jhanjhala. 51 

Venkata Raju, Mantena. l3. 193 

Venkatarao, Nidudavolu, 16 

Venkatarangaiya, Wl., 4 

Venkateswariu Ravinuthala, 203 

Venkayya, Kolia, 190 

Vernon, H. A. B., 110 
Vijayaraghavachariar, Salem C, 40 
Vijayarama Raju, Sacji, 184, 193 
Viswanadham, Kota, 51,60 
Vivaha Vidhi, 10 
Vivekananda, 16 


Wadia, B. P B- 28, 29 
Washbrook, David, 74, 97 
Weiner, Mynor, 3 
Wells, H. G,. 9 
Wolf, Dr. L L., 6 
Wutacherla, 100 


Yagnik, Indulal, 190 
Yanadayya, Kadiyala, 204 

Yedavallivari Choultry, 167 
Young India, 135 













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