Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao recalled the democratic fighting spirit of the Telangana Armed Struggle Icon Chityala (Chakali) Ailamma on her 126 Birth anniversary on September 26.
The CM said that Ailamma who was born in the most backward classes community gave inspiration to the Telangana Bahujan Communities. He also said that Ailamma was a great democrat who fought for her rights during the armed struggle days, within the framework of law and in the courts for justice.
He further said that Ailamma’s democratic fighting spirit was very much imbibed in the Telangana Statehood movement.
Chityala Ailamma’s birth and death anniversaries are being organised officially by the government and in future too programmes would be conducted to make future generations remember the great service rendered by her, he added.
Was the armed struggle entirely anti-Nizam?
In 1948, when the Hyderabad state was annexed to India, it was ruled by Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh and last Nizam, who essentially tried his best to make his state an independent or autonomous entity after India got its independence. The Nizam State, with a population of about 1.8 crore and, comprised eight districts in Telangana, five in Maharashtra and three in Karnataka.
The underbelly of the Nizam’s rule, especially in Telangana’s districts, was that of extreme oppression by state-appointed Jagirdars (landlords), whose main task was to collect revenue (taxes and rent) from farmers and give it to the state.
The landlords were anything but benevolent, and almost entirely in rural areas comprised of folks from dominant castes, apart from the Muslims. Vetti Chakiri (bonded labour) was also commonplace, wherein lower-caste people were forced to service the landowning class. The Nizam owned 10% of the state’s lands, while 60% of it were revenue lands (Diwani), and 30% were under the Jagirdars (Telangana People’s Struggle and its lesson: P. Sundarayya).
While Osman Ali Khan drew a fat cheque for himself from his private lands, the Jagridars were indulging in atrocities against peasants (forced collections). “Visnur Ramchandra Reddy, the biggest Jagirdar, had about 40,000 acres of land alone in Warangal. It was against him that Ailamma stood up against and she was also backed up the CPI workers. The Armed Struggle was against feudalism movement, and not entirely anti-Nizam,” said Raghu Pal (81), whose father and former CPI MLA Gopal Reddy had participated in the Armed Struggle.