Born in 1805, at Rupanagudi village in Andhra Pradesh, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy was a revolutionary and took a greater part in the Indian freedom struggle against the East India Company in 1846. He was born to Uyyalawada Peddamalla Reddy; his father and his mother whose name remains unknown to this date.
Reddy had two elder brothers. He also had three wives, Siddhamma, Obulamma, and Peramma, whom he had three sons with. Only one of their names are known; Dora Subbaiah, and he had one daughter.
Story of his Revolt!
The East India Company had put forth a major settlement in Madras Presidency called the “Permanent Settlement of 1803”. The Permanent Settlement replaced the pastoral socioeconomic arrangement, with what was considered as a more equitable arrangement.
As per the Agreement, the heirs of the landowners were stripped off their right from owning their claimed land, and the village headmen were not permitted to collect revenue after they have reached a certain age.
The landlords and zamindars were instead allotted with meager pensions.
After the British had seized Rayalaseema, Reddy denied sharing their land income with the colonizers. Being the Governer in Military of Rayalaseema, Narasimha commanded sixty-six villages and some hamlets which included Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantpur, etc. Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy set up a massive resistance of more than five thousand people and demonstrations against the British.
As a part of his strategy, he used proxy wars to overthrow British rule in that area. Reddy raided the treasury of Koilkunta on the 10th of June, 1846. After the attack, he moved to Cumbum. With more and more experience, Reddy decided to kill a ranger named Rudraram as official inception of his revolt, against the East India Company.
The revenue collector of the district took the matter seriously and sent a British Officer named Watson for Reddy’s arrest. Although Watson failed to arrest Reddy, he announced price money of five thousand rupees for his tip, and ten thousand rupees for his head.
Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy along with his army of more than a thousand attacked the British Army in Giddalur in Andra Pradesh. This made the colonizers not so happy, so they held Reddy’s family as a captive to arrest him.
Reddy, to rescue his family, moved to Nallamala Forest.
When the colonizers became aware of his hiding spot, they strengthened their forces around the forest, so bait Reddy out of his hiding and go back to Koilkuntla.
When the English governance was able to locate Reddy, they seized the area. This cat and mouse chase came to an end when Reddy was ultimately arrested on the 6th of October 1946, at midnight.
After his arrest, Reddy was whipped and beaten up and tied up with thick, heavy chains. Subsequently, he was walked on the streets in his bloody clothes. Apart from Reddy, more than nine hundred people were accused of conspiring against the British. But, four hundred twelve were acquitted, two hundred seventy-three were released on bail, and one hundred and twelve were convicted and faced life imprisonment. On the fateful day of 22nd of February 1847, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy was publicly executed in Koilkuntla at 7 in the morning.
The Telugu soil had seen some valiant and dauntless freedom fighters. Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy was one of the many Bravehearts who gave more than enough push in the Indian Independence Struggle.
Some Lesser Known Facts about Reddy!
- Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy was the Governer in Military of Rayalaseema, who commanded sixty-six villages and hamlets.
- To defeat the British, Reddy used Proxy Wars to overthrow the English.
- He revolted against the administration by killing a district ranger named Rudraram.
- The English Officer Watson tried to arrest Reddy but failed, so he announced a price money for his head and/or any tip.
- Reddy attacked the British Army in Giddalur and ran away after the attack.
- To arrest Reddy, the administration held his family captive.
- To rescue his family, Reddy moved to the Nallamala Forest.
- After being arrested, Reddy was beaten up mercilessly.
- Next day, he was walked on the streets in his bloody clothes as a lesson for anybody who tried to conspire against the British.
- Narasimha Reddy was charged of treason and murder and received a death sentence.
- After six weeks of Reddy’s arrest, on 22nd February 1946, he was hanged publicly in Koilkuntla at 7 a.m.
- More than a thousand people had gathered to watch his execution.
- At Uyyalawada, Rupanagudi, Veldurthi and Giddalur, Reddy bulit forts that are still there to this date.
- On his 170th death anniversary, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy was issued in a special cover in “Uyyalawada” on 22nd February 2017, as a tribute to him.
- A Telugu film called “Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy”, is specifically based on the life of Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, and his role in the freedom struggle.