Tag Archives: Freedom Fighter

Bulusu Sambamurti – An Unsung Hero

 When his daughter applied for financial assistance, powers-that-be in the Secretariat wanted to know who Sambamurthy was. Maharshi Samba Murti was a victim not only of the Britishers but also of the gross neglect of his own people of Bharat…an Unsung Hero

Bulusu Sambamurthy

The Late Bulusu Samba Murthy was born on the 4th March 1886, in Dulla village in the Godavari District, in an orthodox family of vedic pundits. He got graduated in science from the Madras University and after a brief stint of service as lecturer in physics in the Maharaja’s College at Vijayanagaram, he acquired a degree in law in 1911 and settled as a criminal lawyer at Kakinada. As a practicing lawyer, he proved his worth soon and appeared in the Madras High Court, along with the Late Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu in some very famous criminal cases.

Inspired by the call of the Mahatma Gandhi, during 1921, for Triple Boycott (boycott of courts, councils and colleges), Samba Murty sacrificed his highly lucrative legal profession and took a deep plunge into the freedom movement. A life of high ostentation and cosy comfort till then was suddenly transformed into a life of utter simplicity and austerity. Samba Murty took to wearing loin cloth in 1921 itself much before Gandhiji wore and popularised it. Samba Murty was a victim of the brutal lathi charge un-leashed by the police (Mustafa Ali and Dappula Subba Rao) under the British Raj, at the very place where his bust size statue now stands stoically in the Town Hall Premises at Kakinada.

As the General Secretary of the Reception Committee, he was instrumental in organising the Meetings of the all India congress committee, held at Kakinada in 1923. Even though he suffered bereavement of his only son a few days before the Congress Meetings, he stood unshaken like a KARMA YOGI and in the words of Smt.Sarojini Naidu, he turned the drops of his tears into diamonds and welcomed the national leaders attending the Congress Session.

In 1926, when other congress stalwarts were still demanding only a ‘dominion status’ for India, Samba Murty had moved a resolution in the Congress Session calling for ‘Poorna Swaraj’. As a patriot who led the Salt Satyagraha Movement (1930) in our parts, Samba Murty had vowed not to eat salt till the British Government lifted the Salt Tax and had lived up to his oath.

During the period of Diarchy, in 1937, Samba Murthy was elected as the speaker of the then composite Madras State Assembly and soon came to be known for his impartiality and boldness in conducting its proceedings. He was one of the founders of the ‘Chennapuri Andhra Maha Sabha’.

Samba Murthy had the strength of conviction to oppose (along with Rajaji), on a point of principle, the Mahatma’s QUIT INDIA call to the British and with this, started the process of his alienation from the congress leadership.

He suffered isolation, ill-health and poverty during the ten years he lived in Independent India and expired on the 3rd, February 1958, at Kakinada.

 Having lost his wife and position in public life, he spent his last days in penury at his hometown of Kakinada. Hearing about his plight, Govind Ballabh Pant, the then Union minister rendered financial assistance. He died as a neglected patriot. When his daughter applied for financial assistance, powers-that-be in the Secretariat wanted to know who Sambamurthy was.

True, Samba Murty was a Sthithapragna and like the lives of the Maharshis is of our ancient yore, his life also had inspired and will continue to inspire generations.

Source :

a. http://www.msisds.org/maharshi.html

b. Wikipedia

Vasudeo Balwant Phadke

Vasudev Balwant Phadke

Vasudeo Balwant Phadke (4 November 1845 – 17 February 1883) was an Freedom Fighter of Bharat. Phadke was moved by the plight of the farmer community during British Raj. Phadke believed that ‘Swaraj’ was the only remedy for their ills.

There was a terrible famine in Maharastra in 1876-77. Thousands of people died of starvation. And on one side were the white-skinned people who were nourished by Indian grain and were pleased to see the Indians die. Vasudev Balwant Phadke could not endure it. His soul rebelled. With the help of Kolis, Bhils and Dhangars communities in Maharastra, Vasudev formed a revolutionary group called as Ramoshi. The group started an armed struggle to overthrow the British Raj. The group launched raids on rich English businessmen to obtain funds for their liberation struggle.
He wrote in his daily dairy. “These my countrymen are the sons of the same mother as I am. It is impossible to think that they should starve and I should live uncaring like a beast. It is better to sacrifice my life to help them and make them free”
The British government was extremely troubled by the spread of Phadke’s terror. The British rule staggered under the impact of Phadke’s devastation. Traps were laid to capture him. The governor of Bombay, Sir Richard Temple, announced a reward of Rs 5000/- for anybody who captured or killed Phadke. Phadke could not keep quiet either. He too made an announcement: “I shall give a reward of Rs 10,000 to anybody who brings me the head of the governor of Bombay Sri Richard Temple”.
The government accelerated its efforts to catch Phadke and the time came when both the armies of Nizam and British were pursuing Phadke to capture him. In the course of chase, Phadke reached the Kingdom of the Nizam. He had been running for 1 full day and was very tired. He was suffering from fever as well. He came to a village in Kaladgin district in Hyderabad to seek shelter and lay down for rest in the temple of the Devi. He had become almost unconscious from fever and fatigue. Right then, the pursuing British army reached there Major Daniel who led the forces came and stood on his chest and put one of his booted feet on his neck and said “So Phadke! What do you want now”

Phadke replied “I would like to fight a duel with you”. Daniel did not accept the challenge. He handcuffed him and took him to Poona.
Phadke was transported to jail at Aden, but escaped from the prison by taking the door off from its hinges on 13 February 1883. But his escape was too short lived: he was recaptured and put back in prison. Phadke then went on a hunger strike to death. On 17 February 1883 Phadke breathed his last breath as a result of his protest hunger strike.

Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das

“With me, work for my country is not imitation of European politics. It is a part of my religion. It is a part and parcel of all the idealism of my life.

I find in the conception of my country the expression of divinity. The service of country and nationality is service of humanity. Service of humanity is worship of God.”

– Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das

Chittaranjan Das

Chittaranjan Das(popularly called Deshbandhu “Friend of the country”) (5 November 1870 – 16 June 1925) was a freedom fighter of Bharat and leader of the Swaraj (Independence) Party in Bengal under British rule.
Educated in England, where he became a Barrister, his public career began in 1909 when he successfully defended Aurobindo Ghosh on charges of involvement in the previous year’s Alipore bomb case.
He was a leading figure in Bengal during the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1919-1922, and initiated the ban on British clothes, setting an example by burning his own European clothes and wearing Khadi clothes. He brought out a newspaper called Forward and later changed its name to Liberty to fight the British Raj.

Rani Gaidinliu – Tribute to a Patriot

“Invasion by foreign religion and foreign culture will pose danger to Naga Identity. Beware of this danger ” – Rani Gaidinliu

The person who guides the society not by words but by deeds putting his own life as an example is a leader in true sense. The year 2014-15 is the birth centenary year of one such great leader, the legendary Naga lady, Padma Bhushan Rani Gaidinliu. This article by  Tasile N. Zeliang on the life and thoughts of Rani Ma will truly inspire us.

Rani Gaidinlu

26 Jan 1915 – 17 Feb 1993

Rani Gaidinliu, popularly know as Rani Ma, is a highly revered Naga lady for her selfless services to Naga society and fight for freedom of the country. She was a committed lady for the preservation, protection and promotion of her forefather’s religion, eternal culture, customary laws and traditional village institutions. She organised Naga army and challenged British empire. British Government declared her as terror of north east and had awarded life imprisonment to her. When Pt. Nehru approached the British government to free her, they refused to oblige on the plea that if Rani Gaidinliu was freed, the revolt against British empire would spread like wildfire. She came out of Shillong prison when the country got Independence on August 15, 1947. But the travesty is that she was not allowed to visit her people for whose freedom, religion and culture she sacrificed her prime of youth. Same reason was given that if she was allowed to return to her Heraka people, the movement for preservation, protection and promotion of her forefather’s religion and eternal culture would catch-up momentum.

Influence of Church on some Nagas leading to separatism :

A section of our own Naga society who was under deep influence of church, was opposed to Heraka movement and Rani Gaidinliu. Rani Ma was kept in Yimrup village of Tuensang district nearly 300 km away from her people. See the fate that our own Zeliangrong persons who had been converted to Christianity spied against her and helped British army to arrest her from Poilwa village near Khonoma. They hatched a plan to kill her. Several of her Naga army sepoy were killed in the fierce battle. What was the guilt of Rani Ma ? The only  crime Rani Ma did was that she pioneered her forefather’s religion, eternal culture, customary laws and traditional village institutions. She advocated in no uncertain terms that the fate of Nagas was with India. She demanded the integration of all Zeliangrong areas in one administrative unit on the plea that this integration would accelerate the economic development of Zeliangrong people and fulfil their political aspiration.

The files in Union Home Ministry started moving in favour of integration of whole Zeliangrong areas with Nagaland. Rani Ma, Pau N.C. Zeliang and Prof. Gangmumei Kamei of Imphal were toiling hard to ensure that aspiration of Zeliangrong Nagas for integration was fulfilled. But this success was turned into failure by our own people on the plea that neither Rani Ma nor Pau N.C. Zeliang nor Prof. Gongmumei Kamei was Christian and the credit of achieving this integration should not and must not go to any person other than a Christian. And it should never, never go to a person like Rani Gaidinliu.

Loss of Culture Is Loss of Identity :

She clearly and fearlessly preached among her people that a society whose forefather’s religion, culture, tradition, village institution and customary laws are destroyed, becomes weak and vigourless. In due course of time indiscipline and chaotic situation prevailed in that society. Rani Ma and Pau N.C. Zeliang reverberated this doctrine repeatedly. Unfortunately, Naga leaders- political, social or of church, preferred to ignore.

The visit of Rani Ma in any Naga area used to spread like wildfire and people. Christians and Hindus (non-Christians) both used to come out on the road to have a darshan of her. She would stop at gathering at prominent places, meet the people, exchange the good-wishes and then advance on journey. The Hindu society worshipped her like a Goddess. She toured the country extensively.

She met the second RSS Sarsanghachalak MS Golwalkar (Guruji) in early seventies at Guwahati, attended the Second World Hindu Conference 1979 at Prayagraj (Allahabad) at Sangam (convergence) during one and quarter month long Maagh Mela. She graced the World Women Conference as its President where the lady dignitaries from all over the country and abroad had assembled. Since then, she had close association with a number of dignitaries and organisations throughout the country. She became a bridge between Naga society and larger Hindu Samaj.

Rani Gaidinliu

For the selfless service to the society and the country she was conferred a number of awards.

  • Freedom Fighter Tamrapatra Award 1972 by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • Padma Bhushan 1982 by President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy.
  • Vivekananda Sewa Samman 1983 by Bada Bazar Kumarsabha Pustakalaya, Kolkata.
  • Birsa Munda Award, 1996 (Posthumous)

In addition to this, Rani Gaindinliu Stree Shakti Purashkar was started by the Government of India in her memory which is given on March 8 of each year to veteran women social workers in recognition to the selfless sacrifice for the society. A postal stamp has also been released in her memory.

Christian Missionary Image of the Nagas in Current Times :

The Naga society has been led on wrong path. As a result, we are killing each other. This killing is justified in the name of Nagaland for Christ. I, once, read an article written by an ISKCON sanyasin of American origin. The title of the article was “How I was saved from being saved” . The author, herself had narrated in that article how she protected herself from being converted to Christianity by saviours of the soul. I pray Lord Tingwang, O Lord Tingwang! Please save our Nagaland from (the so-called) saviours of Nagaland.

The volcanic situation created by our own Christian brothers in the early sixties against the Nagas religion and culture in Zeliangrong areas compelled Rani Gaidinliu to hold gun again in her hands and adopt the jungle path to protect her people from forcible conversion at gun point. The second resumption of guerrilla warfare was not directly against foreign forces but against those who were destroying the Naga traditions and values and also against those who were preventing the Naga youths from following the values set-forth by our forefathers and who were breaking the traditional control of village elders over village community particularly youths.

The image of the Naga society in length and breath of the country was

  •  that cent-per-cent Nagas have converted to Christianity
  • that all Nagas were anti-Hindu and anti-India and
  • that all Nagas were wild, savage and raw meat eaters.

In America, Britain and other Christian countries, Nagas were described as wild, savage, naked, head-hunters and with no religion. I have visited several mega cities in the country and have lived with several Hindu families. When Hindu hosts came to know that I was a Naga girl, they whispered. They could not believe that a Naga person could be so refined in all respects. It was not the mistake of the Hindu hosts. It was the mistake of our own since we allowed foreign Christian missionaries to propagate that we Nagas were wild, savage, heathen, naked, head-hunters and raw-meat eaters. This propaganda is still made in foreign countries.

Rani Gaidinliu and later, Pau N.C.Zeliang had opposed this malicious propaganda against the Naga society. Rani Ma had toured the country, established close contacts with the Hindu organisations and cleared the cloud of misconception against the Nagas from the mind of the Hindus. Later Pau N.C. Zeliang and now Shri Ramkui Wangbe Newme, President of Zeliangrong Haraka Association, have been telling us that any Naga who is neither Christian nor Muslim, falls under the category of Hindu religion.

Due to their untiring efforts, the image of Naga society has improved and brightened in the country.

Courtesy :

Photo courtesy – www.e-pao.net

Article first published in Organiser in 2007.