Friday, May 7, 2010

Remember the real Komaram Puli ?


Komaram Bheem is a famous Hindu Vanavasi leader who fought against the erstwhile Asaf Jahi dynasty for the liberation of Hyderabad State at the beginning of the 20th century. In Telugu, he is known as Komaram Puli ('Tiger') for his bravery and martial skills.

The birth of the liberation movement originally took place when Hindus, be it villagers (Gramvasis), forest-dwelling tribals (Vanavasis) or city-dwellers (Nagaravasis), were fed up of the atrocities of the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Under the Nizam's theocratic rule (as under the previous rule by the Sultans), Hindus were killed or forcibly converted in lakhs. Countless Hindu women and children were raped and carred away as sex slaves. Ancient Hindu temples were desecrated and destroyed and built over by mosques. Hindu names of cities were banned and Islamic Slave Names were imposed on cities, viz. Hyderabad, Nizamabad, Sikandarabad, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Zaheerabad, Musheerabad, Quthbullapur and so on.

As neither Vanavasis, Gramvasis or Nagaravasis were spared the Islamic oppression, it was obvious that all of them would rise up in revolt. A group of Hindu bravehearts together to protest these acts, and finally, took up violent means to counter the Nizam and safeguard the Hindu masses. Komaram Bheem is a bright flame that lit the fire of liberation amongst the people.

Komaram Bheem was born in a family of Gond Tribals in the forests of Adilabad. He was not exposed to the outside world and did not have any formal education.

Komaram Bheem is not the hero that our literatures have raved upon. Neither is he a magical superman that Indian cinema has created.

He is like the wild forest into which, far from the madding crowds of civilisation, he was born. He is the very heart-throb of the Gond Tribals, whose hearts were in the forests of Adilabad. Komaram Bheem fought against the religious Jazia tax that was imposed by the Nizam government on Hindus. He revolted against the injustice meted out to his brothers. He defied courts and the law, choosing to depend on the wild world. He took up cudgels against Nizam Nawab's soldiers, and fighting Babi Jhari, he breathed his last as a martyr.

Komaram Bheem is the Hindu superman at the beginning of the 20th century, and a veritable 'Bheem' in the contemporary Hindu history, a great warrior of valour that stood like a rock to protect Hindu tribals. He revered the beauty of Sombai, he was a man who never knew anything other than physical labour, and he was a beacon that lighted up the dark world of the Gonds with the flames of Hindutva like the very sun lighting up the wilderness.

Like all the children of wild, Bheem's younger days did not expose him to the outside world. As he came on the threshold of adolescence, he heard the plight of tribals paying unjustifiable Jazia tax. Even as an adolescent, he took to task Siddiqui, an Officer of the Nizam, and gave him a taste of his muscle. Evading the police and traversing such places as Chanda and Pune, he finally reached the Gond land to sow the seeds of revolution.

Bheem was inspired by Alluri Sitaramaraju, and his heart was aflame when he heard the death of Bhagat Singh. Realising that the time was near to revolt against the the Nizam Government's wild official injustice, Komaram Bheem became a veritable deity, raging with the fire of revolt.

Talukdar Abdul Sattar failed to bring Bheem to kow-tow his line. Abdul Sattar, well equipped with ninety policemen armed with guns, attacked Bheem, who did not have any armour to protect himself. On that fateful full moon night, hundreds of followers of Bheem armed themselves with bows, arrows, swords and spears. The fearless Gonds launched a frontal assault, from just a dozen feet away from the Nizam's police force, braved their guns, only to be riddled with bullets.

That night, the moon burnt like a flaming sun.

That night, the wild moonlight became a veritable stream of tears.

That night, the martyr Komaram Bheem became a deity and eternal hero to the Hindu community.

A movie, Komaram Bheem, was made directed by Allani Sridhar, which received several awards such as A P State Nandi Awards, Best Feature Film on National Integration and Best First Film of Director Allani Sridhar.

On December 17, 2009, it was announced that a statue of Bheem would be created in Hyderabad. The government has decided to install in Hyderabad a statue of Komaram Bheem, who carried out a crusade in Adilabad area for Hindu Vanavasis' rights during the Nizam period, as he symbolised the Hindu Vanavasis’ self-respect and sacrifice.

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