Remembering Sangolli Rayanna, a daring freedom fighter

It is good  to remember a great patriot  like Sangolli Rayanna at a time when we had just celebrated our indepence yesterday. If we are  enjoying freedom and fresh air under a democratic set-up, today it is due to the collective sacrifices and painful struggles made by thousands of freedom fighters and patriots in the past across the country during the colonial rule. The contribution toward freedom made by warrior Sangolli Rayanna centuries ago remains deeply embedded in the state of Karnataka, particularly in the region of Belagavi.  

Erection of memorials for great people and freedom fighters in public places  is an important duty of the ruling government. Such memorials erected in places where they served or where they visited for certain cause will not only inspire the younger generation but also act as a stimulus  to the posterity.

On March 28, 2023 the former CM of Karnataka  Basavaraj Bommai unveiled the statues of Father of Indian Constitution B.R. Ambedkar, Kittur queen Rani Chennamma and her confidante Sangolli Rayanna whose contribution to India's freedom and growth is well itched in  Indian history. The interesting fact is choosing the right venue to install the statues  of people who made a mark in history. The venue was  front part of the West Entrance of Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi  where the freedom fighters  confronted the British. CM Bommai said at the unveiling ceremony, "Historically Belagavi is a prominent city. The bugle of Indian freedom struggle was first blown by Kittur queen Rani Chennamma. Her confidante Sangolli Rayanna fought for freedom and sacrificed his life.”

Freedom fighter Sangolli

 statue of Sangolli Rayanna, Belagavi.

Above image:  The statue of Sangolli Rayanna that was unveiled in front of Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday at  Belagavi.  Born on 15 August 1798 in the district of Belagavi, Karnataka  Rayanna  who actively took part in the 1824 rebellion  fought the British East India Company's unjust and ruthless rule till his death. Despite objections/protests  from the English company,  he was keen to  install adopted son Shivalingappa as the ruler of Kittur. The British  were keen to secede the kingdom to their empire using the doctrine of lapse as a ruse. Rani Chennamma’s son was adopted, the queen refused to secede her kingdom after her husband’s death. Aided by Rayanna, she fought British bravely but was defeated and imprisoned. Warrior Rayanna, supported by people of all walks of life, became a popular  pioneer of guerrilla warfare in India and continued his fight against the British till    till 1829. Unfortunately, he was  captured though perfidy and executed by the English by hanging to death. In the place -  Nandaghad  where this great warrior was buried a banyan sapling was planted then and now it is a huge tree. Thus he attained immortality in this part of Karnataka. ..................  

Installation of statues and portraits of freedom fighters and great leaders has been in vogue for a long time and purpose of such memorial or commemoration  is to  remind the people about the solid contribution and sacrifices made by them  for the growth and welfare of the society notwithstanding the hurdles and  criticisms they faced in their lives.  The elected representatives have the crucial responsibility of working for the welfare of the people, he added.

Former CM Basavaraj Bommai in january said that a military school at a cost of Rs.180 crore would be  coming up in Karnataka on a plot of 100 acres of land  in honor of  Sangolli Rayanna  and  it would be handed over to  the Defence Ministry. Steps were  being taken to have a statue of Rayanna installed at Delhi and the present ministry will take this project forward without any delay.