Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dukkipati Nageswara Rao- one of the leading Freedom Fighters from Andhra Pradesh

                                              (Pic: Dukkipati Nageswara Rao)

I remember my Late Maternal Grandfather who fought for the freedom of the country. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of one and all. His village had no electricity, water was scarce, and a train, which passed by the village once a day, was the only connection to the rest of the world. Calling British imperialist rule 'a form of slavery', My Grandfather Dukkipati Nageswara Rao involved himself in the Indian Freedom Movement to end British rule of India.  He was a man of vision, a freedom fighter who rejected violence. He belonged to that select breed of freedom fighters who walked the Gandhian path and contributed magnificently to making the freedom movement a truly mass movement in the country. He was barely twenty when he heeded Gandhiji's call for non-cooperation against the British and took it to the villages. He met Mahatma Gandhi in his home town near Gudivada during the Independence movement. It was a life-changing moment for him, who became fascinated with Gandhian philosophy after meeting the Mahatma.

                                (Pic: Mahatma Gandhi before attending a meeting)


•           The History of Freedom Struggle of Krishna District in Andhra Pradesh and
•           The History of Freedom Fighters in Krishna District Dukkipati Nageswara Rao

Freedom Fighter and Independence Movement Activist from Krishna District is Dukkipati Nageswara Rao S/o Dukkipati Subbiah. He was a resident formerly of  Payyeru Village, in Gudivada Taluk. He was actively involved in Law breaking (Sasanollangana) and non-cooperation movements. On 23rd January 1932, he was arrested at Gudivada and was sent to the sub-jail and was released after spending a considerable amount of time. The very next day after having been released, he was arrested again. After his brief meeting with the pro-independence activists which was concerned about the Quit India movement. Immediately, the very next morning he was found distributing Congress bulletins in the entire town and was arrested. He was beaten up in the jail till he became unconscious and again he participated in Vyasti Satyagraham. He was charged Rs 200/- fine and four months severe punishment. From 18th March 1941, he was sentenced to severe punishment in the Allipuram jail. (1)

Chosen as a delegate to a meeting of the Indian National Congress, which the British declared illegal, he was arrested and sent to jail for four months. My grandfather’s stint in jail exposed him to even more active nationalism. Along with his Congress membership he was determined to be very active in State. In 1932, Gandhi called for a major nationwide Satyagraha against foreign goods. There were cries of ‘Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai’. As they began to move around picketing shops selling foreign goods, they were arrested, taken to prison, and charged with four and a half months of rigorous imprisonment.  He set a personal example for his people in the years he spent in prison. He was never arrogant. He worked to mend the tears in Indian society and with his character managed to prevent outbursts of racial hatred. The great freedom fighter Late N.G.Ranga was his mentor and his political guru.

Dukkipati Nageswara Rao participated in all the Gandhian non-violent mass struggles in the three decades before Independence and spent a good part of his life in various jails. He was an indefatigable political worker and a skilful organizer. All set and done my grand-mother refused a couple of acres along with a Tamra Patra given to him. Just to recapitulate my Grandfather comes from a family of 5 Brothers and he was the youngest. They had 1500 acres between them as a family. They fought for the Independence of our country against the British rule which ruled for nearly 190 years. They were, charged against severe sentences and taken to prisons at various places, undue social unrests, many Satyagraha and Civil disobedience moments, innumerable strikes, the huge population that supported the freedom struggle and ultimately we won the war of Independence against the British rule in 1947.

My Late Father who was a topper in both Agra University and the University of Liverpool in the fifties completing his PhD in England in record time.
During the course of his PhD work, he discovered new breeding grounds of edible bivalves in U.K and was very much appreciated. Simultaneously, he also worked on parasitic copepods of bivalves and contributed a series of papers on the subject in reputed foreign journals.  As staunch Nationalist, that he was, he returned to India ignoring the opportunities he had in the west unlike many at that period and joined as a Scientist. Born into a rich family of Chowdaries, Late Dr Kosaraju Reddiah was a down-to-earth person and took the earliest opportunity to drop the suffix indicating his caste.

He came back, with a dream of serving India. He joined the Silk Research Institute Dehradun as its Research officer, Research head at Marine Biological centre in Chidambaram and then later on qualified in the Union Public Service Commission and joined the Government of India as a Scientist. He described the importance of having dreams and how anyone can still learn a lot by reaching for those dreams, even if they don’t always succeed. He shared the values, learned through experience, which he hoped to pass on to others: integrity, honesty, character, hard work, laughter and gratitude.


(1) The History of Freedom Fighters in Krishna District, Krishna Zilla Swathantra Samarayodula Sangam, (Page 106). Swathantra Samaraydula Smaraka Bhavanamu, Vijayawada – 5200024 | Category: Indian independence activists Category: Telugu people

Warm Regards,

Raj Kosaraju

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