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Independence activist who worked for the upliftment of Dalits

Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore, Andhra Pradhesh

August 09, 2021

Amarajeevi-Potti-Sreeramulu

Indian revolutionary, Potti Sriramulu was born in 1901 to Guravayya and Mahalakshmamma in Padamatapalli, in a district that once a region within Nellore district. Later, their family shifted to Madras as famine conditions prevailed in this region.

Sriramulu took part in the Indian Independence Movement and was imprisoned for participating in the 1930 Salt Satyagraha.Between 1941 and 1942, he participated in the individual satyagraha and the Quit India movement and was imprisoned on three occasions. He was a devout follower, avid supporter and devotee of Mahatma Gandhi. Helso joined the Gandhi Ashram established by Yerneni Subrahmanyam, in Komaravolu.

He undertook three fasts, during 1946-1948, in support of Dalit (a heterogenous group of oppressed Hindu castes then referred to by Gandhi and his supporters by the contentious, though well intentioned, term Harijan) rights to enter holy places, such as the temples of Nellore. He fasted in support of Dalit entry rights to the Venu Gopala Swamy Temple in Moolapeta, Nellore, rights which were eventually secured. He again fasted to receive favourable orders, passed by the Madras government, to further uplift the Dalit community.

Commenting on Sriramulu's dedication and fasting ability, Mahatma Gandhi once said, "If only I have eleven more followers like Sriramulu I will win freedom from British rule in a year."

The present-day district of Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore is named after him.

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