This 'village of patriots' played a major role in Hyderabad-Karnataka liberation movement
By Ramkrishna Badseshi | Express News Service | Published: 17th September 2017 11:09 AM |
KALABURAGI: Come September 17 every year, and it’s time for villagers of Malli in Jewargi taluk to remember those who fought for the liberation of the erstwhile Hyderabad state, which includes present day Hyderabad-Karnataka region.
The bloody revolution claimed the lives of 11 people from Malli, just eight days before Hyderabad got freedom from the Nizam’s rule on September 17, 1948. But the price of freedom was a heavy one. On September 9, 11 villagers became martyrs at the hands of Rajakars (private army of the Nizam). The Rajakars, who came in two trucks to Malli, massacred 11 people — Mahipatiraya, Ramaraya, Narayanaraya, Gururaya of the Sardeshpande family, Siddharama, Sheshappa Pattar, Yallappa Kurubar, Halleppa Harijan, Nagoji, Janoji and Basalingappa. They were punished for sheltering fighters against the Nizam’s rule and also for hoisting the Indian flag on August 15, 1948.
Rangarao Kulkarni, brother of martyr Muralidhar Rao Kulkarni who was killed just a few days before the Malli incident, told Express that the Rajakars went directly to the house of the Sardeshpandes and killed four family members in front of their house. This was in revenge for one of the family members — Krishnarao Sardeshpande, who was a student at Surpur town — launching the liberation movement and who was jailed in Surpur. The Rajakars haunted the village on that day and looted houses, recalls Rangarao.
Sidramaiah Hiremath (94), who is the lone survivor of the movement, and is from the adjacent Nagaralli village, told Express that Malli was a village of patriots. The villagers hoisted the national flag on August 15, 1947, even though Malli was under the clutches of the Nizams. Many activists of the liberation movement, including Sardar Sharana Gouda Inamdar, Hanumantrao Sarnad and Muralidhar Rao Kulkarni were haboured in Malli.
Recalling those days, Sidramaiah said the villagers had deserted the village after the attack by the Rajakars and took shelter in nearby Sindagi taluk, which was not under the rule of the Nizams. When they heard that the Indian Army had entered the region to liberate them on September 13, 1948, the villagers grouped together and chased the Rajakars from Malli to Hallisagar of Shahapur taluk.
After liberation, the villagers built a small temple and installed a statue of Mahatma Gandhi made of clay, and worshipped it for about three-four years. When statue got damaged, it was removed, but nobody knows why a new statue was not installed, says Vijayindra Kulkarni, a journalist.
The erstwhile Hyderabad state comprising Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Hyderabad-Karnataka (which includes Bidar, undivided Kalaburagi and Raichur) and Vidarbha region of Maharastra were under the rule of the Nizams. The Nizam decided to keep Hyderabad independent, but residents opposed this. Then the Nizam started suppressing the liberation movement using his private army.