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Two centuries after peasants bring down British flag, Tricolour to go up in Dakshina Kannada village

A small tiled-roof structure built in 1804, and which housed the British Treasury, still stands on about one acre land overlooking the village school. 

Published: 04th August 2021 06:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th August 2021 06:11 AM   |  A+A-

The British Treasury in Bellare village of Sullia taluk is being spruced up

Express News Service

MANGALURU: When the Tricolour goes up for the first time at Banglegudde in Bellare village of Sullia taluk in Dakshina Kannada on the 75th Independence Day, it will mark a significant milestone in the history of the region. On March 30, 1837, peasants, who revolted against the British Raj for imposing high taxes on agricultural produce, had seized the British Treasury that was located at this place and had brought down the English flag. 

The historical place, which was a picture of neglect for long, is getting spruced up for the August 15 flag-hoisting as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations. A small tiled-roof structure built in 1804, and which housed the British Treasury, still stands on about one acre land overlooking the village school. 
Sullia MLA S Angara, who visited the place recently, told TNIE that a private consultant has been entrusted the task of preparing a plan to develop the historical site into a tourist attraction.  

According to Dr Prabhakar Shishila, a retired Economics lecturer who has penned a novel on the Sullia peasant movement, it is this event which first triggered the spark of independence struggle in the erstwhile South Canara district. He said Sullia and Puttur, which were ruled by a Kodagu king, were separated from Kodagu and brought under South Canara by the British. Under British rule, peasants had to pay one-sixth of their agricultural produce as tax while it was just one-tenth under the king. This led them to revolt. 

About 1,200 peasants of Sullia, led by Kedamballi Rama Gowda, seized the British Treasury in Bellare and hoisted the Vijaya Dhwaja of Kodagu dynasty after bringing down the British flag. The peasants then marched to Mangaluru and repeated the same exercise at Bavutagudde. Shishila said that by the time they reached Mangaluru, the crowd had swelled to 5,000 people which forced the British to escape out of fear for life. However, within 13 days, the British came back strongly along with troops from Thalacherry and Mumbai, and quelled the rebellion. Then the peasant leaders were hanged in public.

On the occasion of India’s 50th Independence Day in 1998, several organisations had carried out a foot march from Sullia to Mangaluru seeking the government’s attention to develop the historical site, but there was no progress.



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