Saturday, July 3, 2010
Kittur Rani Chennamma (1778-1829) [In Kannada: ಕಿತ್ತೂರು ರಾಣಿ ಚೆನ್ನಮ್ಮ]
Kittur Rani Chennamma was the first woman independence activist of India. She stood all alone with a courageous mind against the British Empire. She did not succeed in driving them away, but she was given provocation to many of the women to rise against the British rule. She was Chennamma Queen of the princely state Kittur in Karnataka. Today she is well known as Kittur Rani Chennamma. She led an Army rebellion against British in response to the “Doctrine of lapse” at the age of 33 in 1824. The resistance ended in her martyrdom only, but she is still remembering today as one of the earliest Indian rulers to have fought for independence. Among the freedom fighters like Keladi Chennamma, Abbakka Rani and Onake Obavva she is much venerated in Karnataka as an icon of bravery and women's pride for ever.
Kittur Chennamma was born 56 years before the 1857 rebel, Rani Laxmi Bai was the first woman fought against British against the Tax levied by them from each kingdom. During the Kittur Utsava of every 22nd to 24th- October these memories are renewing and the people giving the patriotic salute to them.
Statue of Kittur Chennamma
Chennamma was born in Kakati, a small village 5 KM distance from Belgaum (the wealthy kingdom of Kittur) in Karnataka in 1778. She got training at her childhood itself for sword fighting, horse riding and archery. She was married to Raja Mallasarja from the Desai family and had one son. Unfortunately her son was expired in 1824; she adopted Shivalingappa for giving the right of crown. The British East India Co didn’t accepted the adoption as per their new law for attaching the small kingdoms with them, “Doctrine of lapse”.
She was fought with British in this issue with her expert skill and courage. Her lieutenant was Sangolli Rayanna. But finally the British captured her kingdom and added with East India Co. Our Pride, respectable: Kittur Chennamma was imprisoned at Bailhongal Fort, where she died in 21st-February 1829. Chennamma become the ever memorable woman in world history due to her patriotism, courage etc..