Guntur district as one of the centres of peasant
and after the formation of Andhra Pradesh, Guntur is one of the centres where political
and cultural movements took place. Though its history as a district in the
state could be traced in 1794(Under British rule) it was restructured twice,
one in 1904 and another in 1970. The district is endowed with diversified agro-ecosystems
and wide ranging natural resources that facilitate to develop agriculture as
well as other dependable occupations. Its potential of red and black soils,
sandy loams, river waters sufficient sea- coast habitats as well as mineral
sources is worth mentioning. A population of 45 lakhs (2001 census) living in
57 revenue mandals, 13 municipalities including Guntur corporation, is specific strength of
Guntur is synonym for
pungency of red-chillies. The production and trades of tobacco, cotton, rice, spices
(turmeric, chillies, onion) besides several other horticultural crops gained
momentum with the back-up of green revolution technologies of recent origin.
However, its distinction in the usage of agro-chemicals, corporatisation of
education and health sectors in the light of new economic liberalisation and
deregulation policies was realized in the shape of suicides, kidney selling, massmigrations(both
skilled and unskilled).
district was in fore front in responding to the demands of National movements.
The prominent role played by Konda Venkatappaiah, Kanneganti Hanumanthu,
Parvathaneni Veeraiah, Duggirala Gopalakrishnaiah, and Vunnava Lakshminarayana
in the independence movement was unique and unusual. The people’s response to
the “Home – Rule – Movement” of Anne Besant and “levy-boycott” struggles of
Palanadu and Pedanandipadu found a place in the annals of the district-records.
The sacrifices made by several youngsters of Tenali, Bapatla, Pedanandipadu,
Sattenapalli, Mangalagiri regions could be seen in the movements installed for
those martyrs in the district. Similarly it has a distinct role in contributing
to the historical Telengana Armed Struggle (1946-1951). The contributions of
political leaders like Makineni Basavapunnaiah, Moturi Hanumantha Rao, Kolla
Venkaiah, Puthumbaka, Amanchi, and Koratala, Lavu Balagangadhara Rao etc
besides other leaders like NG Ranga, Nadimpalli NarasimhaRao, and Vavilala
GopalaKrishnaiah reflect in the contemporary growth of democratic movements of
the district. Some of the literary and cultural contributors like Chalam,
Jashuva, Kondaveeti Venkatakavi, Kodavatiganti, Sthanam, and Nazer etc also
started their career in this district.
the wake of new transformations in agriculture, many of the agricultural laborers
and marginal farmer’s opted tenancy farming. In many revenue mandals their -number
started swelling (70-80%). The impact of crisis was clearly seen in this group
of peasants. Rythu sangham – AIKS was in fore front to mobilize them during the
past one decade here in this district.
all its role in shaping the destiny of farmer’s movement of the state as well
as country AIKS – Rythu sangham’s contributions can be seen as narrated in the
credit of witnessing first peasant agitation in rytwari areas goes to Guntur district. High
rents, sky racketing cost of inputs and non-remunerative prices accompanied by
hostile natural conditions during foreign rule worsened the economic status of
the farmers in this district. Gradually the farmers of the district, as their
counter parts in the country, realized that the unruly of the British is the
sole reason for their pathetic condition and started agitations against this
misrule. Informal peasant gatherings were recorded in this district as early as
during the first decade of 20th century. By 1920 peasant meetings,
anti government campaign picked up great momentum in the district.
first two known anti tax-movements in the State took place in Guntur district as a part of non-cooperation
movement during-1921-22. The first was the Pullari (Pullari means tax imposed
by the British on forest produce) movement of palnadu region and the second was
the no-tax campaign of pedanandipadu. The first agitation was against the
draconian forest laws of the British which required the farmers of the forest
villages to pay tax to use the forest produce and even to collect fodder from
Taxes were imposed even on
cattle which grazed in forest area. The
farmers resisted the laws and revolted.
All the government officers including
the collector of the district were
socially boycotted. The District
who was on tour in that area could not get even milk and eatables. All the village messengers boycotted their
Similar is the supplies to
revenue and police officials. As the
villagers refused to lend or rent their cattle carts supplies to revenue and
police officials became difficult. Two
prominent congress leaders were arrested and sentenced for one year for
supporting and campaigning for Pullari agitation. Total
hartal was observed in Guntur
district condemning the arrest of
those leaders. With in months
agitation took serious turn. Scuffles
became routine between the revenue and police officials and farmers. Each attempt by the officials to seize the
grazing cattle was successfully resisted.
The British decided to settle the issue
by using the brutal force. On 16th February, 1921 the police
seized a large number of cattle in Minchalapadu village. When
the villagers tried to resist, the
police opened fire killing Kanneganti Hanumantu, a local peasant leader and
Ellampalli Seshu, a close associate of Hanumanthu. On
the next day District Collector personally
led a large number of forces and raided the village. Every
male of the area was taken into
Police looted all the movable
campaign of Pedanandipadu was
another glorious struggle of that era.
The District Congress Committee passed
a resolution urging the people
not to pay taxes as a part of non-cooperation.
The call inspired the farmers of Pedanandipadu,
Duddukuru, Addanki and
Santanutalapadu Firkas. Anti-tax
campaign was launched with majority of village officers resigning to their
Situation became so serious that
the Madras Provincial Government sent armed regiment including Governors body
guards and cannons to provide protection to the officials who visit villages to
collect tax or auction the property of farmers.
The agitation and public support to it
was so overwhelming that the
government found nobody to purchase the auctioned property. The
resistance continued till the Congress Party
called off the agitation.
first association of the farmers was formed in Guntur District in 1923. Since its inception it tried to educate and
organize the farmers. However, it is
formation of the All India Kisan Sabha that gave a clear direction, programme
and organizational strength to the farmers.
The farmers of the Guntur District had
been in the forefront when ever
farmers cause took an agitations form.
When the long march of the farmers (Rytu
Rakshana Yatra) was held in 1939,
farmers actively participated in it. The
contribution of the Guntur
farmers to the glorious Telangana Armed Struggle was praise worthy. They not only provided the necessary
logistics to the struggle, hundreds personally participated in the struggle and
also 73 people lost their lives for that great cause.
of activists regularly
participated in each and every struggle launched by the Kisan Sabha. Agitation to force the government to
construct a Dam on Krishna River, repeated struggles for the land reforms, and
for the implementation of land reform acts, struggle for support prices etc.
were some of the agitations in which the farmers of the District took leading
N.G.Ranga played a leading role in
the peasant movement of the nation hailed from this District. Comrade
Nanduri Prasada Rao, though a native
of neighbouring Krishna District started his political carrier from Guntur
District, played a crucial role in building the peasant movement in the
Together both of them lead the
AIKS either as presidents or general secretaries for more than 12 years. Several Leaders contributed for the growth of
peasant movement – AIKS at State and country level.
The role of AIKS-Rythu
Sangham in defusing the
electricity regulatory and protecting the interests of tenant farmers and
mobising people for anti-price rise of agri.
Inputs etc was significant during the
post two and decals in the