Telangana warrior tribal leader Ramji Gond history
Ans: Ramji Gond and Komuram Bheem were the earliest tribal freedom fighters in India. Ramji Gond was the precursor to Komuram Bheem in revolt against the Britishers and Nizam. In Adilabad, Ramji Gond provided leadership to the Rohilla freedom fighters (1836-60 C.E.), in the same area Komuram Bheem united Gonds against the Britishers and Nizam (1938-40 C.E.). Due recognition was not given to the Rohillas’ revolt and its leader Ramji Gond in the history of India.
Gondvana kingdom was in existence in pre-British India. Tribals of Madhyapradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana were part of Gondvana kingdom. Gonds ruled for five centuries from 1240 to 1750 C.E.
Nilkanta, was 9th and last ruler of Gondvana kingdoms. He ruled from 1735- 49 C.E. Nilkanta was imprisoned by Marathas and Chadrapur, a part of Gondwana kingdom was occupied them. Later Britishers captured Gondvana. Thus the sway of Nizam also established over Gondvana. Against the oppressive policies of Britishers, people of Gondvana started revolting.
Ramji fought against Britishers from Janagaon, of earstwhile Adilabad district. Between 1836 – 1860 C.E. He was the first tribal to revolt against the Britishers. After the heroic death of Jhansi Lakshmi Bai, the army of Nana Saheb, Tantia Tope and Rao Saheb had disbanded. Rohillas, who were the followers of Tantia Tope took shelter in Aurangabad, Bidar, Parbani and Adilabad in Telangana. They continued their fight against the British, Ajantha, Basmath, Lathur, Makthal and Niramal as their centres. Rangarao, the leader of these troops wanted to collapse the Hyderabad kingdom and thereby drive away the British from these territories. While giving training and bringing awareness among the people against the suppressive policies of British, he was imprisoned by the British. Rangarao did in Andaman jail in 1860 C.E. Ramji Gond took over the lead after the death of Rangarao.
Gonds, Kolams, Koya tribes were part of his army. Ramji Gond intensified his fight against the Britishers, as Nirmal as the centre for his activities. Most important milestone of his fight against the British took place in March and April months of 1860 C.E. Britishers used to extract free and forced bonded labour from these tribes. Britishers did not like the traibes expecting remuneration for their labour. Thousand Rohillas and Gonds under the leadership of Ramji Gond revolted against the Britishers. Britishers could not catch them easily. Under the leadership of Collector of Nirmal, Nizam army attacked on the army of Ramji Gond. Tribes’ traditional crude weapons could not withstand the sophisticated weapons of Nizam army. Nizam army ruthlessly killed the tribals. Ramji Gond fought bravely but caught by the Nizam army. Along with the thousand Rohillas, Ramji Gond was hanged to the Banyan tress located in the centre of Niraml on 9th April 1860 C.E. The Banyans tree came to be called as the ‘Banyan tree of 1000 flogs’.
In 1995 C.E., the Banyan tree which was symbol for the British atrocities was cut down. Ramji Gond remained as an unsung hero.