RRR’s Oscar Win: Important Facts
The Telugu film ‘RRR’ has gained global attention following a Best Original Song win for ‘Naatu Naatu’ at the 2023 Oscars. The film fictionally narrates the life of real-life Indian freedom fighters Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem. Both the revolutionaries led tribal people in the present-day Andhra Pradesh to oppose the dominance of the Nizams and the British. They lost their lives at young age during their fight against the colonialism.
Who was Alluri Sitarama Raju?
Alluri Sitarama Raju was born in Andhra Pradesh in 1897 or 1898. He became a sanyasi at the age of 18 and led an effective guerrilla resistance against the British, channelling the discontent of the hill people in Ganjam, Visakhapatnam, and Godavari. Despite not being from a tribal background, he became a revolutionary leader and gained a mystical aura among hill and tribal people with his knowledge of astrology and medicine, and ability to tame wild animals. He was captured and executed in May 1924.
Who was Komaram Bheem?
Komram Bheem was born in the Gond tribal community at Sankepally village in Komarambheem District. He fought against the British and Nizams. He killed a jagirdar, who was an informer of the Nizam, who occupied his family’s land. Bheem spread the message of “Jal, Jangal, Zameen” (water, forest land) among tribal people, which has become a clarion call for indigenous people’s rights to natural resources. He died at the hands of the Nizam’s army in the Jodeghat forest.
Raju and Bheem have long been folk heroes in the region. In 1986, the Indian Postal Department issued a stamp in honour of Raju and his contribution to India’s struggle for Independence. The 1974 Telugu film ‘Alluri Seetarama Raju’ and the 1990 Telugu film ‘Komaram Bheem’ were both popular. In May 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 30-foot-tall bronze statue of Alluri Sitarama Raju at Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh as the year-long celebrations of the freedom fighter’s 125th birth anniversary began.