Chityala Ailamma also popularly known as Chakali Ailamma (1919–1985) was an Indian revolutionary leader during the Telangana Rebellion. Her rebellious act Zamindar Ramachandra Reddy, known as Visnoor Deshmukh, to cultivate her land, became an inspiration for many others during the rebellion against the feudal lords of the Telangana region.
Chityala Ailamma’s early life
Chityala Ailamma was born in 1919 in Krishnapuram, Raiparthy Mandal, Warangal. Chityala Ailamma was married to Chityala Narsaiah. The couple was blessed with 4 Sons and 1 Daughter named Somu Narsamma. Chityala Ailamma is basically a Farmer, Social Activist, and Social Reformer. She has passes away on Sep 10, 1985, in Palakurthi, Jangaon.
As Chityala Ailamma belongs to the Rajaka caste, she is also called Chakali Ailamma. She was born into a poor family and had no formal education. But she is considered a legend in the Telangana armed struggle.
Chityala Ailamma’s struggle to establish her right to cultivate her own landmarks has led to the beginning of the Telangana Peasant Struggle. She became an inspiration for many farmers in the Telangana region.
Chityala Ailamma’s story about her land
She took 4 acres of land for rent (koulu) from a local landlord, Kondala Rao to cultivate the land. But, another landlord Patwari Veeramaneni Sheshagiri Rao did not like that and started troubling her so that she would leave the land and ask her to come work in his own field.
It was during the same time, Communists led Andhra Maha Sabha giving a call to revolt and conducting many militant struggles against zamindars and Deshmukh.
They revolted against the practices of vetting, illegal transactions, and against evictions of cultivators from their lands.
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The beginning of the revolt against the landlords
Chityala Ailamma joined Andhra Maha Sabha and inspired her whole family, her sons and daughters to be with the Party at all times. Soon, her house became the center of Andhra Mahasabha and Communist Party activities against the landlords. She not only fought for her personal case, but also for others. This was the beginning of the mighty struggle of the Telangana peasant for land.
Her revolt against the landlords has made Patwari Veeramaneni Sheshagiri Rao angry. He then, complained to Visunur Deshmukh Ramachandra Reddy that she joined the communists. The landlord got her husband and sons arrested. But, none of this has deterred her and independent-minded and courageous woman resisted the attempts of the notorious Deshmukh to occupy her land.
In 1946, Visunuru’s landlord planned to take away the harvest and evict her from the land, planning to seize the harvest directly from the fields. For this, the landlord arrested 14 Sangham leaders and lodged a case for attempted murder against them.
Under these circumstances, Visnur Ramachandra Reddy thought that no one would obstruct him from taking possession of Ailamma’s lands.
He sent 100 goondas and 100 farm servants, men, and women, to gather the harvest. Then the Sangham leaders and 28 volunteers, attacked the goondas. Hundreds of peasants, women as well as men, helped her to gather them and defended them with slings, stones, chili powder, and pounding sticks.
Seeing this fierce revolt, the goondas ran for their lives. The harvest was gathered and sent to Ailamma’s house and the same night police from Visnur arrived but they did not touch the harvested grain stored in Ailamma’s house. This incident roused the spirit of the people.
The next morning, 6 leaders including Bheemireddi Narasimha Reddy, Chokilam Yadagiri Rao, Nallu Pratapa Reddy, and Katkur Ramachandra Reddy were arrested and taken to Visnur police station. People used to describe this heroic struggle and sing songs about it. But in spite of all this, Ailamma’s harvest and lands could not be seized.
Songs written on the incident of Ailamma’s land struggle inspired women during that time. For the first time, the problem of land, eviction, vetting, and forcible grain levies were connected with the slogan of the abolition of zamindari, and that was the main revolt of this period.
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