Jnanpith award winner Chandrashekar Kambar on Wednesday underlined the need for taking up in-depth study on the life of Kittur Rani Chennamma, who led an armed rebellion against the British.
Participating in Kittur Rani Chennamma’s 188th Vijayotsava (victory celebration), organised on the Ravindra Kalakshetra premises here, Dr. Kambar said that though Chennamma fought valiantly against the colonial rulers more than three decades before the First War of Independence in 1857, her contribution for upholding the self-esteem of the local people was not known to the present generation. He attributed this to lack of in-depth study on her life.
Gurusiddappa, Chennamma’s lieutenant, played a pivotal role in all the battles she waged against the British army. But his contribution had not been recorded in detail, he said.
Chennamma’s relatives conspired against her and she was taken a prisoner by the British and kept in Bailhongal for life, the playwright said.
Dr. Kambar also recalled the contribution of Sangolli Rayanna, Chennamma’s trusted lieutenant who continued the war against the British with his guerrilla tactics even after the queen’s imprisonment. Though a Kannada feature film was made on Chennamma, it focussed only on a portion of her life. There was a need for a film showing all aspects of her life, he said. The need of the hour was to conduct a detailed study on her life, he said.
K.R. Ramakrishna, Commissioner, Department of Kannada and Culture, said that the department was seeking the help of Kittur Rani Channamma University to conduct research on the life and contribution of freedom fighters, including Chennamma and Belawadi Mallamma.
The former Minister for Kannada and Culture Leeladevi R. Prasad urged the government to protect monuments associated with Chennamma with the support of Kittur Development Authority.
Though Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok and Minister for Kannada and Culture Govind M. Karjol were scheduled to attend the function and garland Chennamma’s statue near Town Hall, they did not turn.