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Komaram Bheem

Name : Komaram Bheem or Kumram Bheem (Oct 22, 1901 - Oct 27, 1940) 
Born : Oct 22, 1901 into a Gondu Family in Hyderabad State, British India and in current Sankepally Village of Asifabad Mandal in Komaram Bheem District.
Died : Oct 27, 1940. However, the Gondi people considered 8 April 1940 as the death date of Komaram Bheem in Jodheghat Village/hamlet in Hyderabad State, British India  and in current Jodheghat Village, Kerameri Mandal in Komaram Bheem Asifabad District. 
Father: Komaram Chinnu 
Spouse: Som Bai
Siblings: Younger Brother: Kumra Jangu Sister-in-law: Kumram Tuljabai

Komaram Bheem was a revolutionary tribal leader who fought against the Asaf Jahi Dynasty for the freedom of Adivasis. in a guerrilla campaign. He gave the slogan of Jal, Jungle, Jameen ( Water, Forest, Land). It means the people who live in forests should have rights on all the resources of the forest. 

Komaram Bheem will forever remain a leader and icon for his contributions to the age-long Adivasi struggle of 'Jal Jangal Jameen'. He was the heart-throb of the Gond tribes, whose hearts were in the forests of current Asifabad.

When Komaram Bheem was barely 15 years old his father Komaram Chinnu was killed by forest officials for asserting Adivasis’ rights. 

After his father’s death, his family migrated to Sardapur village in Kerimeri Mandal. Young Komaram Bheem was agitated over his father’s cold-blooded murder.

Bheem married a woman named Som Bai, moved to Bhabejhari in the interior of the Gond lands and settled down and leading a normal life by Jhum farming. During the time of harvest, he was approached by forest officials who tried to force him to leave arguing that the land belonged to the state. A jagirdar named Sidhiki, an informer of Nizam, occupied Bheems land. Bheem killed Sidhiki out of anger and escaped from police to hide in Assam. After that he worked as a laborer in coffee and tea plantations for five years. He experienced labor agitations. He learned how to read and write. He understood the situation in his place through his close friend Komaram Sooru, who was his secret informer.

He was annoyed when the atrocities against the tribal families by the forest officials increased manifold. Above all, the Nizam government levied cess on the tribal people when they graze their cattle in the forest areas.
The forest officials forcibly collected this cess from Adivasis. The landlords had even taken away the Podu cultivable land from Adivasis. They had also levied heavy cess on the grain cultivated by them.

Komaram Bheem launched a massive agitation against the Nizam government in protest against the atrocities on the tribal population. He started guerrilla warfare against Nizam army.

Komaram Bheem resented the illegal cess on Podu cultivation which was a right of the Adivasis. Bheem brought the Adivasis together and waged war against Nizam army.

The guerrilla army of Bheem attacked a number of landlords and killed them. Komaram Bheem claimed that Jal, Jungle, Jameen belonged to only Adivasis and the Nizam has no right over here. Making Jode Ghat the centre of his activities, Bheem continued his guerrilla war from 1928 to 1940.

After waging a relentless struggle against the Nizam’s army, a traitor, Kurdhu Patel informed the Nizam army about the hiding place of Bheem which resulted in indiscriminate firing at Bheem and his followers at Jodeghat. Bheem and his twelve followers died in the firing on October 27, 1940 which was the day of Aswiyuja Pournami. However, Adivasis consider the Aswiyujna Pournami as the death anniversary of Bheem and observe it every year.

Thedat...thedat...police vather
The Gond rebels at Jodeghat were jolted out of their sleep early that morning in October 1940 as the women came running and shouting to wake them up.

The women, who were out to fetch drinking water , had spotted armed policemen surrounding their village as they came looking for Komaram Bheem, the tribal leader who dared to question the authority of the Nizams of Hyderabad. It was three years since Bheem had been leading a rebellion on the question of rights of tribal people to pastures and the lands being tilled by them in the forests .

Bheem, who was camping at Jodeghat with a handful of his warriors, were instantly up and got ready by arming themselves . Most of the rebels could manage to get hold of axes, sickles and bamboo sticks. Asifabad Talukdar Abdul Sattar, a personification of the Nizams’ tyrannytried to get Bheem to surrender through emissaries.

After refusal for the third time by Bheem to submit himself , Sattar ordered to open fire . The tribal rebels could do nothing but went down fighting. "As many as 15 warriors besides Bheem attained martyrdom. The incident plunged the tribals into gloom on that full moon day,” the late Maru master and Bhadu master, the close aides of Bheem, used to say whenever they wound up their narrative of the incident. Not many, however, got to see the martyrs as the bodies were burnt unceremoniously.

Hemen Darf, an anthropologist from Germany, researched the issue of tribal rights and recommended to the Nizam’s Government that it start an exclusive tribal welfare society.

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