Ramji Gond

Name: Ramji Gond
Born: Present Asifabad District, Telangana State, India (erstwhile Hyderabad Princely State)
Died: 9 April 1860

Ramji Gond, who hailed from current Nirmal and combined Adilabad district of Telangana, was among the most prominent leaders of the First War of Independence in the erstwhile Hyderabad Princely State, who ruled the tribal areas in present-day Adilabad, Nirmal and Asifabad districts of Telangana. The areas under his rule included Nirmal, Utnoor, Chennuru, and Asifabad. 

Ramji Gond and the Rohillas leader called Miya Saheb Khurd jointly fought a guerrilla campaign against the British, for which he was caught and hanged on 9 April 1860.

1857: Hyderabad Sepoy Revolt - First war of Independence
Many regions in Nizam’s domains were aflame with anti-British sentiments when the mass insurrections broke out in 1857. Among these was the Adilabad district, where the resident Gond tribal community who were unhappy with the state’s oppression and exploitation of the peasantry, and its support of the activities of the British colonial state. The Gonds were joined in their endeavour by the Rohillas, who proclaimed Nana Saheb as their leader and pledged to plunder the territory of the Nizam for allying with the British. Under the leadership of Ramji Gond, the Gonds and the Rohillas kept up the joint insurrection for almost two years. The British assigned a massive armed force to suppress this uprising but to no avail. 

It was only in 1860 that the rebellion was quelled after several armed clashes, in which several people, from both sides, died. However, Ramji Gond managed to escape the colonial pursuit and remained free. Though the British archival documents do not speak of Ramji’s arrest, according to the legends preserved by the Gonds, he was arrested later, tried, and hanged. The tree from which he was hung is venerated even today as “Gondumarri" or Ramji Chettu.

Legends say that about a thousand Gond revolutionaries were hanged to the trunks of a banyan tree on the outskirts of Nirmal, which came to be known as Banyan of Nooses (Veyyi Urula Marri) fell down a decade ago.
The hanging of 1000 Gonds of Telangana was a more brutal and earlier event than the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. At the time this mass hanging of Gonds did not get widespread attention.

Ramji Gond’s legendary contributions to the anti-imperialist struggle in 1857 remain inspirational for us even to this day.

Nov 14, 2007: Stupa, built by Telangana Sangarshana Samithi, unveiled on November 14, 2007, by balladeer Gaddar and Bellal Naik, at the height of the separate Telangana movement, marks the spot where it once stood. The macabre incident inspired many of the freedom fighters who challenged British rule.

Nov 15: 2021 : As part of its commitment towards development of tribal community, the state government with help from the Centre will set up a Ramji Gond memorial museum in Telangana, a press note from Telangana tribal welfare ministry stated.