“Belagavi during India’s freedom movement” Written by Sukhada K
Belagavi History News

“Belagavi during India’s freedom movement” Written by Sukhada K

We are fortunate to live this freedom, a result of many Indians who gave away their lives. While we celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, we know and remember only a few freedom fighters, but many civilians had joined these leaders in this movement of making India an Independent Nation. Many parts of the nation played an important role, and so has Belagavi

Belgaum (officially Belagavi since 2014) is a district located in North-West of Karnataka. And surrounded by Goa and Maharashtra. It was earlier known as “Venugram” which meant “Village of Bamboo”, due to one of the characteristics of the place. It was founded by Ratta Dynasty originally from Saundatti in the late 12th century. After which over the centuries it was ruled and also invaded by various dynasties like Yadava dynasty, Khilji dynasty, Bahamani Sultanate, Adil Shah dynasty, Mughals, Peshwas’, Tipu Sultan & Hyder Ali, and finally by British.

It is a little known fact that during British rule, Belgaum played an important role. The 39th Indian National Congress Session was held in Belgaum on 26th and 27th of Dec 1924, under the presidency of Mahatma Gandhiji. It was the only session which was led by Mahatma Gandhiji. This marked an important day in Indian History. Due to the proximity to Goa, which was then ruled by Portuguese and other geographical advantages, British-raj had installed a major Military Base with Army training centre and Cantonment in Belgaum which continues to function even today. Post-independence the Indian Government used forces from Belgaum to free Goa from Portuguese Rule, in 1961.

Kittur Rani Chennamma, Belawadi Mallamma, Sangolli Rayanna of the 19th Century fought against the British regime. During the late 19th and 20th century, under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhiji and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gangadharrao Deshpande who is also known as Lion of Karnataka led the Indian Independence Movement from Belgaum. He was also a part of the Swadeshi Movement, Non-cooperation Movement, and Salt Satyagraha.  Govindrao Yalagi and 15 other members from Yalgi family, B. Y. Deshpande (Annu Guruji), Narayan Subbarao Hardikar, Vamanrao Bidari, Hanumantrao Deshpande, Hanumantrao Naik, Jayadevrao Kulkarni, Shrirang Kamat, Pundalik Katagade, Baburao Thakur, Ramachandra Wadavi, Channappa Wali, Venkaraddy Hooli are a few (out of many freedom fighters and martyrs whose names are not in the records) of the important freedom fighters from Belgaum who played a key role in the various movement for Independent India

Police arrest, detention, extreme torture, public execution and what not? Irrespective of gender, age, caste, creed, religion, or any other differences everybody fought together in their fullest capacity. The freedom which we celebrate today is not free. It did cost more than what we can imagine today.

Certainly, Belgaum is known for food, people, climate, tourist places, etc., but it also has a rich history. And there is a need for creating this awareness in upcoming generations. They need to know the facts about the place, great freedom fighters and leaders, their contribution and sacrifices for Independent India, otherwise, the day is not far when they stop realizing, valuing, and respecting freedom. So today, on the eve of Independence day, let’s prepare to celebrate Indian Independence by remembering the sacrifice of our freedom fighters and also those who stood by them. Let’s join hands in sharing the legacy of our past not just for today, but for the many years to come. Jai Hind!

Article by – Sukhada K ; Simple insights

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