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Kedambadi Ramaiah Gowda

(★- 1837) – (Karnataka)

Kedambadi Ramaiah Gowda, a member of the Are Bhashe Community, had strong ties with Linga Rajendra II, the ruler of the Kingdom of Coorg, which is now the Kodagu District in Karnataka, India. He was a prominent Indian freedom fighter and revolutionary who played a pivotal role in uniting the farmers of Sullia and leading the Amara Sullia Rebellion of 1837. Ramaiah boldly raised the indigenous flag in place of the Union Jack, marking the inception of the first-ever freedom movement against the East India Company. As a consequence of his involvement in the rebellion, he was exiled by the British Raj.

Kedambadi Ramaiah Gowda staunchly opposed the oppressive tax regulations on items like tobacco and salt imposed by the British Raj. On the 30th of March 1837, he embarked on a journey from Ubaradka Mithoor in Sullia taluk to ignite a revolt. Ramaiah was successful in inspiring numerous leaders to join his cause against the British Raj. His army, primarily composed of farmers from the Dakshina Kannada district, triumphed over the British forces. On the 5th of April 1837, they lowered the Union Flag and raised the Jangama flag in Bavutagudda. However, the British army quelled the Amara Sullia Rebellion just thirteen days after the flag-raising ceremony. Tragically, the peasant fighters could not prevent the fall of Mangalore, and many leaders were publicly executed at Bikkuru Nayagara Katte. Their bodies were left to decay, becoming prey for eagles in Bavutagudda, present-day Mangalore.

Kedambadi Ramaiah Gowda, along with his son Sanaiah Gowda and several other freedom fighters, was banished to British colonies like Singapore and Burma by the British Raj as a consequence of their involvement in the rebellion.

In honor of his significant role in the struggle for freedom, a towering bronze statue, standing at 22 feet (6.7 meters), known as the “Statue of Gallantry,” was erected at Bautagudda in Mangalore.