4. Sanghala Panthulu (Suravaram Pratapa Reddy)
[ An Elderly Gentleman Helping Form Association]
[Translated by Elanaaga ]
8. Match any eight of the following words in Column A with their meaning in column B. [ 8x ½ = 4 Marks ]
|very hard and boring work
|small piece of wood used as firewood
|was in an agitated mood; in angry mental state
|deceitful; not faithful
|made someone to agree to do something
|8] Jawan, Jamedar, Ameen
|names of cadres in Police Department in the olden days
|a Urdu word denoting respect
|10] Rela wood
|a kind of wood used as firewood
|a kind of wood used as firewood
|was filled to full level
|a difficult and unfortunate situation
|general agreement among members; unanimous opinion
|said angrily; complained rudely
|a weight of Indian ounces
|a word used in Telugu – To denote displeasure
|an Urdu word of warning which means something like beware
|lying flat with face down as a token of respect and submission
|burned the flesh ( with hot iron)
|the flesh between the last rib and the hip
|very cruel act, horrible act of injustice
|in a self-important way, in an affected grand way
|relating to, connecting with
|the popular leaved fig tree
5. Answer ANY TWO of the following in 100 Words each. [2x 4 =8M]
- Is the title, Sanghala Panthulu apt for the story? Explain.
- “With all these atrocities, we cannot live”, cries a woman of Ramasagram. Explain the atrocities the villagers were subjected to.
- They realized that the lack of unity had been the cause for their Plight. What followed this realization? How did it help the people of Ramasagram?
- Describe the result of the declaration by the Mohathemeem?
The story Sanghala Panthulu was written by Suravaram Pratapa Reddy, is a versatile personality, an editor, researcher, writer, activist, and motivator, a multifaceted personality, and a polyglot capable of using Telugu, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, English, and Parsi.
The story Sanghala Panthulu aimed to portray the police behavior with the residents in the Nizam era. The story was plotted in Ramasagaram, a small village, located on the banks of river Krishna. The narrative took place before the 1940s in the Nizam’s regime. The village comprises of different communities of population. There were about 500 houses in that village: 30 belonged to Komaties, 80 were Kapu community, 100 Madiga and the rest belonged to Sundry (Chakali/Dhobi) and other castes. The majority of the villagers are illiterate, fearful, and unorganized and they lacked unity.
The police used to exploit them, taking advantage of their ignorance and fear. In fact, there was no need for a police station in that village. The police purposefully forced the villagers to fulfill their demands for drudgery (free and forceful work without wages), provisions, groceries, and fowls free of cost.
One day, Ameen sahib demanded some dry fruit from a Komati, as he failed to bring. He was beaten by the Jawan with a Chappal (shoe). The other incident, about Ameen Sahab’s wife ordered to a 70-year-old woman( Madiga woman) to bring the “Rela” firewood, as she failed to get from the forest. The woman was beaten to death by the Begum Sahiba.
In another incident, she branded a woman on her cheek for not cleaning the toilet satisfactorily. The Jamedar has beaten a man for not pressing his legs. The atrocities of the police were unbearable to the villagers. Some of them wanted to migrate to the other side of the Krishna river. The people, who were living on the other side were happy. The region was ruled by the British.
The day, Sanghala Panthulu arrived in that village, the villagers came to know the man of associations came to our rescue. They followed the suggestions, he has given in his meetings, the first one, held at Patel’s house with Komaties and the other one, under the peepal tree. The situation was dramatically changed, and hardships were started for the police. No one is ready to work without wages. The Ameen sahab’s toilets were dirty for a week. The police tried to threaten the Sanghala Pantulu and took him to the police station. The villagers took a chance to beat the police with sticks and whatever they got. The police informed their higher officer (Mohtameem) to send the army, but the situation is uncontrollable. The Mohtameem arrived at the village. He enquired with the villagers about the happenings. The villagers told everything, and the Mohtameem could understand the reality. He demoted the Ameen Sahab to Jamedar and suspended all the Jawans for six months. All the villagers celebrated the festival in their village.
Thus the Mohatameem declaration brought an end to their atrocities and miserable life.
The story Sanghala Panthulu, crafted by Suravaram Pratapa Reddy, offers an insightful reading.
The village Ramasagaram is just a symbol. Atrocities witnessed in that village were common all over the Nizam’s state. The old woman who being starved brought the wood for Begum Sahiba was abused and kicked to death. The suffering of villagers was unbearable. Lack of unity among people their ignorance about their rights and their timidity came in handy to the exploiters. As a resolution of the crisis, the elder and well-informed gentleman (Panthulu), helped the villagers form into associations (Sanghalu). He explains to them the need to be bold and to know their rights. They lodged a complaint against the police official the higher authorities. The authorities realized the folly of police. The Mohathemeem (Judge) suspended the officials who ill-treated the people and ordered to remove the police station from the village. The villagers were delighted and celebrated their victory together.
The story offers interesting insights into the then social, economic, political and cultural conditions.