Meet Sheik Bandagi The Man Who Gave His Life To Fight The Shackles Of Bonded Labour!

 

Now before you’ll start imagining a war sequence or rebellion scenes against the British Army let me tell you he’s not what you imagine. Before I end this article you’ll know why I referred him as Mangal Pandey of Telangana.

It is not always a Gandhi or Chandra Bose type of people who work solely for freedom of the country. Their personal fight against the beliefs and un-ethical methods of others also result in changing the phase of history. Here’s such story of a small peasant whose fight against his own brother resulted in the foundation of historical moments like “Bhuvanagiri Andhra Maha Sabha” and “Telangana Saayudha Poraatam”.

On 17-07-1941 the course of Telangana history was bound to take a turn, a small peasant’s strong desire and willingness to fight against the unlawful decisions has ended, Sheik Bandagi was stabbed brutally with knives and axes and the goons thought that the ray of hope that crooked rule of Nizams would end and a wish for the freedom of common people was as killed along with him. But, this was the moment that gave rise the revolt against landlords and Nizams in Telangana.

Sheik Bandagi was a common peasant and like any other typical family he had a dispute with his brother Fakir Ahmed for a land that was meant to be shared equally. Resisting to share any land with Sheik, Fakir has also led this matter to the local panchayath which was headed by Vishnoor Deshmukh “Ram Chandra Reddy”. Fakir Ahmed (brother of Sheik) was a close aide to Ram Chandra Reddy; hence he manipulated the panchayath unlawfully to give a judgment in favor of him. Sheik Bandagi rejected the decision by panchayath and was devastated by the false accusations. Fakir has also forcefully grabbed his remaining land forcing him to file a civil case in the local session’s court in the year 1930 questioning the result. This was later transferred to high court. Throughout this period he faced many death threats asking him to withdraw the case, after fighting for nearly 11 years and facing the harassment, he won the case on 17-07-1941. This was too much to digest for Ram Chandra Reddy and he sent goons to help his brother Fakir kill Sheik. Sheik was en route to collect the decision papers from high court and was killed before he could collect them and was stabbed brutally by knives and axes.

This caused serious outrage among the masses and the news of Sheik being murdered by the men of deshmukh spread like wildfire. As a result a the outrage against the feudalistic rulers rose like a wave in the region which later spread throughout. Though his fight was against his personal advantage it was the sense of lawfulness and spirit of freedom is the thing that makes him what he is today. Somewhere between the stories of revolt and suppression Sheik Bandagi was lost, he was left unsung and unidentified. His spirit to fight and face the Deshmukhs lived on to give rise to “Saayudha Poraatam”. Today he is just a mere story in the region of Jangam and Hanumakonda surroundings, few forgotten songs, a tombstone with his name engraved is what is left of him.

Just like a freedom fighter who fought against the British for his religious beliefs Sheik Bandagi fought against the Deshmukhs. In the peoples view he is nothing less than any freedom fighter.

May his spirit and wish of freedom live on forever and shine throughout the history.

 

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