People’s Leader Sardar Gouthu Latchanna

Sardar Gouthu Latchanna

Introduced Jyotirao Phule to Andhra Pradesh (United)
Freedom fighter
Leader for Kisans
Leader for weaker sections
Leader for backward castes

Dr. Gouthu Latchanna was born in Baruva village of the Sompeta mandal, Srikakulam district in the state of Andhra Pradesh on 16 August 1909. He was the eighth child of Chittaiah, a toddy tapper and Rajamma. He married Yashodha Devi, who died in 1996. He died at the age of 98 in Visakhapatnam on 19 April 2006.

He was a champion of kisans, backward classes, weaker sections and one of the most prominent leaders of his time. He was arrested at a very young age of 21 when he participated in the Salt Satyagraha at Palasa. Latchanna also participated in the Quit India Movement. He was conferred the title of sardar for his fearless fight against the British Raj. He was the born leader of masses, freedom fighter and social reformer. Till Independence, he fought against British. After the end of British Raj, it was on political and social fronts for the sake of farmers, labourers, and the working class. He was also the member of Madras Trade Union Board. He was instrumental in bringing down the government of Prakasham Panthulu on the issues of prohibition.

Gouthu Latchanna was actively involved in the separate statehood for Andhra through separation from composite Madras from 1953. In 1954, with the enactment of Prohibition Act, the excise department harassed lakhs of toddy tappers who were thrown out of employment. Latchanna organised and led the tappers satyagraha to secure rehabilitation for the unemployed tappers. More than 6000 toddy tappers court arrested and sent to jail. Yashodadevi, wife of Latchanna did satyagraha in Guntur with 25,000 tappers. Finally, when Latchanna passed no-confidence motion against Tanguturi Prakasam government, the government fell leading to mid-term elections.

His life of self-abnegation and service for the down-trodden is a model for all of us, and in particular the youth to draw inspiration and to emulate. He is essentially a humanist and spokesman of the suffering humanity of India. He is not only a champion of humanism in theory, on platform and in the press, but also a tireless and sincere practitioner of humanism. It is an inspiration for the younger generation to learn about Sardar Gouthu Latchanna’s dedication and selfless service to the nation.

Tata Sivaiah, President, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule & Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Educational Circle


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