Sri Potti Sreeramulu (16 March 1901 – 16 December 1952), became famous for his hunger strike demanding the formation of a separate Andhra state. He lost his life in the process. His sacrifice led to linguistic re-organisation of states in India. He is well known as Amarajeevi (Immortal being) in the Andhra region.
He was born in Chennai (erstwhile Madras city) on 16th Mar 1901 to Guravaiah and Mahalakshmi. Their ancestors hailed from Padamati Palem village in Sri Potti Sreeramulu Nellore district. He studied in Madra until he was 20 and then enrolled for Sanitary Engineering course in Bombay. Later he took up a job in Great Indian Peninsular Railway where he worked for about 4 years.
Having lost his child and wife at an early age, he renounced family life by the age of 25 and joined Gandhiji in freedom struggle. During 1943-44 he worked to spread awareness on Charakha among Nelloreans. In 1946, he went on a hunger strike fighting for entry of Harijans into Venugopal Swamy Temple of Mulapet, Nellore.
He spent his later days in Nellore district fighting for the upliftment of Harijans. He breathed his lost on 15th Dec 1952 while on a hunger strike demanding separate statehood for Andhra.
The State of Andhra was formed on October 1, 1953, with Kurnool as its capital. On November 1, 1956, Andhra Pradesh was formed with Hyderabad as its capital.
No wonder, Mahatma had remarked “India would have attained Independence long back, if only it had a few stalwarts like him”.