The Little Town with a Large Heart

By Nitin Khot

Bella Vista Belagavi

For a hundred years, from the Kittur uprising of 1824 to the 39th Session of the Indian National Congress of 1924, Belgaum (Now Belagavi) featured in the national news for its role as a catalyst to the freedom struggle.

We now propose to harness some of the positive energy of this earlier epoch to bring to the people of Belgaum a type of development that they rightfully deserve.

To understand this ‘birthright’ of the Belgaum people it may be necessary to cast a brief backward glance at history.

The Age of Imperialism was brought to its close not by a single blow delivered by a towering figure, but by a series of small blows delivered to the body of the far flung Empire. It was akin to the numerous small tears that the hull of the ‘Titanic’ suffered in its collision with the iceberg – the tears that collectively sunk the ‘unsinkable’ ship.

One of the first blows delivered to the ‘invincible’ British Empire was in Kittur, in 1824.

Raising the banner of self-rule, Rani Chanamma resorted to direct action and eventually killed several English Officers including the then Collector, Mr. Thackeray and the Assistant Collector, Mr. Munro. The reverberation of this rebellion were felt throughout Belgaum (Now Belagavi) District which began to propel the people here powerfully to seek freedom.

In 1857, one person by the name of Munshi serving in the British Army, began to galvanize Sepoys stationed in Belgaum Fort, but the rebellion was stubbed out and five of the rebels were hung and five others sentenced to life imprisonment. Subsequently one Manipal Singh was arrested on 23rd August 1857 for stirring up a rebellion against the British and hanged.

Bhaskar Rao ‘Babasaheb’ Nargundkar, the famous revolutionary, was taken from Belgaum Fort to Haystacks Hill outside the city and hanged in public on 16th June 1858.

Before founding the Indian National Congress in 1885, Allen Hume visited Belgaum in 1883 and met the intelligentsia here, prominent amongst whom were the lawyers Vishnupant Natu and Bhate.

About the Author: Dr. Nitin G. Khot, an economist  (from the London School of Economics) and Delhi School of Economics, an environmentalist and a social activist.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. A post well written and best ever read on ABB thanks Mr Nitin and Uday , we still have imperialistic attitude towards Belgaum by successive Govt , I wish our city prosper bringing employment and youth reforms , livable lovable Belgaum for all and it belongs as much to Kanndaigas, Maratahis Konkanis and above pride of all to All Indians

    Jai Hind

  2. Belgaums got a glorious past.. which is now bin ripped apart.. thanks for bringin this to light thru AAB. I guess atleast this will help in curbin the differences….

  3. Great job Uday. And hi to mr. Khot, nice to see your comments. Anyways, even I am from BC no 24 Fort., and I really feel great when you post articles on this site.It ultimately Means dat, even the great people admire dis website which leads to the prosperity of my birth place which now i miss it a lot very badly. Even if i stay out of Belgaum, i love, respect n miss it a lot. people who stay out of Belgaum can understand my words very well.

  4. Good Post…. Uday

    I read a article and it was about a news paper of a country(Sweden) which always publish the good news everyday in its first page. Even the day when a greater earth quake claimed thousands of lives in that country, the same day this news paper published news about a boy who won a prize in national level games at the front page. and the earth quake news was at the next pages.

    This news paper always motivated the people of that country by giving a happy news everyday which touched every civilian and encouraged them to build their nation. Hope most of us know whats sweden is, what's its geographical size and what they build(Volvo,Nokia etc).

    The article published above is of this kind, Inspite of all the odds with us we have too many positive features in us and in our Belgaum and I wish AAB would make Belgaumites prosper by encouraging them to b positive always by giving some motivational news , rather than publishing junk news of border issue which motivates every one to comment in this blog but not to do anything better for Belgaum.

    • Very Nice observation Mahant. But a small correction : Nokia is not a Swedish company. Its Finnish. I guess you meant Ericsson in this context which is a Swedish company.

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