Potti Sriramulu was a great humanitarian and worked for the upliftment of Dalits. Potti Sriramulu undertook epic fast in 1952 and sacrificed his life that resulted in the creation of Andhra state. By his martyrdom Sriramulu has become the “Amarajeevi” or the immortal.
In 1946 he was able to gauge the feelings of the Andhras on the question of the formation of a separate province.
Andhras are by nature emotional and as such are capable of making great sacrifice for the causes dearest to them. During our struggle for freedoms many Andhras like Alluri Sitarama Raju, Kanneganti Hanumanthu, the illiterate peasant of Palnadu, laid down their lives and became martyrs. Apart from the freedom of the country another cause that involved Andhras emotionally was the creation of a separate Andhra province. Though the agitation for the creation of a separate Andhra province started as early as 1913, Andhras relegated that issue to the background from 1920 onwards as they felt that priority should be given for attaining the country’s freedom.
Epic Fast and creation of Andhra State: The contribution of Potti Sriramulu is infinite for the creation of State of Andhra Pradesh. After our country became free in August 1947, Andhras felt that a separate province would be created for them in no time, since the election manifesto of the Congress Party in 1946 promised the creation of linguistic provinces. They felt cheated that in spite of the election pledges of the Congress Party, and the J.V.P. Report, Andhra province was nowhere in sight even in 1952, five years after our country had attained independence. It was in such an emotionally charged atmosphere that Potti Sriramulu, a relatively unknown but dedicated Congress worker, undertook the epic fast in the tradition of Gandhiji on 19 October 1952 and sacrificed his life on 16 December 1952 so that the Andhras may have a state of their own. It was the martyrdom of Potti Sriramulu that led to the creation of a separate Andhra State in October 1953.