About Pattabhi Sitaramayya
Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the trusted lieutenant of Gandhi is better known as the official historian of the Congress or as the infamous contestant for presidentship of AICC against Subash Chandra Bose in 1939. A physician and a businessman, he not only played a crucial role in the nationalist and regional struggle between 1920-1950, but is regarded as the father of modern banking and insurance in Andhra.
It may not be out of context to say that Kasinathuni Nageshwara Rao and Pattabhi represent the rise of the nationalist capitalist class actively supporting the Congress. This was an indicator of the growing social base of the party. By 1930s, the otherwise mutually antagonistic classes of people had joined the Congress under the leadership of Gandhi. Pattabhi, Alluri, Prakasam are cases in point.
Pattabhi Sitaramayya's Contribution to Freedom Struggle
A prolific writer, Pattabhi Sitaramayya rose in prominence through his writings in The Hindu and his own Jhanma Bhoomi, an English weekly he started and edited. He entered public life through his activities and writings on the need to have a separate Andhra. There is no doubt that the regional Congress party was strengthened because of Pattabhi.
During the Non-cooperation movement, Pattabhi spent his life in prison for eight years. He was elected to the Andhra Congress committee in 1937 and to the AICC in 1948. Though his new position as Congress president gave him national stature, there was often criticism leveled against him that he unnecessarily meddled with Andhra politics and with Prakasam. He collaborated with Tamil leaders like OP Ramaswami Reddiar, and toppled the Prakasam ministry. His role in the Andhra movement had earned him both positive and negative image.
His famous debates on the need for a separate Andhra State with Nehru and Patel established his interest in the Andhra movement, while his statement on the status of Madras city in the Vishalandhra led to an 'uncomfortable' situation for Andhra leaders. And of course, his monumental work on the History of Indian National Congress and Gandhi and Gandhism are even today major source materials for students of modern Indian history.