Sardar Gouthu Latchanna was a born leader of ordinary people. He was a noticeable freedom fighter and social reformer. He participated in Salt Satyagraha of Palasa and in Quit India Movement. Gouthu Latchanna received the title “Sardar” for his courageous fight with the British Government. He was the leader of weaker sections of the society. He established the trade union Indian National Trade Union Congress. He was the founder of the INTUC and the member of Madras Trade Union Board.
He joined the freedom movement at the age of twenty one. He participated in Salt Satyagraha of palasa. On the same year in April 1930, when British government conduct a raid for salt makers at Naupada, Gouthu Latchanna was arrested for the first time. During the trial he was sent to Tekkali and then Narasannapeta sub-jails in Srikakulam. After the verdict, he was sent to Berhampur jail in Ganjam. During this one month of jail he faced tremendous torture. In 1931 The Gandhi- Irwin Pact was signed between Mahatma Gandhi and Viceroy of India Lord Irwin. After that pact, Gouthu arranged Satyagraha camp in his birth place Baruva. He also organized picketing of liquor, foreign clothes shops and palm toddy in Sompeta, Tekkali and Ichchapuram. He also joined in the Civil Disobedience Movement under the Congress leadership in Baruva. The movement faced lathi-charged and he was arrested. This time he jailed for six months in Rajahmundry Central Jail.
He was also a social reformer who fought against untouchables, well distribution in the basis of social class and other issues. When he released from jail, on those days he was inspired by Gandhi’s “fast-unto-death” on the issue of untouchable. He noticed that his birth place Baruva is mostly affected by the social classification and its evil effects. On those days Harijan couldn’t use the water of the well, Harijanchildren didn’t get any chance to study, theydidn’t have proper decent way to earn livelihood. He also arranged “HarijanSevaSangram” at his birth place for helping the Harijans. He started a night school for Harijan children for their education. He organized a district level agitation for the untouchable. He made a well for the Harijans at baruva to solve the drinking water crisis. This was the reason for which he and his companions were socially prohibited.
On those days he was aggressively engaged in the freedom movement. In 1942 he joined in Quit India Movement that transformed to the ferocious raids on the Kalingopatnam post office, no-tax campaign, raid on Srikakulam sub- collector office and weapon stored train derailment in his village. He became the most wanted criminal to the Madras government. Madras government declared ten thousand rupees award if anyone can provide information about Latchanna. That trick of the government was failed. So the Madras government issued an order of shoot-at-sight. He was underground for few months when he was invited in a meeting of South India Congress at Madras. When he was moving to the Madras with KilliAppala Naidu he was arrested for the third time. Andhra Congress leader Sampath Kumar sent this information to the government. He was condemned for one year for his rebellious acts and this time he was sent to the Alipuram camp jail. He was re-arrested at the gate of the jail when he released after one year of imprisonment. Then he sent to the Cannanore central jail, then to the Tanjavur central jail and after that to the Rayavallore jail. He was finally got freedom in October 1945.
When he was in the Rajahmundry central jail he met with Bijay Kumar Sinha and Siva Verma. Bijay Kumar Sinha and Siva Verma were convicted for the Lahore Conspiracy Case. GouthuLatchannawas planning to form a similar revolutionary party in Andhra Pradesh like “Indian Republic Revolutionary Party” with his mates Anne Anjayya and AlluriSatyanarayanaraju. He started his visit to the Cuttack, Kharagpur, Calcutta and Tatanagar to meet the Indian Republic revolutionary party leaders to keep his promise to the Bijay Kumar Sinha and Siva Verma. But he failed to meet the leaders.
When he came back to the Baruva, he joined in the No- Tax Campaign. He supported and joinedthe movement of farmers. He understood that the farmers were failed to pay the land revenue tax and they were heavily suffered for the tax system. He participated in the foot march that was organized by NG Ranga which was started from Varanasi to Chatrapur. Then he struggled for the eliminating the Zamindari system. He organized All India KisanSabha at palasa in 1942 in which N G Rang A Tribute to the great Heroes of Indiaa , SahajanandSaraswati, PullelaSyama and SundaraRao were joined. They burnt the model of zamindari system and arranged a public meeting.
Latchanna also supported the people belongs to the weaker section of the society who really needed help. During the Second World War in 1941, when Burma was devastated by the bombings, he set the “Burma Refugee’s Conference” at Narasannapeta. This conference was organized to provide assistance to the Indian labours of Burma who came back to their birth place India. On that time Madras government obliged to provide relief to those people through the “Burma Evacuees Relief Committee”.
He was the leader of Harijans means Dalits. He organized Andhra Pradesh Backward classes Conference at Guntur to earn their general rights and benefits from the Indian Constitution in 1948. He fought for the rights of the reservations and social, economic, and educational benefits for the backward classes. He travelled across the state to meet the backward people.
He fought for the labours and workers. He fought for their pay scale hike, organising strikes for several issues and for the right of the labours. He was established the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the Andhra Pradesh section. He was the President of that unit till 1955. He was also in the position of President of Shipyard Labour Union of Vishakhapatnam.
He served as the member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly for about 35 years. He was the MLA from Sompeta Constituency from 1948 to 1983. He won both of the election of Loksabha and the Assembly election from Srikakulam in 1967. He left the Congress party in 1951 and joined Lok Dal Party. After that he joined Janata Dal.
Andhra University of Vishakhapatnam awarded him Doctorate in 1997. He also received Doctorate from the Nagarjuna University in 1999. In 2006, Veteran politician and freedom fighter took his last breath when he was 96 years old.