Published on: November 11, 2021




From this year, the Karnataka government has decided to celebrate ‘Onake Obavva Jayanti’ on November 11 throughout the state

Who is Onake Obavva

Onake Obavva

  • Died fighting the troops of Hyder Ali, a ruler of the Mysore Kingdom and father of Tipu Sultan, when he invaded the Chitradurga Fort, which was ruled by Madakari Nayaka in the 18th century.
  • Considered to be the epitome of Kannada pride and celebrated along with other women warriors of Karnataka state like Abbakka Rani (first Tuluva Queen of Ullal in coastal Karnataka who fought the Portuguese), Keladi Chennamma (the queen of the Keladi Kingdom who is known for fighting against Mughal emperor Aurangzeb), and Kittur Chennamma (Queen of Kittur known for the 1824 revolt against the British East India Company).

Obavva’s legacy in Karnataka

Onake Obavva’s courage and quick thinking have been praised by the people of Karnataka, especially in the Chitradurga region, where a stadium is named after her. Her sculpture is installed by the government near the district commissioner’s office in Chitradurga. The hole through which Hyder Ali’s soldiers entered is called ‘Onake Obavvana Kindi’ (kindi means hole in Kannada) and has become a tourist spot along with the Chitradurga Fort.

Obavva squad in Karnataka Police

  • Inspired by Onake Obavva, in 2018, the Chitradurga police started ‘Obavva Pade’, a squad of women police constables to protect and educate women in the district.
  • Obavva squads were deployed in various parts of the district teaching women basic self-defence, educating them about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, offences under the Indian Penal Code, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, cybercrimes, and mobile offences.
  • The initiative was also implemented in Bengaluru the same year by the Bengaluru West division Police and in 2019 the Shivamogga district police started the squad with two female constables and one male constable patrolling the city, covering schools, colleges and other places to keep tabs on the eve-teasers.