Context: Recently, Union Cabinet Ministry, approved a tribal university for Telangana-‘the Sarakka Central Tribal University’. The Central Government announced the establishment of the university as a part of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The University is to be named after Sammakka-Sarakka, revered by the local tribal community.
- As per the legends, Sammakka was married to a feudal chief of the Kakatiyas dynasty (ruled over the Warangal region). Sarakka/Saralamma was the daughter of Sammakka.
- Kakatiya dynasty ruler, Prataprudra imposed taxes on the Koya tribe and later declared battle on the tribe when the chief was not able to pay the taxes.
- The Sammakka Sarakka Jathara/Medaram Jathara, a biennial festival is celebrated to commemorate this battle of the 13th-century, in which the mother-daughter duo participated against the local rulers in protest against the imposition of taxes.
- Sammakka and Sarakka are worshipped as the protector of Koya tribe.
- The festival shows no Vedic or Brahmanic influence.
- The ritual of the festival includes taking holy dip in Jampanna Vagu (a stream), a tributary of River Godavari.
- From Medaram, the Jathara begins and priests belonging to Koya tribe perform the rituals. Medaram is situated in the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary, a part of Dandakaranya forest.
- Various tribal and non-tribal communities participate in the festival, from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattishgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jharkhand.
- It is the second largest fair of India, and is often referred to as the Kumbh Mela of the tribals.
- The festival is declared a state festival by the Telangana government.