Monday, 9 March 2015

Queen Velu Nachiyar first to introduce human bomb!! -

Sivaganga, Location in Tamil Nadu, India. en.wikipedia.org
Rani Velu Nachiyar of Sivaganga, Tami Nadu, India.swapsushias.blogspot.com
There is no dearth of patriots and warriors  from the southern belt of Tamil Nadu beyond Tiruchirapalli.  Veerapandiya Kattabomman, Puli Thevar, Maruthu Pandiyar, Mahakavi  Bharathi, Vanchi Nathan, V.O. Chidambaran  pillai and a host of others - made  remarkable contributions in their own and innovative ways to free India from the British and their daring exploits  ought to be etched in  golden letters for the progeny.  

Not satisfied with turning the affluent Indian Maharajahs and Nawobs of North India into penniless and powerless rulers, the British East India company  moved down south with the help of some traitors and reduced many local Maharajahs and rulers to poverty and squalor. Thus, through out India, the corrupt British company earned a bad name and as for the crown, it got a bad rap for being a mute spectator to their atrocities in the Indian sub continent.
Rani Velu Nachiyar of Sivaganga, Tami Nadu, India.en.wikipedia.org.
During the freedom struggle, many revolted against the foreign intruders and   their patriotic zeal, guts and innate ability to undergo hardship made  them a class apart. Velu Nachiyar, a courageous queen, was the first to show that  Indian women were brave enough to  drive out a foreign imperial power through  long careful  planning and patience along with undiminished courage. While Rani Mangammal of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, yet another queen was a shinning example among the  patriotic Indian women,  she blazed a different trail - how to be valiant to save a big kingdom in the midst of multi-pronged attacks from enemies and how to come out victorious by pursuing passion, commitments coupled with  sustained guts, valor and strong military strategy - all rolled into one.
Sivaganga palace entrance, Tamil Nadu, India.en.wikipedia.org
Rani Velu Nachiyar (1730-1789?), was an 18th century Indian queen from Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu, S. India. Sivaganga Kingdom, comprising a small area was founded by Sasivarna Periya Oodaya Thevar in 1730 and  was subsequently ruled by his successors and ultimately by princess Velu Nachiyar under the able guidance of  Warrior Maruthu Pandiyar, a patriot and a sworn enemy of the British. She was the first queen to have revolted against the mighty British and their oppressive rule and their poor treatment of native people right on their own soil. Her fight for freedom from the British  preceded the revolts by Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, Madhya Pradesh who boldly stood the ground  and fought against the British and their way of land grabbing under the garb of the ''doctrine of Lapse,'' introduced by Lord Dalhousie.

Rani Velu Nachiyar, the princess of Ramanathapuram and daughter of  Chellamuthu  Sethupathy  married the king of Siva Gangai and  had  a daughter - Vellachi Nachiar  by him. Her husband Muthu Vaduganatha periya  Udaiyathevar was killed along with his second wife by the British and their alley, the  Nawob of Arcot's son in a battle. Undaunted by the unstable and unfavorable political  situation on account of lack of male member in her family to rule the kingdom with frequent  threats from the British and Arcot Nawob forces,  she made up her mind to fight back her enemies at the right opportunity. So, after some deliberations, she  escaped with her daughter and went to  Virupachi near Dindigul (now in Tamil Nadu) and sought the help of Hyder Ali of Mysore, a sworn, but fearful enemy of the British, who was camping there. Palayakarar one Gopala Nayak was quite helpful to her in her stay there. During her long stay at Dindukal for about eight years, burning with anger, revenge and patriotic fire, she formed a formidable army and entered into an alliance with Hyder Ali.
  

In  1780 Rani Velu Nachiyar  attacked the British  settlements in a lightning speed that they had not seen before. She developed a separate well trained women's army whose members were equally brave, patriotic and disciplined. In the battle, upon finding the ammunition depot, Velu Nachiyar had her first human bomb - a  dedicated woman warrior by the name of ''Kuyili,'' carry out the difficult job. That brave, young woman, after dousing herself with inflammable oil, walked into the arsenal  and lit herself. Seconds later the entire place was ablaze. There was, nothing but destruction and chaos all  around. After this humiliating defeat  by an army led by a dynamic, woman warrior, the British left the place for good, never to turn back. This patriotic young woman, who was a human bomb, sacrificed her precious life for the freedom of her mother land from foreign rulers.
 

Velu Nachiyar, as a ruler kept the woman's army and named it “udaiyaal” in honor of her adopted daughter — Udaiyaal, who died detonating a British arsenal at the battle. Her courageous exploits against the  British company took place long before the Sepoy mutiny of 1857.
  

Queen Velu Nachiar  found successors in  Marudu brothers who were equally competent to administer the country in 1780. Velu Nachiar died after a few years later. Her date of death was not well recorded.
 

The Indian government honored this  great, valiant patriotic queen from the south by releasing  a commemorative postage stamp on  December 31 2008. This remarkable woman's courageous exploits are well  niched  in the annals of Indian history and they will keep inspiring people for generations to come.

Ref:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velu_Nachiyar
http://www.sivagangaiseemai.com/velunachiyar/

              (revised November 22, 2015)