Thursday, 23 July 2015

Marudu brothers, yet another early rebels against the British rulers - British India

Marudhu  Pandiyar brothers of Ramnad, Tamil Nadu who rebelled agaist the
When the British East India company moved into places what now constitute as south Tamil Nadu, their atrocities went far beyond the tolerance of the natives. The idea of foreign domination and rule over them was alien to them and the natives felt that this would amount to slavery. It was in this background so many  leaders of valor and wisdom emerged in the Peninisular India. The courageous rebellions by them remain etched in the history of India, and  Tamil Nadu in particular. The Marudu brothers proved they were a force to reckon.

The Marudhu  Pandiyar brothers (Periya Marudhu and Chinna Marudhu), who ruled Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu towards the end of the 18th century,  were the first to have made a proclamation of independence from the British rule on 10 June, 1801. Before that they visited  Sri Renganathar (Vishnu) temple, Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli  Tamil Nadu, prayed before the deity and later made the proclamation. The elder brother - Periya Marudu  was born on 15.12.1748  in a village  called Narikkudi near Arrupukottai in Ramnad district  and the younger brother - Chinna Marudu was born  in 1753 in Ramnad. Their parents were Udayar Servai alias Mookiah Palaniappan Servai and Anandayer alias Ponnathal.
Marudhu  Pandiyar brothers of Ramnad, Tamil Nadu.
As the father served for the Ramnad state military as Army General, obviously  brothers were trained in native martial arts at Surankottai which traditionally served as a training center for the Ramnad state army. Later they were employed in the the Sivaganga state army.  They worked for Raja Muthuvaduga Thevar of Sivagangai and later promoted to higher position such as minister.

Soon after the death of the ruler and his first wife  during an encounter with the British forces at Kayayar kovil in 1772 under the  commander  Lt.Col. Bon Jour, Marudu  brothers along with  Velu Nachiyar, the widow of Muthuvaduga Thevar and her daughter fled to Dindukal which was ruled by Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore. During exile at Dindukal, she was ably assisted by Marudu brothers, Hyder Ali  and a local military commander. After two years in 1780, Hyder Ali attacked the Nawob of Arcot and at the same time  Marudu brothers with help from Syed Sahib, desolated the Nawab’s territories at Madurai. The Nawob's forces at Sivaganga  were no match for the forces led by Marudu brothers and Velu Nachiyar  with solid support  from the local people. Their aim was to free the lost territories to the Nawob whose alley was the British. Thus Marudu brothers were instrumental in regaining the lost territories for the Queen of Ramnad Velu Nachiyar who  once again became the Queen of Ramnad. The Marudu brothers became her ministers. The Nawob could not collect taxes from the people for a long time and it was compensated by Queen Nachiyar. Marudu brothers with 12,000 soldiers  plundered the territories of the Nawob. On the 10th of March,1789 the British forces attacked the Marudu brothers' army at Kollangudi, which was repelled by them.

Marudu brothers gave full support to Palayakkarar chietain Kattabomman and his brothers of Panchalam kuruchi who valiantly rebelled against the British who demanded  land taxes from them and the locals. These wars against the British had taken long before sepoy mutiny of 1857. After the fall of Tipu Sultan the British paid full attention to eliminate Kattabomman, his brothers and Marudu brothers as well because they stood in their way of complete take over of southern most territories (now  Tamil Nadu). At last with great difficulty, the foreign rulers  on october 17, 1799 at Kayatar(near Thirunelveli) hanged Kattabomman to death on filmy ground.

 Kattabomman's brother Oomathrai killed several British officers in an explosion set by him in the ammunition depot during the battle, and the British were after Oomthrai who took asylum with Marudu brothers in the jungles  of Kalayar Kovil. After Velu Nachiyar's passing away, Marudu brothers ruled their land well and built temples, etc. Their rebellion against the British continue and at last the brothers and  their family members were hanged to death  on October 24,1801 by the East India company officials. The reason: he wanted the British to quit India earlier