|Marudhu Pandiyar brothers www.quazoo.|
Initially the brothers were in the service of the Raja of Ramnad Muthu Vaduganadha Thevar. Slowly they grew in stature and power. The British killed some members of the royal family and forced Queen Velu Nachiar to flee the country. When she was in exile in Dindukal, Tamil Nadu, Marudu brothers helped her a lot and saw to to it that she got her kingdom back from the British. Likewise when the Palayakkarars of Thirunelveli led by Kattabomman and others waged a war against the foreigners, the bothers helped them in the wars. Thus the Marudu brothers earned the ire of the British, who at last captured them and many of his family members at a place called Cholapuram. Chinna Marudu was hanged to death in the Fort of Tiruppathur (now called Oomayan Kottai), Sivaganga District, Tamil Nadu) on October 24, 1801.
|The Sarugani Church.www.thehindu.com|
Marudu Brothers, staunch Hindus were known for their bravery and war skill and also for their deep respect for Christian community living there then. A casual perusal of the history of Sacred Hearts Church, Sarugani reveled some interesting facts. The church received funds from Chinna Marudhu Panidyar, ruler of Sivaganga and younger of the Marudu Pandiyar brothers.
A rare manuscript records the munificence of the ruler. Standing before the gallows, in the fort of Thrupattur before execution, without any fear or trepidation, the courageous Chinna Marudu expressed his last wish to the East India Company officers to honor the ‘grants’ he had bequeathed to the Catholic Church. This incident was mentioned in the book titled '' Marutha Pandiyan'' by Rev. Baauche, a French Catholic Priest of 18th century who had lived there during that period. Chinna Mardu donated the entire village Maraneri, so that from the income religious services in the Church would continue for good. He also made provision for the conduct of annual car festival of the Serugani church. This was a fine gesture by a ruler as a token of his gratitude to a Christian priest of this Church who once saved him from near death when he was chased by the British troops led by one Martinz. According to Fr. Baauche Chinna Marudu helped the first group of community of Catholics from the Tanjore region (Tamil Nadu), the Nattambadiyars or Udaiyars settle down there upon their arrival here (1781-1783). It is quite amazing that this ruler of a small kingdom was very particular about his grants reaching the Church, unmindful of the fact that he was about to ascend the gallows and, that in a moment or two, the noose would be put around his neck, apparently his death was just minutes away from the scheduled time. Indeed a great, brave and pious soul; ''A great benefactor of the Church,” Fr. Baauche says.
Like many Hindu rulers, the Mardu Brothers, particularly Chinna Marudu, were as much known for their catholicity and veneration for other faiths as for their guts and valor. Secularism was their guiding principle, thus upholding the virtues religious freedom in their kingdom.