Sunday, 5 April 2020

Patriot Vanchinathan who shot dead Collector Ashe, a fitting memorial in his birth place.

Across Tamil Nadu, South India  one can see  countless statues of various sizes and types of  well-known political leaders in towns and cities. These  statues assume importance only on the birthday/or death anniversary of the leader  and rest of the year they remain unattended and poorly cared for. On many of these statues, the garland (that adorned it on the birthday) remains very much there for months together with dried withered petals or shrunken in size  exposing the thread inside. The sad part is these leaders  had neither made an iota of sacrifices for the freedom of our country, nor had they at least courted arrest once during the tumultuous period of freedom struggle. 
Veera Vanchinathan memorial, Shenkotta, TN  thehindu.com


Veera Vanchinathan memorial, Shenkotta, TN tamil.oneindia.com/
Can you believe until 2013 there had been no memorial hall or a statue in honor of patriot Vanchinathan in this state?  The people belonging to Tirunelveli  district had been demanding it for a long time. The late CM Jayalalithaa   fulfilled  the long-felt demand  for a memorial dedicated to freedom fighter R. Vanchinathan in the 3rd week of December, 2013 by declaring open the memorial in Shencottah, his birth place.  An amount of Rs. 50 lakh was allocated  for the memorial, which had a bust of the martyr. It is quite befitting that a mandabam (hall) is built to honor this patriot so that the younger generation can get inspiration from Veera Vanchinathan  to inculcate patriotism and nation-building in a democratic  society.
Patriot veera Vanchinathan, TN. en.wikipedia.org

Vanchnathan  (1886-1911)  was a daring freedom fighter. Being a follower of V.O. Chidambaram , he was quite saddened the way British treated him, a lawyer of repute, labor leader and a freedom fighter. In the matter of Coral Mills, Tuticorin (Thuthukudi), VOC solved the labor problem amicably and A& F Company that ran the mills was not happy about VOC's interference in the company matter.  In collusion with Collector  and District Magistrate Robert William D' Escourt Ashe, they gave him all kinds of problems. Ashe, it is said, played a key role in setting road blocks for the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company, founded by VOC in 1906. This company was competing with the Shipping Co run by A & F.
According to a publication of the Crime Branch - Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) released in 2011, Vanchinathan and other revolutionaries had a grudge against the Collector for his biased decision involving VOC. What angered him most was VOC
 and his friend  Subramania Shiva, were
charged with sedition and  given rigorous imprisonment,  causing unprecedented protest  (in 1908)  Tirunelveli district   in violation of governments  orders not to enter the  Tirunelveli district, held public meetings in Tirunelveli town. Soon VOC's shipping Co  became broke and VOC's life was ruined.
patriot Veera Vanchinathan sampspeak.in

Killing  somebody is a heinous crime and ardent Hindus never do 
it and there is no justification for it. During India' freedom struggle, patriots  across took to violence in extreme cases against the extremely arrogant and haughty British officials  The case in point is killing of British officer Rand. W.C. Rand, Pune Municipal commissioner   was assassinated by the Chaphekar brothers on July 22, 1898  for his humiliating actions against the Indian women during the plague pandemic. He allowed the British soldiers to strip the Hindu women in public in the name of body searching for symptoms of plague attack. This led to instances of rape.
Vanch maniachi, TN location map. thehindu.com
Vanchnathan and his associates came to the fag end of their patience against the obnoxious British officials.  With no choice on hand, Vanchi and other patriots wanted to get rid of Ashe soon for his unethical and dishonest act as a public servant. 
On June 17, 1911, Vanchinathan along with his accomplice, Madasamy, entered the Maniachi railway junction. The collector and family members were on the way to Kodaikonal hill resort  and Vanchi entered the  train  compartment on the sideline and fired at the Collector point blank, using an automatic Belgian-made Browning pistol, the police document says. Later  around 11-30 a.m, the Collector died of internal hemorrhage.  Vanchinathan entered a toilet and shot himself dead to avoid capture and Madasamy escaped and was never caught. 
http://navrangindia.blogspot.com/2015/10/vanchinathan-who-shot-dead-collector.html
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jayalalithaa-opens-vanchinathan-memorial-in-shencottah/article5494457.ece