~ By Tejasvini Rai
“SHE IS THE STRUGGLE FOR INDIAN INDEPENDENCE, UNLESS IT CAME TO HER LAST BREATHE, MADE PATRIARCHY CALL HER DEVIL…….”
Each time when I thought about the Independence, I’m reminded of dreadful event, that had made me complete shaken at the moment, how one can forget the day of Independence (Azaadi), the struggle, the priceless loss, the terrible attacks, starvation, killing and then the ‘breathe of freedom’?
Though 74 years of Independent completed. But with unknown knowledge about the Indian Independence, the blood of freedom fighters, the initiative of Indians, the movement, the andolans, the slogans, the conspiracy meetings, the days without food, the gulaami and many- many more struggle. They must be taught about every individual support of Independence.
Such a pillar was Velu Nachiyar, the princess of Sivaganga in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu who took birth on 3 January 1730. Velu was the first queen who fought against the British colonial power in India, and laid the emphasis of ‘Nari Shakti’ across the globe. She was commonly known as by Tamils as Veeramamgai (the brave women).
Velu Nachiyar was the only child of Raja Chellamuthu Vijayaraguntha Sethupathy and Rani Sakandhimuthathal of kingdom of the Ramnad. She was a great dancer and had presented “VELU NACHIYAR”, a Grand Dance Ballet on Sivaganga Queen. She was skilled and trained for distinguish wars to fought against the Britishers. Nachiyar was adept at using weapons, martial arts such as Vallari, Silambam, horse riding and archery, talvar- bazi and many more. She was scholar in various languages like, French, English, and Urdu. She had married to the king of Sivaganga at the age of 16, with whom she had a daughter. Unfortunately, her husband, Muthuv Dungananthperiya Udaiya Thevar was killed by British soldiers and Nawab of Arcot. She has to drawn into battle and escaped with her only daughter.
When her husband died while fighting with Britishers, she formed an army. During this period, with her bravery, she sought an alliance with Gopala Nayaker and Hyder Ali with the one and only motive to attack the Britishers and to destroy them. Rani Velu had successfully fought in 1780. After the battle, when she had found her place where the British stored their ammunition, she arranged suicide. The throne was inherited by her daughter Vellacci of the kingdom in 1790. Velu Nachiyar granted the powers and kingdom to her daughter along with Marudu brothers as to help administration, military, defense of state in 1780.
Velu Nachiyar was the queen to fight for the freedom of India and Indians from the British powers. She fought courageously and had put the footprints of freedom, struggle, breathe and happiness.
Velu Nachiyar, the little known-queen from Ranthambore was the first Indian female ruler who had fought and stood triumphant against the British. She also had devised the first recorded suicide bombing in history with her commander. She had highly impressed her dynasty with courage and perseverance and even she had led the woman’s army named as “udaiyar”. When she had asked support from Gopala Nayaker and Haider Ali, they were obliged to her and even had built a temple inside his palace as a sign of their friendship, togetherness, support, spirit.
The valiant queen passed away at the age of 66, in the year 1796 in her beloved kingdom. As she was suffering from heart problem, that made the path of heaven to receive her. In her remembrance on 31 December, 2008 a stamp was released. The country was taught about her bravery, courage, motive, struggle, freedom, revenge and spirit. There has been laid the statue of Velu Nachiyar in Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu.
The late former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalitha had inaugurated the Veeramangai Velu Nachiyar Memorial in Sivagangai on 18th July, 2014. The 6 feet bronze statue of queen Nachiyar was erected and was announced that 3rd January would be celebrated as the birth anniversary of the dare queen who fought without bothering about her life and daughter as early as the 18th century.
Creators are different, have different story. Every “Individual” is counted for the freedom of India and Indians. Velu Nachiyar is the pilgrimage of wisdom, sacrifice, resistance and struggle.
I now pen down, summing up my views with the thought:
Our nation is like a tree of which the original trunk is Swarajya and the branches are Self-dependent and Swadeshi.