Author : Sudhakar Narayanan
Tamil Nadu played a pivotal role in the country’s struggle for Independence. In fact, the first resistance to the British was offered by the rebellious Polygars like – Puli Thevar, Ondiveeran, Marudu Brothers and Velu Nachiyar They set a precedent to the next generation that a mission to be fulfilled. The common chord that binds every freedom
fighter in Tamil Nadu is ‘freedom from the British’ before and during the Gandhian era. Each one of them adopted their own methods to protest against British rule.
Vallal Pandithurai Devar donated money, G. A. Natesan through his powerful writings, T. V. Kalyanasundaram through spiritualism, Sardar Vedaratnam Pillai, who transformed prisoners to patriots, Kothai Nayaki
Ammal through storytelling, S. D. Somasundaram through movies and others. There were many in Tamil Nadu who crossed the shores and garnered support for Indian independence in foreign countries such as, M.P. Thirumalacharya and Chenbagaraman Pillai.
There are also heart wrenching stories of freedom fighters like Thillaiyadi Valliammai. At the age of 16, she protested against the British in South Africa and was arrested. She was severely ill and was tortured by the police in the prison. The British police mocked and asked her, “India doesn’t even have a fl ag. What are you really fi ghting for?”.
Valliammai ripped off her saffron white green saree and said, “If having a flag is what would give form to India, then here it is, MY FLAG, MY MOTHERLAND. “On 22nd February at the age of 16 she died. Gandhi said that it was because of martyrs like Valliammai that had increased his resolve in fighting for Indian independence.
There are many Valliammais like this and it’s high time we celebrate them. Despite being worthy of all the glory that there is, remain anonymous to the masses today.
This book is for everyone. Young and the aged. For the curious and the nostalgic. The book features 125 freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu who strived for independence.
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