Queen Velu Nachiyar the first female freedom fighter against British Empire, Udaiyal who sacrificed her life to protect her queen and Kuyili who burnt herself to detonate the British weaponry should have been the Symbol of Gallantry and Sacrifice of Indian freedom Movement. Not to forget they battled through their life as early as in 1772-90.
The sacred sacrifice of three ladies should have been documented on the first page of Indian freedom movement. But – oh…
Perhaps She would not have had anticipated that after freedom, Society would return to the slavery of fake historian and Shameless intellectual who would sing song of praise for same white Skinned British once again.
It was Kalaiyar Koil war in 1772, when her Husband King Muthuvaduganatha Udaiya Thevar martyred against the British and Nawab of Arcot. A personal tragedy, loss of Kingdom, tactical escape from the Sivaganagi and her depleted column of army, yet she remained unnerved. More determined and resolute. She wrote her fate with her own hands.
Her story is as inspiring as Rani Laxmi Bai (1857). They both braved against British and India traitor Nawab, built their military and led their battle upfront. Queen Velu Nachiyar was mother of her only Girl child Vellachi. A warrior mother who fought the odds, defeated British and regained her Kingdom to rule Sivagangai for 10 years 1780-90.
Velu Nachiyar and Vellachi Escaped British: Kalaiyar Koil war in 1772 against British saw the loss and martyrdom of King Muthuvaduganatha Udaiya Thevar. She was informed about this tragedy while she was camping at Kollangudi.
She had no choice but to escape and to prepare for a long battle ahead. British added by Nawab of Arcot were chasing, encircling making all effort to eliminate her. A possible encounter was inevitable, but for the heroic sacrifice of a Lady Udaiyal. Who denied delayed the British Military movement by refusing to divulge the details of Queen Velu Nachiyar escape. The brave lady Udaiyal was cut into two pieces. But her sacrifice secured the life of Queen Velu Nachiyar and her daughter Vellachi and sealed the freedom of Sivagangai a few years from now.
Till date the Brave Lady Udaiyal is remembered as a village god in Kollangudi as “Vettu Udaiyal Kaali” (means kaali who bore received and accepted cuts from sword in saving Rani thereby stood by the side of Dharmam).
However sad to notice that the free India turned out to be so ungrateful to such heroic sacrifice of our freedom struggle.
Velu Nachiyar along with her six year old daughter Vellachi finale successfully managed her escaped and took refuge in Virupatchi near Dindigul under the protection of Palayakaarar Kopaala Naayakkar, She was indebted to the sacrifice of Brave lady Udaiyal. She paid her last respect and placed a center Stone on her Burial Site as per Tamil Custom.
Queen Velu Nachiyar decided to raise an army of female warriors and named her after Udaiyal in respect of her Supreme sacrifice.
Vow to avenge British: In the next seven year of hiding and constant movement, she prepared a strong valiant military. She had pledged support from Dalavay Thandavaraya Pillai and Maruthu Pandiar brother the loyal and able chief. While Dalavay Thandavaraya Pillai was a military and administrative strategist the Maruthu Pandiar brothers were sturdy warriors in their prime.
It was the bad luck of Queen Velu Nachiyar that her strategist and visionary Dalavay Thandavaraya Pillai passed away very early in 1773. Yet the idea to raise a trained army and collaborate together before making final assault on British as a strategy conceived by him was retained and executed by the Queen. Queen herself evolved into a diplomat besides being a military commander. She had proficiency in seven languages. And that brought her military preparation and campaign quite easy in reaching to her ally in this war.
Among the Maruthu Pandiar the Periya Maruthu (elder) headed Vaal Vel padai (Army that fights enemy using Sword and Vel ) and younger Chinna Maruthu (younger) headed Valari Padai (Throwing Boomerang like stick made of wood and sharp iron blades at the edges).
Queen Velu was blessed to have an adopted daughter cum personal accompanying female warrior Kuyili. She should have been remembered for having made the willful supreme sacrifice of her life alongside the other two warriors, Lady Queen Velu Nachiyar and Udaiyal to set the freedom of her motherland.
Unbelievable from any standard that indomitable Queen Velu was successful in raising and motivating a completely armed and equipped female contingent of frontline warriors in those days. And of course to commemorate the sacrifice of Lady Udayal, She named the female battalion as udayal padai.
1780, Time had come for final assault and set free the kingdom of Sivagangai from British and Nawab of Arcot. Her information about the logistics of British weaponry and soldiers was accurate. She decided to do something unbelievable.
On discovering the appropriate location of British store of weapons and ammunition, she planned a suicide attack. The legendary lady Kuyili, her loyal follower (Her adopted daughter) doused herself in oil and set herself ablaze before ramming into the store. Huge explosion with a ring of fire followed total demolition of British weaponry and underneath was the silence of supreme sacrifice of Warrior Kuyili.
British army was virtually made disarmed through this one valiant effort. Queen velu added by the warrior brother Maruthu Pandiar made frontal assault. British and Nawab of Arcot had no choice but to retreat. But Queen Venu ensured to destroy the remotest of resistance in her ways with full might.
The Kingdom of Sivagangai was now retrieved. Mere sight of Sivagangai had engulfed her in deep trauma and unforgetable pain. The wound of losing her husband King Muthuvaduganatha Udaiya Thevar, the precarious Narrow escape along with her six year old daughter Vellachi and supreme sacrifice of loyalist follower Udayals and Kuyili had not erased as yet. The melancholy Queen Velu had to get rid of her emotions soon.
The victorious Queen came to the spot where her loyalist Udayals was mercilessly severed into pieces by British. She had avenged her death. In her memory and gratitude, She constructed a temple which still remains in the name Vettudaiya kaliamman.
1780–1790. She was the first queen, a legendary warrior to fight against the British colonial power in India. She is known by Tamils as Veeramanagai (“Brave Women”). She ruled her territory with astounding administrative acumen and absolute control for 10 year from1780-1790. Her kingdom regained the glory and grandeur. She was a religious lady who constructed lots of temple in countryside and specially championed the cause of female empowerment.
1790: The growing age needed some rest. So she decided to hand over the reins of Kingdom in the hand of Cheifs Marudhu brothers and relieved herself from active political life.
Queen Velu Nachiyar breathed her last in 1796 following an illness. She was a legendary Queen and great freedom warrior against British in the royal family of Sivagangai.
Deceit and hypocrisy of Modern colonial historians have no end. She had been systematically erased from academic history and her name is only mentioned as a footnote today. It is so painful to even imagine if the generation to come would not believe her for her great courage and unparalleled valor.
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