A couple of years ago, I have once introduced an interesting chance to script a sound and mild exhibit for Chinmaya Yuva Kendra, Global Youth Wing of Chinmaya Mission, titled India 2047. The mission was once to envision how converted India would seem to be after one hundred years of her Independence. During the lookup for the script, the group got here up with a thought to take suggestion from Vanchinathan, the fabled freedom fighter from Tamil Nadu, in one of the scenes. The team, although born, bred and introduced up in Tamil Nadu, had no inkling of who Vanchinathan was, nor knew something about his struggle, contribution or family. We knew nothing about him till we determined to show off him to childhood via this sound and mild show.
Tamil Nadu and India marked Vanchinathan’s 107th loss of life anniversary the day gone by (17 June). If there is one younger revolutionary, who epitomised Babasaheb Ambedkar’s quote, “Life must be outstanding alternatively than long,” then Vanchinathan it is.
Tamil Nadu’s special contribution to the Indian freedom movement can in no way be missed. It is a reality that exact factors of it have by no means been captured and that is why it fails to occupy the thought area of the early life of Tamil Nadu today. While we are aware of sure names and sure events, we are in any other case ignorant of the importance of the state’s efforts.
While I was once analyzing up some archival cloth reachable on the contribution of Tamilians toward the Indian freedom movement, the date eleven February 1802, stood out. It is on this day that seventy-three freedom opponents from Tamil Nadu, who had been deported to Penang on fees of supporting the heroic Veerapandiya Kattabomman and the Marudu Brothers, have been hanged with the aid of the British.
I do now not assume there will be a chapter on this supreme sacrifice in faculty textual content books today; a grim reminder that there are quite a few aspects which problem the relentless contribution of Tamil Nadu in the constructing of our u. s . a. proper from the Independence struggles that have been ignored, to date.
Historians have now not been sort either. I was once perusing via an article on Madan Mohan Malviya. The creator effectively argued how Malviya is a forgotten visionary and that the Indian historians have no longer given him his due. This is surely real and if this is the case for ‘Mahamana’ then simply take a second to pause and think about the country of so many different forgotten heroes, who have silently made records now not simply in North India however past the Vindhyas too.
One such heroic figure, who has mostly disappeared into oblivion, is Vanchinathan. Without any doubt, he is a formative years icon for Tamil Nadu and south India. He is quality remembered as the 25-year-old, who shot lifeless Robert William D’ Escourt Ashe, the tax collector of Thirunelveli and later dedicated suicide in order to ward off arrest.
Vanchinathan shot Ashe at factor clean vary at the high of his youth. Vanchi and Ashe share an equal demise anniversary. Ashe had cruelly taken Vanchi’s suggestion V O Chidambaram Pillai and Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company to the task, and later paid for it. A media record commemorating the one centesimal dying anniversary of Vanchi, stated this of the enterprise and motives for Vanchi to shoot Ashe:
“Started via V O Chidambaram Pillai (VOC), the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company was once commenced to take on the British India Steam Navigation Company that had for lengthy monopolised change in the southern phase of the Bay of Bengal. Ashe used to be accountable for charging VOC and a colleague Subramanya Siva with sedition — for which they have been convicted.”
Vanchi, like Udham Singh, did no longer flee the spot. In fact, a letter used to be observed on his physique which read: “Every Indian is at the current time endeavouring to power out the Englishman who is the enemy of our u. s .a. and to set up Dharma and liberty. We 3,000 Madrasis have taken a vow. Make it known, I, the least of them, did this day commit this act.” The single-minded goal of younger revolutionaries like Vanchinathan used to be that thru such strikes the moral sense of human beings has to be aroused. It is as an end result of such sacrifices that the British had been overthrown.
It is solely in 2013 that a memorial in Vanchinathan’s fatherland was once unveiled by means of the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s regime, a promise that used to be made via the erstwhile Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) regime. In fact, hardly ever has Vanchinathan or his contribution ever been referred to through any chief minister of Tamil Nadu in their Independence Day speeches, barring Jayalalithaa, who all through her speech on 15 August 2016, stated the following lines: “35 years earlier than India obtained her freedom; Veerar Vanchinathan had drawn a portrait of Bharat Mata in Senkottai”. In fact, in 2016, there was once additionally a demand which got here to mild of a memorial to be constructed at the Vanchi Maniyachi railway station.
Like Vanchinathan, Tamil Nadu is replete with quite a few situations and anecdotes which show the useful contribution of the kingdom toward the freedom movement. In all certainty, Vanchinathan stands out amongst them and deservedly so. Vanchinathan’s sacrifice is an inspiring image of Tamil declaration in the pastime of our motherland. Several training can be realized in Vanchi’s quick life. One amongst them is that the early life of Tamil Nadu needs to commence to assert and begin shaping their future at countrywide and global levels. Vanchinathan and his contribution ought to in no way be forgotten in India. Let his legacy lead to a roaring revolution for the formative years of Tamil Nadu to put on their way of life on their sleeves. Let his sacrifice make certain that now, not one of us, particularly now not the youth, tolerate something towards the high-quality hobbies of Tamil Nadu and India.
At each breath henceforth and mainly due to the fact that Tamil Nadu will be celebrating its golden jubilee subsequent year, let us be mindful Vanchi’s supreme sacrifice, show off it to ‘gen-next’ and replicate on whether or not we are surely and truly contributing to state-building. Like how Vanchi channelised his aspirations, the early life can take a notion and channelise their aspirations in contributing to the nation’s growth, peace and amity. If historians of the foreseeable and unforeseeable future hint returned the declaration of the adolescence of Tamil Nadu, let Vanchinathan and his existence be their focal factor of reference.
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