Monday, October 26, 2015

Velu Thampi Dalawa

Chempakaraman Velayudhan Thampi(1765-1809) was the Chief Minister of  His Highness Maharaja Balarama Varma of Travancore state of Kerala.He was popularly known as Velu Thampi Dalawa.(Dalawa means Chief Minister ).He was chief minister from 1801 to 1809.Velayudhan Chempakaraman Thampi was born in the village of 'Kalkulam' to parents Kunjumayitti Pillai and Valliamma Thankachy on 6th May 1765.
                               
He started his career as the Tehsildar of Mavelikkara Taluk and earned the reputation as a good administrator.During that period the Dalawa of the King was a corrupted man by name Jayanthan Nampoothiri.When he was accused of a murder case there was protest to remove him from his Office.Velu Thampi who had tremendous potential to attract the attention of a large crowd, gathered so many people together  and marched to the palace demanding the resignation  of the  Dalawa.
Velu Thampi was victorious in this effort and the King appointed Velu Thampi as the new Chief minister.Velu Thampi was vested with more administrative  power as a token of his efficiency and public support.Soon the state was on the path of prosperity under his leadership and guidance.Corruption was not tolerated and the punishments given to the accused  were very severe.He was known and famous  as 'Idayaprabhu Kulothunga Kathirkulathu Mulappada Arasarana Irayanda Thalakulathu Valia Veettil Chempakaraman Velayudhan Thampi'.
This was the period when East India Company could establish their empire in India..There was no unity among the princely local rulers and jealousy and rivalry also existed among them which helped British to defeat them one by one and establish their empire.There was Maratha wars,Mysore wars lead by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, Carnatic wars Sikh War lead lead by Raja Ranjith Singh and many more against the British  which they could suppress easily.Nobody remembered the proverb 'Unity is Strength'.
Velu Thampi was not tolerant to accept the British Supremacy and was not  willing  to pay them the high amount of Royalty as demanded by the East India Company.The state of Travancore was friendly with the State of Cochin in Kerala.During that period the ruler of Cochin handed over the administrative charges to his Chief Minister  Govinda Menon(Commonly known as Paliath Achan) and was taking rest at Aluva Palace.Paliath Achan was also not willing to pay the excessive royalty amount to East India Company which resulted in rivalry between East India Company and clashes with these two Chief Ministers.
Moreover Velu Thampi made a proclamation at a place Kundara such that Foreign supremacy can not be tolerated and that British involvement in the cultural integrity and self pride of Kerala will not be allowed.This is known as 'Kundara Proclamation' and resulted in a war between British troops and Travancore troops near Kollam.In that battle Travancore troops  of Velu Thampi was defeated.Velu Thampi had to flee for his life from the Palace accompanied with his younger brother.The British very well knew that if the Dalawa   was  left alive he would summon a large group of people within a short span of time  and attack them again.So they proclaimed Rs.50,000/-

which was a huge amount at that time  for any body who could give them  information  about his whereabouts .Velu Thampi had plans to go to Northern Kerala and on the way he handed over his sword at Kilimanoor Palace to keep it under safe custody there.
                                
During the next day night he took refuge in a Devi temple at Mannadi in Pathanamthitta district.A greedy resident of the locality informed to the British that Veluthampi Dalawa was staying inside  the temple.British troops surrounded the temple immediately.Velu Thampi understood that an escape was impossible but he was not ready to surrender to them  since he could imagine that they would harass him to the maximum.So he sat in front of his younger brother and requested him to cut off his head.His loving brother could not carry out that crime.So Velu Thampi drew out his dagger and killed himself.
The British could fetch his dead body only.They did not show any justice or respect  to his dead body also.His brother was also executed and  their house  was demolished to ground..He sought and Fought for independence of his mother Land bravely and embraced death.Mean while Paliath Achan, of Cochin was arrested and exiled to Madras.

There is a monument constructed  at Mannadi,  Pathanamthitta District in his remembrance which is visited by tourists far and near.His statue is existed in front of the Government Secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram. 



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