Monday, July 2, 2007

Veerapandia Kattabomman

Veerapandiya Kattabomman was born in an Nayakkar family to Aadi Kattabommu and Aarumugathammal on January 3, 1760 and became the 47th king of Panchalankurichi at an age of 30. Veerapandiya Kattabomman's father Aadi Kattabomman was a minister in the court of Jagaveera Pandiyan, a desendent in the Pandya line. Jagaveera pandiyan was issueless and declared Kattabomman as his successor. Since Kattabomman was the first of the new clan, he came to be known as Adi Kattabomman (aadi means first or beginning in Sanskrit and Tamil).

On February 2, 1790, Veerapandiyan, thirty, became the king of Panchalankurichi. The Nawab of Arcot who had borrowed huge sums of money from the East India Company gave them the right to collect taxes and levies from the southern region in lieu of the money he had borrowed. The East India Company took advantage of the situation and plundered all the wealth of the people in the name of tax collection. All the ‘poligars’ paid taxes except Veerapandiyan.

Kattabomman refused to pay his dues and for a long time refused to meet Jackson the Collector of the East India Company. Finally, he met Jackson at ‘Ramalinga Vilasam’, the palace of Sethupathi of Ramanathapuram. The meeting ended in a skirmish in which the Deputy Commandant of the Company’s forces, Clarke was slain. Kattabomman and his men fought their way to freedom and safety, but Thanapathi Pillai, Kattabomman’s secretary was taken prisoner.
The Commission of Enquiry that went into the incident fixed the blame on Jackson and relieved him of his post, thinking the Company’s plan to take over the entire country gradually could be marred by Jackson’s fight with Veerapandiya Kattabomman. The new Collector of Tirunelveli wrote to Kattabomman calling him for a meeting on 16th March, 1799. Kattabomman wrote back citing the extreme drought conditions for the delay in the payment of dues and also demanded that all that was robbed off him at Ramanathapuram be restored to him. The Collector wanted the ruling house of Sethupathis to prevent Kattabomman from aligning himself with the enemies of the Company and decided to attack Kattabomman.

Kattabomman refused to meet the Collector and a fight broke out. Under Major Bannerman, the army stood at all the four entrances of Panchalankurichi’s fort. At the southern end, Lieutenant Collins was on the attack. When the fort’s southern doors opened, he was killed by Kattabomman’s warriors.

After suffering heavy losses, the English decided to wait for reinforcements from Palayamkottai. Sensing that his fort could not survive a barrage from heavy cannons, Kattabomman left the fort that night.

A price was set on Kattabomman’s head. Thanapathi Pillai and 16 others were taken prisoners. Thanapathi Pillai was executed and his head perched on a bamboo pole was displayed at Panchalankurichi. Veerapandiya Kattabomman stayed at Kolarpatti at Rajagopala Naicker’s house where the forces surrounded the house.

Kattabomman and his aides fled from there and took refuge in the Thirukalambur forests close to Pudukkottai. Bannerman ordered the ruler of Pudukkottai to arrest Kattabomman. Accordingly, Kattabomman was captured and on October 16, 1799 the case was taken up (nearly three weeks after his arrest near Pudukkottai). After a summary trial, Kattabomman was hanged unceremoniously on a tamarind tree. The fort of Panchalankurichi was razed to the ground and all of Kattabomman’s wealth was looted by the English soldiers.

A fort constructed by the Tamil Nadu Government at Panchalankurichi in 1972 stands as a monument to this great hero from the south who played a pivotal role in the freedom movement of our country

11 comments:

queserasera said...

Its a gud one.....

selvakumar said...

it has not been told about veeran sundaralingam, thalapathy of Veera pandiya katta pomman,who went to Ammunition fort in the guise of Goat herd driven by wife Sundaravadiyu and torched themselves acted as humanbomb.the fort went flares.At the loss of Ammunition, English force had to wait for palayamkottai reinforcements for attacking kattapomman. pls include this incident also.

VIJAY RAGHAVAN said...

My real hero ya..

Anonymous said...

A majority of this content is not original. It has been lifted directly from one of the internet sites. A blog is expected to have one's personal thoughts.

Anonymous said...

INDIAN FREEDOM STRUGGLE STARTS FROM 1857 only/

Anonymous said...

WHY KATTA BOMMANS NAME HAS BEEN OMITTED IN INDIAN HISTORY ?? THE HISTORY STARTS ONLY FROM 1857

Anonymous said...

All this content is highly twisted and biased ,just like all our history textbooks and newspaper editorials. 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.

Shashi Kumar N said...

One of the greatest ruler of India and freedom fighter...We really feel proud of Nayaka community...

Shasheekumar
Bangalore

Shashi Kumar N said...

One of the greatest ruler of India and freedom fighter...We really feel proud of Nayaka community...

Shasheekumar
Bangalore

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree. There were so many small fights and battles that didn't come to attention since they were local. It makes sense that the opposition started in Tamimnadu since the port of entry for the British is Chennai

Gobinath Mani said...

Nayakkan daĆ