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What insight do we take from the life of Marudu Pandiyan brothers

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This article is more of a wake-up call for self-introspection and not just tributes to the “Marudu Pandiyan brothers” fondly called as Marudu sagodharargal in tamil, meaning Marudu brothers.

Periya Marudu and Chinna Marudu the chieftains born and ruled the parts of today’s Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai districts through their bravery, threatened the existence of the Christian Missionary supported British invaders in Southern part of today’s Tamilnadu. That was the time when, another chieftain Veerapandiya Kattabomman, a patriot cum devout – the trade mark characteristic combination of any Tamilian, was hanged to death by the invading Christian British army. Marudu brothers had supported Kattabomman earlier also and had recently helped the jail break for Kattaboman’s brothers Oomaithurai and Sevathaiah. This made the British which was concentrating and eliminating one enemy at a time turned their sight towards the Marudu brothers.

A patriot cum devout – the trade mark characteristic combination of any Tamilian

Unable to fight and win the conventional war the British Christian Army used a cunning plan and threatened to blast the Kaleeswarar temple (shiv temple commonly known by the name Kalaiyar Kovil in today’s Sivagangai district of Tamilnadu). Being a true tamilian the epitome of both valour and devotion to sanatana god, at least until the ingress of Christianity and Dravidianism (which is nothing but Christianity as the intellect and monetary support base is the same for both) The Marudu Brothers surrendered to save the temple from destruction.

Marudu Brothers hanged in Tirupattur Fort
Marudu Brothers hanged in Tirupattur Fort

The Christian generals hanged them and left the bodies for next two days. The whole family including kids, old people were killed by the British in fear of an uprising. Also carnage of 1000s of tamil people were done who came in support of Marudu Brothers and the temple. All this was on 24th Oct 1801. My point in penning this post is to give my three take away and put forth three questions for the youth to think further.

British Rule in India has a two pronged strategy – loot wealth in the name of business + religious conversion in the name of liberalization / modernization.

1. Even many of us in tamilnadu fail to recognise, leave away celebrate and respect, the sacrifice and bravery of such people. What has been the purpose and quality of our education?

2. The wiki mediums which are always perceived to give more than what we know had too little (about these people) than what I learnt in my childhood two decades ago. Same is the condition when I searched for a few Maratha warriors very commonly quoted on daily basis in Maharashtra. Is someone systematically removing the legacy of valor, courage, bravery examples? If so who & why?

3. Many fringe groups which say that they are promoting Tamil language, Tamil culture quote and praise many persons like for example the one who was responsible for the death of lakhs of tamils in foreign soil, the one who at 72 married a girl half his age, the one who had three wives and spoke about women empowerment, etc. Why doesn’t any major Tamil group quote Kattabomman and Marudu brothers as role models to follow?

4. Britishers were not here in India for developing this country. They destroyed the education, cultural, economic backbone. It was a two pronged strategy- loot wealth in the name of trade/ business + religious conversion in the name of modernization/ liberalisation. Don’t be fixated to railways it was just to transport raw materials from nooks and corners to port cities for feeding the mad industrialisation in the West. Read about what we lost in educational sector (no. of Gurukuls prior to the Christian invasion), economical downfall (India’s GDP wrt the World’s GDP before 18th century)

5. It’s not just Goa, many parts (or for this case most parts) of India were also subjected to some subtle forms of inquisition (violent Christian methods of inculcating Christian beliefs). And Tamilnadu wasn’t an exception. See the crudeness of leaving the dead body hanging for days and the brutality of killing the kids and mass execution of people who stood for temple protection.

6. Today’s youth as always are perceived to be rebellious but nothing wrong until they are rooted and understand not just the cause they stand for but also the route they take to achieve it. Remember our Marudu Brothers for what values they held to, which made them do what they did.


The author Yogendran BK is a Tamilian who is not saddened to see the twisted narratives set in his state but is saddened because a good chunk of his fellow people get carried away with such narratives. The author can be reached at twitter handle @yogendranbk or FB id yogendranb

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