Sunday, December 7, 2008

Well positioned statue

This man came into prominence in early 1984, when the Cholan Roadways Corporation was split and one of the splinter groups was named 'Dheeran Chinnamalai Transport Corporation'. For a while back then, I believed that he had something to do with the Little Mount area in Chennai, because 'Little Mount' is what Chinnamalai translates as. And then, when this statue of the man was installed opposite the Guindy railway station a few years ago, I had reason to recollect that connection with Little Mount, because that's not far away from the Guindy station. Did he actually have something to do with the locality, after all?

Apparently, that's not the case. Born as Theerthagiri, he came by his more popular name because of his bravery (Dheeram) in opposing Hyder Ali's tax collectors. The people of the Kongu region (where he was a local chieftain) rallied behind him, declaring that the King of Mysore now had to cross not only the geographical formations of Sivan Malai and Chenni Malai, but also the human Chinna Malai to get to them. It is a different matter that Theerthagiri went on to side with Hyder's son, Tipu Sultan, to fight against the British. For six years after Tipu's death, Theerthagiri continued to undermine British supremacy in the Kongu region, until he was caught and finally hanged in 1805; like that of a few other local chieftains of the time, his story was also used as a rallying cry against British rule.

The positioning of the statue seems strangely appropriate. Not just because it is close to Little Mount, but also because it is right behind a very high-traffic bus stop - recalling the route of his rise to recognition amidst the '80s generation!


4 comments:

siva said...

chinnamalaiand his brother kilother, nallathambi,were brave freedom fighters.../chinnamalai won three battles against british even tipu sultan died in war against british.The british army killed tipu and the same members of british army invaded chinnamalai in the parts of tamil nadu but chinnamalai defeated the british army.... the only tamil king won three times in the war against british is dheeran chinnamalai brothers.....

siva said...

After the three successfull war by chinnamalai, the british officials in cheenai and calcutta were scared and they sent huge number of army with huge ballots to the regions of coimbatore, irode, salem even though he escaped from their army and chinnamalai gone to forest with his two brothers but un fortunately one man spied against chinnamalai and they were caught by the britishers..By seeing his capacity of war making by keeping just 1000 army personnels, britishers asked to join with them but he refused to join with britishers...so british gave hang order against chinnamalai and his two brothers...chinnamalai asked the guards to move and he himself hanged by kissing the rope....thus the role came end of chinnamalai and his brothers....then tamil nadu came totally under the control of british....He is the brave tamil king and stamp paper was released by tamilnadu government on 2005....

siva said...

To know about the brave king chinnamalai before 200 years log on to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dheeran_Chinnamalai

Shantaram said...

@ Siva: Thanks for the detailed information and for the wikipedia link!