The birth anniversary of a patriot, the Chief Lieutenant of Ettayapuram Palayam, who lived 271 years ago, is celebrated with great pride and glory that the District collector has to impose Article 144 to control the crowd who conglomerated in thousands to pay tribute to their great leader. This is what happens in the Guru Pooja Ceremony on the birthday of Maveeran Azhaghu Muthu Kone, in Kattalamkulam, a little hamlet on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, in the Thoothukudi district of Tamilnadu.
The history of Maveeran Azhaku Muthu Kone as narrated by the locals will make every Indian proud of our valorous history – where our ancestors chose to defy and lay down their lives instead of bowing their heads before the “Parangis” (Britishers).
Born on 11th July 1710 in an ordinary family, Azhagu Muthu Kone rose to the position of a Chieftain in the Ettayapuram Palayam, a princely state ruled by Jagaveera Rama Pandi Ettayappan. He was honoured by the king with the title ‘Servaikaran’ for proving his mettle in horse riding, swordsmanship and combat wrestling.
The Palayakarars of the South, always known for their fearlessness, were not ready to accept the supremacy of the Europeans by paying tax to them. Azhaku Muthu Kone, led the army against the Britishers who launched attacks on the palayam with the help of the then ruler of Madurai, Yusuf Khan.
Finally, they managed to capture Azaku Muthu and his men who were brought to a place called Nadukattu Seemai. It is said that with limbs bound by heavy chains, he along with six loyal Lieutenants and two hundred and forty-eight warriors were put under trial. It was offered that they would be let free on accepting the supremacy of the British and apologizing for their previous stand. The brave men of the soil were indomitable. The arms of the 246 warriors were chopped off. Seven canons spit fire on 17th July 1759 shattering the bodies of Azhagu Muthu Kone and his six lieutenants into several pieces. Their blood and body were offered to the Motherland.
Maveeran Azhagu Muthu Kone continues to inspire the youth of his place to date even though his story never found its place in the mainstream History texts. These stories of valour represent an era where our ancestors fought till their last breath to protect our Motherland and culture from the invaders of the West. Let these tales of glory travel beyond the memorials constructed by the State Government and the stamps released by the postal department and reach every household of the Nation.