Perhaps South India had no Voltaire or Montesquieu to interpret political phenomenon in terms of pure reason. But the feeling of nationalism and patriotism was never second to any foreign country. The greatest political thinker of South India then was Maruda Pandyan a rebel leader of the Sivaganga. His concerns were revolved around:
– Obstructive policy of the princes
– Contestation of various groups
– Abysmal politics of the British & company
– Habitual submissive nature of people to authority.
Added to political & economical atrocities the inhabitants were forbidden to perform their social obligation rights & customs. The excessive practice of oppression alienated all the powerful sections of the community/ peasants/ artisans/ officials. Greatly agitated at the political malady and economic tragedy the poligars and the natives united & gave a stubborn resistance to the British imperialism. Maruda Pandyan/ Kattabomman/ Gopal Nayak/ Kerala Varma were the pioneers of the rebellion & revolutionized the native feelings against the company.
The economic exploitation of ruthless British merchants/ irregular methods in exaction of wealth/ policy of aggression/ expansion & maintenance demand of military establishment/ compulsive support to overseas trade & aggressive wars had baneful effect economic/ social sphere of life of natives. Many rebel leaders accepted the leadership of MP. Hence the Kalayarkoil of Sivaganga became the headquarters of the liberation movement of Tamils against the British. During early phase of hi life he fought for organization known as Seemai founded by king of Sihvaganga for liberation. Various princely state jointly planned to destroy Seemai along with the company. MP fought bravely and gallantly but Sivaganga surrendered.
Once again he began to gain control and goodwill of people. He became the advisor of the king of Sivaganga. The most important Trichy proclamations of MP is the best testimony of his sense of unity and philosophy. A copy of proclamation was pasted in the fort of the Trichinopoly. He made it known to people that their rights and customs were in jeopardy & its their duty to save from annihilation. He inspired the Tamilians to rise againt the mighty imperial power. The idea of proclamation spread fat and wide and many people joined the force of Sivaganga. Many chief and poligars responded to the call of MP by sending men and materials to the rebel leader. He managed to collect army of 20000 people with weapons. The rebels atacted the company in 1801. The battles were fought at Kamudi and various surroundinglocations. The prolonged siege of Kalayarkoil by the British foiled the effort of MP. His forces could not withstand the wounds caused by the British modern weapons. The multi sided attack by British left no way for MP to continue the resistance & incurred heavy losss of men & material. After six month of hard fight the MP escaped but subsequently caught and hanged thus ended the tragic tale of the South Indian Rebellion.
MP. The most illustrious strategist of this movement initiated and assumed the leadership of the league of the patriots. He promoted rebellious spirit & added insurgent in other quarters to subvert the foundation of British Empire.