Channar Revolt: Another story mistold by liberals

After the last article about how the story of Nangeli was most probably a concocted lie, many liberals abused us for supposedly giving a clean chit to caste Hindus (which we obviously did not do!!! – difference between atrocity literature and truth seems to have gone over their heads) and started claiming the Channar revolt as historical evidence for the story of Nangeli and breast tax. As we notice that many people are getting confused about the motive of this Channar revolt, we have decided to expose another agenda used by the missionaries and liberals against the Hindus – claiming the intervention of British as the reason for social reform movement in the Hindu society of that region.

Channar or Shanar is a community found in the Tamil society. The Kanyakumari region, where the Channars revolted acted as a buffer state between the Pandyas and Cheras as it continuously kept changing in the administrative region of these two kingdoms till the end of Pandyas and Cheras, after which the region stayed in the administration of Venad Kings who were later known as the Mahraja of Travancore. As it is stated in the previous article, Nangeli lived at Cherthala and belonged to the Ezhava community of Kerala society. So how is it that the death of an Ezhava woman in Cherthala, far away from Kanyakumari, was ignored by the Kerala society but taken up as a cause  by the Tamils who revolted against the administration? Let us have a detailed analysis of this issue.

Liberals speaking about the Channar revolt surprisingly always leave out the leader of this revolt, Ayya Vaikundar, who even today is worshipped as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu by the Channars. What actually resulted in this riot is revealed in the study named “Thol Seelai Kalagam” (Shoulder Cloth Riots: Known Falsehoods and Unknown Truths) by Sri. A.Ganesan and Sri. S Ramachandran published in 2010 (http://www.sishri.org/reviewanprint.html). The major reason for this revolt was the cunning activities of supplying upper garments to the converted people by the missionaries. What was till then a luxury was projected as a symbol of status by the British administration giving rise to the feeling of suppression among poor Hindus making them vulnerable to the act of conversion by the missionaries.

Channar Revolt by Ayya Vaikundar
Procession for Ayya Vaikundar, regarded as incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu; Image Source: http://alchetron.com/Ayya-Vaikundar-1133302-W

This uneasiness spreading among the society was further worsened when the British administration compelled the Maharaja of Travancore to pay 8 lakh rupees as protectorate. This made the Maharaja to levy new taxes on his subjects. One of those was the poll tax which the Channars had to pay for individuals between 16 to 60 years. The tension caused by this further increased when the British regent of Travancore Col. Munro  made an announcement that people converted to Christianity will be exempted from this tax. This gave rise to anti-missionary sentiments ultimately leading to the Channar revolt.

Ayya Vaikundar, a social reformer, led this Channar revolt against the British colonial state ofTravancore. He gathered people from 18 different communities from Barbers to Madhva Brahmins who suffered from this conversion activities by the British government (the names of all these communities are specified in his works) and started the Channar revolt during which he called the British as “White demons” who created discriminations in the society and extorted money from public in the form of taxes. He was hence arrested by the Travancore government. But as the revolt gained momentum, he was later released and all the taxes were abolished by government.

It is interesting to note that the missionaries in Kanyakumari district (the area where Ayya Vaikundar is still remembered and worshipped) which is currently in Tamil Nadu after the reorganization of states, preach that majority of Ayya’s revolt was against the Brahmins. The missionaries in Kerala have given birth to a new story of Nangeli and related it to Channar revolt completely ignoring this great social reformer. Thus, we get to know that Channar revolt was one of the first movement which happened as a result of the missionary activities promoted by the British government – which is now being used by the missionaries for their benefit, and liberals are abusing us for bringing out the truth as they are taken in by the anti-Hindu propaganda.

This article has been written jointly by @dauhshanti & @paanchajanyaa

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Paanchajanya
Yato dharmas tato jayah... Tweets at @paanchajanyaa