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Society & Social Issues > Religion

Community Legal Struggle against HR&CE board authorities IV

The other important document ref-erred is an ancient text book by name "The Nadars of Tamil Nadu" by Robert L. Hardgrave, Junior, an American Author. A careful scrutiny of the said book, more particularly at pages 97 and 99 shows that it refers to the collection of "Mahamai" by Sivakasi Nadars. Again at page 104 it is mentioned that "The Sivakasi Uravinmurai was organized on the basis of twenty-four street associations. The head of each family was automatically a member of the street association. The head of these associations served for life and was ex officio member of the Uravinmurai. Of the twenty four members of the Uravinmurai, a committee of four (later increased to six) provided the leadership." Further at page 105 it is mentioned that "as the wealth of the Nadar Merchant communities grew during the nineteenth century, the common funds of mahimai were used for the welfare of the community as a whole. The poor among the caste were fed and clothed and jobs were secured for those of able body. Business failures were prevented with the considered use of mahimai funds. Wells and public buildings for the community were constructed, and in each of the towns, a Mariamman temple was constructed to the community deity." Again at page 108 it is mentioned that "Vegetarianism came into vogue among some Nadars, and fathers named their children after the Sanskritie gods which had come into favour among the community. They constructed temples to Siva and made rich gifts to established temples, to which they were denied entrance. They met the costs of festival days, paying puja (worship) expenses and feeding Brahmins, Brahmin priests were found who were quite willing to provide their services to the wealthy Nadar temples and to officiate in the ceremonies of the caste.

Perhaps the most important symbol of status adopted by the Nadars was the sacred thread of the "twice-horn".

As stated earlier, in order to show that originally the Nadars were not allowed entrance into the temples and therefore they constructed their own temple and managed their own temple. The said book which contains the entire history of Nadars in the State of Tamilnadu from the date of their origin was published by University of Kalifornia, Berkeley and Las Angels in the year 1969.

Also the other document referred was Tamil Nadu District Gazetteers, Ramanathapuram (1961-68) wherein the entire history of Nadars (Shanars) has been mentioned. A perusal of the said Gazetteers shows that even in the year 1895 the Nadars have petitioned that they should be appointed as Dharmakartha of Sivakasi temple. It is also found the existence of Subramanyaswamy temple, Visnatha-swamy temple, Pathrakali Amman Koil as well as Mariamman Koil and Perumal Koil in Sivakasi.

From the Register of properties belonging to Sri Siva Subramania Swamy Temple, Sivakasi. it been verified, checked by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board wherein it shows that the temple is controlled by the trustees who will be of Sivakasi Hindu Nadars nominated by Sivakasi Hindu Nadars of grocery merchants, who are being deputed by Sivakasi Hindu Nadars. In the last page of the record there is a certificate by the Inspector of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department that the particulars furnished in the Register of Properties are verified with reference to the facts of the above temple and found to be correct. It is also further seen that the Sivakasi Grocery Merchants Association have purchased and given Uthsava Idols of Nataraja and Sivakami Ammai. The various account books of the Mahamai fund mentioned above clearly show that the grocery merchants alone were spending for the above temple.

In a communiation dated 24-5-1975 is the letter of Sivakasi Hindu Nadars grocery merchants' mahamai fund, Sivakasi, to Assistant Commissioner, H.R. & C.E., regarding the appointment of trustees which shows that Messrs. P.S.R. Shenbagamoorthi Nadar, K.S.V. Rajamani Nadar and P. K. Palappa Nadar, Sivakasi, were nominated as trustees of Sri Siva Subramaniaswamy

Bsram B


I am a writer.

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