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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

the inspiring life-history of Marudhu Pandiyar .. .. .. 'Sivagangai Seemaiyile'

Another one – Indian History – terse statement – freedom was gotten by Gandhi, Nehru and Congress without dropping blood !  (and the real life stories of so many who gave their blood and life for the Nation was forgotten – the first war of Independence – the act of total defiance was ridiculed as mere Sepoy mutiny!!) – have you ever heard of these warriors astride horse ?

How and why our minds were poisoned that the colonial rulers were kind, merciful – as they looted Nation’s wealth, butchered, maimed and cruelly treated our leaders, and used our country men in some wars in far away places in extremely unkind weather – not knowing what they were fighting for !!

October 24, 1801 was most gruesome – at the centre was the public hanging of  two middle-aged brothers – and alongside scores of those associated with them - their commanders and servants, their sons and even their young grandsons  hanged alongside them, supposedly from palmyra trees around the fort.  As we read this small piece of History of inspiring real-life story of two brothers – some prescripts too.  They were adept in Valari – sort of boomerang !

·         Robert Clive is well known to us through History books - Edward Clive, 1st Earl of Powis, PC (1754 – 1839), was a member of House of Commons. He  was the eldest son of Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive ("Clive of India"),  the British appointed him as Governor of Madras from 1798 to 1803

·         A Tamil bio-pic produced by Kavignar Kannadasan, directed by K Shankar, starring SS Rajendran, S Varalakshmi, MN Rajam hit the screens in 1959 !

·         The Govt owned bus service in the city (now State Transport Corpn) was earlier called Pallavan Transport.  Those days there were transport Corporations named as :-   Pallavan, Cheran,  Chozhan, Pandiyan;  Thiruvalluvar, Mahakavi Bharatiyar, Dheeran Chinnamalai, Marudhu Pandiar, Kattabomman, Rani Mangammal, Rajiv Gandhi and more………..

·         In Oct 1799 a proclamation by Major Bannerman, addressed to the inhabitants of the Tinnevelley Palayams after the rebellion of the Tinnevelly Palayagars, ordered the surrender of arms and threatened those who retained them, with death.  In conformity with these instructions, Lord Olive in  1801 issued a proclamation addressed to the Palayagars, Sherogars and inhabitants of the Southern Provinces announcing the determination of the Government to suppress the use and exercise of all weapons of offence without the 'authority of the British Government.

After the execution of Kattabomman on 16th October 1799 at Kayatharu,  Chinna Marudhu gave asylum to Kattabomman's brother Oomathurai. British used this reason to invade and attack Sivaganga in 1801 with a powerful army. The Maruthu Pandiyars and their allies were quite successful and captured three districts from the British. The British considered it as a serious threat to their future in India that they rushed additional troops from Britain to put down the Maruthu Pandiyars' rebellion.  It is the real-life story of Marudhu Pandiyars (Periya Marudhu and Chinna marudhu) – who ruled as Kings of Sivagangai and fought the British East India Company and were hanged by the British.

Periya and Chinna are direct references to the elder and younger brothers – the elder was actually Vellai Marudhu – who hailed in the family of Servaikara who were mentioned in English texts as Sherogars !! By some accounts, Marudu was a family title and not a personal name, perhaps reference to Marudu tree -  the Terminalia Arjuna - worshipped as the living symbol of Lord Subramanya and Marutha malai (hill of Arjun Tree) – at the temple of Nainarkoil, Lord Shiva is worshipped as Marudappar or Marudeswarar.  It is also recorded that periya Marudu was an able sportsperson of valour – good in hunting and shooting.  Chinna Marudu was sovereign of an extensive and fertile country, and his general residence was at Sherewele (Siruvayal).

After the death of the Pradhani, (Thandavaraya Pillai) the Marudhu brothers who were with the Queen (Velu Nachiyar) became prominent. The Marudhu brothers took a lead in the affairs of the occupied territory. Second Mysore War in 1780 provided the right opportunity. When Hyder Ali fell upon Arcot in 1780, the Marudhus desolated the Nawab’s territories at Madurai.  The regions around Sivaganga came under complete control of Marudhu brothers.  Though  the widow of Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar, Velu Nachiar was in the reins,  the de-facto rulers were the Marudhu brothers. Determined to suppress the Marudus, the Nawab in 1786 sought military assistance from Fort St. George on the alleged ground that the Marudus refused the payment of the tribute of two lakhs of rupees, that they neglected the administration of their territory and that they committed depredations upon Ramanathapuram. Mohammad Ali  despatched a body of troops but were defeated. Mohammad Ali in 1789 again appealed to the Madras Council for aid. John Holland, the successor of Sir Archibald Campbell in the Presidency, furnished an army for operation in Sivaganga. 

On the 29th April, 1789 the British forces led by Colonel James Stuart arrived at Tirupattur in Sivaganga.  Marudhus fought valiantly.  Stuart won the allegiance of Du Pre, a French General and the allied forces  advanced to Kalayarkoil, and captured it after a short cannonade. The outbreak of the Third Mysore War in 1790 led to the assumption of the revenue administration of the Carnatic. After signing the Treaty of 1787 the Nawab made no attempt to improve the administration. His efforts to put down the defiant poligars invited more financial embarrassment. The Carnatic treaty of 1792 was very advantageous to the Company. It gave the English the military and financial control over the Nawab.

With some of the  chaotic local Chieftains supporting the allied forces and with the support of traitors, Marudhu Pandiyars fell victims and were captured and later hanged at Tirupattur fort on 24th October 1801.  They are locally worshipped BUT Nation perhaps has not recognized the warriors – students should be reading such inspirational uprisings and the Nation’s military response to ruling East India Company, the French, Dutch and British rulers.

The movie produced by Kavignar Kannadasan referred earlier was titled “Sivagangai Seemai” and was based on the history of Marudu brothers.  Here is a song from the movie :


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Oct 2021.


Friday, October 22, 2021

ICC T20I WC - maukha, maukha ! .. .. Namibia in the fray !!

How good is your memory ?  - do you remember that 25th Match of ICC World Cup played at  Pietermaritzburg, on  Feb 23 2003- India won by 181 runs !

Today at Sharjah I saw Ackermann smash Lahiru Kumara for a 6 and thought it would a good match .. .. but Netherland’s innings lasted just 10 overs and Lahiru conceded just 7 runs (that 6 included). 

Young Sri Lankan duo of Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana spun their web around Netherlands to bundle them out for a paltry 44 in their last first round game of the T20 World Cup – meantime,  Namibia became the fourth and final team to qualify for the Super 12 stage from Round 1 of the ICC T20 World Cup with victory over Ireland in Sharjah. Namibia beat Ireland by eight wickets in the winner-takes-all clash in Group A to seal a spot in the Super 12 stage at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021. Set 126 to win, the African nation took their time in the chase before upping the scoring rate dramatically late on thanks to another fast-paced knock from all-rounder David Wiese and a brilliant half-century from skipper Gerhard Erasmus. The win sees Namibia qualify ahead of Ireland from Group A, moving into Group 2 alongside India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and Scotland.

The ICC Men's T20 World Cup is run by  cricket's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), the tournament currently consists of 16 teams, comprising the top ten teams from the rankings at the given deadline and six other teams chosen through the T20 World Cup Qualifier.  The 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup is the seventh ICC Men's T20 World Cup tournament, with the matches taking place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from 17 October to 14 November 2021.  West Indies are the defending champions.

The tournament could not be held in 2020  due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2020, the ICC confirmed that India would host the 2021 tournament as planned, with Australia being named as the host for the succeeding 2022 tournament. However, in June 2021, the ICC announced that the tournament had been moved to the United Arab Emirates due to growing concerns over the  pandemic situation in India, and a possible third wave.

As of 31 December 2018, the top nine ranked ICC Full Members, alongside hosts India, qualified directly for the 2021 tournament. Of those ten teams, the top eight ranked sides qualified for the Super 12s stage of the tournament.  Sri Lanka and Bangladesh did not qualify for the Super 12s, and were  in the group stage of the competition. They were joined by the six teams who had qualified for the tournament via the 2019 ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier:  Papua New Guinea were the first team to secure their position via the Qualifier, after they won Group A of the tournament, finishing above the Netherlands on net run rate. ] It was the first time that Papua New Guinea had qualified for a World Cup in any format

Now from the Group stage, Bangladesh, Namibia, Scotland & Sri Lanka have marched on to 12.   Gerhard Erasmus' anchoring half-century and David Wiese's whirlwind 28* off 14 balls steered Namibia into the Super 12s of the 2021 T20 World Cup. This eight-wicket win over Ireland also meant Namibia have booked their spot in next year's edition as well, which will be played in Australia.

Now : Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies, Srilanka, Bangladesh are in one group while – India, New Zealand, Afganisthan, Pakistan, Scotland, Namibia are in the other.

If you still remember the Q at the start India scored 311/2 in 50 overs against Namibia – after Virender Sehwag was out at 24 – Sachin Tendulkar 152 and Sourav Ganguly 112* forged a big partnership .. .. Yuvraj who remained unbeaten on 7 had figures of 4.3-2-6-4 !

So ‘maukha, maukha’ again for Men in Blue .. ..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd Oct 2021. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Mahan Bharat accomplishes - more than 100 crore vaccine doses administered

A great day for the Nation – every citizen of INDIA can feel justifiably proud and immensely thank the Hero  with foresight – our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji.

An year  and few months ago on 19.3.2020  @ 8 pm, the Nation heard with awe – the speech of our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji – extremely balanced, explaining the situation, measures, expectations and plan of action.  Among others – Janata Curfew  `~ social distancing and clapping those rendering services @ 5pm on 22.3.2020 was announced !!  At that time – globally 217,845 Covid-19 cases had been confirmed, resulting in 9,177 fatalities worldwide. After its discovery in Dec 2019, in Wuhan, China, the virus started to spread around the world, causing panic.

Life was to change violently for most people of the globe as millions were afflicted by the dreaded Corona virus named Covid 19 by WHO defending China in its every step.  A cursory search on web reveals that 21,94,56,675 people have been affected across the globe.  USA leading with 452,07,116, India 3,41,27,450 & Brazil 2,16,80,488.  Statistics can often be misleading – for one has to read and understand this and more so the no. of deaths, considering the total population and the area they live ! the death toll globally is 45,47,782 ! – USA 731512; Brazil 604228, India 452811.

If we are to drill down within India – of its 3,42,27,450 cases – the top contributors are:  Maharashtra 6596645; 2nd is the State the Global award winning, actor recommended model state Kerala 4879790; Karnataka 2984484; Tamil Nadu 2690633, Andhra Pradesh 2061810

Last year when the World was grappling .. .. Russia announced that it has approved vaccine for Covid.  To  get the pandemic under control, introduction of a vaccine was seen as the only savior.  A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease.   Vaccines save millions of lives each year. Vaccines work by training and preparing the body’s natural defences --- the immune system--- to recognize and fight off the viruses and bacteria they target.  If the body is exposed to those disease-causing germs later, the body is immediately ready to destroy them, preventing illness.   Immunization currently prevents 2-3 million deaths every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza and measles. There are now vaccines to prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases, and work is ongoing at unprecedented speed to also make COVID-19 a vaccine-preventable disease.

Today is a day of great significance - In a landmark achievement, India's cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses.  A total of 100 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the Cowin portal at 9:47 am today.

India's COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16, 2021. Initially, the vaccination was opened for Health Care Workers (HCWs) only. From February 2, front-line workers were made eligible for vaccination. These included State and Central Police personnel, Armed Force Personnel, Home Guards, Civil Defence & Disaster Management Volunteers, Municipal workers, Prison Staff, PRI Staff and Revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance, Railway Protection Force and election Staff.

          The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India has crossed 100 crores on October 2, 2021. The one billion landmark came in the face of several hurdles, including supply shortages, distribution problems and prevailing vaccine hesitancy in several parts of the country. According to the Business Insider and ABP News, about 75% of the population above 18 years of age in India have been given at least one dose of the vaccine, while about 31% have taken both doses.

As India scripts history and reaches the 1 billion vaccination landmark, PM Shri Narendra Modiji calls it a triumph of Indian science and expresses gratitude to all the healthcare workers who worked towards achieving this feat.  

According to the latest data provided in the CoWIN portal, the total doses administered on Friday was  : Total Vaccination Doses - 1,00,60,69,878; Dose 1 - 71,08,72,214; Dose 2 - 29,51,97,664.

The historic achievement of effectively administering vaccines to many people comes amidst the massive political campaign against the centre over its vaccination policy. Prominent political leaders, businessmen, lawyers, and journalists led a nefarious online campaign not only to discredit the Modi Government’s vaccination drive but also to create panic and cast aspersions about the efficacy of the Coronavirus vaccine. 

In his hurry to target the centre over its vaccine policy, Rahul Gandhi  indulged in propagating rampant misinformation against the centre, thus creating vaccine hesitancy in the minds of the common masses. Just this week, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had created a wave of panic in the minds of people after he had claimed that the government was busy with sales and instead people should take care of themselves. Furthermore, the Gandhi-scion claimed that there was a rise in Covid-19 infections in the country, and hence vaccination must pick up to avoid serious outcomes in the next wave.

.. .. .. and then there were self-proclaimed genius like Chetan Bhagat  whose prediction on twitter read :   What's likely to happen: 1. Rich countries will vaccinate their people first. 2. Their leftovers will finally make their way to us. 3. We'll vaccinate, and then chest thump on how great we are. 4. We'll get ok and go back to being unscientific and hating others who aren't like us.

Nation is above everything and every citizen should feel great and proud of its achievements.  100 Crore is really a BIG NUMBER AND GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT and this is what it is statistically.

Long Live our Nation and its true leaders – Mera Bharat Mahan hai!

With reverence to the Nation – Nation loving citizen S. Sampathkumar
21st Oct 2o21. 

troubles for Aussie test cap 356 !!

Domestic violence (also named family violence) is violence or other abuse in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence is often used as a synonym for intimate partner violence, which is committed by one of the people in an intimate relationship against the other person- in  its broadest sense, domestic violence also involves violence against children, parents, or the elderly. It takes multiple forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms .. .. …

The Australian government is offering one-off payments to help people leave violent relationships. It was stated recently that victims can apply for a payment of 5,000 Australian dollars ($3,700), which includes cash and direct payments for expenses such as school fees. The scheme is open to all genders. However women are expected to make up the bulk of applicants in a country where one woman is killed by a partner every nine days, according to government data.

While the payment has been welcomed by advocates, some say it doesn't address the root causes of family violence in Australia. Mary Crooks, executive director of the Victorian Women's Trust, says the country needs to have a larger debate about the "blokey" culture that places men at the head of the family and in most positions of government and corporate power. She also said questions need to be asked about why women are the ones being forced to leave the family home. "There is a big moral and ethical and policy issue here. Why does she have to further go through that extraordinary trauma and dislocation to her life when she hasn't, in fact, been the one perpetrating the harm?" Crooks said. "Why does she have to be the one to pick up the kids and pets quickly, and possibly not be able to get a place in a refuge?"

Australia scores poorly on international rankings of gender equality, which can contribute to an uneven power dynamic in relationships and make women economically vulnerable. The World Economic Forum's 2021 Global Gender Gap Report ranks Australia at 50 -- well below the United States, the United Kingdom, France and New Zealand. The trouble got fuelled as the pandemic worsened,  the economic disparity chasm got deeper  as more women lost their jobs or had their hours cut .. ..

Way back in Dec 9 1993, at Melbourne – debuted the frail young bowler who went on to spearhead the Aussie attack – Glenn McGrath by name and alongside debuted an aggressive right handed opener who scored well in that match which Australia lost because of a good innings by Hansie Cronje.  The man played 42 One dayers but was not considered a One-day specialist !  .. ..

Torvill and Dean's Dancing on Ice was an Australian reality television series which was based on the original British version, Dancing on Ice. The series premiered on the Nine Network in 2006 at 7:30 and involved celebrities ice dancing on a specially constructed ice rink located in Sydney's north-west suburbs. The series ran for one season before being cancelled, and the winner of the competition was model Jake Wall. The series reportedly cost several million dollars to produce and received above-average ratings. During training almost every contestant suffered an injury of some sort, the most serious of which being this Opening batsman  severing a tendon in his hand after it was accidentally skated over by his partner.  

The man in news for wrong reasons – “Michael Jonathon Slater” is an ex-Cricketer and former television presenter. Slater made his debut in the 1993 Ashes series at the Old Trafford alongside another debutant, Brendon Julian. With Australia batting first, and Slater, an opener, being the first of the two debutants to play a role in the game, it was communicated to him that he was Test cap number 356.  A passionate individual, Slater was desperate to display his love for the Baggy Green. He tattooed the number on his body and ordered a special number plate inscribed with “MS356” for his brand new Ferrari.

He played in 74 Test matches and 42 One Day Internationals for the Australia national cricket team.. Slater went on to test cricket, opening the batting with mixed-success, scoring 5,312 runs and 14 centuries at an average of 42. He was generally not successful in One Day International games, averaging a lowly 24.07 and was dropped from one day teams. Throughout his career, Slater was susceptible to the "nervous nineties": he was dismissed in the nineties 9 out of the 23 times.

Remember that Chepauk test 2001 when India bounced back to win the series, thanks to Harbhajan Singh blazing.  It was a tricky 155 target in the 4th innings in that test no. 1539 at Chepauk in Mar 2001 – Aussies batted first; Slater fell early – Aussies made 326/3 on day 1 with Hayden blazing with a century.  They were eventually all out for 391; Hayden making 203. Harbhajan took 7 for 133.  In that test Samir Dighe and Sairaj Bahutule made their debuts  adding to the strong Bombay contingent of Sachin, Zahir and Nilesh KUlkarni. Sadagopan Ramesh opened with SS Das and made some delectable shots.  In the chase, when Ramesh was run out it was 76/2 after 19.3 overs; suddenly pressure built up ~ it was 122-5 [Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid gone] Laxman batted beautifully making 66 and when he was out it was 135 and in the same over Miller removed Bahutule too…. 20 to go – 3 wickets in hands, seemed dicey. Sameer Dighe the debutant was solid and Harbhajan scored the winning runs which was a great relief to all of us present in the stadium and those watching on TV.  The last session was so tense, that all results were possible – people did not speak to the other; some did not change their seats, some smoked, some were baiting their nails.. as it ended Indian way.

In  June this year,  David Warner and Michael Slater  were in a group of 39 Australians, comprising players, coaches and support staff, to have flown to Maldives  on a charter flight organised by the BCCI.  Star opener David Warner and cricketer-turned-commentator Michael Slater denied reports of their involvement in a drunken bar brawl in Male, where Australian cricketers competing in the half-suspended IPL had to wait  to board a flight home.    According to the ‘Daily Telegraph’, Warner and Slater got into a late night physical altercation after a heated argument at the Taj Coral Resort where they were in quarantine.  Slater had made headlines after he lambasted threats of jail time and fines for returning Australians put in place by his government as a “disgrace” and said Prime Minister Scott Morrison had “blood” on his hands.

Now comes the news that  Michael Slater has been arrested over an alleged domestic violence incident. NSW Police have confirmed a 51-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday at a home in Manly on Sydney’s northern beaches. He was taken to Manly police station and has not been charged. Officers began investigating on Tuesday after receiving reports of an alleged domestic violence incident. He was recently dropped from Channel Seven’s commentary team for the upcoming summer cricket season, with the broadcaster citing financial pressures.

Years later after he made his debut -  in late 2001 – he was informed  that he was actually cap No.357, as it wasn’t the batting order that determined cap number; instead it was the alphabetical order. The ACB called up the debutants from the game and after a discussion settled upon making an exception for Slater. James Sutherland, the ACB CEO at the time, stated, “We understand that Michael was told he was 356 and as a result has always behaved accordingly. He has obviously gone to great lengths to demonstrate his pride not only in that cap number but also in playing for Australia and that is something to be applauded. Given these fairly exceptional circumstances, we are happy to allow Michael to retain the number 356.”

With regards – S. Sampathkumar