(Last Updated on : 08/10/2010)
In the Deviculam Struggle the Tamilians were the worst sufferers. In the year 1954, May Travancore Tamil Nadu Congress met the State reorganization commission which was under the leadership of Fazl Ali. Their purpose of meeting the Commission was to amalgamate Peermade Taluks and Deviculam with Madras (presently Chennai
). The Thanu Pillai government drove away the Tamilians from those two taluks. Around four hundred of them were taken into custody; false cases were registered against them. Their lives and property were under threat. Government's action was severely condemned by the South Indian Estate Workers Union and Travancore Tamil Nadu Congress thereby leading to a revolt. Some of the Hindus had to face immense torture due to their activeness in the struggle. The police tortures led to permanent hear loss of the secretary of the Labour union Mr. Kuppuswamy. Several workers shifted to villages of Madurai
fearing the police mayhem.
The members of the Travancore Congress visited these taluks to know the situation exactly. They submitted their report and requested the Chief Minister to stop the police torture but it was not paid heed to. Subsequent to this the people were subjected to even more sufferings. Since the government paid no heed to their advice the party had an executive meet to resolve the issue and decided to observe June 30th as Deviculam Day in the entire Travancore. On this day many open meetings were conducted throughout Tamil Nadu. Nesamony and leaders of Travancore Tamil Nadu Congress were to meet the people of Deviculam Taluk on 4th July. However the Taluk Magistrate had imposed 144 of Criminal procedure Code for one month to prevent Nesamony and other leaders from visiting those districts. However Nesamony and other leaders violated the orders and visited the Taluk which led to their arrest and six months imprisonment. The party had an Executive Committee meet on 6 July 1954 at Nagercoil which was chaired by its president Ramaswamy Pillai. An Action Council was formed and the President of the Party was made its leader. From 9th July onwards public meetings, processions and Satyagraha was conducted daily for about twenty days throughout Travancore. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
and Tamizharasu Kazhagam supported the Travancore Tamil Nadu Congress in their agitation. The sentiments of the Tamilians were aroused and they were told that if required they should sacrifice their lives too.
The Deviculam struggle continued for two years. The leaders of the party including Nesamony fought at various levels to bring these Taluks under the authority of Madras. It was formally merged with Madras in 1956 only though before that the situation in these Taluks had become calm.
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