The Nadars tried to free themselves from the yoke of bondage imposed on them by the Nair community in particular. The Nadars followed Christianity and also got relaxation from the Government. This was not liked by the high caste. They started demanding wages for the work they did unlike earlier times. The women also started dressing in a respectful manner. Their social and economic development under the supervision of missionaries was not encouraged by the Nairs and Brahmins. , the Nairs wanted to eliminate the churches, the disciples, and their schools. The Nadars of Kalkulam suffered a lot as the Nairs formed the majority.
Around May 1822, the seeds of a vehement struggle were sown. The Nadar women visited churches fully clad. They were abused by the Nairs. The Nadars took revenge thereby reporting the matter to the British which was direct to court for ultimate decision. The judgement was in favour of the Christians.
The Nairs were, however, determined to fight those who disagreed to them. In the year 1828, struggle broke out in various regions like Attoor, Kannanoor, and Thirparappu of Kalkulam Taluk. Christians were imprisoned and churches were burned down. They were titled as fanatics and were even terrorized by the Nairs. Lot of atrocities was inflicted on them. However, Christians were exempted on Sundays from Ooliam services; they were caught to do these services. An incident which had sparked rage among Nairs took place. A Christian from Kannanoor had refused to do Ooliam service on a Sunday. He was forced to carry coconut leaves to feed the elephants in the Fort of Padmanabapuram. A Nadar who came to know of this incident relieved that Christian. The same leaves were loaded on a man of a Nair community and transported back to Kannanoor Church. After two days the Nairs plundered the houses of the Christians.
Such incidents reflected the fact that restriction and oppression were part of the sufferings of the Nadar community especially. With the help of the missionaries they were able to oppose the dominant castes as well as progress socially.
|More Articles in History of Kanyakumari District (7)|