Career prospects for our youths

There was a closed door discussion recently on the need to educate our youths on current career prospects. It was agreed that our youths are aware of present potentials but it was wondered whether there should not be any codified initiative and information – a sort of ready reckoner — to help them in their decision making.

It was unanimously accepted that our youngsters are fully aware of the prospects in jobs in the seas and ships and are doing well. It was also agreed that their activities in the sea are now global and spread over different international companies. It was also accepted that they could not have made such mark if they had not been skillful and capable.

During the 20th century we have diversified and have moved into new pastures –. Business, trading, engineering, constructions, agriculture, mining, and banking.

We have moved to neighbouring countries especially to Sri Lanka and made our mark in business. Business stalwarts like Ayya Thambi D’Mel (pls. refer an earlier article by Alexander), Miguel Fernando and I.X. Pereira are examples. After liberation of Ceylon from British many of our ancestors were sent back to their native places like Tuticorin, Vembar, Kamuthy, Manappad etc. This influx resulted in many of them to look for business and jobs which other communities were doing.

During the second half of the 20th century they moved into other careers: Merchants, Teachers, some even into Indian Armed Forces & Civil Services and some into Merchant Navy etc. Out of these the most preferred calling was Merchant shipping. Even today many of our youths prefer this line which gives opportunity in ships as Cadets, Officers, Fitters, Deck Engineers etc. but it is a sad fact that very few have reached the position of “Captain”.

During the last 50 years “Education” became the important factor amongst our youth   and as a result more Graduates and Post Graduates emerged in the scene.  Many school teachers, college teachers, government officials, customs officials, bank officials were noticed in the community. With more and more people moving into interior lands from sea coast they were subjected to more exposures of other communities, and endowed with native skills they quickly adopted themselves to new environs and started excelling in new fields.

The new educational concessions given when we were categorized as most backward class benefitted our youth further. Many became engineers and doctors. Many entered government services. Many became lawyers.

Yet one has to bemoan that our youngsters have not moved into IIT or research organizations in the number that we would want them to be. It is also to be rued that though there are many lawyers and doctors we are yet to find them in top slots. Though they are doing well in private sectors they do not adorn the top slots. There is some thing amiss in us which we should ponder.

It’s a good sign that education has uplifted most of our youth, thanks to the initiatives taken up by the state government and central government. Have these opportunities and career prospects reached to all our youths in every family in all our village is a million dollar question.

I can see that even today many of our talented youths are being pushed to fishing whilst pursuing their schooling. Many who complete their schools have an inclination to get into a ship in whatever role they can afford. For them getting into a merchant ship is a high salaried job irrespective of the stress and strain that they have to undergo.

As one belonging to the community, I have high regards to fishing or getting into ships. The intention of this article is to spread the unlimited career opportunities available    for today’s youth. We need to move ahead and set steps in many of the unexplored areas.
I would like to highlight some of the unexplored areas:

Central Government:

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts following examination to get posts in Central Government:

  • Civil Services Examinations
  • Indian Forest Service examination (IFS)
  • Engineering Services Examination
  • Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS)
  • National Defence Academy Examination (NDA)
  • Naval Academy Examination
  • Combined Medical Services Examination
  • Special Class Railway Apprentices examinations.
  • Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service Examination
  • Combined Geoscientist and Geologist Examination
  • Central Armed Police Forces(Assistant Commandant) Examination

Civil Services:

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including

  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  • Indian Police Service (IPS)
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS)

The examination is the toughest examination in India with success rate of 0.1%-0.3%.

Defence

  • Indian Armed Forces
    • Indian Army
    • Indian Air Force
    • Indian Navy

Officers to these 3 defence services are selected through UPSC’s NDA/CDS etc.

  • Research Establishments under Ministry of Defence

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

DRDO includes research establishments such as NSTL (Naval Science and Technological Laboratory), CVRDE (Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment) etc.

  • Paramilitary
    • Coast Guard
    • Assam Rifles
    • Special Frontier Force
  • The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) refers to uniform nomenclature of five security forces in India under the authority of Ministry of Home Affairs. They are:
  • Border Security Force (BSF)
  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
  •  Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

Public sector undertakings (Government of India)

Some of the PSU companies which are highly regarded and awarded the status of Maharatna and Navratna are:

  • Coal India Ltd.
  • Indian Oil Corporation
  • NTPC Ltd.
  • Steel Authority of India Ltd.
  • GAIL (India) Ltd.
  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation
  • Hindustan Aeronautics
  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation
  • National Aluminium Company Ltd.
  • Neyveli Lignite Corporation
  • Container Corporation of India
  • Shipping Corporation of India

Public sector banks are familiar to us

State Government

TNPSC caters to all administrative services of Tamilnadu government. Examinations are conducted (Group 1 to 4) to fill up various administrative jobs of the Tamilnadu government.

Private Sector

Private sector throws innumerable opportunities. I will not be able to list down all the jobs offered in the private sector.

I have tried to highlight the administrative services wherein our footprint is insignificant. Our youths (male / female) spread across Tamilnadu should decide on their career and then act accordingly. The above mentioned services are applicable for both male and female. We recommend all our youths to look into such openings and get themselves acquainted.

I can understand that many of our youths will be devoid of Internet in their villages or may not be aware of our “Globalparavar” website. I would request viewers of this article to spread awareness of our portal. Even if our youths are not able to view this portal the message should reach them. I kindly request all readers to spread this information.

The purpose of this article is to encourage our youths to move into different services. We are more capable and talented to do beyond what we are currently doing. Kindly get in touch with the right people to know more on what can be done.

St. Anthony of Padua

Puliampatti2St. Anthony of Padua also known as Anthony of Lisbon was a Portuguese Catholic priest of the Franciscan order. Born in 1195 to a wealthy family in Lisbon (Portugal) he dedicated his life to the service of the poor and downtrodden. He left all the wealth his family had and completely gave himself to Christ. He is known for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of scriptures. His faith in Infant Jesus was so immense that Infant Jesus descended on St. Anthony’s hands. St. Anthony performed several miracles during his lifetime helping many in need. He died on 13 June 1231 in Padua (Italy) at a very young age. 13th June is celebrated as St. Anthony’s feast across the world.

Though born in Lisbon, Portugal his priesthood life was spent in Padua, Italy. Owing to this reason his nativity is referred to Padua rather than Lisbon. He was one of the most quickly canonized saints in Catholic history. Vatican has proclaimed St. Anthony as the “Doctor of the Church”. He is also the patron saint of finding things or lost people.

One of the most revered saints in Tamilnadu is “St. Anthony of Padua”. We can come across several churches dedicated to St. Anthony who is believed to hear our prayers and bless us. St. Anthony’s churches in Broadway & Pudupet (both in Chennai), Kamuthy, Uvari, Puliampatti are some of the prominent ones in Tamilnadu. No wonder many Catholics in this state are named after St. Anthony (Anthony, Antony, Anton, Anto etc.).

Puliampatti1St. Anthony’s influence on Paravars
Paravars across Muthukulithurai have great reverence for Saint Anthony. Most of the Paravar villages have a church dedicated to St. Anthony. Alexander Sir has many times written about the famous St. Anthony’s church in Kamuthy. The feast of St. Anthony in Kamuthy is celebrated by people of all religion with much fanfare.

In Uvari the church of St. Anthony is home to an ancient wooden statue. Legend says that the crew of a Portuguese ship which sailed near Uvari about 450 years ago contracted cholera. The ship’s carpenter carved an image of St. Anthony from a block of wood and prayed for help. Everyone in the ship was immediately healed and the entire crew regained its health. When the ship docked at Uvari, the sailors placed the statue inside a hut in the village. The church in Uvari was upgraded to a Shrine. St Anthony is said to perform many miracles daily, and this church is visited by pilgrims from all over southern Tamilnadu.

St. Anthony’s church, Puliampatti
Let’s look at one of the famous churches of St. Anthony in Puliampatti (Tuticorin District). Located at a distance of around 23 kms from Palayamkottai and 45 kms from Tuticorin, this church falls under the Palayamkottai Diocese. St. Anthony’s Shrine is the earliest shrine in the Diocese of Palayamkottai.

The history of the shrine starts with a miracle done in mid 17th century by St. Anthony to a local man named Thommai. He was a devout catholic and used to visit another village called “Santhai Pettai” where a small church had been built in honour of St. Francis Xavier. This church is located in the place where St. Francis Xavier is believed to have stayed for a while during his travel in the Muthukulithurai region. We have previously seen how St. Francis Xavier had travelled from Kanyakumari to Vembar covering all coastal villages.

Thommai had 12 sons and 1 daughter, unfortunately all his eleven sons died one after another at a very young age. The last son survived along with the daughter. The girl grew up and she got married but her husband died within 15 days of their marriage. Thommai’s only son was attacked with measles and he felt very sad thinking about his family. One day St. Anthony made an appearance to Thommai and asked him to build a church. Immediately Thommai put all his efforts to build this church in honour of St. Anthony. At the same time he saw his son recovering from the deadly measles.

Being a poor man Thommai could not raise enough money to build a church. Again St. Anthony appeared before Thommai and asked him to approach the landlord of Maniachi (current town of Maniachi). When Thommai met the landlord, the landlord said that he too had a dream wherein he was instructed to donate land to build a church. Acquiring the land at Puliampatti, Thommai started the construction work of the church. He brought the beautiful wooden statue of St. Anthony from Santhai Pettai (Francis Xavier’s church) and placed it in the new church. Though the church was very small in size roofed with hay, miracles started happening to all who came to pray to St. Anthony.

Today people irrespective of caste, creed and religion flock to this church of St. Anthony at Puliampatti. On the 15th of February 1954, Puliampatti was created as a new Parish with Rev. Fr. A. Mariadoss as its first parish priest. By his earnest effort the small shrine was elevated to a bigger one and reopened by the then Arch Bishop J. P. Leonard SJ on the 13th June, 1961.

Many miracles take place in this church at Puliampatti. People possessed by evil spirits are taken to this church so that they are healed. Many diseases are cured and lost items are recovered after visiting this church.

St. Anthony’s church at Puliampatti, unlike the churches started by St. Francis Xavier develops its roots to Santhai Pettai where St. Francis Xavier came. Paravars from Tuticorin and many other villages visit this holy shrine frequently. Transportation facility is not quite good but buses run from Tuticorin at fixed timings. Please do visit this church and get the blessings of St. Anthony.

By Anton Niresh

KAMUTHY CHURCH of ST. ANTONY

dddOn 24th October 2015 the church dedicated to st. ANTONY OF PADUA at Kamuthy was consecrated after renovation at an impressive cost, contributed by not only parishoners but also by others—-friendly Hindus,and Moslems .

The blessong was done by His Grace the Bishop of Sivagangai.Most . Rev. SOOSAIMANICKAM.

Nearly 20 priests of the Diocese  and a Jesuit priest Fr. Leonard, former Principal of St. Josephs college Trichy.and a native of the parish were assisting the Bishop in the ceremonies.

There was a very solemn Mass attended by churchful congregation.
Their choral response during mass evoked piety and reverence in the hearts of all. The choir with instrumental accompaniment,of professionals was a delight to ears and souls.
The sermon by His Grace was to the point.
“”Renovation of churches should aid to renovate our faith . It is a symbol of revival and a catalyst for re energising  our spiritual life.””

The alter made in Teak  of fine quality lent admirable beauty to the church.  The  old and beautiful statues of  Mother  Mary  and  of St.Joseph  were examplary pieces in beauty and serenity. It is very rare to see  such beautiful faces in the statutes in churches these days.
What about  dismantlable statue of  Our Lord in Cross.?
The   face of the old statue   of Jesus in agony done up now  expresses  the  pain he undergoes  and the  trust  he reposes in His Father.

The new Tabernacle with brass front of  radiating rays, fish, amd heart fitted exactly in the backstage  of alter..

The Monstrance  of  nearly three and a half feet height ,while placed in the alter  suited exactly the church.

The real Master Piece  in art work was the  photographically embedding of  the picture of St.ANTONy on a piece of white marble with LED lights to glow it from behind. . This has been placed in the alcove in the front  portion at the root of the spire of the church. This strikes your eyes and inspires adoration to st. Antony.

The choir of the day was   very pleasing to the ears.

A small booklet on ” Kamuthy Pangou”written by Alexander was distributed  to the Bishop, priests  nuns and congregation.The book traced the history of the church, its past parish priests, customs and manners of Kamuthy christians, and contained  a collection of prayers and pamalais in use in  Kamuthy. A  brief introduction to the contents of the book was given by  Alexander.. He placed the church to be in existence from   circa1750..

Jubilation  combined with piety permeated the atmosphere.

By A.X Alexander.

FR. SARTORIO – ON THE HORSE BACK

Readers may kindly refer to my three notes on Kamuthy and its hallowed church dedicated to St. Antony of Padua.

Here is some thing more. But   this is not on the church itself but on one of the early Jesuits — FR. SATORIO who came to Kamuthy and breathed his last afflicted by the dreaded cholera.  His grave is located in the south east corner of the church with an Indian version of grave with a canopy and an epitaph spelling out the year of death as 1852.

Folk lore is abounding on this priest’s concern for the villagers; and elders time and again have spoken that he was still on horse back and trotting in the streets of Kamuthy in the dead of the nights protecting them from the onslaughts of bad spirits, plague, famine etc. Candles are lit in scores and blessed oil is kept for smearing in the canopy to ward off evils.

To  express their gratitude ,the grateful Bharatha devotees , every year ,conduct asanam in the vicinity of the church itself on the day following the festival of St. Antony which  usually falls  on  13 th june.

The asanam is attended not only by the Bharathas   but also by different communities in Kamuthy, signifying the close relationship the community maintains with others in Kamuthy and illustrating the reverence for the Father.

The provocation for this article, stems from my recent re- reading a book on THE JESUITS IN INDIA BY W. STRICKLAND 1850, a British Jesuit.   He portrays the perilous times for the Jesuits of later 17 th century and early 18 th century  and lists out quite a few who fell a victim to Cholera in Madura mission. The heroism of these fallen heroes is so touching, that I wish everyone reads this slender volume reprinted by Asian educational services in 2001.costing   rs 461.

The first to die in cholera was Fr. Fidelis Alexander Martin who when he saw the faithful crying around him when he was sick said ‘’ I did not come to this country to live in it for ever ‘’

Fr. De Bournet who had been in the country and who had been placed under Fr Martin survived him scarcely twenty days after.  The flock felt they had lost a guide in their path to eternity.

The third was Father Alexander de Sardos , who when implored to take care of his health replied that he did not fear death. He kept his soul ready to go before GOD   and passed into eternity on 2nd February 1841.

The fourth was Fr. F. Charingnon who sank in the alter  and died on 21 February 1841.

These were succeeded in deaths by cholera by Frs F.  Garnier,superior of the mission , Peter Faurie. Claude de Champes, Louis du Ranquet, Francis Perrin, Louis Berlandis.

For some time there was a lull. But in July 1846 cholera again struck and Fr. St Ferriol, Fr. O Kenny, Fr. Audibert, Fr. F. Barret.were lost.

In 1849 Fr. Ponsdiver fell a victim.

1850 cholera again claimed a victim and this time it was a young priest not ordained a year. FR.Sartorio was a savoyard by birth and had proceeded to India before his novice- ship ended. He was one of the first priests ordained by the present bishop Dr. Canoz and was much loved by his companion.  He had just begun his labour among the natives, when he was sent to a village where violent dispute was raging, to endeavour to reconcile the adversaries. He was making some progress in this good work when he was seized with cholera, which was ravaging the village, and after a short illness died.’’

The village that had a raging conflict was Kamuthy  .  The death year mentioned in the epitaph slab is 1852. But Father Strickland would state that he died in 1850. Fr.Strickland published the book in 1852.

I feel there might be an error in the year mentioned in the slab.

What ever be the year of death of FR . Sartorio, in the psyche of Kamuthy Bharathas, he lives trotting his horse in the dead of nights chasing out evil spirits, demons, plague, pestilence and famine.

By A X Alexander

Furbishing the Kamuthy Church

I request the readers to go back to  the articles

KAMUTHY- A NOSTALGIC NOTE and MORE ON KAMUTHY – HISTORICAL AND NARRATIONAL.  published in GLOBAL PARAVAR  already   on April 10 , 2012.   and on February 1, 2013 .

In these   two articles I dwelt on KAMUTHY ,the village its people, customs and manners, habits and  as I observed when I was young . I also delved deep into some records pertaining to Kamuthy in the archives of  Jesuits in  Kodaikkanal and deciphered that the Paravas of Kamuthy are migrants from south and had a church for themselves  as early as 1755.and had  seen  and shared  the rise and fall of Jesuits .

I feel I should leave the reader to read and see for himself what the Jesuits dispatches mention about Kamuthy. I am not giving all that I noted, but what is relevant for the time being. Here it is.

‘’ Kamuthy is the headquarters of a vast Pangou on the borers of marava land and Tinnevely.50 miles long from east to west and nearly 30 miles from north to south.’

The paravas who form the majority of Catholics come from South 150 years ago .  the church itself 100 years old.  [Circa 1755]

‘’It is a  strong building – without style and façade not much ornamental.’’

‘’The catholic Parava community of Kamuthy complying with the decree of Pope Gregory XVI submitted at once to the vicar apostolic. It was visited by missionaries from Pondicherry then . After arrival of the Jesuits ,by several of our fathers. Among them —Frs Canoz, Fr. Puchchinelli and Fr Sartoria, the latter died in Kamuthy of cholera. His tomb ,an Indian monument is in the south east corner of the church. Old Christians say that he died after residing for a fortnight on 10 th March 1854.   of cholera.’’

From 1855 to 1863 the church was attached to Rajakambeeram  Pangou. It was entrusted to Fr. Trincal from 1863. In 1873, Fr. Lapport took charge of Kamuthy and tended the flock till 1879. ‘’

This 260 year old church, in my memory, had two aisles and a nave and was in the form of a cross, with a baroque non descript façade that had a statue of Mother Mary in a central alcove. The church was expanded in 1940s with a spire and an unfinished Mandapam by Fr. PaulViaux. Later the Mandapam was roofed with   broad wall pillars  which were later reduced to stone chiseled pillars. Later in 1980s the church was again renovated  and re strengthened .

Now it is getting a  facelift. A generator is available. The old foot pedal harmonium has gone. A new key board is available. Re-roof has been done. False roofing is  in place. Plenty of buried lights are fixed in the false celing. Windows have been re furbished.. two triangular facades have come in, centering the existing spire. Marble floorings and  marble wall cladding have been done. A new alter has been constructed with granite topping.  The rear of the alter is being done in wood. The pedestals for St. Antony and Sahaya Madha have been granited and  wooden canopied.

Father Parish Priest was mentioning that we need to do up the grotto also. I asked him are there not any of the parishioners  to do  the  KARASEVA. Promptly he replied there was none available to do such chores.  Further he added that mostly women only attend mass. I wondered then why we should  do up the church.

We really need to   pray and ponder.  

by A,X. Alexander.                                                      

Neidhal Anto’s “Yenadhu oor Thoothukudi”

Last week we reviewed Anto’s  “Cruz Fernando”. Now we are on his another book ‘’Yenadhu oor Thoothukudi . This is a slender volume on Thoothukudi in 112 pages, containing well thought out 8 chapters.

Starting from tracing the history of Thoothukudi, it meanders through Pearl fishing, Thoothukudis role in Freedom struggle, its growth as a town and city , its industrial development, its important citizens and institutions in different fields, its places of interest, and its good specific eatables. In short it speaks of different facets of Thoothukudi; and speaks well and succinctly!

The author has taken pains to collect, collate and disseminate details which easily will not come to the knowledge of any ordinary writer.

In his first chapter on the name of the town, he describes the meaning of Thirumandanagar, Thirumandiranagar and Thoothukudi. Thirumandanagar as the sea is soft (MANDAM) ; Thirumandiram as Lord Shiva taught Mandirams to Parvathy when they were on a sojourn to Tiruchendur  and Thoothukudi as drinking water had to be taken by desilting fountains  (OOTRU) in the sea shore.

He refers to the mention of this town by Augustus Caesar (BC 63- AD 14) in Roman walls, in the writings of Fr. Martin in the 17th century and in the references of Greek Astronomer Ptolemy.

The author recounts the clashes between Muslims and Hindu Paravars  for supremacy in the sea for pearl fishing and informs how a street brawl between a hindu  Parava woman and a muslim  wayward resulted in clashes and  decapacitation of  thousands of hindu fisherman forcing them to seek  succor and support  of Portuguese and ultimate conversion to Christian faith en block.

The author briefly mentions the rule of this town by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British and refers to the vain attempts of Baldeus the Calvinist preacher to get the Paravas converted to Protestantism.

Thoothukudi had been under the control of Portuguese for 126 years: under the Dutch for 141 years; and under the British for 125 years.

One should say that (Madras) Chennai had been under the British  for 350 years but Thoothukudi far more years under the western powers, yet  it  has not taken to western ways of living as( Madras)  Chennai.

The author in his chapter on pearls and chanks bemoans the shift of pearl beds from their traditional locales  and traces the cause for this,  to un mitigated pollution, and movement of ships and mechanized boats.

Writing on chanks he mentions the struggle launched by chank –gatheres  for a half anna rise in their coolie.(half anna equals to 3 paise ). He lists out varieties of chank with pictures for easy recognition.

In the chapter on the role of Thoothukudi, in the freedom struggle, he speaks not only of V.O.Chidambaram Pillai , Masillamanipillai  J.P. Rodriguez, Samuel Nadar.C.veerabahu, Brammanaygam Pillai, Ponnusamy Nadar, Valerian Fernando, JLP Roache Victoria but also about the Jathi Talaivar of Paravas  who helped  Katta bomman and Oomaithurai his brother by supplying arms and ammunition to wage a war against the British. He describes the role of every one of these in the freedom struggle, which every Thoothukudi citizen should know and feel proud.

There are two mass confrontations to which the author draws our attention. The first one is the struggle launched by the workers of cotton mills for their rights under the leadership of V.O.Chidambaram and the other by the Christians of Thoothukudi who went and settled in Raja Tivu with Jesuit priests protesting against the tax imposed by the Nayaka rulers.

Enraged by the action of the Jesuits supported Christians who migrated to Raaja Tivu freeing themselves from the Episcopal jurisdiction of  Franciscans  the Cochin Bishop , himself a Franciscan  organized a Portuguese and Nayaka fleet and took on the Migtrants, and killed many of them though the Christian flock waged a valiant battle against the combined force of the Portuguese, Nayaks And the bishop.. The author claims that this resistance by the Christians was a war of independence as this was fought against the domination of Portuguese an alien power. I think this is a little far fetched.

In the chapter on the growing city he describes how the city which was around the shores of the sea has spread far into the inland and how the names of different parts of the city in and around the early city had been called after the predominant community that lived in the area, as Marakkudi, Saluppakudi, Koluththakudi , Nasuvakkudi etc.

Speaking on Sevanthakulam , the author states that it was Sanctacruzkulam which as days passed became Sevanthan kulam.

He narrates a story on the name of  Mathikettan odai. An English gentleman who came on a horse back to cross this odai sat on his horse and tried to wade through the odai. As he came to the middle of the odai, the horse sat on its haunches and refused to move forward. The Englishman who rode the horse drenched  himself as a result. As the English man took the foolish step of crossing the river on a horse back, local people pejoratively described the venture of the Englishman as Mathikettu ponavan which later became Mathiketuponavan odai—later Mathikettan odai.

In the chapter on Industrial growth, he advances valid reasons against the Sethusamudram project.

He mentions in the next chapter ,  some eminent men of Thoothukudi  such as JMP Roache, Bishop Roache. Prof.Ssrinivasaraghavan, Prof. Rampolla Mascarenhas, Pulavar Sudalaimuthu, Chandrababu, Kalaban vaz, Selvaraj Miranda, Pulavar Sivasubramaniam , Amalanadhan,  Thambi ayya Fernando, Oliver Fernando, Sukumar Devotta Kavingar Devadevan, Viaya Danusu , Sridar Ganesh , Stephen, Md. Maideen and scientist Resington and a host of educational instituitions and various sabas  sangams and kazagams that keep up the  literary flavor as the real treasure of Thoothukudi.

In this chapter on places to be visited, he brings out the fact, based mostly on hearsay that the Anglican church opposite to old port was once a Catholic church built by the Portuguese but taken over by the Dutch later. He also cites two temples of Vinayagar visited by Gandhiji; One at Gibsonpuram and the other at sevanthankulam.

He also mentions about the sugar mills that existed in Kulasekaran pattinam and the railway track that served it.

In this long list of places to be visited, he does not mention ASHE memorial. This memorial was built by Cruz Fernando, since Collector helped him to fetch water to Thoothukudi. He built the memorial when nationalistic fever was at a very high pitch and Ashe, the murdered was considered a villain. But one must remember he was a big helping hand to Cruz Fernando to bring water to parched Thoothukudi.

If Penny Quick of Mullai Periyar could be celebrated with a ManiMandapam why should we shy of even mentioning Ashe memorial. Both helped the Tamils with water.

This is an eminently informative reference book on Thoothukudi. Congratulations to the author.

By A.X.Alexander

Neidal Anto’s Cruz Fernando

Neidal Anto of Tuticorin has sent two books to me through Ivarius Fernando ,Chennai , a fortnight back. One was on the most revered  Chairman that Tuticorin ever had , CRUZ FERNANDO  and the other on the town Tuticorin itself.

Both well written, in easily readable style, slender in size, flawless in grammar and spelling, appropriately fonted and neatly printed, and moderately priced.

The biography of Cruz Fernando delineates, his early days, his employment in mills, his association with his British masters, his public service in educating the poor boys  off  broker money, his attempts to bring water to thirsty Tuticorin from   the Tamiraparani, his daily  visit to hospital to tend the sick , his laying out the cemetery and the  market, his annoyance at the flea fested- foodstuff sale by the widow, and the compensation he renders to her , the efforts he takes to bring up a municipality building  etc.

All these are well known to any discerning Bharatha and to the enlightened in Tuticorin and elsewhere.  But the  knowledge , Neidhal Anto adds, on the Collector Ash being shot and killed by Vanchi, at Maniyachi in the book indeed is something many of us have so far not heard.He informs us that collector Ash was shot at , not so much for his oppressive handling of Tuticorin national rebels and the riots they caused but for violating the caste code of the times.

Anto would say that Collector Ash did the mistake of taking in his vehicle a low caste  pregnant woman in pangs through high caste street and offended their sentiments.

He would further aver that Ash ordered all his staff irrespective of their caste affiliation,to dine from the same table and drink from the same trough while in office—progressive steps much ahead of the times.

Anto records these information from hearsay. I wish he or some one else who reads these probes further and exposes if any record any where is available to substantiate and lend credit to such averments.

But one comparison comes to my mind. Dyer who massacred the congregation in jalianwallahbagh was reported to have been ired by the insult heaped on a British woman and took revenge on the crowd assembled in the Bagh.

Anto’s  stout defence of Cruz Fernando constructing a memorial for his friend Collector Ash who helped him to bring water to Tuticorin,but held in contempt by Nationalists  when the  nation was fighting against the British for independence is laudable. He informs the reader that it is equal to VOC naming his son Walleshwaran, in gratitude to Justice Wallace a Britisher, who restored his lawyer Sannad when he was in indignant circumstance in life.

There are pages in the biography where Anto bemoans the lack of adequate recognition for this great savant from the community. But books like the one  written by Neidal Anto  highlighting the selfless services of Cruz Fernando I am sure  would hasten the recognition for such noble souls.

On Neidal Anto’s ‘Tuticorin’ next Saturday.

By A.X Alexander

Pongal 2015

Centenary celebration of Holy Ghost Church, Vembar

Vembar’s Holy Spirit church has already been detailed in our earlier article titled “The Holy Spirit Church, Vembar”. It should be noted that the current church was built on 1st February 1915 and next year would be its centenary year.

The church has undergone massive renovation work during the past several months. The renovated church will be ready for the feast of St. Sebastian falling on 20th January. The church will be blessed and re-opened by Rev. Bishop Peter Remigius on 11th January 2015. St. Sebastian’s feast in this church is celebrated with much fanfare and the church’s centenary will be an added celebration.

As part of the centenary celebrations the people of Vembar have planned for a series of events. The agenda and itinerary for next month’s celebrations are given below. Vembar’s church was one of the first to be built by our patron “St. Francis Xavier” and everyone’s welcome to participate in this celebration.

For more information on this church please visit one of our previous article – “The Holy Spirit Church, Vembar“.

Invite

by Anton Niresh

Kanyakumari to Muttom – A Travelogue

We have come across many articles in globalparavar covering many of the places wherein Paravars are dwelling. Tuticorin, Vembar, Manapad, Uvari, Alanthalai,

Veerapandiapatinam, Kayalpatinam, Kanyakumari, Perumanal, Kootapuli, Palayakayal, Punnaikayal etc are very familiar to us.

Many of us are aware of our coast line from Vembar to Kanyakumari. But beyond Kanyakumari we have wonderful places which we need to be aware of. From Kanyakumari to the famous Muttom village we need to visit a few places:

  • Kanyakumari
  • Kovalam
  • Puthenthurai
  • Rajakkamangalam
  • Muttom

A scenic 35 km drive from Kanyakumari to Muttom will make you wonder if we are in Kerala or Tamilnadu. Beautiful backwaters of the sea and lush green coconut trees engulfing the whole area reminds us that we are close to Kerala but absolutely within Tamilnadu.Kumari_Church
Kanyakumari

I do not think we need any introduction to India’s southernmost point with numerous tourist attractions. “Alangara Matha church”  is a must visit which is one of the most beautiful churches in Tamilnadu. This magnificent church has an inner altar considered to be the one built during St. Francis Xavier’s arrival here.

I knew that Tamilnadu doesn’t end here so I decided to take the drive towards Muttom. I started from Kanyakumari at around 2 pm.Kumari_Church_Altar

Kovalam

I drove 3 kms from Kanyakumari and hit a village called “Kovalam” (not the one in Kerala or near Chennai). In fact Kovalam is visible from the shore lines of Kanyakumari. From the “Sunset Point” in Kanyakumari we will be able to see the beautiful landscape of Kovalam.

The church of St. Ignatius in Kovalam  is something to be seen.

Puthenthurai

I drove another 14 kms from Kovalam passing through a wonderful bridge in Manakudy  cruising through the backwaters and coconut fields to touch Puthenthurai. Yet another village inhabited by Paravars.

Holy Rosary church Puthenthurai is a church to be visited here.

Rajakkamangalam

Rajakkamangalam_ChurchAnother 9 kms drive from Puthenthurai took me to a bigger village called “Rajakkamangalam” . 3 years ago my cousin got married to a girl whose native was Rajakkamangalam. Honestly, I had never heard of this place and my curiosity provoked me to learn more. Finally I visited this beautiful place:

Rajakkamangalam is a Panchayat Union of Kanyakumari district. It is one of the nine administrative divisions of the district of Kanyakumari. Azhathangarai-Rajakkamangalam Estuary and Marshy land contains a Coastal ecosystem with Mangroves habitat, sand dunes and sea turtle breeding site near Azhathangarai beach.

This place has one of the richest marine eco-systems to be visited within Tamilnadu.

Our Lady of Good Health Rajakkamangalam is a landmark here.

Muttom

Director Bharathiraja captured “Muttom” 33 years back when he directed “Alaigal Oivathillai” in 1981. Muttom gained more prominence when Bharathiraja directed “Kadalora Kavithaigal” in 1986. I drove another 9 kms from Rajakkamangalam and reached this beautiful place.

The famous church “All Saints church”  in Muttom was beautifully depicted in Kadalora Kavithaigal. This church is undergoing renovation currently and I’m hoping that it should be ready by next year.

Muttom is a classic beauty and a must see village along the shores of Tamilnadu. The church, the backwaters and the sea waves hitting the rocks are a treat to our eyes. The sunset in Muttom’s coast is something which should never be missed.

The backwaters harbouring several fishing boats is a must watch. Yet another attraction is the famous lighthouse depicted in the movies. After watching the sunset I started returning to Kanyakumari.

A wonderful drive with lots of good places to see, that’s how I would summarise my travel. It’s great to visit these areas and understand the lifestyle of Paravars along with the beautiful churches. There is a Paravar world beyond Kanyakumari, moreover there is lot of Tamilnadu beyond Kanyakumari.

Some Tips for the drive:

  • The roads are really good to have a pleasant drive. I went in a car but I’d recommend riding in a bike which is even more scintillating. We Paravars love our coast line and I’d suggest we shouldn’t stop with Kanyakumari.
  • These places can also be visited after reaching Nagercoil, there is no need for us to come to Kanyakumari. The distance differs if you are travelling from Nagercoil instead of Kanyakumari.
  • Do not miss the sunset and ocean waves at Muttom. Best time would be after 5 pm which will make your visit to Muttom mesmerising.
  • Tides are very strong in Muttom and display boards are kept to caution visitors. Never try venturing into the sea without proper guidance.

by Anton Niresh

பஞ்சல்

panjal-seaகடந்த காலம் என்னும் எல்லையில்லா பெருவெளியில் காலத் தச்சன் கட்டியுள்ள அனுபவம் என்னும் மாபெரும் கோபுரமே வரலாறு பரணி பாயும் தரணியாம் நெல்லை மாவட்டத்தின் எல்லையில் அமைந்திருக்கும் ஒரு குக்கிராமமே பஞ்சல் கி.பி பதிநான்காம் நூற்றாண்டில் நாலாயிரம் வீடுகளை கொண்டு பேரூராக விளங்கிய இக்கிராமம் தற்போது விரல் விட்டு என்னும் அளவிற்கு வீடுகளை கொண்டுள்ளது. (3999 வீடுகளை கொண்டு பின் நாலாயிரமாக கட்டப்பட்ட அம்மன் கோவில் இதற்கு ஒரு சான்று. தற்போது இந்த கோவில் நாலாயிரத்து அம்மன் கோவில் என்று அழைக்கப்படுகிறது. இக்கோவில் பஞ்சலில் இருந்து வடக்கில் 2 கி.மீ தொலைவில் அமைந்துள்ளது). கி.பி 1715-ல் சங்கயத்தான்ரொட்ரீகஸ் என்பவரால் தூய இஞ்ஞிசியாருக்கு சிற்றாலயம் ஒன்று எழுப்பப்பட்டது.

சங்ககாலத்தில் வெவ்வேறு இனத்தவர் இங்கு வாழ்ந்தனர் என்றும் இவர்கள் இந்து முறையை பின்பற்றினர் என்றும் வரலாறு கூறுகிறது. இவர்கள் விவசாயம் மற்றும் மீன்பிடி தொழிலை தங்களது முக்கியத் தொழிலாக கொண்டு வாழ்ந்தனர் என்றும் அறியப்படுகிறது. நாலாயிரம் வீடுகளை கொண்டு செழிப்புற்று விளங்கிய இக்கிராமம் எதனால் கலையிழந்து காட்சியளிக்கிறது என்ற வினாவிற்கு விடைதேடி சென்றேன் பஞ்சல் கிராமத்திற்கு. இது பெருமணலை தலைமை பாங்காகக் கொண்டு பெருமணலிளிருந்து ஒரு கி.மீ தொலைவில் உள்ளது. இங்கு உள்ளவர்கள் சுமார் 300 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னர் ஏற்பட்ட பஞ்சம், வெள்ள பெருக்கு, நெருப்பினால் ஏற்பட்ட அழிவு, அரசாங்கத்தின் நெருக்கடி, கொள்ளை, நோய், பொருளாதார பற்றாக்குறைவு மற்றும் ஒரு பெண்ணின் சாபம் அதாவது பஞ்சல் கிராமத்திற்கு பொருட்களை விற்கும் ஒரு பெண்மணி சென்றுள்ளார். panjal-ruinsஅங்கு வாழ்ந்த வேற்று இனத்தவ ஆண்களுள் சிலர் அப்பெண்மணியை மோசம் செய்துள்ளனர். எனவே அப்பெண்மணி பஞ்சலில் அமைந்துள்ள சவேரியார் கிணற்று முன் நின்று இக்குடிசைக் கோவிலை நோக்கி இவ்வுர் வறண்ட பூமியாக வேண்டும் இவ்வுரில் ஏழு தலைமுறைக்கு மேல் நிலைக்க கூடாது என்றும் சாபம் விட்டாள். எனவே தான் இவ்வுர் இவ்வாறு கலையிழந்து காணப்படுகிறது என்பது சிலரின் கருத்தாக தெரிகிறது. எனினும் உண்மை நிலை என்னவென்று எவருக்கும் தெரியவில்லை. இவை அனைத்தும் இவ்வுர் கலையிழந்து காணப்படுவதற்கான காரணங்கள் என வாய்மொழி மரபாக கூறப்படுகிறது

கி.பி 1542-ல் சவேரியார் கடல் வழியாக (பெருமணலுக்கு) வருகை புரிந்துள்ளார். இவரே பெருமணலில் வாழ்ந்த மக்களுக்கு கிறிஸ்துவத்தை எடுத்துரைத்து அவர்களுக்கு திருமுழுக்கு கொடுத்துள்ளார் என்று பெருமணல் வரலாறு கூறுகிறது. சவேரியார் தமது முதல் வருகையின் போது பெருமணலை கடந்து செல்கையில் பஞ்சலில் ஒரு புதுமை செய்ததாக கூறப்படுகிறது. தொழு நோயாளி ஒருவரை சவேரியார் எதிர் கொள்கிறார். அவர் உடனடியாக ஒரு தம்ளரில் தண்ணீர் எடுத்து தொழுநோயாளியினுடைய கண்களை கழுவி தண்ணீரை குடித்தார் மீதியை சிறிய குழி ஒன்றில் ஊற்றினார். தொழு நோயாளி உற்சாகம் பெற்றான். அந்த சிறிய குழி தண்ணீர் இன்றும் பஞ்சலில் விளங்கி சவேரியார் கிணற்று தண்ணீர் என்றே அழைக்கப்படுகிறது. ஆயினும் பெருமணலில் மனமாற்றத்தை ஏற்படுத்திய சவேரியார் பஞ்சலில் ஏன் ஏற்படுத்தவில்லை என்ற ஒரு கேள்வி எழுகிறது. பஞ்சல் ஊர் மற்ற கடற்கரை கிராமங்களை விட சற்று உள்ளே அமைந்துள்ளது. எனவே சவேரியார் அவ்வுரின் உள்ளே செல்லாமல் பெருமணல் ஊரைக் கடந்து கூத்தன்குழி கடலோரத்தில் ‘சவேரியார் மடம்;’ என்று அழைக்கப்படும் இடத்திற்கு சென்றுள்ளார் என்று அறியப்படுகிறது. அதன் பிறகு சவேரியார் பெருமணலில் தங்கி அங்கு உள்ளவர்களை மனம் மாற்றியுள்ளார் என்றும் அவர் பஞ்சல் ஊருக்கு செல்லவில்லை என்றும் கூறப்படுகிறது. சவேரியார் வருகைக்கு பின்னர் தென்னிந்தியாவில் குறிப்பாக தமிழகத்தில் போர்த்துகீசியரின் வருகை மிகப்பெரிய விளைவை ஏற்படுத்தியது. இதில் ஒன்று பஞ்சலில் அவர்கள் கட்டிய முதல் குடிசை கோவில். இக்கோவில் கி.பி 18-ம் நூற்றாண்டில் கட்டப்பட்டது. பின்னர் ஏற்பட்ட பிரெஞ்சு ஆட்சி மேலும் பல விளைவுகளை ஏற்படுத்தியது. பின்னர் 1936 ஆல் ஏற்பட்ட இரட்டை ஆட்சி முறை அதாவது கோவா மறைமாவட்டத்திற்கும் கொம்புத்துறை மறை மாவட்டத்திற்கும் எல்லையாக அமைந்தது பஞ்சல, பெருமணல் கிராமங்கள். இவ்விரட்டை ஆட்சி முறையினால் இக்கிராமங்கள் சில காலம் கோவா மறைமாவட்டத்திற்கும் சில காலம் கொம்புத்துறை மாவட்டத்திற்கும் உட்பட்டிருந்தது. பின்னர் கோவா மறை மாவட்ட ஆட்சிக்கு உட்பட்டது அப்போது கோவா மறைமாவட்டத்தில் இருந்து இயேசு சபை குருக்கள் பஞ்சல் கிராமத்திற்கு சென்று அங்கு வாழ்ந்த மக்களுக்கு திருமுழுக்கு வழங்கி கிறிஸ்தவ மக்களாய் மாற்றினார்.

panjal new churchபெருமணல், இடிந்தகரை ஆகிய ஊர்களிலிருந்து பலர் பஞ்சலில் குடியேறினார்கள். ஆனால் பொருளாதார மேம்பாட்டிற்கும் சமூக வாழ்வுக்கும் அவ்விடம் ஏதுவாய் இல்லாததும் மேலும் அரசாங்கம் அவர்களுக்கு நிலையான பட்டா வழங்காததும் மற்றும் அதிக வரி விதித்ததன் காரணமாக சில ஆண்டுகளிலேயே பஞ்சல் ஊரை விட்டுவிட்டு மீண்டும் பெருமணல, இடிந்தகரை ஊர்களுக்கு திரும்பினர். இவ்வாறு பஞ்சலில் இருந்த மற்ற ஊர்களுக்கு சென்று குடியேறினவர்களை பஞ்சலான் பேரன் என்று அழைக்கிறார்கள் இவர்களில் இருவர் தூத்துக்குடி மறைமாவட்டத்தின் ஆயர்களாக திருநிலைபடுத்தப்பட்டது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது. அதில் ஒருவர் மறைந்த மேதகு தாமஸ் ஆண்டகை அவர்கள் பஞ்சலான் பேத்தியின் மகன், மற்றவர் மேதகு ஆயர் பீற்றர் பர்னாந்து அவர்கள் பஞ்சலான் பேரனின் மகன்.

கி.பி 1715-ல் கட்டப்பட்ட இவ்வாலயம் மூன்று முறை சில மாற்றங்களுடன் திருத்தி அமைக்கப்பட்டு தற்போது முழுவதுமாக இடித்து முன்னால் பங்குதந்தை அருட்பணி ஜெயஜோதி மற்றும் இன்னாள் பங்குதந்தை அருட்பணி கிஷோக் அவர்களின் முயற்சியினாலும் பக்தர்களின் தாராள உதவியினாலும் புதிய திருத்தலமாக எழுப்பப்பட்ட இவ்வாலயம் 2014 ஆகஸ்டு மாதம் 2-ம் நாளன்று தூத்துக்குடி மறைமாவட்ட ஆயர் மேதகு இவோன் அம்புரோஸ் அவர்களால் அர்ச்சிக்கப்பட்டது

panjal-church-functionதூய லொயோலா இஞ்ஞாசியார் பலவித இன்னல்களினாலும் மனக் கவலையினாலும் குழப்பங்களினாலும் தன்னை நாடி வரும் பக்தர்களுக்காக இறைவனிடம் பரிந்து பேசி அவர்களின் தேவைகளை புர்த்தி செய்பவராக விளங்குகிறார். இப்புனிதரின் பெருவிழா ஆண்டுதோறும் ஜீலை மாதம் இறுதியில் அல்லது ஆகஸ்டு மாதம் தொடக்கத்தில் கொண்டாடப்படுகிறது. அவ்வேளையில் அவருடைய திருப்பண்டம் மக்களின் பார்வைக்கு வைக்கப்படுகிறது. இதனால் மக்கள் பக்தியோடும் மிகுந்த விசுவாசத்தோடும் தரிசிக்கிறார்கள்.

எல்லோருக்கும் பாதுகாவலராய் விளங்கும் தூய இஞ்ஞாசியாரின் பாசமுள்ள பிள்ளைகளாய் வாழ்வோம் அவரைப்போல் இயேசுவுக்கு சாட்சிகளாய் திகழ்வோம்!

by Maria Rose Shilpa