During discussions, one, often hears a very casual remark that the Paravas got converted to Christianity seeking protection from enemies.

Does this remark parroted carelessly has any tinge of truth ,is a matter to be closely scrutinized.

All over the world, down the pages of history, one can see kingdoms striking alliance with other kingdoms to defeat their enemies. Historians would record such alliances as diplomacy or marriage of convenience.

At the time of conversion of Paravas, they had to encounter mighty enemies in the east coast, supported by Zamorin of the west coast, sailors and merchants of Ottomon empire and vassals of Vijayanagar empire.

What could the Paravas do when they were besieged by such powerful forces ? Could they remain in isolation and silent and get beaten by these enemies in the sea and land?

No. That is why the Paravas in their wisdom, egged on by Don Joccan da cruz decided to accept Christianity. They accepted Christianity to out- do their rivals; to keep their sails afloat; to dive and dig out pearls;to keep up their traditional vocation.

It is an act born out of absolute economic and political necessity and expediency — an act of diplomacy — an act of determination to hold oneself supreme in the sea — an act of wisdom —par excellence!

Therefore, to say that the Paravas became Christians out of fear would be belittling their mental sharpness and political acumen.

Let us not decry.

by A.X Alexander


  1. I agree with your view. We were a mighty race, we are a mighty race and we will be a mighty race.I want everyone from our community to remember that we were praised for our mighty deeds throught the sangam literature. Paravas are not just fishermen alone but they were the kings of pandyan dynasty who ruled with fish flags

    R.Agnel Fernando

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