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Thursday, December 13, 2007

History Of Kasaragod


Lying on the north western coast of the State, Kasaragod was famous from time immemorial. Many Arab travellers, who came to Kerala between ninth and 14th centuries AD, visited Kasaragod as it was then an important trade centre. They called this area Harkwillia. Barbose, the Portuguese traveller, who visited Kumbla near Kasaragod in 1514, had recorded that rice was exported to Male Island whence coir was imported. Dr. Francis Buccanan, who was the family doctor of Lord Wellesly, visited Kasaragod in 1800. In his travelogue, he has included information on the political and communal set-up in places like Athipramba, Kavvai, Nileswaram, Bekal, Chandragiri and Manjeshwaram.

Kasaragod was part of the Kumbala Kingdom in which there were 64 Tulu and Malayalam villages. When Vijayanagar empire attackedKasaragod, it was ruled by the Kolathiri King who had Nileshwaram as his headquarters. It is said that the characters appearing in Theyyam, the ritualistic folkdance of northern Kerala, represent those who had helped King Kolathiri in the fight against the attack of the Vijayanagar empire. During the decline of that empire in the 14th century, the administration of this area was vested with the Ikkery Naikans. They continued to be the rulers till the fall of the Vijayanagar empire in 16th century. Then Vengappa Naik declared independence to Ikkery. In 1645 Sivappa Naik took the reigns and transferred the capital to Bednoor. Thus they came to be known as Bednoor Naik. Chandragiri and Bekal forts are considered to be parts of a chain of Forts constructed by Sivappa Naik

.In 1763 Hyder Ali of Mysore conquered Bednoor. His intention was to capture entire Kerala. But when his attempt to conquer Thalassery fort was foiled , Hyder Ali returned to Mysore and died there in 1782.His son, Tippu Sulthan, continued the attack and conquered Malabar. As per the Sreerangapattanam Treaty of 1792, Tippu surrendered Malabar except Thulunadu (Canara) to the British. The British got it, only after the death of Tippu Sulthan in 1799

.Kasaragod was part of Bekal taluk in the south Canara district of Bombay presidency. Kasaragod taluk came into being when Bekal taluk was included in the Madras presidency on 16th April 1882. Though Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar moved a resolution in 1913 on the floor of Madras Governor's Council demanding the merger of Kasaragod taluk with the Malabar district, it had to be withdrawn because of the stiff opposition of the members from Karnataka. In1927, a political convention held at Kozhikode, passed a resolution stressing the above demand. In the same year, an organisation titled Malayalee Seva Sanghom was constituted. Thanks to the efforts made by many eminent persons like K.P.Kesava Menon, Kasaragod became part of Kerala following the reorganisation of states and formation of Kerala on the first November 1956.

National Movement

Kasaragod played a prominent role in the National Movement for the freedom of the country. Mohammed Sherul Sahib and Kandige Krishna Bhat were the frontline leaders of the independence movement. Umesh Rao, K.M. Krishnan Nambiar, Shreesankarji, Naranthatta Raman Nair, A.C. Kannan Nair, T.Gopalan Nair and Meloth Narayanan Nambiar were prominent freedom fighters.

The agrarian struggle to end the exploitation and oppression by landlords and chieftains were part of the National Movement. The Kadakom Sathyagraha was started following the arrest of Gandhiji in 1932. The Palayi Harvest Agitation (1941), Cheemeni Estate Struggle (1942), Kayyur Agrarian Riot (1944), Eleri Estate Agitation (1946), Karinthalam Paddy Seizure Revolt (1948) and many other struggles waged by the peasant organisations accelerated the tempo of the freedom movement. Besides the agitation of the peasants, the various struggles unleashed for the uplift of the scheduled castes and tribes also supported and enlivened the National Movement.

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