Daring Vanchinathan, patriot remembered (17 June 2017)

Vanchinathan. tamilhindu.com.

ilavaluthy - Quora

Patriotic people of India, in particular, Tamil Nadu can never forget those freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to get India freed from the British yoke. The southern districts of Tamil Nadu produced a galaxy of freedom fighters who were never cowed down by the intimidating and oppressive tactics employed by the British rulers - the East India company in the early stages and in the 19th century by the rulers under the direct administration of the British Government, London. Among the freedom fighters such as Veerapandya Kattabomman, V.O.Chidambaram, Bharathiyar and others,  young Vanchinathan daringly did what other freedom fighters never thought of doing it, because they followed the preachings of Gandhiji. But, on the other hand, Vanchi and his associates  followed a different path. - violence. Their intention was to arouse the consciousness of people and this would pave the path for the British to exit India soon. On the contrary, the British became more resolute than ever before to stay on the Indian soil. 

Vanchinathan memorial. thehindu.com/

Yesterday (17 June 2017) officials, media and people paid rich tributes to Vanchinathan at Shenkottai (Shencottah), his birth place. On that day, Vanchi killed the then Tirunelveli Collector Robert William d'Escourt Ashe (commonly known as Collector Ashe) at Maniachi Railway junction (now in Thoothukudi district). Ashe was waiting at the junction with his wife Mary Lillian Patterson and four children. He and his family were to take the Indo-Ceylon Boat Mail  and get off at Kodaikanal Road station on the way to the hill resort Kodaikanal. At 10.45 am  Vanchi got into Ashe's first class coach,  standing on the side track (to be attached with the Boat Mail) along with  one Madasamy, his accomplice  and shot the Collector dead. Later, he killed himself, to avoid arrest, imprisonment and the pain of going to the gallows and getting killed in the hands of the British.

An organization called Vanchi Iyakkam and the local school children garlanded the statue of Vanchi. In memory of him  the Municipality siren was sounded at 10.45 am, the time (106th annuarsery of the killing of the collector) at which Vanchi shot at Collector Ashe and killed him. Around 11-30 a.m., the Collector died of internal hemorrhage.Across India and the world, it became a sensational scoop for 
the media.In a detailed investigative report published by the Crime Branch - Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) released in 2011,it is stated 
Bust of Veera Vanchinathan, Shencottah. Alchetron

that  Vanchinathan and other revolutionaries were unhappy with the way Collector  Ashe handled the political affairs of the district  vis-a-vis freedom fighters. The collector and District Magistrate Robert Ashe sided with the British Shipping company - A & F Harvey and Co that ran the ferry services between Toothukudi and Ceylon and was instrumental in making the Harvey Co's competitor  Swadeshi 
Steam Navigation Company, founded by lawyer V. O.Chidambaram  in 1906 go bankrupt. In 1908, the arrest of V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, popularly known as VOC, and Subramania Siva, had an impact on Vanchi and other patriots who decided to kill Ashe at the right time to avenge his harsh action against VOC and others.

On 23 December 2013  the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa declared open the Vanchinathan memorial in Shencottah, his birth place,
(then part of composite Tirunelveli district, Madras Presidency). The total cost of the memorial was around Rs. 50 lakh and the building includes  a bust of the martyr.