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An Ettuveedan

Tomb of Ettuveetil Pillamar

Venganoor Pillai, Pallichal Pillai, Kazhakoottathu Pillai, Kudaman Pillai, Ramanamadathil Pillai, Marthandamadathil Pillai, Chembazhanthi Pillai and Kulathur Pillai were known as Ettuveetil Pillamar (Pillai of eight houses). Ettuveetil Pillamar were the leaders of the land and ‘tharakootams’ known as ‘Arunootavar’ established for maintaining law and justice in Venad. They were the Governors of provinces of the country. They had the power to exercise control over the king also. They were also the managers of ‘Ettarayogam’, which governed the activities of Sree Padmanabha Temple of Thiruvananthapuram.  As the kind had no control over the ‘Ettarayogam’, he could not exercise control over the Ettuveetil Pillamar also. Thus gradually they became landlords also.  Ettuveetil Pillamar were known not by their house name but by their locality names. Their families were older than the royal family of Venad. They fought with pride for establishing democratic pattern of rule in the country subject to overall control of the King. They gave a strong foundation to the structure of democracy by organizing ‘nattukootams’ or ‘tharakoottams’. Marthanda Varma who came to power in 1729 maintained good relationship with the English. The activities of English during the period, especially in political issues, invited wrath of the people of Travancore.  Ettuvettil Pillamar, who were the leaders of people, also firmly believed that the foreigners are looting the wealth of the nation and denying freedom to the people.  They criticised the king who was responsible for creating such a situation in the country.  Ettuveetil Pillamar, thus, became the enemies of the King Marthanda Varma. They tried to do away with the royal families who ruled over the country in an autocratic style.  Raged over the act of Ettuveetil Pillamar, Raja Marthandavarma and his followers branded them as traitors and enemies of the country and killed them brutally, confiscated their property and sold women and children of their family to the fishermen community. In truth, they were patriots and servants of the people and they represented the wishes of the people
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