THE FREEDOM FIGHTER WHO DECLINED THE THYAGI PENSION
At a time when some freedom-fighters are running from pillar to post to avail thyagi pension from the government, a freedom-fighter Sadhavadhani Seygu Thambi Pavalar, who was offered thyagi pension declined to accept it in the early fifties.
Sadhavadhani who hails from Nagercoil was born on 31 July,1874 as the third son of Pakeer Meeran sahib and Ameena.
He had his earlier education at Edalakudi school where Malayalam was the medium of instruction as Nanjil Naadu was a part of Travancore Samasthanam then.
Though a bright student, he could not continue his studies due to poverty. Thereafter, he joined his father in his weaving profession. But his mind was inclined to education.
His ardent desire for Tamil drove him to
join theThinnai pallikoodam with Sankaranarayana Annavi as his guru in the adjacent Battariar Street. Pavalar’s involvement and dedication to Tamil language received the appreciation of his guru. Recalling
his grandfather’s involvement in the Indian freedom struggle movement, Sheik Thambi, programme executive, All India radio, Thiruvananthapuram said that his grandfather associated himself with Mahatma Gandhi’s movement in the 1920s and most of his freedom struggle meetings in Nanjil Naadu were not without Pavalar’s participation.
His extempore and humorous speeches had literary flavour which swayed the masses. There were no meetings without Seygu Thambi Pavalar in Nagercoil. More so he had the power of holding the crowd for hours together.
Seygu Thambi Pavalar was an orator and an unrivalled scholar, who had the prodigious memory power to perform his Sadhavadhanam on 10 March,1907 at Madras Victoria Maharani Town Hall which was presided over by Vidwan Kannabiran Mudaliar and scholars like Mahavidwan Ramasamy Naidu, Thanjavur Subramania lyer.Thiruvenkatasamy Naidu, who was the HoD of Tamil at Pachiappa’s College, Pulavar Namatchivaya Mudaliar, Thiru Vi Ka, TKC and The Hindu-Sudeshamithran newspaper editor G Subramania lyer participated and offered their felicitations to Pavalar.
Thanjavur Subramania lyer conferred the title of Mahamathi to Pavalar and the president of the function conferred on him the title of Sadhavadhani.
During one of his visits, Mahatma Gandhi stayed at the third floor of Perumal Panicker building in Nagercoil and addressed a meeting organised there. Seygu Thambi enthralled the audience with his fiery speech full of wit and humour.
Mahatma Gandhi complimented Pavalar by saying ‘If I could get one Pavalar in each language, I can get Indian Independence soon’. Seygu Thambi Pavalar’s involvement in the Indian freedom struggle movement was between 1920 to 1947.
His keen interest in writing poems mostly on Indian freedom movement led him to edit two weeklies Edarthavathi and lslamiya Mithran during 1891.
Pavalar was provided with the facility of free travel in a private bus, but it was withdrawn by the owner as he was actively involved in the freedom movement. Pavalar, who sacrificed everything for the sake of independence, showed no concern for this.
The last meeting which Pavalar attended was at Thanjavur in 1950 and while on his return, he complained of chest pain and was bed-ridden for quite some time and his end came on 13 February, 1950.
Pavalar’s son K P S Hamid, a retired Station Director, All India Radio, who passed away a few years ago maintained his father’s legacy in not accepting any benefits offered by successive governments.
In a fitting tribute, a state-run school and a street in Edalakudi was named after him by the government of Tamilnadu.
A mantapam in memory of Sadhavadhani in Edalakudi stands as a testimony to this freedom fighter which speaks volumes about his contribution to the Indian freedom struggle movement.