Saturday, 15 August 2020

Best Wishes on 74th Independence Day : In Remembrance of Rani Abbakka

In Dakshina Kannada's Bantwal taluk, a historian has erected a museum in the memory of a 16th-century warrior queen. The man behind the museum, called Tulu Baduku Museum, is Prof. Thukaram Poojary and his subject is Rani Abbakka Chowta of Ullal.

The only woman in history to confront, fight and repeatedly defeat the Portuguese, Rani Abbakka's unflagging courage and indomitable spirit are at par with the legendary Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, Rani Rudramma Devi of Warangal and Rani Chennamma of Kittur.

The year was 1555. Portuguese colonial power was at its peak in the 1500's. They destroyed Zamorins of Calicut. Defeated the Sultan of Bijapur. Took away Daman from the Sultan of Gujarat, Established a colony in Mylapore, Captured Bombay and made Goa as their headquarters. And while they were at it, pretty much unchallenged, they even ruined the ancient Kapaleeswarar Temple to build a Church over it.

Their next target, the super profitable port of Mangalore.

Their only bad luck, just 14 kilometers south of Mangalore was the small settlement of Ullal - ruled then by a feisty 30 year old woman - RANI ABBAKKA CHOWTA

Initially, they took her lightly and sent a few boats and soldiers to capture and bring her back to Goa - Those boats never came back.

Shocked and enraged, they sent a huge fleet of ships this time, under the command of much celebrated Admiral Dom Álvaro da Silveira - The admiral soon returned, badly injured and empty handed.

Thereafter, another Portuguese fleet was sent - only a few injured from the crew managed to make it back.

Then the Portuguese went on to capture the Mangalore port and the fort anyways, perhaps planning to tackle Rani Abbakka Chowta from the convenient distance of the Mangalore fort.

After the successful capture of Mangalore, a huge army under João Peixoto, an experienced Portuguese General was sent to Ullal.

The Portuguese reached Ullal and found it deserted. Abbakka was nowhere in sight.

They roamed around, relaxed and thanked their stars - Just when they were about to call it a victory - Mrs Chowta attacked with 200 of her chosen men - there was chaos all around and many portuguese lost their lives even without a fight.

General João Peixoto was assassinated, 70 Portuguese were captured and the rest just ran away.

Rani Abbakka Chowta, rode with her men towards Mangalore that same night, and laid a siege of the Mangalore fort - She not just broke inside the fort successfully - but assassinated Admiral Mascarenhas the Chief of the Portuguese power there and forced the remaining Portuguese to vacate the fort.

She didn't just stop at this but went on to even capture the Portuguese settlement at Kundapura, a full 100 kms, north of Mangalore - Just to make a point.

Her piercing battle cry – "Save the motherland. Fight them on land and the sea. Fight them on the streets and the beaches. Push them back to the waters", echoed through winds as she and her soldiers fired flaming arrows at the Portuguese ships.

While many of the ships in the Portuguese armada burnt that night, Rani Abbakka was wounded in the crossfire and was captured by the enemy with the help of a few bribed chieftains. Rebellious till the very end, the fearless queen breathed her last in captivity. However, her legacy lived on through her equally fierce and brave daughters who continued to defend Tulu Nadu from the Portuguese.

A warrior queen who gave her life in defence of her freedom and motherland, Rani Abbakka remained a major thorn in the Portuguese' side throughout her rule despite their superior military power. This itself speaks volumes about her courage and ingenuity.

Dakshin Kannada has been holding an annual celebration in her memory (Veera Rani Abbakka Utsava) for the last few years.
In 2003, Indian Post issued a special stamp dedicated to Rani Abbakka while in 2015, the Indian Navy acknowledged her naval heroics by naming a patrol vessel after her.

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Saturday, 13 June 2020

Vivekananda Kendra Updates : June 2020 : 1

                               
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Thursday, 28 May 2020

The Oath of Abhinav Bharat : Homage to Veer Savarkar

On the aspious occastion of the 138th Janma Jayanti of Veer Damodar Savarkar

Our Selfless Work towards our nation will be Homage to Him.