Thiruvananthapuram: The sword of patriot
Veluthampi Dalawa, who laid down his life fighting British
rule in the princely state of Travanore in early 19th century,
was today handed over to Kerala.
The Royal family had given the sword to the first Indian
president, Dr Rajendra Prasad, in 1957. The sword later found
its way to the National Museum in New Delhi.
The sword was received by Chief Secretary P Prabhakaran
and Culture department secretary V Venu from T K A Nair,
principal secretary to the Prime Minister, at a function here.
Union Minister of state for Home Mullappally Ramachandran,
the chief guest on the occasion, said Dalawa, who fought the
Britishers during independence struggle, had not received due
The sword would now be kept at the Napier museum here.
The National Museum agreed to part with the sword after
repeated requests from political, cultural and social leaders
of the state.
The government has also plans to exhibit the sword in
various places across the state, state Culture Minister M A
Veluthampi (1756-1809) rose from lower ranks of
administration to become Dalawa (Chief Minister) in 1801.
Right from the start of his career, he had fought corruption
in high places and was known for his pro-people stance.
Though his appointment was initially supported by the
British, they soon fell out with him as he began to resist
colonial intervention in the affairs of the state.
Veluthampi sought to build a grand alliance of anti
British interests including the French, Maratas, Nair chiefs
of Kochi and Moplah Muslims of Malabar. The British, however,
succeeded in undermining the partiotic alliance through deft
After initial resistance, he surrendered his sword to
Kilimannoor palace, a small royal house near the state capital
and fled to a nearby village where he committed suicide to
avoid the ignominy of being caught by his enemies.