Mullivaikal Muttram

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Illuminated sculpture of Tamil Paavai (Tamil Goddess/Tamil Mother), at the entrance of Mullivaikal Muttram

The Mullivaikkal Memorial or Mullivaikkal Muttram (Tamil: முள்ளிவாய்க்கால் நினைவு முற்றம்) is a memorial dedicated to the Tamils who were massacred by the Sri Lankan army during the final phase of war between Tamil Eelam freedom fighters(LTTE) and Sri Lankan armed forces at Mullivaikkal in 2009.[1] It is located in the Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu State of the Indian sub-continent. The Mullivaikal memorial was inaugurated on November 6, 2013.[2]

It was built by Tamil nationalist leader Pazha Nedumaran and the World Tamil Confederation Trust he heads.[3]

History[edit]

Pazha Nedumaran inaugurating the memorial

Construction[edit]

The construction of the memorial had begun in November 15, 2010 and The foundation stone was laid by Vaiko and Nallakannu. It was originally intended to be just a memorial pillar, but with increasing desecrations of the Tamil memorials in Sri Lanka, it was decided to be made into a memorial to leave a trace of the bloody civil strife that killed Tamils in Sri Lanka in the pages of history.[4]

The construction of the memorial was commissioned by the Ulaga Tamil Peravai(World Tamil Confederation), and was supervised by Pazha Nedumaran, the founder and the chief of the Confederation as well as the Tamil National Movement.

According to Nedumaran,[3]

"This is a memorial that will showcase to the world the ignominy and untold sufferings of Tamil people in the tear-drop nation. It will remind every Tamil that the fire should burn in the heart of all Tamil people until the criminals of Eelam war are punished."

Funds to build the memorial were raised from various sources, says Nedumaran. The land for the memorial was donated by noted Tamil activist M Natarajan (a student protestor against ani- hindhi movement Tamil Nadu),Chief editor of Tamilarasi magazine .

Inauguration[edit]

The inauguration of the memorial took place on 6 November 2013, two days ahead of the originally scheduled date. The inauguration saw the participation of several leading politicians and activists of the state, such as Nallakannu(CPI), Vaiko Mdmk Chief, Seeman(Chief co-ordinator of the Naam Tamilar Katchi), SP Udayakumar(Kudankulam activist) and Pon Radhakrishnan(BJP).[1][2][3]

Memorial[edit]

Sculptural features[edit]

The Mullivaikkal Muttram has come into shape through contributions of sculptors and artists from far and wide.

The sculptures have been fashioned based on the line drawings rendered by artist Veera Santhanam and have been carved out by Mamallapuram Sthapathi Murugan and his team. Hundreds of sculptors from across the state carved stone to raise the memorial without taking a fee, according to Nedumaran.

A beautiful stone sculpture dedicated to Tamil Pavai(Tamil Mother) holding a lamp commemorating the people who lost their lives at Mullivaikal, constitutes the central part of the memorial. The statue carved out of a single stone weighs more than 60 tonne and is mounted on a 15-feet pedestal. The Pavai is representative of the best of Tamil womanhood, culture and ethos.[3] Beneath the Tamil Mother Goddess statue, soil which is blood soaked from mulivaikal kept in two glass vessels.Pupil pay respect to the glass vessel to honor the sacrifice made by eelam people and eelam freedom fighters(LTTE).

Two friezes each 55 feet long and 10 feet tall stand on the either side of the Pavai. One of them showcases the 20 young men in Tamil Nadu such as Abdul rahoof, Muthukumaran,Murugadasan,Pallapatti.Ravi who had self-immolated in support of Tamil Eelam. The other frieze represents the people who had died during the fourth Eelam war.[3]

Depiction of Tamil civilians being held behind barbed wires in Sri Lankan IDP Camps

Sculptures which are spread throughout the memorial, depict the teary stories of the Eezham Tamils, from the Burning of Jaffna library in 1983, to the mass massacres they had endured. The sculptures show heart-rending images of sencholai -school children massacre, sufferings of Internally displaced people in IDP camps in menik farm and in IDP camps of kilinoichi, cluster bombing & phosphorus bombing by Sri Lankan army in no fire zone, wailing mothers, broken limbs, guns and dead bodies.[4] Some sculptures also portray the peaceful lives Eezham Tamils led in the island nation, and depict their various cultural identities including the national bird and the national tree of Tamil Eelam.

There is a sculpture for Charles Antony (approx 24 years old) and Balachandran (12 years old) who died during 2009 civil war. Balachandran was purposefully shot dead by Sri Lankan army.

Art Museum[edit]

Behind the Pavai is a building that houses portrait and photo galleries.[4] Portraits of the people who lost their lives in the Eelam wars are on display here, among them Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s parents, Parvathiammal and Thiruvenkatam Velupillai and his two sons, Charles Anthony and Balachandran, LTTE ideologue Anton Balasingham, Tamilchelvan, Thileepan, Annai Bhoopathi, Kittu, Balraj, Sivakumaran, Malathi, Miller, Angayarkanni among others.[3]

A photo gallery at the memorial's Conference hall houses hundreds of photos of those who dedicated their lives for the cause of Tamil language.The Galleries also exhibit photos of Tamil kings like pandara vanniyan - Vanni Tamil eelam, sangiliyan - Jaffna Tamil eelam, Kattabomman, Puli Thevan, Velu Nachiyar, Sethupathy, Maruthu Brothers, Theeran Chinamalai who resisted colonial rule. Other photos on display are those of the Tamil scholars and artistes including non-Tamils who have contributed for the development of the language.[3]

Location and Access[edit]

The Mullivaikal Muttram complex is spread out on a 1.75-acre plot at Vilar, a village situated 5 km from Thanjavur on the Thanjavur-Tiruchirappalli national highway.

Buses which ply to Vilar from old bus station of Thanjavur are the main sources of public transport. Memorial can be easily accessed from Anna Nagar market of Thanjavur.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Pro-Tamil leaders inaugurate Mullivaikal memorial even as police wait to challenge court order". The Times of India. Times of India. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Mullivaikal memorial inaugurated today in a hurry". Sathiyam TV. Sathiyam TV. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "A monument to remember the Eelam war". The Times of India. The Times of India. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Pro-Tamil leaders Inaugurate Mullivaikal Memorial Museum". Salem-News. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.