Oomathurai (Tamil: ஊமைத்துரை (real name Duraisingam), died 16 November 1801) was an Indian Poligar (Palaiyakkarar) from Tamil Nadu, who fought against the British East India Company in the Polygar Wars. He was the younger brother of Veerapandiya Kattabomman.
Oomathurai was born to the Poligar of Panchalankurichi - Adi Kattabomman and Arumugattammal from Rajakambalam Nayakar Community. His birth name was Duraisingam. He was nicknamed as Ooomaithurai (lit. the dumb prince). Different reasons are given for this nickname. While contemporary Tamil accounts say he was nicknamed as the dumb one as a parody of his oratorical ability, European accounts refer to him as "dumby" or "dumb brother" because of his speech impairment. His elder brothers were Veerapandiya Kattabomman and Dalavai Kumarasami (Sivathiah). Oomaithurai was involved in the Polygar Wars against the East India Company. In the first Poligar war, he was captured and imprisoned in Palayamkottai prison. In February 1801, he escaped from Palayamkottai and rebuilt the Panchalankurichi fort which had been razed in the first war. In the second Poligar war that followed, he allied himself with Maruthu brothers (who ruled Sivagangai) and was part of a grand alliance against the Company which included Dheeran Chinnamalai and Kerala Verma. The Company forces led by Lt. Colonel Agnew laid siege to the Panchalankurichi fort and captured it in May 1801 after a prolonged siege and artillery bombardment. Oomaithurai escaped the fall of the fort and joined Marudu brothers at their jungle fort at Kalayar Kovil. The Company forces pursued him there and eventually captured Kalayar Kovil in October 1801. Oomaithurai along with the Marudu brothers was hanged on 16 November 1801.
In popular culture
- Major James Welsh (1830). Military reminiscences : extracted from a journal of nearly forty years' active service in the East Indies. London : Smith, Elder, and Co.
- Robert Caldwell (1881). A Political and General History of the District of Tinnevelly, in the Presidency of Madras. E. Keys, at the Government Press. pp. 195–222.