Valivitta Thevar

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Valivitta Thevar (1889–1927) was an Indian social reformer and teacher. He was the kulaguru of Keelathooval area in Ramnad District in the early twentieth century.

Background[edit]

Thooval Valivitta Thevar was born in KeelaSakkulam,near Kamuthi,to SiraiMeetta Thevar. They are descendants of AdhiNarayana Thevar, who was their important ancestor, whose name was given to successive generations and in vogue still today,in the considerable number of persons carrying the name in the village contemporarily. Valivitta Kilavan is their KulaDeivam. The temple is located on the road to Kamuthi from Mudukulathur. Their ancestral lands are inherited through generations to this day by their descendants.

Historically the names have relations with the AdhiNarayana Sethupathy and Kilavan Sethupathy of those times.Kilavan Sethupathy was remembered as the legend and Saviour deity of the Sethupathy clan for his ingenuity in defeating the Maratha Army, which laid siege to Ramanathapuram. Muthuramalinga Thevar, the prominent political leader often referred them as their relatives. He was a part of the Sethupathi family,with thousands of acres inheritance.

Valivitta Thevar in his childhood was showing good accomplishment in athletics and he was noticed by a visiting educationist, who took him along and educated him to become a teacher as per the existing educational system of those times. He became teacher in the Christian Missionaries School in Paramakudi. When he married Umayakkal,the daughter of Chinnu Thevar in Keelathooval, he shifted to the Government School in Kothanda Raman Pattinam (K.R.Pattinam), near Keelathooval. Here he continued to teach till his last days.

Not only the formal education, but he taught the students in performing arts,like drama(Alli Arasani Kathai) and music also and conducted performances in Paramakudi town to popular acclaim. He noticed the non-availability of medical and astrological facilities and trained himself in Siddha (a branch of Ayurveda) tradition of medicine and Astrology and served his folks as their doctor and astrologer. His services spread the popularity of the ancient sciences of Siddha and Astrology and many of his students took to studying and practicing these sciences

Advocacy[edit]

The region of Ramanathapuram was economically depressed and lacking in education, as a result of repression under the British Raj. After removing the king Muthuramalinga Sethupathy, the British enacted various repressive policies in the region, including the Criminal Tribes Act, under which entire local communities were branded as "criminal" and required to register their movements with the government. As a result of such policies over a period of over a century, conditions in Ramanathapuram became depressed.

Thooval Valivitta Thevar dedicated his life to the education of the people of Ramanathapuram. He lived for thirty eight years and twenty years of his life he single-mindedly devoted to the educational development of the children of Ramanathapuram. His devotion and dedication earned him the titles of Kulaguru and Vamshaguru of the region and after his period, the legacy was carried on by his son Thooval Narayana Thevar for another sixty years from 1935 to 1995, until he moved on to Madras (Chennai of today) around that time.