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Nadigar Thilagam's Kappal Ottiya Thamizan-3- Story

 
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S.Balaji
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Nadigar Thilagam's Kappal Ottiya Thamizan-3- Story Reply with quote

The movie commences with timeline , the beginning of the 20th century, with a middle aged VOC ( Nadigar Thilagam ), a government Pleader in Ottapidaram( Tuticorin district ) , successfully winning a case of a poor Madasamy ( Gemini Ganesan ) whose only asset was his land which was supposed to have committed to a rich landlord who had made amibitous plans to have a large development….the opponent's advocate was none other than his Father , Shri Ulaganathan, who himself was a leading Advocate…..Madasami is immensely pleased and pledges to give heart and soul to VOC on whatever he says…..VOC asks him to take up independence movement which Madasami gleefully joins ……

VOC , in addition also owns " Ulaganayagi Uppalam ", a salt processing factory.

A staunch follower of Balagangadara Tilak and his way of freedom struggle movement, he is also inspired by Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo…..

On seeing the plight of local traders whose exports were being squeezed by British managed vessels by unaffordable pricing and also for the fact that there was no home managed shipping company, he, with help of local merchants and eminent personalities, incorporates a shipping company naming it as " Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company " and the route was between Tuticorin and Colombo…a week before the duedate of delivery of the vessel, the owner ( under ostensible threat from Britshers ), tries to retreat citing delayed despatch…..however, VOC speaks to Tilak who gives a very good integrity and credibility certification on VOC….hearing the voice of Tilak, the Ship owner gets convinced and the first vessel successfully reaches the shores of Tuticorin……however, the company faces hectic competition from rival " British India Steam Navigation company …they even resort to fee war…in the process the foreigners offer free trip to passengers …with great difficulty, VOC manges to retain/ sustain the loyalty of people …..the britishers didn’t leave it there….VOC gets swaying offer from Britshers to either sell or exit from his company at a quid pro quo of large sums of money….typical of his patriotic trait, he refuses to yield to any such temptations…

His active participation in Swadeshi movement irks the local administration and they perceive VOC as a potential threat to their rule …..
Much against the order of the local collectorate, VOC tries to take to streets, Bipin Chandra Pal's birthday celebrations and his forthcoming activities….Subramaniam Siva is VOC's close friend and another aggressive freedom fighter. Together, they create a mass wave of protests and burn foreign goods , under the slogan Swadeshi movement…..for all these activities, Madasami ably assists him.

However, while leading a workers strike for a noble cause on a mill managed by Britishers in Tuticorin, he along with Siva, get involved in legal tangle and face Court charges…..even while the strike continues, he comes forward to feed the families of the whole poor workers and in the process had to sell his hard earned money and wealth…..due to VOC and Siva's persistent efforts, the management concedes to the demands of the workers and accede to their expectations and normalcy is restored with workers joining service…

But finally VOC gets arrested and adjudicated a life sentence of 40 years of imprisonment….this sets the town ablaze and it goes mad with huge support from the local citizens…..with great difficulty, VOC manages to bring down the tenure to 5 years.. all along , his close friend , the great poet Subramania Bharati actively supports him in all his endeavour…..

While Bharati flees to Pondicherry ( being French rule and britishers cannot enter ), VOC undergoes rigorous imprisonment for 5 years in the Central prison, Coimbatore , including tasks for which bulls were used to extract oil ….he was made to pull the grinding equipment manually as part of the punishment process and prison routine …..

The movie also covers some parallel incidents like Vanchinathan, killing Collector Ash in Maniyachi railway station and also committing suicide as the police surround him….Madasami, who was also part of this group, manages to escape and lives in disguise….

When VOC gets released, there was virtually no well wisher to receive him outside the prison except Subramania Siva who sadly gets affected by TB and beyond recognition…..VOC also faces the ignonimony of his local residents failing to recognise his earlier efforts and leads the life of a normal man , totally neglected by the people…..worst of all, his dream project company, the swadeshi navigation company is liquidated and the vessels were taken over by the Britishers ….even his salt processing unit gets into the hands of the foreigners…..

He feels isolated now…..the cruel passage of time also witnesses the death of Tilak, his inspiration in life……he also hears the death of Bharathi in Chennai ..a crestfallen VOC breaks down lamenting that everyone has deserted him leaving like an orphan tree…during his fag end, he writes many books on society, bhakti, moral values like Tholkapiya, Mey arivu, notes on Thirukural etc and finally passes away as a saddened soul in 1936 , Tuticorin, unable to witness the independence…..
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