Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Tuesday criticised the Union Government for not according due recognition to the role played by stalwarts from southern States in the freedom struggle.

Party general secretary Jayalalithaa said the South had made a significant contribution to the freedom movement.

As per the recorded history, well before 1857, several such wars against the British occupation were fought by the ruling clans scattered over different parts of Tamil Nadu.

Recalling the role of Pulithevan, Velunachiyar, Muthuramalinga Vijayaragunatha Sethupathy, Veerapandiya Kattabomman and the Maruthu Pandiar brothers in the fight against the British, she said 100 years before the 1857 uprising, Pulithevan had raised the banner of revolt and carried on an “incessant war” for nearly 15 years.

Velunachiyar’s role was no less than that of the Rani of Jhansi. The seizure of the Vellore fort in 1806 was one such event leading to the First War of Independence in 1857.