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Nadars are one of the earliest inhabitants of our land, Bharat. But their origin is in the South, known to us as Kumari Kandam.
The Chera Nadu was ruled by Villava King were also known as Nadars or Shanars. Their symbol was palmyra flower. In Vikrama Chola Ula, Ottakkoothan refers to the Chera King, Kanaikkal Irumporai as Villavan or Nadar.
Unfortunately, the history of the early Tamils, the aboriginal Nadars, with their 250 branches, has been tarnished,modified and fabricated to bring fame to the Aryan invaders. Mostly these changes have been made after the Muslim invasions, with the support of Aryan Brahmins. All joined hands to destroy and denigrate the original ruling class of the land, the Nadars. By the end of the 12th century A.D, huge properties attached to own Hindu Temples were made over to the Brahmins as Gifts. The fall of the Nadars began.
There were multi-lingual Revolutions all over the Bharat Bhoomi by which Tamil was corrupted and Sanskrit took strong hold. Thus Thanjavur, one of the strong holds of the Tamil Nadars, was defamed Valamkaimaalai, one of the palm-leaf records with the Nadars speaks about their history
By the 15th century A.D., Nadars were weakened
by the Nayaks because of the in-fights and disunity among
the Nadar brothers. In the year 1664 the Nadars were kept
away from their own temples and their Royal Western – Gate.
The tortures on the Nadars were so inhuman that in the 17th and 19th centuries the Christian missionaries found a great Fishing Field in the Nadar dominant areas. But for the missionaries, this race would have been totally exterminated as planned by the Aryan Agents. Sanskrit dictionary tells Nadar as a Royal Race. Although the missionaries have economically helped the Nadars to survive, they have not mentioned the high qualities and the valuable Sastras possessed by the Nadars in places like Madurai and Kanyakumari.
These rare records of Varma Sastra, Kalari Vaidyam, Astronomy, Tharka Sastra etc., which are not found even in the Sanskrit language ; especially the Varma Sastra found among Kanyakumari Nadars. Between 16th and 19th century, the Nadars had to struggle under the new caste system imposed by the Aryan Agents and had to fight hard to come up socially, economically and politically. It was during these periods that the great Fights like The Temple Entry Movement, The upper cloth revolution, The Human Rights Movements by many leaders especially, Ayya Vaikundar of Swamithoppu and Marshal Nesamony.
Women were not allowed to cover their breasts and below the knee in Travancore. There were rules restricting the Nadars from wearing a turban and dressing like that of the higher castes. The Nadars were not permitted to wear dhothi extending below their knees from waist. Ayya Vaikundar wanted to eradicate this discrimination from the society and uphold the self-respect of the Nadars and lead the agitation in 19th century and in the middle of the 20th century Kumari Thanthai Thiru.Marshal Nesamony.