Abstract: How the nation-state conjures up an image of itself through various ideological apparatuses is a much contested site in Cultural Studies. Cinema, being one of the ideological apparatuses of the nation-state, elaborates such issues in seemingly simple yet complex ways. The film Velu Thampi Dalawa, a popular Malayalam film in the sixties, directed by G. Viswambaran, is an ideal site for enquiry into the discourse of nation – state since it negotiates the discourses of postcolonialism, modernity, nationalism, gender and caste to form a metanarrative of the newly emerging nation-state of Kerala.
Keywords: nation-state, nationalist imaginary, modernity, postcolonialism, ideological apparatus, nationalism, abrogation, appropriation, hegemony, gender, caste
Theoretical discussions on nation-state, to be more precise, the nationalist imaginary is a much – contested site in Cultural Studies. The development of nations in the nineteenth and twentieth century is integrally bound to capitalist development in Europe and in postcolonial nation-states like India to modernity. How the nation-state conjures up an image of itself through state policies and ideological apparatuses, how these instruments limits the geographical territory of the nation- state, how the nation-state legitimises its claims to homogeneity and autonomy, how it contains the discontents – such questions have been raised by disciplines as varied as sociology, historiography, literary theory and political science. Any discussion on nation-state would call forth an interdisciplinary mode of approach. Cinema, being one of the ideological apparatuses of the nation-state, elaborates the above issues in seemingly simple yet complex ways. In India, the role of cinema, a visual medium is of paramount audience, since it can cater to a huge mass of illiterate audience. The medium of cinema in India enjoys an incredibly huge mass appeal. A crowd-puller and one of the largest money-spinners in the world-market, it stands unrivalled as a means of entertainment. Dudley Andrews’s observation on popular cinema that “cinema gives privileged access to a national unconscious and its predispositions, equally in films whose ambitions do and don’t go beyond that of simple entertainment” (183), makes Velu Thampi Dalawa, ( VTD from here onwards) a popular Malayalam film in the sixties, directed by G. Viswambaran, an ideal site for enquiry into the discourse of nation state.
Malayalam is the regional language in Kerala, a state in India. The film VTD appears to be caught in a mesh of textualities: the postcolonial stakes of modernity and the claims of sub-nationalism in Kerala. I am using the term sub-nationalism in the sense that the discursive practice of modernity and nationalism in Kerala is subsumed by the larger political entity of Indian nationalism does not act counter to nationalism. The socio-political and economic situation in Kerala is unique because it was here that the first communist democratic government in the world came to power through election. The state of Kerala was formed on 1 November, 1956, by joining two different princely states of Travancore and Cochin and the British territory of Malabar on the basis of language. Finally, the erstwhile native state of Travancore was a feudal Hindu kingdom till 1947 and comprised of middle and southern Kerala, and Kanyakumari district. It had the option to join the Indian union or form a separate state in the wake of Indian independence in 1947. The film VTD was released in the year 1962, at a time when the newly emergent nation-state of Kerala was creating narratives of heroes, struggles and sacrifices to legitimate its claims of autonomy.
A syncopated form of biography and epic, a biopic can be defined as a film on the life of a great individual, in epic proportions. Biopic forms a sub-genre of historical cinema. According to Susan Hayward, historical movies teach the spectators, “our national history- our great heritage- according to our ‘great moments’ or our ‘great men or women’ in the past” (3). Biopic, besides serving the didactic function of historical, also mythicises the individuals on whose lives they are based.
The film VTD is loosely based on the historical figure of the erstwhile Dalawa (Prime Minister) of Travancore, Velayudhan Chempakaraman Pillai (17654809) under the reign of the ruler Bala Rama Varma. Though the film makes claims on its ontological status as a biopic, the question whether the film creates a balance between the real historical figure of Velu Thampi Dalawa and his representation in the film is open – ended. The real historical figure cannot be easily incorporated into a discourse of modernity and nationalism since our knowledge of Velu Thampi Dalawa is largely based on the historical writings of T. Shankunni Menon.1 The discourse on Velu Thampi Dalawa, being once removed from reality is a representation. To make the matter even more complicated, Shankunni Menon dismisses the claims on Velu Thampi Dalawa as a patriotic nationalist and casts him a cruel despot. Hence the film version is twice removed from reality. It would be more interesting to read the film VTD as a site in which texts of modernity and nationalism clash in an ideological debate than only as a biopic.
Velu Thampi Dalawa was an eighteenth century statesman in Travancore who sought the help of the English East India Company, especially of British Resident Major Macaulay2 to become the Dalawa, and fought the company when his own autonomy was at stake. Travancore is a pre-modern nation state created by the sovereign Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1706-1758) by expanding his ancestral territory called Trippapur Swaroopam, annexing the territories under rival clans and his local political adversaries, the Ettuveettil Pillaimar3 (The Eight Lords). The film erases the discontents in the historical figure as well as the pre-modern nation-state, before representing them in a discourse of patriotic nationalism. Before making a close study of the film and its version of nationalist imaginary, it is imperative to interrogate the “real” historical figure.
The ‘Real’ Velu Thampi Dalawa
As mentioned earlier, we learn about the role of Velu Thampi Dalawa in Travancore from the chronicle History of Travancore, written by T. Shankunny Menon, a civil servant and administrator who served as the Diwan of the Cochin kingdom from 1860 to 1879. Shankunny Menon dismisses Velu Thampi Dalawa as a cruel despot and political opportunist. The life of Velu Thampi Dalawa, as recorded in history is a narrative of struggle for authority and struggle against authority.
Velayudhan Chempakaraman Thampi (1765-1809) was the Dalawa or Prime Minister of Travancore between 1802 and 1809 during the reign of His Highness Bala Rama Varma. He was appointed a Mulagu Madiseela Kariakkar or Tahsildar at Mavelikkara during the initial years of the reign of Bala Rama Varma. The monarch came under the influence of a Brahmin nobleman known as Jayanthan Sankaran Namboothiri from Calicut, in the Zamorin kingdom.4 Sankaran Namboothiri murdered Raja Kesava Das5, the existing Diwan of Travancore. He was then appointed diwan (Prime Minister) with two other ministers. The coffers of the state became empty under his corrupt administration. In a desperate measure to revive the economy of the state, the Tahsildars were required to pay enormous amounts of money. Velu Thampi was also ordered to pay Rs. 3000 to which he responded asking for three days’ time. Returning to Mavelikkara, he gathered an uprising of local people who surrounded the palace demanding an immediate dismissal and exile of Sankaran Nampoothiri. His two ministers were brought to a public place, flogged and cut off their ears. The punishments were immediately carried out and the two ministers were put in jail. Later Velu Thampi was appointed the Dalawa of Travancore.
As a diwan, he resorted to harsh physical chastisements aiming at improving the situations in his country. This resulted in resentment amongst his own colleagues who had assisted his rise to power. A conspiracy was formed against him under the influence of Kunjunilam Pillai, a powerful cabinet official of Travancore who succeeded in getting the Maharajah to sign a royal warrant to arrest and immediately execute Velu Thampi Dalawa. The Dalawa sought the help of the British Resident Major Macaulay, an ally. Macaulay ordered investigation and Kunjunilam Pillai was found to be involved in the murder of Raja Kesavadas. On regaining his former influence Velu Thampi decided to reduce the allowance for the Nair Brigade, maintained by Travancore. This led to hostility between the troops on one side and the Dalawa and the Resident at the other. The collected forces of the Resident and the Dalawa suppressed the mutiny. The alliance between the Resident and the Dalawa turned to rancour when the Dalawa ceased to abide by the treaty of 1805 and refused to pay the heavy tribute demanded by the British. The Dalawa himself was responsible for the treaty made between Travancore and the English East India Company which increased the British Indian force stationed in Travancore and the amount of money to be paid as tribute to the British, though the expenditure of the State in maintaining its own standing army was drastically cut down. The Dalawa entered into an alliance with Paliath Achan Govindan Menon,6 the Minister of Cochin, who too was frustrated by the policies of the English East India Company. The forces under Paliath Achan attacked the Resident’s palace at Cochin. The Resident escaped the attempt but was attacked by Velu Thampi’s forces at Quilon. However, the Company forces defeated the native army. Velu Thampi delivered the famous Kundara Proclamation in 1809 at Kundara7, Quilon urging people to fight the British. Facing confrontation from all sides, he retreated to the Bhagavathy temple at Mannadi where he committed suicide.
The historical figure of Velu Thampi Dalawa, as implied in the History of Travancore, is a discourse of political intrigue and conspiracy. I regard Velu Thampi Dalawa neither a cruel despot nor a political opportunist, nor is he a patriotic nationalist. To read this aporia, it would be more useful to go beyond such binary oppositions and regard him a complex formation of colonialism, modernity and nationalism.
Containing a Different Modernity and its Excesses
It is Velu Thampi Dalawa’s act of seeking help from the British Resident Major Macaulay to establish his political authority in Travancore which makes him a dubious figure to be considered a patriotic nationalist. The space against which Velu Thampi Dalawa performs his historical/ political drama is Travancore which does not indicate the geographical territory, Kerala, the nation state subsumed by the Indian nation state. The subject position of the native state of. Travancore as a pre-modern nation – state is open to debate because it had displayed a tendency of homogenisation from its conception under Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma. Early social historians of Kerala such as Vaikathu Pachu Moothathu8 in his monumental work, Thiruvithamcore Charitram regard the reign of Marthanda Varma as the beginning of modernity in Kerala. It is the peculiar destiny of postcolonial nations to be at the receiving end of modernity. Dipesh Chakrabaty, a scholar in subaltern studies argues that the “whole apparatus of history-as-knowledge, was constructed around Europe as the sovereign, theoretical subject of all histories” (264). This westernisation occurs because the university defines the very discipline of history as a transitional discourse from the pre-modern to the modern and Europe is established as the birth of the modern. The film VTD exhibits a different zeitgeist and a different modernity from the historical/political drama associated with the real Velu Thampi Dalawa and Tranvancore. It is considered to be the first historical film in Malayalam and was released in the year 1962, at a time when the newly emergent nation-state of Kerala was creating a nationalist imaginary from its cultural repertoire. The important question to be regarded in the context is how does the film aid this process of creating the national imaginary and contain the discontents in the historical figure and pre-modern nation state?
The film creates a nationalist imaginary from the opening shot itself. It begins with a eulogy of Velu Thampi Dalawa asking the viewers, by implication, the people of Kerala to shower flowers for this great hero. The song ‘Pushpanjalikal’ appropriates the historical figure to a discourse of patriotic nationalism. The film achieves this by casting complex historical figures to stereotyped binary oppositions between good/evil, hero/villains, and patriot/traitor. In this process, issues of gender and caste are also evoked to subvert and simultaneously affirm the nationalist imaginary. The film begins with a turning point in Velu Thampi’s life and a description of the turbulent state of affairs in Travancore under the corrupt administration of Jayanthan Sankaran Namboothiri. Velu Thampi Dalawa (Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair) decides to lead an insurgency against Sankaran Namboothiri and announces his decision to his family. His mother Valiyammal Pillai Thankachi (Aranmula Ponnamma) and his niece Seethalakshmi (Ambika) express their fear. Sankaran Namboothiri is defeated and the King announces Velu Thampi as the new Dalawa of Travancore. The Dalawa orders to cut off the right thumb of a Parvathyakkar Tax Collector), played by Adoor Bhasi for tampering with the revenue collection of the Dalawa’s own land. The Parvathyakkar had acted on the advice of Dalawa’s mother in this fraud. This is based on a real life incident in Velu Thampi Dalawa’s life. The film represents the Dalawa as an impartial statesman by calling attention to this incident. It also acts as a pointer to the turbulent political affairs in Kerala in the sixties. The promise of the first Communist government under E. M. S. Namboothiripadu had failed and the state was in volatile political conditions with the Pattern Thanu Pillai ministry in 1959 giving way to the R. Sankar ministry in 1962. The state had to deal with the ugly monster of corruption.
The film shifts to a conversation between the British Resident Major Macaulay and his Brahmin assistant Subba Ayyen at the Resident’s palace at Cochin. Macaulay expresses his displeasure in not receiving the tribute from Travancore. He confuses between the word kshemam (prosperity) and kshamam (penury). This linguistic play is not simply intended to be a joke, but a deliberate attempt to make the viewer identify its speaker as an intruder. The court official Kunjunilam Pillai (G. K. Sathyapal) visits Macaulay offering his allegiance to the Company. Mathan Tharakan, a Syrian Christian and a whole sale merchant of pepper, also joins hands with Kunjunilam Pillai and Macaulay.
In a sub-plot, a lady in the royal family, Jagadambika Thampuratty (Ragini), whose relation with the family is vague, falls in love with the Dalawa who is unaware of her love. When Kunjunilam Pillai attempts to seduce Jagadambika, she resists. Mathan Tharakan’s wife informs Jagadambika of the conspiracy against Vein Thampi Dalawa. In the meanwhile, Velu Thampi Dalawa’s niece, Seethalakshmi falls in love with a Brahmin priest. On learning the affair, the Dalawa makes Seethalakshmi swear in the name of Goddess that she will never stray from the path of modesty.
In the main plot, Paliath Achan, the Prime Minister of Cochin the offers his support to the Dalawa to end the British supremacy. The combined forces of Paliath Achan, the Dalawa and the Nair Brigade attack the Resident’s palace at Cochin. Macaulay escapes the attempt. Jagadambika plans to steal a pact from Macaulay’s residence. (Which pact does the film refer to is not clear and Jagadambika’s role in this will be discussed in the section Nationalist Claims on Gender and Caste). The song ‘Kappalileri Kadal Kadannu’(By Crossing the sea by ship) shows Jagadambika performing at the Resident’s palace, disguising herself a Muslim dancer. Though she succeeds in stealing the pact and taking it to the Dalawa, she dies in the attempt. A series of confrontations between the East India Company and the Dalawa’s forces follow. Velu Thampi is stoic at the face of defeat and continues to fight. Before preparing for the final battle, he conducts his niece’s marriage with her lover. He prepares for the battle at Udayagiri fort. Again facing defeat, he rushes to the King of Cochin (Thikkurissi Sukumaran. Nair). He escapes when the Company forces attack the King’s palace at a Cochin. Facing confrontation from all sides, he and his brother retreat to the temple at Mannadi. The Company forces surround the temple. He asks his brother to cut off his head, unwilling to surrender. When his brother refuses to do so, he beheads himself. The brother also commits suicide.
Through adopting a cause and effect narrative, the film reduces a complex historical narrative to a battle between the patriotic hero, the intruder and the unpatriotic villains who are also the allies of the Intruder. The film hides what is objectionable in the historical figure by not mentioning the Dalawa’s collaboration with Macaulay, his attempts to disband the Nair Brigade, and his role in the Treaty of 1805. Once the film hides the fact of native collaboration in colonialism, the film creates a sweeping narrative of Velu Thampi Dalawa as the hero and his rivals Jayanthan Sankaran Namboothiri, Major Macaulay, and Kunjunilam Pillai as the villains. The film has contained the discontents in the historical narrative and has appropriated the main protagonist, Velu Thampi Dalawa into the discourse of patriotic nationalism. Yet it is here that the film narrative confronts the new excesses of post-colonialism and its associated discourse of modernity and the consequent challenges of gender and caste. The next two sections deal with how the film appropriates the stakes of post-colonialism and the nationalist claims on gender and caste.
New Excesses of Postcolonialism and Modernity
The film VTD is informed by the post colonial strategies of abrogation and appropriation. The film could be considered a post-colonial take on imperialism, not simply because it was made in the aftermath of Indian independence, but also because it appropriates a colonial discourse of insurgency to a discourse of nationalism. As suggested earlier, the experience of post-colonialism is also the experience of modernity for postcolonial nations. Hence the experience of post-colonialism is ambivalent for the emerging nation-state. Leela Gandhi draws attention to the ambivalence created by the relation between the coloniser and the colonised:
Postcolonialism can be seen as a theoretical resistance to the mystifying amnesia of the colonial aftermath. It is a disciplinary project devoted to the academic task of revisiting, remembering and, crucially, interrogating the colonial past. The process of returning to the colonial scene discloses a relationship of reciprocal antagonism and desire between coloniser and colonised. And it is the unfolding of this troubled and troubling relationship that we might start to discern the ambivalent pre-history of the postcolonial condition. If postcoloniality is to be reminded to be of its origins in colonial oppression, it must also be theoretically urged to recollect the compelling seductions of colonial power. The forgotten archive of the colonial encounter narrates multiple stories of contestation and its discomfiting other, complicity. (4-5)
The film Velu Thambi Dalawa contains the ambivalence of postcolonialism through abrogating the figure of Macaulay. The real historical figure in the discourse of Velu Thampi Dalawa is Colin Macaulay, and not his nephew, Thomas Babington Macaulay, noted for his engagements with the system of education in India. The film does not make explicit which of the two it refers to. Major Macaulay is abrogated as `Mecali Sayippu’ or Mecali, the foreigner in the film. Macaulay has a butler named Peter, played by Bahadur, a comedian in Malayalam cinema. He attires himself in Macaulay’s clothes, without his knowledge. The oft-quoted statement of Thomas Macaulay, “to form a class of who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern-a class of persons Indians in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinion, in morals and in intellect” (qtd. in K. N. Panikkar, 154) is appropriated in the film by the poor and comic attempts of Peter, the butler, probably a convert from one of the lower castes. However, the film does not approve of this native resistance to colonialism since it is attempted by a lower caste convert and therefore runs counter to the agendas of the nation-state. In other words, the film recognises the attempt as an excess of modernity and contains it through fixing the dalit’s attempts to modernise himself (and thereby becoming an agent) in the realm of the comic. The film stereotypes the benefits, conversion to Christianity opened for lower castes. In the early half of the eighteenth century, Christian missionaries had converted the lowest of lower castes in traditional caste hierarchy in Kerala, the pulayas and trained them to get employed as butlers in English homes. The film marginalises the lower caste aspirations of modernity but legitimises the upper caste aspirations in a selective process. The question of how the film deploys the upper caste aspirations takes us to the next section.
Nationalist Claims on Gender and Caste
The film creates the nationalist imaginary by appropriating the space which belongs to Tamil Nadu now, a part of the cultural heritage of Kerala. The native place of Velu Thampi Dalawa is Kalkulam in Tamil Nadu, and the historical events under him occurred in Palamkotta, Padmanabhapuram and Udayagiri Fort. Who does the film acknowledge as the owners of this heritage? The answer to this question can be found in the discourse of renaissance in Kerala. Renaissance in Kerala had led to caste affirmation instead of caste – reformation through institutions like Nair Service Society and Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangham. The discourse of modernity was appropriated by the upper castes especially, Namboothiris, Nairs and Ezhavas in the peculiar social circumstances in Kerala. The document of Malayali Memorial, presented to the Sovereign of Travancore, in 1881 had demanded the appointment of native Nairs in government services. The Namboothiris had a hegemonical position in relation to Nairs in the traditional caste hierarchy in Kerala. The film disapproves of the Namboothiri hegemony by representing them as corrupt, unpatriotic villains. Both Jayanthan Sankaran Namboothiri and Subba Ayyen, Macaulay’s assistant and a Tamil Brahmin are represented as malign. However, Seethalekshmi’s lover, the temple priest is represented benign. Only Velu Thampi Dalawa, the upper caste Nair male is represented the legitimate agent of nationalism. The lower caste male protagonists in the film such as Mathan Tharakan and Peter are marginalised as comedians.
In the eighteenth century, most upper caste Hindu families in Kerala, especially Nairs, were matrilineal9, a unique system of inheritance which traced descent through female line and appointed the eldest male member of the joint family as the head. The upper caste Namboothiri men were welcome to form alliances or sambandhams with the Nair women who never left their maternal family. Nair women were allowed to have more than one sexual partner, preserved the right to terminate the conjugal relationship at their will, and also entitled to share in all assets of the house of their birth. Young men and women educated in the western style were embarrassed by the conjugal relation between their parents in the nineteenth century. By 1930, the matrilineal social system was collapsing with the gradual emergence of patriliny which entitled a father, to provide for his wife and children. By the sixties, patriarchy became the norm which governed gender. The old regime of matriliny was legally put to an end on 1 December, 1976 when the Kerala government promulgated the Kerala Joint Hindu Family System (Abolition) Act. When the film VTD was released in 1962, the traditional matrilineal system had given way to patriarchy. In terms of gender, the film was caught in a dilemma. It had to represent the old system of matriliny, for a society which felt ashamed by the system.
The real historical narrative of Velu Thampi Dalawa is marked by the absence of women characters of any significance, other than his mother. The mother remains unnamed in the film. The historical narrative by Shankunni Menon discusses a royal lady, called Arumana Amma, the King’s wife who probably had a secret alliance and shared royal secrets with Major Macaulay. The film does not mention the objectionable and super imposes two women characters, Seethalekshmi and Jagadambika Thampuratty, who could be refashioned as custodians of national culture. In short, the representation of gender in the film is dictated by the norms of patriarchy, while the system represented is matriliny. The figure of jagadambika poses a problem to the discourse of nationalism, while Seethalekshmi is docile enough, to be easily appropriated into the discourse. Nationalism had incorporated women s “custodians of national culture” (Partha Chatterjee 246), and had disapproved of their attempts to agency. Jagadambika chooses to be an agent when she falls in love with Velu Thampi Dalawa, resists the attempts of seduction by Kunjunilam Pillai and decides to steal the pact. Her independent actions pose a threat to the nation-state and are interpreted as transgressions. She is punished for crossing the limits of the social role allotted to her.
The film VTD is one of the texts which created the nationalist imaginary in the emerging nation-state of Kerala appropriating the discourses of post-colonialism, modernity, gender and caste. In the process, a discourse of Nair hegemony is circulated as part of a cultural heritage unique to Kerala.
1. Shankunni Menon in his monumental work, History of Travancore first published in 1878 traces the History of Travancore from the earliest times to the reign of the King Bala Rama Varma. It was intended to be an improvement on the earlier Malayalam pamphlet Thiruvithamcore Charitram compiled by Pachu Moothathu in 1868. Both texts belong to the old school of social history.
2. Major Macaulay or Colin Macaulay (1760-1836) served as the Resident of the English East India Company during 1800-1810. On returning from India in 1811, he took little part in public affairs. He was engaged in the abolition of slavery and became a member of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. He was uncle to Thomas Babington Macaulay whose Minutes on Education became the foundation of education in colonial India.
3. Ettuveatil Pillaimar literally means the Eight Lords were a group of powerful nobles in the Thripadappu Swaroopam. The founder of Travancore, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma defeated these lords and killed them charging treason against state.
4. Zamorin- The zamorins were the hereditary royal title used by the Hindu rulers of the medieval kingdom of Calicut. They ruled for six centuries from twelfth to eighteenth century.
5. Raja Kesava Das (1745-1799) was the Diwan of Travancore during the reign of Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma.
6. Paliath Achans were the hereditary Prime Ministers to the King of Cochin from 1632 to 1809 and second only to the king in wealth and power in the Central Cochin area during that period.
7. Kundara Proclamation was issued by Velu Thampi Dalawa on 1 Makaram , the new year day of Thamizhakam or 11, January, 1809. It was a clarion call urging people to end the foreign rule.
8. Vaikathu Pachu Moothathu alias Vaikathu Parameswara Sivadvija was a versatile scholar of erstwhile princely state of Travancore. He wrote Thiruvithamcore Charitram narrating the legends and facts of Travancore dynasty up to the reign of Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal.
9. For a detailed discussion on matrilineal system in Kerala, read Robin Jeffrey, 2010.
Andrews, Dudley. “Film and History.” Hill, John and Pamela Church Gibson, Eds. The Oxford Guide to Film Studies. New York: OUP, 1998. Print.
Chakrabarty, Dipesh. “Post-coloniality and the Artifice of History: Who Speaks for ‘Indian’ Pasts?” A Subaltern Studies Reader. 1986-1995. Ed. Ranajit Guha. New Delhi: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.
Chatterjee, Partha. “The Nationalist Resolution of the Womens’Question.’’ Recasting Women: Reading in Indian History. Eds. Kumkum Sangari and Sudesh Vaid. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1989. Print.
Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Engagement. New Delhi: OUP,1998. Print.
Hayward, Susan. Key Concepts in Cinema Studies. London: Routledge, 1996. Print.
Jeffrey, Robin. Media and Modernity: Communications, Women, and the State in India. New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2010. Print.
Menon, Shankunni. History of Travancore from the Earliest Times, Madras, 1878. Print.
Moothathu, Pachu Vaikkam. Thiruvithamcore Charitam. Travancore, 1865. Print.
RENJINI R. Is Assistant Professor of English, Government College, Attingal, Thiruvanathapuram.