Perumparayan, a legend ignored

The dream of a memorial to the legend of ‘Perumparayan', a labourer who is said.

Alappuzha: The dream of a memorial to the legend of ‘Perumparayan', a labourer who is said to have been the first martyr in the state’s history, remains unfulfilled. Though a trust named Perumparayan Study Centre was formed two years ago, only a three-cent piece of land stands testimony to the memory of the century-old legend.

Despite the negligence of the authorities, Perumparayan is still being worshiped by devotees in a far-flung corner of Pulinkunnu of Kuttanad here. They light a lamp daily in front of a stone idol and talk about the legend.

V.K. Venugopal, secretary of the study centre, says the legend of Perumuparyan remains a source of inspiration to the local folks of Pulinkunnu. “People irrespective of cast and creed come to seek the blessings of Perumparayan. They believe that a visit to the idol that stands in an open space will sort out their agrarian woes,” says he.

Perumparayan was martyred by the deeds of feudal lords of yore while trying to ‘protect’ paddy fields from bund breaches that swept away the crops. According to Keshavan, a devotee, Perumparayan was a labourer brought to Kuttanad by his landlord from Pakkil in Kottayam. One night, when a bund breached in the Aiyyanad paddy polder, Perumparayan and other labourers were toiling hard to control the water.

The landlord is said to have intoxicated him with toddy and with the help of the rest of the labourers, buried him alive across the breach. However, when the landlord returned home, he is said to have been confronted by Perumparayan's ghost.

Following this, the landlord made his idol out of stone and offered pujas. The landlord's family and their belongings were no more found, he says adding that the family of landlord came to an end tragically.

The study centre had approached the block panchayat to get funds sanctioned to construct a building for a study centre aimed at spreading the tale of Perumparayan to the new generation. But nothing has materialised so far, Venugopal said.

( Source : dc )
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