A theatrical tribute to two Sivaganga women who defeated the British in 1780

Bichoos Chilanka has written a documentary-drama called Veerathai (brave mother) based on the historic events during the time of Velu Nachiyar and Kuyili. Photos: On arrangement from the play

The Mughal emperors, the British viceroys and generals occupy a major portion of our history books. Although they talk elaborately about the war waged by Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi against the British in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the contributions of many local chieftains and queens and the uprisings that they led during the colonial era have been forgotten. But what remains little known is that in 1780, 77 years before the Indian Rebellion of 1857, two women warriors defeated the British army in Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu.

The first one was......