Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

Theeran Mayandi Servai

Madurai, Tamil Nadu

November 21, 2022 to November 21, 2023

Theeran Mayandi Servai was born on 3 March 1904. The title ‘Theeran’ denotes his ‘Daring’ character. A freedom fighter and artist, Mayanndi Servai was fearless and gave a tough time to the British Administration. Mayandi Servai wanted to do something big and unforgettable as damage to the British raj. He did not want to lose his life but wanted to do something worthwhile, which would be etched permanently in the history of the freedom movement of India, and which would bring great disrespect to the Administration. A member of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, he later became its president. Mayandi Servai decided to hoist the Indian flag atop the Sri. Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, that too on an appointed day, daring the British Police to arrest him if they could. Accordingly, he announced a particular day as a ‘D-day - the flag hoisting day’ and dared the British Admin to prevent him from doing so. People around Madurai strongly believed that Mayandi Servai would in some way or the other hoist the flag since they knew Mayandi Servai could do the impossible. Such was his reputation in and around Madurai Town. This became a big prestige issue for the British. If the Indian Flag was allowed to be hoisted at a Temple, that too challenging it on a particular day, would be a big loss of face for the British. Hence, they issued a warrant to arrest Mayandi Servai. However, ten days earlier, Mayandi Servai ascended the north gopuram of the temple with a bag of peanuts and water and on D-day, he hoisted the flag. He later obtained the title ‘Theeran Mayandi Servai’ and dedicated his life to the freedom movement of this country. After independence, he started the ‘Agamudaiyar Mahasaba’ in Thirumamgalam, Madurai, and did a lot of social services. He passed away on 12 August 1992.