Rani Abbakka Chowta

From and By Gurvinder Singh

 

Rani Abbakka Chowta- The Queen who almost destroyed the Portuguese in India

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Rani Abbakka Chowta

Little known to many, is the fact that, the Portuguese were extremely brutal and the longest colonisers of India. They ruled large parts of India for almost 450 years.

Assisted by a noble body of people and her two daughters the fearless queen of Ullal, Rani Abbakka Chowta (1525 -1570) contained the Portuguese expansion for more than 40 years. Had she not been betrayed by other greedy rulers and her estranged husband, Indian history would have been a lot more different and favorable for Bharat.

In 1555 C.E. Portuguese colonial power was at a peak. They destroyed Zamorins of Calicut. Defeated the Sultan of Bijapur. Took away Daman from the Sultan of Gujarat, colonized Mylapore, captured Bombay and made Goa as their headquarters.

With glee and without shame they destroyed as much of Indian society, culture, religion and temples as possible, imposing their own religion, and values on the people.

After capture of the super profitable port of Mangalore, the Portuguese set their eyes on the small but spice rich settlement of Ullal ,14 km further south. It was ruled by the feisty 30 year old Jain queen – Abbakka Chowta.

The arrogant Portuguese underestimated the ‘Shakti‘ and leadership of a young queen, her courage and leadership. They sent a few boats and soldiers to capture and bring her back to Goa – Those boats never returned.

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Admiral Dom Álvaro da Silveira

Shocked and enraged, the Portuguese sent a huge fleet of ships this time, under the command of much celebrated Admiral Dom Álvaro da Silveira. The admiral soon returned, badly injured and empty handed.

Thereafter, another Portuguese fleet was sent – only a few injured from the crew managed to make it back.

Some years later a huge army under João Peixoto, an experienced Portuguese General was sent to Ullal. The brief was simple: Subjugate Ullal and bring Rani Abbakka Chowta back in chains.

They were convinced that there was no way a 30 year old with a few native group of Hindu and Muslim men could withstand the might of an army comprising thousands of battle hardened, well trained soldiers armed with advanced weapons.

The Portuguese reached Ullal and found it deserted. Rani Abbakka was nowhere in sight. They roamed around, relaxed and thanked their stars

Just when they were about to call it a victory, Rani Abbaka Chowta attacked with her men.

So valiant and fiercely did her men fight that the Portuguese lost their confidence and many of them including General João Peixoto were killed some of them captured and many simply fled.

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Seizing the initiative Rani Abbakka Chowta, immediately rode off with her men successfully attacked and occupied the surprised Portuguese at Mangalore fort. She also dispatched Admiral Mascarenhas the Chief of the Portuguese power to hell.

Thereafter she immediately rode on a further 100 km and captured the Portuguese settlement at Kundapura.

People rallied around her and it frightened the Portuguese. Their reputation as a powerful and invincible power was at stake. If they did not contain Rani Abbakka Chowta, all of India would be lost to them. They bribed her pompous greedy estranged husband to betray her and lead to her capture.

No great soul can be chained or imprisoned. In prison she led the prisoners to fight back. In the ensuing fight the Rani was assassinated.

Rani Abbakka Chowta was a Jain by faith. For forty years she and her daughters led forces comprising of both Hindu and Muslim men, a full 300 years before the First War of Indian Independence in 1857.

One individual with courage, determined to save his or her people and homeland can successfully fight and destroy 100 attackers. Alas we had everything but we lost our will and integrity to become slaves in our land.

On one hand we glorify brutal foreign invaders, and on the other hand praise Indian leaders who emasculated and compromised a nation and people.

Our freedom and dignity of today is actually owed to the contribution and sacrifice of millions of men and women, many of them never remembered leave alone mentioned. Thats a tragedy that can be rectified.

Its time that our children learn their true history and be both grateful and inspired. Starting this independence day, lets begin to remember and share the life and accomplishments of real Heros. like the noble and valiant queen, Rani Abbaka Chowta ji.