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May 16th, 2002
03:28 pm

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Chikkaveera Rajendra

I completed reading Masti's classic historical novel, Chikkaveera Rajendra. The story is set in 1833-34, during the last year of rule of Chikkaveera Rajendra, King of Kodagu. But Masti gives insight to the past history, to the time of Raja VeeraRajendra, who was a just ruler. He wanted his daughter to succeed him, but his younger brother Lingaraja had other ideas. After VeeraRajendra's death, his daughter ascended the throne, but very soon Lingaraja took over. After his death, his son Chikkaveera Rajendra became the king of Kodagu.

When the story starts, the king's rule has already become a terror for the people. A wicked and cruel womanizer, Chikkaveera has one and only one friend - his minister and childhood companion Basava, who assists him in all his expeditions, and so is equally hated by the public. The king doesn't hesitate to eliminate anyone who comes in his way, and even kills the baby son of his sister in a rage. Plans are already going on among the people, and multiple parties are holding secret meetings, to discuss about ousting the king and installing somebody whom they are interested in. His brother-in-law wants his wife to be the next ruler, there is another rumor about the king having an elder brother, and another team wants son of Appaji, Lingaraja's brother, to be the new king. Ministers Boppanna and Lakshmi Narayana are also distressed with the rule, but the latter cant free himself from his loyal mind set. The British are just waiting for complaints from people and ministers which they can use as an excuse to dethrone Chikkaveera.

Things go to an expected conclusion, when finally the British come to Kodagu with their army. Even the minister Boppanna supports the move to impeach the king. The next task was to choose the next ruler. The king's wife and daughter refused to rule; Appaji being dead already, his son was off somewhere. Boppanna was asked to rule by other ministers, but he also was not willing to rule. Basava was already killed by the king, who suspected that he was a betrayer. So, the British happily took over, and sent the king into exile "with respect".

While describing about the king's brutal deeds, or about the selfish operations of the British, or about the conversion mania of Christian missionaries, Masti never becomes over-emotional. He shows utmost restraint like a sage, and views all characters, even the king and his minister with the same level of sympathy. Basava's end is touching. He gets killed by the king himself, the only person who was kind to him in his entire life. Basava never knows that he is the stepbrother of the king, and his mother is busy planning for his throning.

Masti was awarded Jnanapith for Chikkaveera Rajendra in 1983. I feel the novel stands in the class of historical novels by Kalki and CV Raman Pilla.

Current Music: Alaipayuthe - snehithane

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Comments
 
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 23rd, 2007 04:38 am (UTC)

Mahadevamaji, the queen.

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One person, not well known to the historians was karaneeka Subbarasayya. As the coorg kingdom was forming, the king invited Subbarasayya family from Keladi for the admisrtaion. His daughter Gouramma was fair and beatiful. The king expressed his desire for her. With resentment from the family, she got married to Veera Raja at naalkunadu aramane. She needed to be converted to Veeashiva from Brahmin family. She became Mahadevamma. Towards the end she became a widow and lived in a house near ashwatha katte in Mercara. Lalith Mohan
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From:ratheesh
Date:May 23rd, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)

Re: Mahadevamaji, the queen.

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Thanks for this information.

Regards,
Ratheesh
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 24th, 2007 10:56 am (UTC)

Thanks for the Info and Suggestions Please..

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Hi Rateesh,

Thanks much for the info. Actually, I've planned to visit Misty Woods in June-07. Could you please provide some more inputs if you don't mind ? to make my trip more memorable..

Thanks Much
Thirumal
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From:ratheesh
Date:May 24th, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Thanks for the Info and Suggestions Please..

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Cant think of any additional inputs at this moment..

If you have any specific questions, I may be able to answer.

Regards,
Ratheesh
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 18th, 2013 12:24 pm (UTC)
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I find a shop in santhepet at Mysore, where they have depicted chickkaveera raja;s photo and they say, they are the dissendants of the Raja. they own a milling machine and they sell all types of atta;s.
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