Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Padmanabhaswami Treasure

1. King Marthanda Varma usurped the crown from his King Uncle’s son, slaughtering the entire lot including the Nair chieftains who opposed it. The cruelty to the women folk was inhuman. This created extreme public anger against him. To continue would be risky.

2. He suddenly gifted the kingdom to Padmanabha, and told the people that it is the deity's crown and country now; so fight it at your own peril. The brilliant political trick paid off.

3. The treasure consists of plunders from conquered small nearby kingdoms, wealth entrusted for safe keeping by kings and Malabar people fleeing from Tippu, confiscations from enemies of the kings etc. It is not gifts to god by devotees.

4. The Royalty refused to sign the Accession unless they were allowed to keep the Temple as private property [among other real estate, aeroplane etc etc etc]. This was because their private get-away money was stored in the Temple. Duly influenced, VP Menon let them keep it all.

5. The time of the Accession was the time when the Royalty had been shooting people down for about 16 years under Sir. CP's Divanship. Understandably, the people would have shot them all after Independence. They used the sword on Sir. CP, though.

6. The Padmanabha treasure thus has nothing divine about it. It was the Royalty’s slush get-away money. It has blood on it. Only what is left of it after private utilisation through the years, is now being discovered.

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