Ananda Ranga Pillai

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M. R. Ry. Ananda Ranga Pillai (Tamil: ஆனந்தரங்கம் பிள்ளை; 30 March 1709 – 16 January 1761) (often pronounced as Ānañtarañkam Pillai) was a dubash in the service of the French East India Company.


  • The priests of St. Paul’s Church have been trying for the last fifty years to pull down the Vedapuri Iswaran temple; former Governors said that this was the country of the Tamils, that they would earn dishonour if they interfered with the temple, that the merchants would cease to come here, and that the town would decay; they even set aside the king’s order to demolish the temple; and their glory shone like the sun. ... Before M. Dupleix was made Governor, and when he was only a Councillor, all the Europeans and some Tamils used to say that if he became Governor, he would destroy the Iswaran temple. The saying has come to pass. ... [The Governor] has taken advantage of this time of war to accomplish his longstanding object and demolish the temple. ... I cannot describe the boundless joy of the St. Paul’s priests, the Tamil and pariha converts, Madame Dupleix and M. Dupleix. In their delight, they will surely enter the temple, and will not depart, without breaking and trampling under foot the idols and destroying all they can. ... Then Father Coeurdoux of Karikal came with a great hammer, kicked the lingam, broke it with his hammer, and ordered the Coffrees and the Europeans to break the images of Vishnu and the other gods. Madame went and told the priest that he might break the idols as he pleased. He answered that she had accomplished what had been impossible for fifty years, that she must be one of those Mahatmas who established this religion [Christianity] in old days, and that he would publish her fame throughout the world. ... I can neither write nor describe what abominations were done in the temple... All the Tamils think that the end of the world has come. ... The wise men will say that the glory of an image is as short-lived as human happiness. The temple was destined to remain glorious till now, but now has fallen.
    • The Private Diary of Anand Ranga Pillai translated from Tamil by Rev. J. Frederick Price and K. Rangachari, Madras, 1904. Quoted from Goel, S. R. (2016). History of Hindu-Christian encounters, AD 304 to 1996. Chapter 7 ISBN 9788185990354 [1]
    • About the Vedapuri Iswaran Temple which was the principal place of worship for the Hindus of Pondicherry. The Jesuit missionaries built the Church of St. Paul adjacent to it and obtained an order from the King of France that the Hindu temple should be destroyed.

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