Welcome to a captivating exploration of Kizhoor village, a hidden gem in the heart of Puducherry, India. In this article, we delve into the historical significance of Kizhoor and the events that shaped the destiny of this quaint village.
The story begins in the aftermath of India’s hard-fought independence in 1947. While much of India rejoiced in newfound freedom, the French still held sway over Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam, and Mahe – four territories collectively known as French India. It wasn’t until October 18, 1954, that history took a decisive turn. On this date, the quiet village of Kizhoor Village became the stage for a historic referendum.
The outcome of this referendum was nothing short of monumental. The majority decision of the House of Representatives and Municipal Councils who participated in the vote sealed the fate of the four French territories. It was the beginning of the end of French colonial rule in these lands. On November 1 of the same year, the territories were transferred to India de facto.
A Date to Remember: August 16, 1962
The journey to complete liberation was not without its challenges. It took eight years from the referendum for the final transfer of power to take place. On August 16, 1962, the French government ratified the Treaty of Cession by its Parliament, officially ceding control of Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam, and Mahe to the Indian government. This date holds immense significance and is celebrated annually by the Puducherry government as De jure Transfer Day.
A small shed in Kizhoor Villagestands as a testament to this historic event. Within its walls lie precious photographs of prominent dignitaries, including India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, actively participating in the events leading up to the liberation of Puducherry. Adjacent to the shed stands a flagpole, ready to unfurl the Indian flag on August 16, and a plaque bearing the names of the individuals who played a role in the referendum.
The Forgotten Legacy
Despite its historical importance, Kizhoor remains a largely forgotten place. The village comes alive only twice a year, on November 1 and August 16. For the rest of the year, it remains dormant. Even the museum within the shed is open to the public for just two days annually. The promises made by successive governments to develop Kizhoor into a landmark have largely gone unfulfilled.
S. Ravichandran, a resident of Kizhoor, laments the lack of attention the village receives. He notes that while efforts were made to construct an asbestos shed, little else has been done to promote the place and educate the younger generation about its historical significance.
The Call for Recognition
Economist turned politician M. Ramadass echoes these sentiments, emphasizing that Kizhoor’s historical importance deserves much more attention. He points out that even the Chief Minister’s absence during the momentous occasion of De jure Transfer Day leads to the neglect of the memorial and its surroundings. Kizhoor, once the nucleus of Puducherry’s independence, should be recognized as a place of monumental relevance.
To truly honor the legacy of Kizhoor Village and its role in Puducherry’s history, it’s imperative to take concrete steps towards its development. A monument, similar to the Kamaraj Manimandapam, should be constructed, befitting Kizhoor’s historical importance.
Director (in-charge) UGC-Human Resource Development Centre, Pondicherry University, Panch Ramalingam, suggests a collaborative effort between the territorial administration and the Union Government to declare Kizhoor a UNESCO heritage site. Such recognition would not only preserve its historical significance but also attract tourists from around the world.
The Road Ahead “Kizhoor Village
Kizhoor, once a beacon of hope in the struggle for liberation, can once again shine brightly. Renovating the existing monument, introducing a sound and light program on weekends, and promoting village tourism are steps in the right direction. The tourism department can arrange buses from the town to make Kizhoor easily accessible to tourists.
Furthermore, the development of the Sivaranthagam panchayat into a model village, similar to the Kundrakudi experiment for self-reliant development, can bring attention to Kizhoor. Freedom is not just about breaking chains; it’s about nurturing and developing the people. Kizhoor village, the cradle of Puducherry’s independence, should showcase the fruits of development to the world.
Kizhoor village, though forgotten by many, holds a place of utmost importance in India’s history. It’s time to recognize its significance, preserve its heritage, and let its story shine as a beacon of India’s journey towards liberation. It’s time for Kizhoor Village to take its rightful place in the spotlight, both as a reminder of the past and a symbol of a brighter future.