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BY WAY OF ANSWERING SOME OBJECTIONS RAISED BY SOME PEOPLE

Having seen the details of the sufferings and the death of the Servant of God in “The Material Aspect of the Martyrdom”, and the attitudes, motives and responses of the persecutor(s) and of the martyr in “The Formal Aspect of the Martyrdom” in the light of the contemporary documents and other sources, we now come to some important conclusions with regard to the historicity and the reality of the martyrdom of the Servant of God Devasahayam Pillai.
  1. That the anti Christian persecution was unleashed against Devasahayam Pillai and Christians
  2. The historicity of the anti Christian persecution and the execution of Devasahayam Pillai for the sake of his Christian faith have been established beyond doubt in the light of the authentic contemporary documents. Yet it is important to reassert the same in response also to some doubts raised by some persons. They are mainly those who claim, though not supported by any document, things such as persecution against Christians could not have taken place. They assert this a priori from their claim that Travancore has been all along tolerant towards all religions. We could mention three, all of whom are writers of history on behalf of the Government of Travancore, nay, on behalf of the King, who appointed them to write. Shangoony Menon, was the first one to write the history of Travancore and his monumental work was published as early as 1878.125 Shangoony Menon, addresses the King always as His Highness and describes all the good qualities and victories of the King, in combination with Ramayyan Dalava and De Lannoy. Menon devotes also good many pages to explain the attachment of the Rajah to Hindu Religion and to the Temple priests or Brahmins, culminating in the dedication of the Kingdom to Lord Padmanabhaswamy. He also pays special credit to the religious tolerance of Travancore. Therefore, though he quotes Paulinus, he does not mention the name of either Nilakandan Pillai or Devasahayam, which we can sure say, is intentional, seeing that he has consulted Paulinus.126 But the one who mentions the story of Devasahayam Pillai and then refuses to accept its veracity is Mr. Nagam Aiyah.127 In his opinion, “the story of Devasahaya’s martyrdom may be dismissed as apocryphal”. The critique of Nagam Aiyah is based on the following reasons:

    • Insufficient evidence
    • It is a case of “apostheosizing their ancestors or heroes so common among our people”
    • Eustache De Lannoy’s influence with the King was so great that he would not have allowed such thing to happen.
    • The attitude of the Travancore Kings towards Christians and other religionists was such that this would not have happened
    • Devasahayam may have been killed for reasons other than religious.128

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