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Unveiling the Forgotten Significance of Kizhoor Village: A Historic Journey Towards Puducherry's Liberation - SirWiz News
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Unveiling the Overlooked History of Kizhoor Village: Paving the Path to Puducherry’s Liberation

Kizhoor village, nestled in the Mangalam constituency, holds a historic significance that’s often overlooked. On October 18, 1954, a significant event took place in Kizhoor: a peaceful referendum that paved the way for Puducherry’s liberation from French rule and its integration with India. However, despite its crucial role, Kizhoor hasn’t received the recognition it deserves in the affairs of the Union Territory.

Following India’s independence in 1947, the French planned to relinquish control over Puducherry. Yet, it was the remarkable referendum in Kizhoor that spurred them to transfer authority over four territories—Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam, and Mahe—to India. This pivotal vote on November 1 effectively marked the transfer of French India to India.

The decision of the House of Representatives and Municipal Councils, along with the ratification of the Treaty of Cession by the French government’s Parliament, sealed the deal. On August 16, 1962, the Indian government officially gained power over these territories. In honor of this occasion, the Puducherry government designated August 16 as De jure Transfer Day.

In Kizhoor, a modest shed stands as a tribute to the historical moment when representatives voted for the merger with India. Inside, an enclosed room showcases significant photographs, including those of prominent figures like Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, who played a role in the events preceding Puducherry’s liberation. Nearby, a flagpole and plaque commemorate the participants in the referendum.

However, despite its historical significance, Kizhoor remains relatively obscure. It springs to life only twice a year, on November 1 and August 16. A local resident, S. Ravichandran, expressed disappointment that, despite promises from successive governments, Kizhoor hasn’t been developed as a landmark or promoted to educate the younger generation about its importance.

M. Ramadass, an economist turned politician, highlighted that Kizhoor deserves more attention and recognition. He noted that the lack of proper maintenance and the absence of the Chief Minister’s visit on important occasions contribute to the underwhelming state of the memorial site. Ramadass suggested that Kizhoor should be elevated to the same level of importance as Puducherry.

Ramalingam, Director (in charge) of the UGC-Human Resource Development Centre at Pondicherry University, proposed that the territorial administration and Union Government collaborate to designate Kizhoor as a UNESCO heritage site. He recommended renovations to the monument, the introduction of a sound and light program, and village tourism initiatives to showcase Kizhoor Village’s history.

Ramadass further emphasized that the Sivaranthagam panchayat should be transformed into a model village through the application of various government schemes. By implementing strategies like the Kundrakudi experiment for self-reliant development, Kizhoor Village can thrive as a model of progress, just as it played a central role in Puducherry’s path to independence.

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