Thursday, September 17, 2015


NIRANAM GRANDHA VARI is the First History book of the Mlankara Orthodox Church written in Malayalam. It is a diary or chronicle of the events in the life of Malankara Metropolitan Marthoma VI (1745-1808) and short sketches about early Christian history from Adam & Eve to the Antiochan attempts to supremacy in Malankara church and short references up to 1847.  It is presumed to be written by a Deacon/ secretary of the Metropolitan. Some researchers think that it may have been Rev.Dn. Kanianthra Thommy Chandy ordained by him. He was the main nurse in the last days of the Metropolitan and was ordained a priest in 1808 by Marthoma VII. Rev Fr. Thommy Chandy stayed on in the Niranam church for some years as the vicar and managed the entire Church during the succession periods of Marthoma Metrans VII, VIII and IXth.  His successor in the family was Rev. Nina Chandy Corepiscopa who also was a celibate and stayed in the churh till 1910 when he was called to Mepral as vicar of St. John’s parish church. All his belongings might have included this palm leaf history. Anyway we found it in the 1930s in our Grandhapura (library) of our old house. Late Kanianthra Mr. K J. Ninan took it to Theological Seminary, Chitramezhuth Varghese, Edamaraku, K M Mammen Mapila of Manorama and others. Summaries of it were made by some of them
The  Thaliola Grandham came to my hand from K. J. Ninan’s son. I got it transcripted in readable Malayalam on paper   by experts from the Kerala Uty Manuscript library. I entrusted it to Malankara Sabha editor Fr. T. G Scaria for publication by the Malankara Church. Sri Paul Manalil got it from Scaria Achen and published two books one in Malayalam & another in English. But the real annotated research book on Niranam Grandhavari is the one produced with my permission by Dr. M. Kurien Thomas
The Niranam Grandhavari contains references about Kanianthra  Chandy Nina Tharakan (died .1774), Nina Chandy Tharakan ( 1735-1800), his son Kunju Thommi Tharakan (1765-1822) who played important role in the Coonan Kurisu Sathyam, preserving independence of the Church against Antiocahan incursions etc.

This is the realation between Kanianthras and Niranam Grandha Vari. We still continue on the footsteps of our predecessors in being with The Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan. END


(27 July 2014, Kottayam)
Joseph K Alexander

I came into the MGOCSM as a school student, through the advice of my father and teachers of the Thiruvalla MGM High School, Mr. C O Oommen and Mr. C M John. Both were General Secretaries of MGOCSM. After attending the 1942 Annual Conference at Thiruvalla Balikamadom GHS and the 1944 Conference as a religious retreat-ant at the M D Seminary Elias Chapel my further education and employment lead me out of Travancore. The return in 1966 to the University College Trivandrum as HOD of Economics and principal of Government College, Kottayam in 1972, prompted H G Philipos Mar Theophilos, President, to reinvent and induct me back into the MGOCSM. Since then, I am in the Movement in one or another official capacity and a resource person.

Knowing the Movement and the nature of its work from the days Rev. Dn. K. Philipos (later H G Philipos Mar Theophilos) was its General Secretary in 1942. and through the period of its Presidents; H.G. Philipose Mar Theophilos, H G Philipos Mar Eusebius, and H G Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, present President who joined the Movement as a young Deacon and General Secretaries; Mr. Philipos Thomas, Rev Fathers P C Cherian, George Kurien, John Thomas, Dr M C Cherian, .Dr. V.M Abraham and now Rev Fr. Dr.Varghese Varghese. I felt it my duty right and honour as a senior member, to be an active volunteer in the Movement.

As Senior Vice President of the MGOCSM for 11 years (1978-“89), its director of the Trivandrum Complex and hostel 19 years (1983-2002), Chairman of the constructions at Trivandrum center second phase 1983-1985  and  member of the CHAIROS Committee 2004- 2012, I did what I could for the Movement. The prestigious Education Orientation Course of the MGOCSM, 1981, its journal 2004-2006, and Website 2004-2007 were started by me with support of its President Thirumenis. Currently I am the Treasurer of MGOCSM from 2002.

I, Retd. Director, Collegiate Education, Kerala Govt. Service is an economist. Was President of the Kerala Dhana Sasthra Academy 1970-1972, Head of the Department of Economics of the Victoria College, Palghat 1962-1966, HOD of the University College Trivandrum 1966-1972, Founder-principal of Govt. College, Kottayam, 1972-1980, member of the Kerala University Senate 1961-1964 and Academic Bodies1965-1983; Hon-Director of the prestigious Christian Study Center of Kerala University1994-1996 and research fellow of University Grants Commission1983-1987. I have published ten books and 20 research papers. Was emeritus professor of economics in the Marthoma St. Thomas College, Kozenchery1985-1987; was examiner and expert member in the PSC of Kerala and Karnataka States, Southern Railway Board, New India Assurance Company, and Staff selection of PSC and Private Colleges in Kerala. After retirement; was a Faculty Member of the Civil Service Academy, Trivandrum for over a decade, was a member of the MOC official bodies including the Church Planning Committee, member of the Corporate Colleges and later of the Schools Governing Bodies of the Church and  three times Chief Election Officer of the Malankara Association of MOC, I am now active as chairman of Kerala Regional Branch of Indian Institute of Public Administration from 2004 and member of its Executive council at Delhi. Being a founder member of the Mar Gregorios Rehabilitation Center Munnammoodu Trivandrum in 1981, is its Vice President for the last couple of decades. I have been a resource person for most of the projects started by the then new Bishop H G Geevarghese Mar Dioscorus of the new Trivandrum Diocese of the MOC in the last quarter of last Century from 1980. His Graces” English Medium School, Disabled children’s home  at Alathra, Marion Play Home originally at kanaka Nagar, Bishop’s house and  Chapel at Ullur, sfferts to start a Junior College at Alathra hills which later blossomed into the Pharmacy college are all examples.
A galaxy of eminent leaders nurtured the MGOCSM in its hundred years from 1908. Despite, it has an irregular history. In some of the years it blossomed like a fresh flower in youth, well watered, weeded and nourished by the mentors; and in others, it looked as if, about to wither for want of their involvement. In the days of H G Philipos Mar Theophilos the Movement developed many wings and branches and Rev Fr P C Cherian took it to outside Kerala to cities of India. He made it a National Movement. In the days of H G Philipos Mar Eusebius the Movement became international especially through the efforts of the President, General Secretary Rev. Fr. M C Cherian and the Education Orientation Fraternity who started units of MGOCSM in churches in every part of the World where they worked. The present President H G Geevarghese Mar Coorilos is spreading the Movement to more Indian areas outside Kerala to take its message to all the diaspora by organizing its Annual conferences in different parts of India
.During my heavy duty as founder principal of the Kottayam Govt. College, I contributed all my spare moments for the growth of the Movement. I thank all the Presidents, General Secretaries, Executive Committee members and the General Assemblies of the Movement, its Officers and managers of its various wings for the hearty co-operation they rendered to my role in the MGOCSM and giving me all help in writing its history of 100 years. I will be ninety on 25th November 2014. Recently I had difficulty in travelling from TVM to Kottayam to attend the meetings of the Movement or take active role in its work more because of the illness of my wife. She and my children were a great support for enabling me to work in all social services I ventured. Besides you all, I thank them also for their cooperation in making my work easy. May I now appeal to all of you to work hard and contribute your might to make MGOCSM an effective arm of MOC all over the World? I Pray to God to shower blessings on all of you.  
My mentors:
1.     K A Mathew , Principal  & Head Master , St. John’s shool. Mepral        
2.     C. M John
3.     C O Oommen
4.      Vennikulam Gopala Kurup
5.     Unnonny Tharakan
6.     K A Mathew , Teachers of M G M  High School Thiruvalla, 
7.     Rev. Dn. And later H G Philipos Mar Theophilos
8.     Rev.  Fr. M C Cherian & later H G Sachaias Mar Theophilos
9.     Rev Fr. John Thomas  Secretary MGOCSM
10.   H G Baselios Marthoma Mathews  Catholicos
11.   H G Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews  Catholicos
12.   Re. Dn George Kurien & later Secretary and then H G Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, President of MGOCSM
13.   Rev Ft. P M Eapen Vicar Se. George’s Church Trivandrum
14.   Rev. Fr. Alexander Vaidyan   Do
             And many like these gurus who implanted in me their behavior patterns which made me what I am. Some of them were far younger than me  but with emulatable characters. I thank all of them nd place them before God for heavenly rewards.
Prof. Joseph K Alexander; DOB-25-11-1924;
TC 14/2144, Kanianthra, PRA. B.20- Medes Lane. Palayam TVM-695034.
Spouse        : Annamma Joseph; House Wife; DOB-29-01-1927
Phone         0471-2321955;    Mobile--9447811811
Children      1. Alex Jose F C A; Retired from Bahrain
2 Stephen Jose Bsc Agr.; MEP-IIM-Ahmedabad; Retd
3. Alexy Jose F C A (daughter); Director General Finance, Keltron TVM.


Kanianthra family has been living for over five centuries from 1450 AD in Mepral. Many families claim descent from the four converted by St. Thomas around 50 AD. Without concrete proof, we cannot make such claims; though there is a tradition that we of the Kanikulath Illam of Kodungallur, probably scions of one of the four families, migrated to Niranam. Our tradition we rely is conversion of a Brahmin illam at Idinjillam earlier or around- latest 10th century- and we migrated to Niranam due to ostracism by fellow Brahmins; and still later to Mepral in 1450.
Their income were paddy and coconut of Mepral properties. In course of time, agricultural income became inadequate to support the growing family needs- traditional & modern. We gave up agriculture due to political based trade union activities, changes in land owner-labour relations and wage increases. Kanianthra members with English education went out in 1940-50’s into the wide world. Most of them did well in different parts of the world. There are hardly six or7 families now left at Mepral.
Kanianthra family has certain emulate able traits running through generations. Mothers who rear up kids please inculcate these ideals into them
1. We were, God-fearing and played prominent part in the affairs of our Church (MOSC) against foreign dominations. It is evident in Niranam Grandhavary- a view, Kanianthra Achen, (Thommy Chandy Kathanar) originator of the Pallath Branch was its author.
2. Another which distinguished our family in the earlier social history was generous, kind and just treatment extended to untouchables and labourers, who suffered deprivations in the caste –ridden past. An interesting anecdote about vadukas and Kanianthra Ninan Chandy Tharakan bears testimony to this
3. The respect, honour, and obedience given to parents is another trait of us. More important side of this coin is the sacrifices rendered by our parents in giving English (modern) education to children

4. Another is the respect given to women. Our parents are partial even to a fault to their daughters. Equality girls enjoy at home with boys develops their potential. No wonder they become valuable and respected assets at home and in families they go as brides. Pullucat valiappachan’s dictum “Anapurathu irikunnavale patty kadikathilla” Anecdote about Pattaseril Chellamma Kochamma is relevant.