Marudhanayagam (Yusuf Khan) was born in Ramanathapuram of present day Tamilnadu. He was one of the most fierce warriors, administrator, and commandant. A series of events which led to Marudhanayagam Pillai befriend and earn the respect of the French and thereby becoming one of the their trusted aide in warfare. He was as fierce as he was versatile given the number of languages he could speak. His much-celebrated career as a commandant and warrior came to an end with an act of betrayal by his trusted aides.
Under the tutelage of Stringer Lawrence, a British commander, Marudhanayagam got trained in European warfare techniques. He was instrumental in outsmarting and winning many wars for the British against other colonial powers. It was opined What Hyder Ali was for speed, Marudhanayagam was for strategy.
His victories against various rulers and colonialist earned him a lot of enemies. Even as the Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to appoint him as the rightful governor, the Nawab of Arcot sought his death. In his last battle, he and his troops in a fort were surrounded by the British so that the supply of food and water could be cut off. The troops and Marudhanayagam were starving for food and water even as they put up a brave fight before the ultimate betrayal happened
Nawab of Arcot hatched a plan to nab Marudhanayagam by bribing his Dewan Srinivas Rao, Marchand the captain and his physician Baba sahib. When Marudhanayagam was offering his prayers, he was tied from the behind and offered to the British. The reasons cited were the betrayal was done to protect themselves from the army surrounding the fort.