The Wall of Peace, a great work of modern mural art on the 700-feet long compound wall of Government Vocational Higher Secondary School at Cherpulassery, was inaugurated on Monday.
Minister for Local Administration M.B. Rajesh dedicated the wall to the nation more than three and a half years after it was completed by Banaras Hindu University assistant professor Suresh K. Nair and his students.
The mural, in dimmed golden shade done with cement and sand on the 10-ft-high wall, has already won many an accolade, including the Eurasia World Record for the largest public art project. No one can pass this century-old school wall without noticing Mr. Suresh’s work of art.
Mr. Suresh converted the idea of Wall of Peace that had dawned upon him over a decade ago when the school authorities approached him for his creative contribution. “It is my alma mater. I could proudly chip in the best,” said Mr. Suresh.
The word ‘peace’ has been embossed on the wall in 250 world languages. Art lovers from countries like Austria, Israel, Hungary and the U.S. who visited Cherpulassery and neighbouring villages stood in awe in front of the wall as they read ‘peace’ in their respective languages.
Apart from the word ‘peace’, Mr. Suresh used the struggle for freedom as the key motif of his biggest mural done under the banner of the school development committee named School Project Aiming Centre of Excellence (SPACE). “It is mean to promote freedom and peace among the peace,” he said, sitting beneath one of the 29 giant banyan trees that formed a majestic canopy over the wall.
Mr. Suresh portrayed the moon at the start and the sun at the end symbolically showing humanity’s transition from darkness to light, and from bondage to freedom and peace.
The wall has also been a tribute to Cherpulassery’s local heroes of freedom struggle. “As a student, I was influenced by the book Khilafat Smaranakal penned by freedom fighter Moozhikkunnathu Brahmadathan Namboodiripad. It describes the cruel treatment meted out to him by the British, who tied him to a horse and dragged him to prison. I could give life to those disturbing images on the wall along with several others,” said Mr. Suresh.
Cherpulassery’s traditional cultural activity like Kaalavela, and Karalmanna’s famous Pandibhojanam too have found a place on the wall. Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to the region is also on the Wall of Peace.
The Wall of Peace dwarfed another spectacular mural Mr. Suresh did at India-Pakistan Wagah Border back in 2014. The 200-feet long cement mural at Wagah is about Partition. But the Cherpulassery mural remains a class apart in both magnitude and subject.