Kerala

Peace is writ large on this wall

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Cherpulassery school wall depicts images of freedom struggle in Malabar

While the women’s wall to be formed across the State on Tuesday with the messages of gender justice and equality is evoking a heated political debate, a wall of permanent nature with the theme ‘freedom’ is getting ready in Cherpulassery here.

Visualised by Suresh K. Nair, a teacher of fine arts at Benaras Hindu University, the wall is being built at the initiative of P.V. Shaheen, a lawyer practising in West Asia.

The 7,000-sq-m wall is coming up around the Government Higher Secondary School in Cherpulassery with graffiti and relief works depicting the region’s long association with the freedom struggle, especially the 1921 rebellion against the British.

“Fifteen of my students are converting the wall as a permanent gallery by portraying the struggles that shaped the present-day Malabar. The wall will be ready by January second week,” said Mr. Nair.

In many tongues

The word ‘peace’ would be etched on the wall in 200 languages. It would also carry messages for world peace and total disarmament.

Above all, the wall is emerging as a rich tribute to freedom fighter Moozhikkunnath Brahmadathan Namboodiri, who was excommunicated for undergoing jail term for a false criminal case charged by the British police. Images of police atrocities on him are also depicted on the wall.

“Moozhikkunnath was one of the public faces of the anti-British movement in the region. The wall is a memorial of sorts for him,” said Mr. Nair, a native of Adakkaputhur, who has initiated similar projects across the country, including the Wagah border. A winner of many awards for fine arts, Mr. Nair left for Benaras after a long stint with the Sri Sankara University of Sanskrit in Kalady.

Around ₹20 lakh

“The school has no wall. Now it is getting a unique wall that can attract visitors. Such a huge art wall is a rarity,” said P. Jose, Principal of the school. The fine arts students involved in the project hail from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, and Uttaranchal.

Mr. Shaheen and his friends in Cherpulassery are meeting the expenses of the wall that may cost around ₹20 lakh.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 12:47:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/peace-is-writ-large-on-this-wall/article25874990.ece

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