A 9

Benjamin Bailey came to Kottayam in 1817 after having sufficient proficiency in Malayalam and the social customs. He was accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth Ella and child. Syrian Christians were enthusiastic in joining the college initially. Bailey started teaching English and Malayalam alike along with the locally recruited teachers to teach Malayalam and Sanskrit. He also oversaw the transition of writing from palm leaves to paper. At the same time he and his wife kept their enthusiasm in learning Malayalam and its grammar. They took the assistance of local teachers for that.

Here in the sculptural relief by Sreekumar KU, one could see a division like an opened book or a wave, creating three distinct spaces. On the far right corner, one could see the early building of the CMS College and Bailey in his English clothes standing before the curious and enthusiastic students who are seated on the floor. The central panel symbolically shows the education process; primarily by learning alphabets. Also it shows the various writing methods prevalent at that time. The native students were mostly using palm leaves and stylus while the English teachers were using paper and feather pens. Sreekumar has brought this transition also in his sculpture. On the extreme left of the relief we see Bailey and his wife taking lessons in Malayalam and Sanskrit from the local experts.

Published On: January 27th, 2024Categories: Relief Sculpture

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