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Benjamin Bailey was the real beacon in the history of the CMS College. He left his kith and kin back in England and came to India in 1816 and joined the college in the same year. His contribution to the college in general and to the Malayalam language in particular is immense. Bailey translated Bible into Malayalam and also produced English-Malayalam and Malayalam-English Dictionaries. Bailey is considered to be the Founder of Malayalam Printing. It was his printing press that became pivotal in establishing the Renaissance streak in Kerala’s environment. In 1850, Bailey decided to leave Travancore and go back to his native in England. He had sacrificed all his three children to various illnesses contracted to them while in Travancore.

In this relief sculpture Biju C Bharathan deals with the beginning and culmination of point of Benjamin Bailey’s life in Kerala. Bailey’s arrival is depicted in the right end of the relief where a ship is seen sailing across the sea. Hiding the image of the ship partially, the artist has placed the portrait of Bailey in a semi-circular frame that resembles the rolls of paper or clothes. This shows the roles that he has played in printing and publishing. On the left side of the relief in a circular frame Bailey is seen standing at the tombs of his three children and paying a floral tribute before leaving for England.  Here too the sea is seen as a continuing backdrop, underlining the fact that Bailey’s life and contributions are an ongoing journey.

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

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