Thursday, February 5, 2015

The rebel still remains ‘imprisoned’

Rebel’ Muthuramalinga Sethupathy, the King of Ramanathapuram who spent half of his life in jails in Tiruchi and Fort St George in Chennai after rebelling against the British, is “imprisoned’ in the form of a statue 0for nearly two years in front of the Collectorate here.
The State government passed an order (GO No. 177) in 1995 to unveil a statue of the King, the first to raise his voice against the British, but the honour is eluding him even after two decades.
In 2010, Information and Public Relations Department made ready an eight-foot life-size bronze statue of the King, holding a sword in his hand, at a cost of Rs 4.95 lakh. Two years later, it was installed on a pedestal built by Public Works Department at a cost of Rs 1.30 lakh near Kenikkarai police station. But it remains covered with plastic sheet from head to toe.
Official sources said the statue could not be unveiled following a Supreme Court order on installation of statues of freedom fighters and community leaders in public places. “The State government is taking steps to move the Supreme Court to get its consent to unveil the statue at the earliest,” the sources told The Hindu .
“It’s painful to see the King, who had fought against the British, remaining covered in plastic sheet,” advocate M. Somasundaram said.
Muthuramalinga Sethupathy was crowned when he was 72 days old. He was 12 years old when the Nawab of Arcot, along with the British, attacked the palace in 1772 and captured him. He was imprisoned in Tiruchi till 1782.
The British attacked the palace in 1795 and he was arrested and lodged in Fort St George till his last days. He died in prison in 1809 at the age of 49.
Muthuramalinga Sethupathy was crowned when he
was just 72 days old

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