THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the naming of the wall painting at Akkulam bypass depicting the Revolt of 1721 courting controversy, Arteria, an initiative of the tourism department which created the painting, has decided to do away with the title for the painting. The painting now stands without any name and only a description.
The wall painting has been created as part of the ‘Arteria Fresco project’ at Akkulam bypass and depicts the 1721 Attingal Revolt. The revolt was termed as Anchuthengu Agitation/Resistance by Arteria in the wall graffiti and it was this that courted controversy. According to locals and history lovers of the area, the renaming of the event as Anchuthengu Resistance doesn’t do justice to the event.
According to an official at Arteria, the event is called as Attingal Revolt as well as Anchuthengu Resistance. “Historians have said that the event is known by both the names, as Attingal Revolt and Anchuthengu Resistance. Through this painting, we have represented the event from an artist’s perspective.
“Names are what we give and when they revolted it didn’t have a name then. Moreover, documents pertaining to this event aren’t available and historians are of the opinion that the event goes by both names. The controversy has been motivated by some socio-political agenda. We don’t want any controversy and hence removed the name,” said Ajith Kumar G, curator of Arteria.
Meanwhile, R Nandakumar, president of Attingal History Lovers Association, said the move by Arteria is twisting history and facts. The group alleged that the project of the tourism department has twisted history and is doing an injustice to the Attingal Revolt by renaming it as Anchuthengu Resistance while it was a poignant moment in the history of an armed revolt against the British.
“The Attingal Revolt was an uprising that underlined a poignant moment where the natives revolted against the East India Company. All the Britishers were killed and it happened in Attingal,” says Nandakumar. After attacking the English East India Company officials, attempts were made to attack the Anchuthengu fort.
“The fort didn’t fall and after two weeks of intense resistance from the company’s side, the locals withdrew. The Arteria has depicted the Attingal Revolt but has named the painting as Anchuthengu resistance. So in essence they are glorifying the resistance from the side of the company against the locals and twisting history,” said Nandakumar.