Ettappan, is adopted as metaphor for traitor in Tamil although the original Ettappan, a chieftain of Ettayapuram is said to have been wrongfully accused of helping the British administrators capture India’s first Independance fighter Veerapandi Kattabomman.
Whereas the actual culprit is said to be Vijaya Raghunatha Tondaiman, the Maharaja of Pudukottai.
Be it Ettappan or Tondaiman who deserved the traitor label, they were all guilty of working with the British to undermine the wealth, natural resources, literature and vibrant culture of India.
But sadly seven decades after independence from the British marauders, India is still being undermined by the smoldering amber of Colonialist rule being fanned by the spawn of Ettappan groups comprising Anglophile Indian academics, English writers and media practitioners and representatives of foreign religious missions.
The favourite criticism of these Ettappan groups clearly echoes the call for India to maintain its status quo as a slave of Western values, culture and lifestyle.
It seems these groups will never allow the fulfillment of the words of Tamil Nadu’s national poet Subramaniar Bharathi who sang: … endru thaniyyum intha suganthira thaagam, endru madiyyum enggal adimaiyyin mogam … (…when will quench this thirst for independence, when shall perish our passion for enslavement …).
A CNN report today talks of the dropping of the Taj Mahal from the list of top tourist spots by the State government of Uttar Pradesh.
No doubt the monument is a major tourist attraction but after visiting it twice, my personal observation was it is an over-hyped tourism spot.
Except for the marble facade providing a good photograph opportunity, there is nothing much to the monument. In fact it is a stark reminder of the barbaric and destructive rule of the Moslem invaders.
The historical Yamuna river running right behind the Taj Mahal complex and picturesque villages lining it are sadly neglected by the tourism industry and therefore not on the itinerary of tourists heading to the Taj Mahal.
When I was roped in to join a group of friends who wanted to visit the spot some years later it held not even a shred of wonder to me not withstanding the global harping of it being a symbol of love. There is no romanticism in the Mogul’s rule by sword marked by slavery, oppression and religious fanaticism.
I had to point out to my friends that the Red Fort or Amer Fort in nearby Jaipur which they gave the miss during that India trip, is by far a more picturesque and intriguing historical complex compared to Taj Mahal.
The Government’s tourism budget and focus should I feel, be better spent on promoting the many other undiscovered wonders that abound in the State if not the whole of India.
Photograph of a ceiling decoration in Amer Fort courtesy of alamy stock photo