On Paditha Veedu
- Fr.K.K.John and Thomas Kuttikandathil had made some comments recently (ICON 4936 & 4939) about the Paditha Veedu at Kottayam with reference to the article in a book brought out by the Malayala Manorama on the occasion of its 125th anniversary, which had erroneously claimed that the Paditha Veedu was the precursor to the present CMS College at Kottayam.
Now, our Church has put the record straight through a letter to the Editor of Manorama daily dated July 19, 2013 from Fr.Dr.Jacob Kurien, Principal, Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam. He has pointed out that the claim about CMS college was factually incorrect. It was also regrettable, he added, that the article made no reference to the actual Paditha Veedu, viz, the Pazhaya Seminary (Old Seminary).
The Paditha Veedu was actually visualized in 1908 by the Kandanad Assembly of the Malankara Church and established by Pulikottil Ittoop Ramban( who was to later become Malankara Metropolitan Joseph Mar Dionysius II) in 1814-15. He was helped in this endeavour by Colonel Manroe.
It was then known variously as Paditha Veedu/ Syrian Seminary/ Syrian College and today as Pazhaya Seminary. This building in traditional 'Nalukettu Style' is now more than 200 years old.
The controversial article itself had admitted that the Paditha Veedu was started for Theology classes and that languages like English and Syriac were also taught side by side. Therefore, it is clear that it was a Seminary. Moreover, a leaflet brought out by the CMS Press in 1917, to mark the centenary of English Education in Kerala, had also admitted this fact. This leaflet had pointed out that the Paditha Veedu was known as Syrian College or Syrian Seminary and that it was built in 1814 and English classes were started in 1817. The CMS College was started in 1837. Not only that, the facts and details of Paditha Veedu are available in the libraries of both the Pazhaya Seminary as well as the CMS College.
This letter from Fr. Jacob Kurian should set at rest various claims to the contrary. It is regrettable that the Malayala Manorama has not bothered to correct the mistake by adding a foot-note to Fr.Jacob Kurian's letter. One may wonder why the Manorama, of all the newspapers in Kerala, had to be told about these facts, but the truth is that this publishing house is these days bending over backwards to curry favour with the various church denominations in Kerala other than the Malankara Orthodox Church. The anointment of a CSI bishop for North Kerala last month received unprecedented coverage in the Malayala Manorama for 4 days in a row, what with columns after columns of adulatory language, verging on flattery. Just to cite one recent example.