Following angry calls and letters from people across Tamil Nadu, The Hindu has decided to pull down a history article on the dogs of the Marudu Pandiyar brothers, which the freedom fighters used against the British.
The article, by veteran journalist B Kolappan, was about three sculptures of dogs found in temples in Tirupullani, Utharakosamangai and Nainarkoil in Ramanathapuram district which apparently referred to the Ramanathapuram Mandai dogs used by the Marudu brothers. You can read the cached version of the article here.
However, a controversial paragraph in the article seems to have offended the community. It reads,
âBefore occupying the throne of Sivaganga, the brothers had humble beginnings. According to Fr Baauche, a French Catholic Priest who worked in Ramanathapuram district, Periya Marudu was the dog-keeper of the second ruler of Sivaganga Vaduganatha Thevar, and Chinna Marudu was the betel-keeper (adappakaran ).â
The reference to the Marudu brothers as âdog-keeperâ and âbetel-keeperâ seems to have offended the community.
Following the outrage, the newspaper has published the following clarification.
âThe Hindu has received several angry and distressed calls over the report titled âPicking the scent of a canine squadâ (June 13, 2016) about the Ramanathapuram Mandai dogs used by the legendary Marudu brothers in their fight against the British.
The report has been misunderstood and it is learnt that a misleading Tamil translation of a part of the text has been the cause of this concern.
As a full reading of the report will make clear, The Hindu had no intention of denigrating any community or its iconic leaders. All the same, we are removing the report from our website in view of the reactions and requests to this effect. â Editorâ