Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief K. Annamalai visited the General K.S. Thimayya Museum and War Memorial in Madikeri yesterday. The Museum celebrates the life of former Army Chief General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya, housing a variety of antique weaponry and war relics.
Accompanied by wife Akhila Swaminathan, son Arjun and daughter Aradhana, Annamalai went around the Museum and examined each and every artefact, war relic and memorabilia kept at ‘Sunny Side,’ the erstwhile ancestral house of General Thimayya that has been converted into a classy Museum.
Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, General Thimayya Forum Convener Maj. (retd.) Biddanda Nanda Nanjappa explained the significance of the Museum, its rare collections and also about the awe-inspiring personality of General Thimayya, who served as India’s Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961.
Museum Manager Subedar Major Gowdanda Thimmaiah was also present.
Maj. Biddanda Nanjappa narrated to former IPS Officer Annamalai the earlier pathetic state of ‘Sunny Side’ that housed the Road Transport Office and the Forum’s efforts to vacate the dilapidated building, refurbish and renovate the structure to house the Museum.
Impressed by the collections and the way they have been preserved, Annamalai said that General Thimayya continues to be a role model for all youths of India. At one point, he turned emotional and bowed down to pay his respects to the celebrated General with folded hands.
“General Thimayya was a towering personality who kept the interests of the nation first and his head was always held high. Kodagu(Coorg) is fortunate to have such a distinguished personality who has his roots here and the land of Kodagu is forever indebted. Everyone must visit the Museum and get inspired,” he said.
Commending the efforts of Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, General Thimayya Forum that toiled for years to set up a world-class Museum, Annamalai said that the members of the Forum, the general public and the people of Kodagu are spreading nationalism and patriotism across the country through the Museum. “I am fortunate to have visited such a place of pride,” he added.
Annamalai, however, refused to speak politics with the reporters. “This is not the time to discuss politics and I have come to Kodagu with my family on a two-day trip,” he said.