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Keyi family patriarch's legacy of harmony hailed

Staff Reporter

The 200th death anniversary of the patriarch of the Keyi family, Moosakaka, was observed at the 200-odd-year-old Odathil Palli in Thalassery on Saturday.

THALASSERY: The 200-odd year old Odathil Palli here built in an elegantly indigenous architectural style by Moosakaka of the Keyi family here formed the perfect backdrop for a function organised by family members to commemorate the 200th death anniversary of the patriarch of the family, which has played an important social, economic and cultural role during the colonial period.

Located on a plot in the heart of this town, the mosque with copper plate roofing is still intact and is among the heritage sites that still draw a lot of people. The compound of the mosque on Saturday became the venue for the function that not only commemorates the 200th death anniversary of Moosakaka but also highlights the ideals of communal harmony and co-existence that the patriarch upheld.

Once a prominent trading family in Thalassery, the Keyis had been loyal to the Dutch and then to the British. The family had earned status during the period of Moosakaka, who served as a contractor of the East India Company. It was the British who had sold what was once a sugar garden of the Dutch to Moosakaka to build the mosque in a style that matched the local architecture.

The mosque with its dome and architectural features is no different from local temples itself is seen as a statement of the religious harmony that the patriarch of the family wanted to uphold.

Inaugurating the commemoration function here in the afternoon, Union Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed said that Moosakaka had left not only wealth and properties but also a legacy of harmony and co-existence. Recalling the role of the Keyi family in the social and cultural life of the region, he said the Keyis had not confined themselves to being landlords as they moved to different professions and thus contributed to social and educational uplift of the Muslims of the North Malabar.

Launching the website of the family, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the mosque itself was a display of Moosakaka's vision. He had played a great role in making this town what it was today, the Minister said adding that the contributions helped the Muslims in this town imbibe a culture of religious tolerance and harmony. Admitting that even he was not aware of the contributions of Moosakaka, Mr. Balakrishnan said that young people should learn more about the history of their families, their predecessors, localities and regions.

C.O.T. Ahamed Keyi, mosque committee president, presided over the function. Municipal chairman K.P. Raveendran, retired administrator Murkot Ramunni and Vanidas Elayavur were among those who spoke at the function.

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