The stirrup-less majesty
Sir Thomas Munro was a governor of the Madras presidency during the British Raj. A person who understood the dynamics of the British occupation in India and the role of the Company and the Crown in Indian lives.
Mr. Muthiah, the city’s famed historian quotes Sir Thomas Munro
“Your rule is alien and it can never be popular. You have much to bring to your subjects, but you cannot turn India into England or Scotland. Work through, not in spite of, native systems and native ways, with a prejudice in their favour rather than against them; and when in the fullness of time your subjects can frame and maintain a worthy Government for themselves, get out and take the glory of the achievement and the sense of having done your duty as the chief reward of your exertions.”
He was also an able administrator, and was involved in a lot of developmental projects. Just one of the reasons villagers named their first born son “Munrolappa” a long time after his death. Even today, the City of Chennai pays tribute to this administrator. With a statue right smack in the middle of Mount Road, emerging out of the fort.
Sculpted by Francis Chanterey, and sitting proud and straight on his horse, in the middle of Chennai’s famed Island, is The Stirrupless Majesty. Either due to an oversight, or depicting his affinity for bareback riding, Sir Thomas Munro’s statue shows him without saddle and stirrup.
Thanks to Chenhtil for the link to Mr. Muthiah’s article and the sculptor’s name