Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXVI No. 17, December 16-31, 2016
A charismatic and powerful leader, perhaps one of the most towering personalities in recent times, has passed away. The death of the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has naturally left a huge void both within her party and at the helm of affairs in the administration. A debate rages on her successor(s) in the political entity she headed and in governance, for all of which we hope a satisfactory answer will be found soon as it will otherwise tell on our State’s performance.
While answers are awaited, this may be a good time to assess what has been the impact that the late Chief Minister has left behind on matters concerning heritage and culture, for those are the primary areas of interest for this journal. The ultimate analysis would reveal a mixed bag, with perhaps the feeling that more could have been done. We do not know if we are correct in laying everything, rights and wrongs at her doorstep, but this was a leader who as was well-known took most decisions herself and so we may not be far wrong.
The first administration, in the 1990s, is by itself suitably illustrative. On coming to know that Subramania Bharati’s erstwhile residence was likely to be razed to the ground, the State Government acted decisively. It acquired the property and, not content with that, went on to restore it, after a fashion, to the way it looked during the great poet’s time. The house is today an excellent memorial to him. If this was to the good, not so was the move to demolish the Directorate General of Police headquarters on the Marina, to be replaced by a multi-storey structure. That idea was fortunately struck down by the High Court and the administration gave in with good grace. The structure was restored and new annexes came up in identical style, thereby maintaining the skyline. The complex remains a joy to behold.
Have we finally come of age? We allude to the people of Madras that is Chennai. And in that we include everyone – common people, those in administration and those in power. Recent happenings would certainly indicate this to be so. If our perception is correct and this trend is maintained, we can certainly take pride in the fact that we are a mature and balanced people, worthy citizens of a metropolis that claims to be the capital of culture.
Where is Rani Annadurai Street?
Rani Annadurai Street is a left turn leading off from RK Mutt Road just before the Mandaveli signal. It is parallel to Annai Nagammai Street.
Who was Rani Annadurai?
I can’t remember the last time
I had a lump in my throat when a politician died. I do today. I surprise myself because I have never voted for the person, hated her brand of leadership and rarely agreed with her for the most part of her career. But her career also panned my entire adult life and I realise today that the battles we fought together and against – me as a citizen and she as my representative,
Everybody is claiming have met Jayalalithaa at some point in their lives, or having run into her at an airport, or at some function. Did anyone really know her?
Our paths crossed when we were young, much before