Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXIX No. 4, June 1-15, 2019
Dear Members of Parliament elected from Chennai City,
Congratulations to all three of you and we wish you a fruitful five years in your capacity as elected representatives of the people. The tenure may appear long enough right now but let us assure you that time tends to fly and before you know it, it will be time for the next elections. And so, we hope you will spend the time that the people have gifted you most usefully. Madras Musings, which can claim to represent at least a small section of the people of this city, and it has been representing them for 28 long years, wishes you all the best and at the same time, presents you with a wish list on behalf of Chennai that was Madras.
1. As Members of Parliament your time will be taken up in matters of national importance. At the same time, you should not forget matters that concern your city and it is up to you present them at the national forum. Too often Chennai gets short shrift – it is after all not the national capital or the financial capital. And for long it has not elected representatives of the party in power at the Centre. Can we hope that you will be champions of Chennai in Delhi?
2. Can you therefore keep an eye open for investment opportunities that may come to India and work to ensure that Chennai gets a suitable chance to be presented as a viable location? True, Industry is a State-subject and the BJP in the Centre and the ADMK in the State have a cosy relationship but that does not mean you cannot do your bit for our city.
3. As MPs you will collectively have around Rs. 65 crores as your allotment of the Member of Parliament’s Local Area Development Fund, going by the figures furnished for the previous Lok Sabha. Can this money not please be spent in frivolities such as beach beautification or bus shelter building but in some long-term asset such as sensitisation of people towards waste segregation and water conservation? Even a well-coordinated campaign over multiple media avenues will have a better effect than putting up ornamental fountains and temporary bus shelters. Think before you spend and when you do, make sure it is for the benefit of the city.
Two recent news items sum up the state of school education. Is the news that India has thrice the number of schools (15 lakhs) as that of China (5 lakhs) and that Tamil Nadu is rated high on school education reason enough for smug contentment? The answer is in the Performance Grading Index (PGI) Study by the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development – a resounding no. Installation of physical facilities is not enough till schools are able to equip youth with skills needed to join the economic mainstream.
The backdrop for the event
Mr. N. Ram speaking at the Memorial meeting organised by the Madras Book Club.
Chief, did you know you are spoken of in different ways? ‘Mr. Muthiah’, of course, heads the list – but you are also ‘Uncle Muthu’, ‘Muthu’ and ‘The Chief’.
Were you aware that you meant so much to so many? You are being remembered in as many ways as there are people who have known you.
For as long as I can remember, my grandfather called me Little Man. Muthu Aiyah took pride in all of my accomplishments, but particularly in chess. Every time I performed well in a tournament, he would always send me an email congratulating me and encouraging me to push for even higher titles. He was one of the most excited people when I became an International Master and the most disappointed when I decided that I wasn’t going to chase the Grandmaster title.
Aiyah always encouraged me to pursue the things I was passionate about and as my interests shifted to writing, I connected with him even more. Over the nineteen years of my life, he taught me many things, but his passion for writing and telling stories always resonated with me more than anything else. Through observing Aiyah writing, I gained my initial interest in journalism. As his oldest grandchild, I like to think that I have inherited a portion of his talent with the written word.