Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXX No. 10, September 16-30, 2020
The question that is uppermost in the minds of most residents of the city is whether there is any lockdown at all in place. Yes, those with school and college-going children do know that educational institutions are still out of bounds for physical attendance. The entertainment industry is still under lockdown, at least that part of it that involves screening or performing to a live audience. But that is about it. For the rest, it is life as usual, as it was before March 2020. With one difference – the threat of Covid is forever hanging overhead, rather like the proverbial sword of Damocles.
There are many who feel that nothing much was achieved by the lockdown anyway. There are others who wonder as to why we went into a lockdown when numbers were low and why we are opening up now, when the figures for infected cases remains at a steady high. There are however no answers. The lockdown was necessary for the Government and those in the health sector to prepare for a sharp rise in statistics. We are told that this has been achieved.
This is not believed by several but at this stage, it is better to go with an element of trust. There is nothing achieved by negative thinking and being suspicious.
Was the hand of the Government, Central and State, forced into opening up? Most certainly – by the demands of the economy. As a city we operate on a dynamic model – we can function only if everything works. Metropolises such as ours were not designed for shutdowns. There are many who depend on a daily wage and they have already been pushed to desperation and more. Sadly, these are also the very same people who are most likely to contract this dreaded disease. Preaching social or physical distancing to them is a cruel joke. They do not live and work in environments where such a luxury is possible.
At the other end of the spectrum, the State too needs its daily wages, by way of taxation revenue. It has its running costs that have to be met. And for this it needs the city to function.
With the lockdown gradually lifting in Chennai, it remains to be seen how the city will handle free public movement even as it continues to battle the pandemic. A layman’s analysis of data published by the Tamil Nadu government seems to give hope.
With the passing away last week of Ram J. Shahaney, Chairman Emeritus, Ashok Leyland (AL), an era comes to an end. An era of giants of automobile industry who were not bogged down by the restrictions placed on them by a Socialist government. The bureaucrats seemed to have had no clue about the demands of an industrialising nation. Shahaney had the audacity to think big even in those difficult times. He knew that AL could not be constrained and had to grow.
M.S. Subbulakshmi was born on September 16, 1916. We publish this article as a tribute to a great artiste.
Standing on the balcony of his house, a four year old was humming the tuneful notes of Kaatriniley Varum Geetam, the latest MS hit from the film Meera, blissfully unaware that his solo performance was being keenly watched from behind by his musically savvy grandmother, mother and a couple of aunts. The applause that followed however brought the impromptu performance to a bashful and abrupt end.
We thank reader and contributor Karthik Bhatt for locating this gem by N.S. Ramaswami that appeared in a 1956 issue of the magazine Swarajya. Is there still a rivalry between Mylapore & Thiruvallikeni?