Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXX No. 20, February 16-28, 2021
On the one hand it is good news. The Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) is looking at creating a museum at the Kilpauk Water Works. The Police Commissioner’s Office in the city is setting up a museum at its old office in Egmore. The Corporation is debating the possibility of a city museum in Victoria Public Hall. Three great institutions of the city almost simultaneously working on museums for themselves! What more could we ask for? The question is how sustainable will these be in the long run given that they will almost certainly be run by the Government?
Let us face it. These intentions are noble. But going by past record, will the fate of these proposed museums be any different to others such as the Government Museum Egmore or the Fort Museum? Both have had the same artefacts on display for years and if you have been there often enough you can even identify the locations blindfolded. True, there have been improvements in the methods of display and lighting but it cannot be denied that when compared to what is happening internationally and even in cities such Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, our museums are way behind. There is a deadening monotony about them that do not encourage repeat visits.
The world over, museums have recognised that the only way to survive is by getting repeat footfalls and tapping tourists. Yes, some such as the Louvre may get by with one or two prize exhibits but even they do not rely on just this. Museums are today into rotating what is on display, they put up special shows, curate events and have overall become lively places where people congregate. Unfortunately for us, our museums do not encourage such creative activities.
It was to be expected of course – with a high stakes election to the State Assembly just around the corner, Tamil Nadu and Chennai were bound to receive special attention in the Union Budget. Not that we are complaining. Following the Finance Minister’s presentation of the 2021-22 Union Budget, Madras Musings spoke to Srivats Ram (MD, Wheels India and President, Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry) on the budget’s biggest takeaways for our state and city.
The Man from Madras Musings has in characteristic fashion expressed his views on the latest memorial to go up on the Marina (see Short N Snappy). These are days when those in office do not take kindly to criticism of any kind but we are constrained to point out that there is really no harmony among the various memorials that now stand on the beach. For that matter, there is no harmony even within the same memorial.
A report from Vivekabodhini.
The 94th annual concerts of the Music Academy, Madras are over. The season, such as it was, met with a fabulous response from audiences across the world, and the numbers though modest when compared to the following for more popular art forms, were greatly encouraging.