Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXVII No. 8, August 1-15, 2017

Our Readers Write

Another reason

This has reference to the article that appeared on Chennai expanding its area, (MM, July 16th). This should also be viewed in the light of the ongoing water crisis.

The last time the CMA expanded its territory was chiefly to ensure that it had access to groundwater in the surrounding areas. The city was reeling under a drought then, as it is doing now and those whose water was being tapped were protesting, as they are now. Expanding the CMA will mean water can be drawn at will from villages within its jurisdiction. In effect, it is all being done to tide over something that better management and planning could have resolved otherwise. Just think, we had floods two years ago!

Sriram V.

Unsafe pavements

Walkers and pedestrians in Kotturpuram are faced with several problems. It is probably the same all over Chennai. The pavement slabs are uneven, and with deep holes, coconut vendors, tea shops, destitutes snoozing, liquor bottles and other such obstacles on some of them, walking on the pavement is becoming a high risk adventure, rather than a healthy pleasure.

During traffic jams or peak hours on Gandhi Mandapam Road, some crazy motorbike riders overtake physically on the slabs of the pedestrian walk-way. Due to this, and other reasons, a civilian, non-motor vehicle owner like me is forced to walk on the main Gandhi Mandapam Road itself. This is hazardous, with vehicles whizzing by.

Good, clean and safe pedestrian walks are the responsibility of the Corporation of Chennai. They can do much, much better than this for a basic aspect of civilian life.

K. Karunanidhi

Accepting socialism

Nehru made a public call to JP and other Socialists to join his government so that he could usher in Socialism. At that time, Acharya Narendra Dev was convalescing in Perundurai Sanatorium. Governor Sri Prakasa asked me to render whatever help Dev wanted. I used to go in the evening, read the letters received and take dictation. On reading Nehru’s call, Dev wrote a letter to Nehru stating that socialistic policies could not be implemented unless the Congress Party accepted Socialism as its policy. A few Socialists joining the Government would not be helpful. Avadi Congress (MM, June 16th), which was held later, accepted a socialistic pattern of society as its policy. I was privileged to take down the dictation on this subject.

S.S. Rajagopalan
30, Kamarajar Street
Chennai 600093

Award to Dr. M.S.

I read with great awe that Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, at the ripe old age of 92+, is doing excellent work through the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. He has invested all his earnings in a venture which continues to do great work for the improvement of our agricultural economy and in giving training to farmers in various fields.
Unfortunately he has not got due recognition from the Governmental authorities and an apt recognition of his work deserves a Bharat Ratna (long overdue).

Prof. Dr. P.K. Rajagopalan
2E, Lakshmi Apts
I Seaward Road
Valmiki Nagar
Chennai 600041

First tombstone

In the Quiz column (MM, July 1st), it is stated that the epitaph on the tombstone of Elizabeth Baker in St. Mary’s churchyard in Fort St. George is the oldest (1652) British inscription (although in Portuguese) in India. But it is not so. The actual credit should go to that of John Mildenhall, who was buried in Agra.

Mildenhall, an English merchant, left London in 1599 and after a short sojourn in Persia made his debut at the Mughal court in 1603 (to be succeeded by William Hawkins, 1609 and Thomas Roe, 1616). In 1614, Mildenhall decamped with goods assigned for the Levant. Two of his countrymen hotly pursued him between Agra and Lahore. Tragically, Mildenhall took by mistake poisoned food originally intended for his pursuers and died. Another friend of his, Thomas Kerridge, used his influence with the Roman Catholics and got Mildenhall buried at the Catholic cemetery in Agra. The inscription in Agra (1614) is probably the oldest one for an Englishman in India.

Rev. Philip K. Mulley
Anaihatti Road, Kotagiri
The Nilgiris, 643217

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