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Vol. XXXII No. 11, September 16-30, 2022

Archives: Vol. XXXII No. 11, September 16-30, 2022


Before we scoff at Bengaluru… … Let us recall 2015, 2016, 2021, etc.

-- by The Editor

Last fortnight saw unprecedented rains in the city of Bengaluru. There was widespread flooding, and a crisis of severe proportions unfolded, exposing the woefully inadequate and faultily developed infrastructure of the city. There followed the usual barrage of angry posts and articles by social media warriors from the city. And then came posts from other cities, scoffing at the way Bengaluru claimed to be a world-class metro when in reality it was not. Speculations followed on which city of India could replace Bengaluru as the IT capital – what was surprising was the number of posts that felt Chennai was one of the contenders. There could be nothing more delusional than that.

We are all for positive thinking and being ambitious. In fact, when it comes to championing Chennai there can be none more enthusiastic than us. But we do feel that this was rather going over the top. Have these people forgotten what happened in 2015? Let us refresh their memories – in December 2015 came the famed Chennai floods when the city witnessed torrential rains. The administration, especially the Chennai Metrowater and Sewerage Board and the PWD, was clearly caught unawares. The decision to release surplus waters in the Chembarambakkam Reservoir was delayed until too late, some say because the chief minister was incommunicado, and her ministers were unwilling to take a call. The floodwaters entered the city and caused untold misery and havoc, though with surprisingly very little loss of life. Chennai which over the years had been consistently building over its lakes, wetlands, and reservoirs was paying the price, but it could have been avoided under a more vigilant administration.


Marina Loop Road: Civic body begins to clear encroachments, leaves fisherfolk dismayed

-- by A Special Correspondent

Extending from the Marina Lighthouse up until Foreshore Estate, the Marina Loop Road is a concrete stretch that skirts the shores of the Marina beach, encompassing several fishing hamlets such as Nochikuppam, Duming Kuppam and Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, to name a few. Take a drive down Marina Loop Road and you will see a row of fish stalls manned by the fisherfolk; you will spy too, the long boats that dot the beach sands next to the undulating waves of the sea ahead, accompanied by rolled-up fishing nets. The cars, bikes and other vehicles that ply the Marina Loop Road must contend with the animated hustle and bustle of the fish market, with sellers hawking fresh catch


Heritage Watch

Last fortnight social media was awash about the international coffee major Starbucks appointing an Indian CEO. That the man was of coffee-loving Tamil origin was made much out of. There was plenty of good-natured banter about his name – Lakshmi Narasimhan and it was speculated that Starbucks had been inspired by that good old Chennai brand – Narasu’s.


Physician to The Bronze Gods

-- by Vijaysree Venkatraman,

‘Archaeological Chemist, temporary … at cost of Rs. 1,500 for the year 1929–30 … required for work connected with the treatment of bronze images in the Museum,’ the advertisement read. The superintendent of the Madras Government Museum, F.H. Gravely, had written to the government, saying that hundreds of archaeological bronzes in his collection were ‘affected with a “disease” which went on spreading by degrees, destroying all the surface, and converting the interior


Madras Teachers Guild and the South Indian Teachers Union

-- by Karthik Bhatt

While Madras’s distinction as having been home to the first labour union country is well-documented, a fact that is lesser-known is that it was a pioneer for welfare organisations for the teaching community as well. This article is a brief profile of two of the earliest teacher organisations, the Madras Teachers Guild and the South Indian Teachers Union.

The first teachers union in the country was the Madras Association of Women Teachers,

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