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Vol. XXXII No. 19, January 16-31, 2023
Chennai Sangamam is back, after a gap of 11 years. By the time this issue of MM is in your hands, the event will have concluded and here is to its success. May it prosper and may the residents of Chennai once again have an opportunity to soak in all aspects of culture that the festival has on offer. The event is scheduled to be held across 16 locations of the city, which include stadiums, sports grounds, parks, beaches and fair venues. Over 600 folk artistes are expected to participate. In short, Chennai Sangamam is back, and how!
Which takes us back to the earlier editions – when for almost five years Sangamam was a fixture in the city’s social calendar for January. It had all the ingredients of a success – mass participation, open air venues, free events, and food festivals. It encouraged the social media generation to celebrate the wide spaces that the city had rather than remain cooped up in front of electronic means of entertainment. There was just one drawback in all of it – the event got too closely identified with one political party, namely the DMK. The promoter was Ms. Kanimozhi, daughter of the patriarch himself and it was interpreted as a DMK show. Which is why when the opposition swept to power, the ADMK-led Government promptly mothballed all plans for observing the Sangamam. Thereafter the event remained in cold storage, emerging only when the DMK was elected.
That South Indian cities tend to fare better in social indices than their Northern counterparts is a matter of general acceptance. This fact has been borne out yet again by a recent study of 111 cities conducted by consulting firm Avtar on the inclusivity of women in the workforce.
December 2022 marks the beginning of the golden jubilee of women in Tamil Nadu Police. It was in that month, in 1973 that an all women team comprising one Sub Inspector, one Head Constable and 20 Police Constables was recruited for Madras City. The women were trained for one year and on November 1, 1974, formally inducted into the police at a parade held at the Rajarathinam Stadium, Egmore.
With the buzz of Pongal in town, Chennai has been taken by storm once again by the 46th Annual Chennai Book Fair. Held at the YMCA grounds, the Book Fair has more than 400 stalls. While the fair serves as a place of zeal and fervour for bibliophiles, it has also become a medium to represent minority communities and help disadvantaged groups.
The first proposal to recruit women in the Madras Police was made as early as in 1919. That was when the city police were trying their best to eradicate prostitution. F. Armitage, then Commissioner of Police Madras was all for tightening laws and the Government of India went to the extent of suggesting that the Government of Madras hires women police personnel to tackle the issue. P.C. Moore,