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Vol. XXXII No. 20, February 1-15, 2023

Archives: Vol. XXXII No. 20, February 1-15, 2023


Chennai’s losing battle against posters

-- by The Editor

A recent news item has it that the Chennai Corporation has decided to take steps to counter the poster menace, one that our city has been fighting probably from the time when print became a possibility. The latest in the various rather ineffective measures our city fathers (and mothers) have decided upon is to levy a fine of Rs. 200 on those responsible, if the poster is on a wall, and Rs. 500 in case it is on a signboard, provided that a police complaint is made. It must have been quite clear to those who approved this measure that it is toothless even at inception.

Just consider the facts. Firstly, the biggest offenders as far as this nuisance is concerned are the political parties themselves. In fact, all our elected councillors fought and won using posters that they liberally had pasted on the walls of buildings, both public and private. Who in their right senses is going to go about registering a police complaint against a local politician, whose favour will probably be needed in future and who in all likelihood will make life difficult for those who rub him/her the wrong way? Secondly, it is very evident as you go around the city that the bigger the politician the more the number of posters on the personality. In which case it is up to these senior politicians to instil discipline into their followers so that they desist from putting up posters at all available places extolling the virtues of the former, both real and imaginary. On the contrary what is prevalent is that the areas surrounding VIP politician residences are the worst affected by posters. Of course, the leader’s house walls remain clear of such things, and it is the neighbours who pay the price. So, for a start, why does the Chief Minister, his family members and members of his cabinet not resolve to put a stop to posters extolling them? It is far easier to simply appeal to the public ‘to co-operate in controlling this menace’ is it not?


A Welcome Initiative: Turtle Conservation and Rehabilitation Centre to come up at Guindy

-- by A Special Correspondent

Tamil Nadu is blessed with a lovely, long coastline that is frequented by five species of marine turtles – Green, Leatherback, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Hawkbill turtles. Of these, the critically endangered Olive Ridley nests along the Coromandel Coast, which forms a part of the migratory corridor en route to the mass nesting beaches in Odisha. Sadly, many of them are killed each year during nesting season from encounters with fishing boats. Their traditional nesting habitats in the State have undergone considerable deterioration as well, with marine pollution and climate change posing serious threats to their existence. Noting that turtles “play an extremely important role in maintaining the marine bio-diversity, as they act as the ecosystem engineers,” an order was issued by


Heritage Watch: Better days for Brodie’s Castle?

A recent report has it that the State Government has sanctioned Rs. 2 crores for the restoration of historic Brodie Castle, located on the banks of the Adyar. Now known as Thenral and the home of the Arasu Isai Kalloori, once the Central College of Karnatic Music, it has been crying out for such an exercise and the Government is to be commended for taking this up.


Surf Turf turns ten

-- by Varsha V

Madras Musings chatted with founder Arun Vasu, who told us the story of Chennai’s first surfing school Surf Turf, the remarkable milestones it has reached and its aspirations for the future.

“It would have been great to have you come down and meet the team – and, of course, take a surfing lesson!” said Arun Vasu ruefully as I explained why we were chatting over the phone rather than at the beach. I felt the pinch of remorse


Public Hospitals in Madras and the people associated with it – II

-- by Anantanarayanan Raman,

(Continued from last fortnight)

The Lunatic Asylum

Support for founding the Madras Lunatic Asylum (MLA) (the Government Mental Hospital until 1978; Institute of Mental Health, presently) in Kilpauk was signed by the Government of Madras in January 1867. A new building for the MLA was constructed in a 66.5-acre Locock’s Garden, Kilpauk, a little outside

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