Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXXII No. 24, April 1-15, 2023
The Temple of the Arts, the historic school founded by the legendary Rukmini Devi, and for many years an institution of national importance, finds itself in the news now for the wrong reasons. This is not the first time this has happened – Kalakshetra has earlier been in the limelight over problems of succession, financial misdemeanours and rampant infighting among staff and interference from seniors who simply refused to fade away. All that was some years ago and it appeared that the institution was getting on with what it was mandated to do. But the latest is of a much more serious nature for it throws open questions not of an administrative nature but good human values. A member of the staff has been accused of predatory behaviour and it would seem that the institution has not chosen to deal with it to the satisfaction of the affected parties. The question also throws open a larger issue that faces the world of arts in India. What scope of redress do victims have?
It was in 2018 that the #MeToo movement surfaced in South Indian performing arts, and by that we mean cinema, theatre, music and dance. Social media became the platform through which victims expressed their distress. Several alleged perpetrators were named, tarred, feathered on social media. One institution, namely the Music Academy, barred seven artistes from its list of performers. Other bodies
While presenting the State budget, finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan made a short announcement regarding the Magalir Urimai Thogai, a new cash assistance scheme under which female heads of eligible households will receive Rs. 1,000 every month from the State government. The program is a DMK poll promise and the second major welfare scheme for women
The Kapaliswarar Temple festival at Mylapore is underway and by the time you get this issue of MM, will probably be over. But never mind if you missed it, for there will be one the next year, and for years to come. The ten-day celebration is remarkable for its continuity of tradition. The first reference to it is in Sambandar’s 7th century Poompavai Pathigam.
Last fortnight’s article on the Round Tana, its name, what happened to it and its eventual metamorphosis into a subway led to many emails from those who remembered many aspects of the subway. Lots more comments came on a YouTube channel that I record episodes on Chennai history for. That led me to some further research and I hit a goldmine of sorts – archival issues of a magazine named Civic Affairs dating to the 1960s. From a reading of some issues,
You: (calling up Long-Suffering-Offspring): Hullo, nice lunch place you suggested for me and your aunts today.
L.S.O (self-defense mode snapped on): Now what?
You: Such a problem we all had. Didn’t know how to order. Those patchy-messy, Rorschach-type thingies.
You: KO, more like. Aunt Drama-Queen had a mini melt-down,