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Vol XXXI No. 22, March 1-15, 2022

Our Readers Write

More on Natyarangam

We thank Shri K. Rajendran, who has written a letter about my article on Natyarangam (MM, December 1st, 2021). I wish to inform him that the dancers chosen to present at our thematic festivals are advised to use ancient and modern poetry from any Indian language relevant to their themes.

Dancers have used poetry from all the south Indian languages and Hindi, Gujarathi, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese and other languages, found suitable for their subject. Bhupen Hazarika’s song on the river Brahmaputra, Tagore’s song from his drama Natir Puja and many such have been used. Haiku was presented for the first time in Bharatanatyam with Basho’s Haiku on the frog, to represent the zen aspect of Buddhism.

Sujatha Vijayaraghavan

Agenda for the New Mayor

The local body elections have been over and by 1st week of March 2022, a clear picture will emerge as to the composition of the Corporators. One among them will take charge as the Worshipful Mayor.

As the Mayor of Greater Chennai Corporation [GCC], besides streamlining the various activities of the civic body, he/she will have the unenviable task of steering clear the financials. As at present, GCC’s mainstay of revenue is property tax.

GCC’s valiant attempt at revising the property tax during the year 2018-19, after a decade or so, came to naught following outcry from the general public as the revision was steep. The government then intervened and asked the GCC to withhold the revision. A committee was formed to go into the issue and come out with a solution after due discussions with all the stakeholders. The committee is yet to submit its report.

It may be pointed out that in its manifesto, the DMK had stated very clearly that it will not revise the tax until the Covid is fully subsided. It is in this background, one should look at the prospects of revising the property tax.

While it will be an easy task to revise the tax, if at all such a decision becomes inevitable, does such a bold step will help boost the GCC’s revenue? One does not think so. Merely revising the property tax, without making any efforts to collect the arrears which are in crores, will only further add to the accumulation of arrears, if the revised amount does not get collected in time.

Therefore, the Mayor’s first and foremost task should be to knock at the doors of those who are in arrears for years. This will not be as an insurmountable task, if only there is a will and sustained efforts are made. Aside from fixing target to tax collectors, the officials of the entire Revenue Department should be activated towards the collection of arrears. The Mayor can definitely seek the help of the councillors as they will be the rallying point for the general public. To sum up, the watchword of the new Mayor should be “arrears first – revision next” in so far as the property tax scenario is concerned.

V.S. Jayaraman
31, Motilal Street
Chennai 600 017

Salim Durrani’s residence

This has reference to the article by Partab Ramchand on the Test Series against England that appeared in MM, January 1st, 2022.

In Aminjikarai, after the toll gate, on the Poonamallee High Road, there was a palatial bungalow located next to the Corporation Primary School (now a Higher Secondary School for Girls). I am now 78 and have lived on the Poonamallee High Road till 1987.

I vaguely remember that Salim Durrani was a resident of the above mentioned bungalow during early 1960s. I had seen him with his homely wife clad in elegant saree.

I am curious to know whether my remembrance is right.

M. Dhanasekaran
No. 555, 9th Street, ‘C’ Sector
Anna Nagar Western Extn
Chennai 600 101

Sowcar Janaki and Padma Shri honours

Please let me know what is the Delhi Government Criteria when selecting an awardee for Padma Shri and other “honours”.

Madan Sowcar Janakis name has been announced in the Padma Shri list two or three days ago. She has worked in 500 films, not always as goody good heroine. She took on roles that required research. She has done 3000 plays. No retakes on stage. No dubbing, no doubles if any action scenes required.

Apart from this, she has been very active on radio and television.

Years ago she planned to retire and moved to Whitefield, Bangalore with sister Krisha Kumari and two other ladies

But it was not to be. South Indian directors, producers, actors et al. Refused to accept her decision and finally she returned to acting, travelling between Chennai and Hyderabad.

At age 90, she is still acting, with clear memory

She has been felicitated and feted with every South Indian honour but how many years have elapsed before her lifelong contribution had been acknowledged by Delhi? Why?

In her position, I would politely but without hesitation refused this Padma Shri but Madam Janaki is incapable of ungracious behaviour whether it is a studio hand or the Capitals Big Wigs.

I salute her. She is above Awards. She has the love and admiration of her audiences.

Rochelle Shah

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