Independence Day and Madras: Some essential readings
News of the Week (Aug-7-15) | Curtains down on Chess Olympiad and more...
Welcome back to The Chennai Emailer — a local journalism project that brings out original human-interest features & news compilation from Chennai. It’s run by me—Mohammed Rayaan😊
This newsletter is my passion project to highlight the best local journalism in Chennai after participating in this year's Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism (City University of New York).
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I didn’t bring out editions this Saturday (August 13 ) and Sunday (August 14). Therefore, here is a combined edition with the theme of Independence Day.
As India celebrates its 75th Independence Day, here is a curation of some interesting reads about what happened to Madras when our nation had her “tryst with destiny”. Madras Musings, a popular fortnightly newsmagazine that covers Chennai's history and culture has two interesting features:
Madras’ tryst with destiny by NS Parthasarathy explains how the city celebrated once the news broke out that India was an independent republic.
Parthasarathy writes: "The day Independence was declared – August 15, 1947 – All India Radio at 4.30 a.m. broadcast D.K. Pattammal singing Aaduvomey Pallu Paaduvomey, Ananda Sudhandhiram Adaidhuvittomenru. We had tears of joy, not knowing why freedom should have moved us children so much. Outside, the city was a mass of moving people expressing their joy in public".
When the flag was unfurled in 1947 by Karthik Bhatt narrates how the city's various departments such as the Corporation worked to celebrate the historic occasion.
Karthik writes: "The flag at the seat of the government, Fort St George was unfurled early in the morning on August 15. People thronged the seafront throughout the day to witness the sight of the tri-colour flying on the historic flag mast. The city, was in a way responsible for the beginning of the empire in the country and this marked the culmination of the long journey".
When Madras marked Independence: This beautiful piece by Nitya Menon for The Hindu captures the mood of our city's residents.
Nitya writes: "People flooded the streets across the city, participating enthusiastically in elaborate processions heralding a new era. Long parades bearing photos of Gandhi, Nehru and Bose, and accompanied by chariots, triumphantly powered through alleys in People’s Park, George Town and High Court Beach, where a public meeting was observed."
1947: Total recall by KV Navya and Vaishali Vijaykumar.
The authors write: "The Indian flag was hoisted high, uniform-clad local heroes paraded the streets with pride, a million revellers danced to the sweet sound of independence — three octogenarians recall the mood and pulse".
1947: A Madras story by Venkatesh Ramakrishnan. Venkatesh, a novelist and historian, in this article for The Hindu ponders the question: "What was it like to live in this city the year India celebrated its much-awaited independence?"
♟️Curtains down on the 44th Chess Olympiad
In just four months, the international chess tournament was held at the Four Points by Sheraton Mamallapuram Resort and Convention Centre near Chennai and ended on August 10.
India won two bronze medals while Uzbekistan and Ukraine Women took top honours. Following an extravagant closing ceremony, Chief Minister MK Stalin said that "mini-stadiums will come up in all constituencies of the State". You can watch the closing ceremony below.
Mahabalipuram is still in the limelight as the TTDC Ocean View in the shore town hosted the first Tamil Nadu International Kite Festival (TNIKF) on Saturday. Thai, US, and Indian teams will fly over 100 kites, including those shaped like pandas, tigers, dolphins, and Ganesha during the festival.
👥Community and🌳 environment
There has been an upgrade to the children's section at the Full-Time Branch Library in Saligramam. An initiative to encourage people to donate their good reads has been launched by Dulkal, a Chennai-based non-profit that distributes books to rural children.
Do read this: Advantage Albizia Saman from Madras. “A series of articles commemorating Madras Day examines how a species of the exotic tree became part of our culture”.
In view of southwest monsoon, the Health Department has taken some preparedness measures. Check out this report on “green casualties in the battle against flooding”. In a bit to check unauthorised parking, residents at Arundale Beach Road in Kalakshetra Colony “raise stands of trees”.
A big no!: Several fishermen's associations are calling for the proposed pen-shaped memorial in the sea near the Marina to be removed because it will impede water and sand flow and close the bar mouth. A week-long awareness campaign will be observed by government and aided schools across Tamil Nadu to promote health, hygiene, self-confidence, and knowledge about various beneficial schemes.
🚎Transport and🏗️ civic updates
At least 20 sponge parks will be constructed in various parts of the city by the Greater Chennai Corporation, which is an artificial wetland system. The GGC will also re-lay 1,737 damaged roads soon and has also started “assessing dilapidated buildings ahead of monsoon”. GCC is aiming at doubling the “on-street parking space”. The city is all set to get piped natural gas connections.
Meanwhile, the Fisheries Department has invited tenders for management of the restaurant inside Chetpet Eco Park.
As for the city’s transport sector, here are some quick updates: The Chennai airport international terminal has opened more check-in counters and frisking zones. Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority is also set to make Madhavaram bus terminus a net zero emission zone while minibuses will soon ply from five more Chennai Metro Rail stations. Tambaram Corporation has decided to “regularise operation of sewage collection lorries”.
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