July 22, 2006

Madras Day: joint ventures!

If you still have not explored Fort St. George, keep your Sundays in mid-August free to make it to this walk.

We cannot promise you ghosts of the East India Company or fairy tales of the memsahibs.

But you can be assured of a three-hour long walk which will enlighten you on the birth of this city of ours.

The group which is acting as the catalyst for the annual Madras Day celebration is doing a hundred and one things now. And the response is exciting us all.

Visiting the people at the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Indian Army station on the fort campus, we ran into a less-known but vital operation of the Army. The Army Postal Services. Its station officer, Major Kumaraswamy enthusiastically showed us all the postal covers and cancellations which had been brought out to mark the milestones of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

We were looking for landmarks related to our city. Yes, the Madras Engineering Group was featured, but the MEG is a Bangalore-based organisation. Kumaraswamy promised to unearth some rare specimens that would add to the exhibition of coins, postal materials, books and maps which some city-based collectors will host at the Clive House in this campus.

Getting the Madras Day events going is hard work but it is heartening to note how easy it is to network with groups and communities and persuade them to do something unique to celebrate the city.

Last year, the Mad Bulls ( short for Madras Bulls), the Royal Enfield bike riders group in this city, organised one of the best shows of this celebration - they drove across the city, exploring a dozen landmarks on the way. This time, co-ordinator Senthil Kumar says the group wants to make it bigger - perhaps drive across north Madras and explore the Pulicat Lake area.

It just needs a few ideas and dollops of persuasion for people to get going.

Unwind Centre which promotes clean music among youth wants to expand its plans. It wanted to dedicate its weekly concert to the city during the celebrations ( from August 20 to 27). Now, its promoters say they would like to bring the show to an open yard or a street corner, invite residents in Adyar to enjoy its music and start the day with a civic campaign which involves the local schools, the youth and the staff of Onyx, the private company which clears garbage in some parts of the city.

This is the spirit of the celebrations.

People do their own thing at a given time. And celebrate the city on August 22.

So if you still haven’t heard of Madras Day, log on to the web site - www.themadrasday.in and scan it for ideas and inspiration.

Then, get your friends and colleagues together and work on an idea that is focussed on our city.

If you are very creative, there is a contest to develop a design for a Chennai T-shirt.

Go for it.

1 comment:

Ramakrishna Math said...

Celebrating Madras Day on August 22 is a good attempt to trace the historicity of this metropolitan city. Among the listed ventures to mark the event, if the following opinions are also considered, the write will be grateful:

Our Chennai city is having its own historicity in the field of religion, politics, economics, culture, trade and commerce.

In the field of religion, Chennai city has the privilege of accommodating one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.Not only that, in Hindu religion also many God-men (Alwars, Nayanmars) have taken birth in Chennai and had sanctified this portion of land of the globe.

In the field of politics, many significant events in the Muhal empire and as well British Raj can be traced out.

In the field of economics, the growth of Chennai city in terms of per capita income of people over the period of one or two centuries can be evaluated and shown as comparative analysis with that of other metropolitan cities of India.

In the field of trade and commerce, the contribution of Chennai city in comparision with other cities also be analysed.

In the field of culture, the December-January months musical showers that inundates the Chennai city should be highlighted which is unique of its own.

Above all, the contribution of Ramakrishna Movement in the field of education, health, disaster management in the past of 110 years in Chennai city should made known to the general public as awareness to make use of the available opportunities in this golden city of Chennai.

Thank you,

Swami Nishthatmananda
Sri Ramakrishna Math
Mylapore, Chennai 4
Phone 24621110