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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

the Glory of Triplicane - need for retaining the Constituency - 'NO' to Merger....

It is with deep sense of anguish  the residents of Triplicane received the news of realignment of Assembly constituencies – a la – removal of Triplicane constituency itself.  History repeats itself.  It is exactly 100 years since Bengal was partitioned in the guise of administrative reforms.  Perhaps now it is Triplicane at the altar.  We understand that  a move is contemplated towards demarcation of constituencies and doing away with Triplicane constituency by merger with other constituencies.   To us this is selective culling, though officially it might go down as “delimiting and redrawing the boundaries”

The name “Triplicane”  pronounced Tiruvallikeni by natural laws of linguistics, was crudely rolled and twisted out of shape by the English tongue as Triplicane.  It is a place where religion, nationalistic fervour, patriotism, sports, education and the individual dignity have interspersed for the benefit of the State and the larger interests of the Nation.

A peep in to the past – history is imperative to understand the pristine glory of this puranic place.  Hence few lines on the capital of State – Chennai & the history of Triplicane, the existence of which far exceeds the Chennai and present conglomeration.  Chennai is situated on the north-east end of Tamil Nadu on the coast of Bay of Bengal. It lies between 12* 9' and 13* 9' of the northern latitude and 80* 12' and  80*  19'  of the southern longitude on a `sandy  shelving  breaker  swept beach'. It stretches nearly 25.60 kms. along the Bay coast from Thiruvanmiyur in  the south to Thiruvottiyur in the north and runs inland in a  rugged  semi-circular  fashion. It is bounded on the east by the Bay of  Bengal and  on  the remaining three sides by Chengalpattu and Thiruvallur Districts.  The city  of Chennai came into being due to a strategic necessity and historical accident. It in a way symbolises the rise of British power in South India by setting up and  consolidation of the East India Company in the seventeenth  century with its headquarters at Fort St. George in Chennai as a trading centre. Within 350 years, a  few scattered villages (important being Mylapore,  Triplicane  and Chennai  Patnam)  have  developed  into a  modern  metropolitan  city  without shedding  its traditional customs, religious outlook and other traditions.  It can  be  proudly  remarked that the greatness of  ancient  Chennai  is  mostly religious  due to the preservation of the old  famous Saivaite and  Vaishnavite shrines  signifying  the  antiquity of the  place.  The growth of  the  city  is  significant  and closely linked with the  development of  British  Institutions and administration. In short, Chennai  city was the chief centre from which the  British  rule expanded in the sub-continent and it remains a standing monument  of British contribution to  India. Chennai  city  has acted as an important centre of culture and   education  in South  India  and has been the cradle of many movements  which have  played  an  important  role  in  the  history of the  sub-continent.  

The  present  day territorial limits of the city existed in the shape of scattered villages  for centuries  before  the advent of the British. In the process of  growth,  many villages got agglomerated into a single unit. The shape and extent of the city which existed during 1939-40 was reached even during the opening years of 19th century. The period in between 1803 to 1827 represents consolidation and development of institutions.  

'Kairavini Pushkarini' - the thirukulam of Sri Parthasarathi Swami Temple - a pond of lily flowers ~ which gave the place the name 'Thiruvallikkeni' .. the pond of lily.

This lengthy description about the emergence of Chennai is necessary to understand correctly the pre eminence of Triplicane.  To understand the emergence & existence of place,  the aesthetically looking Sri Parthasarathiswami Temple  stands a testimony.  Again, the temple  has a hoary past. Some even go the extent of claiming that it has existed for more than 5000 years now. Going by the stone inscriptions found in the temple and by the fact that it is sung by Pey Azhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar and Tirumangai Azhwar, it can safely be concluded that this temple has existed for a minimum of more than 1200 years now.  There is inscription of Pallava King - Danti Varman dating (779-830); in effect Triplicane also has existed for more than 1200 years by now, if not more.

Triplicane houses some best historic educational institutions driving home the point of scholastic excellence for decades.  There is Presidency College (probably one of the first colleges in the province) There is – Hindu High School, Kellet High School, NK Thirumalachariar school for Boys & Girls, Lady Willington School to name a few.

Triplicane has made indelible impression in the annals of history of Tamilnadu.  It is remember for :
1)      the very famous Sri Parthaswami Temple which is also a major tourist attraction
2)      leading educational institutions as detailed above
3)      Vivekanandar Illam on the Marina, Chennai, built 160 years back, has a long and interesting history All have heard about Icehouse but clueless about its existence.  Well it is the same Vivekananda House.  Mr. Frederic Tudor, the 'Ice King', built three houses in Calcutta, Bombay and Chennai to keep ice under proper insulation so that it could be stored for months together After the invention of making ice by 'steam process' in India, his business collapsed.  Swami Vivekananda stayed here from February 6 to 14, 1897, and delivered seven electrifying lectures revealing his plan of campaign to restore India to her pristine glory.  Now this place is Swamiji’s memorial vividly recalling the glorious past.
4)      This was the seat of freedom struggle – Balagandhara Thilakar and very many patriotic leaders had delivered powerful lectures in Triplicane (Thilakar thidal at Marina beach)  and inspired people in the freedom struggle.
5)      Mahakavi Subrahmanya Bharathi lived in Triplicane and from this place freedom struggle germinated.
6)      Another jewel in the crown from Triplicane was Freedom fighter -  Theerar Sathyamoorthi, who represented Chennai and also was a Mayor
7)      The greatest names in the Indian Freedom struggle – Mahatma Gandhi visited and stayed in Triplicane.  The other side of the freedom struggle, the man who initiated military movement (INA) Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose also had visited Chennai
8)      The greatest Mathematician – Srinivasa Ramanujam lived in this great place.
9)      The patriarch of Tamil language – Shri U Ve Swaminatha Iyer taught at Presidency college and lived in Triplicane
10) The list is long and winding with names of famous inspirational people like – V M Kothai Nayaki (freedom fighter and writer), VM Krishnamachariyar (great Vaishnavaite scholar) & so many others…..

Triplicane has been in the fore front of Education and has offered valuable technical education right from early years.   Almost every street once had atleast a Typewriting Institute offering valuable training towards employment.

Triplicane has produced many eminent Lawyers, great Doctors, Teachers and more importantly very responsible citizens.  The adherence to rules and acting with responsibility are the very hall mark of the residents of Triplicane.

This constituency has been in existence ever since the first general elections were held.  Presently, it has a population of ………… and any redrawing is going to adversely affect the very geography and the well being of residents which comprises of multi lingual, multi religious, ethnic communities.  Every one is aware that the populace of  Triplicane comprises of Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jains etc., and amongst them – Brahmins, Fisherman, Vanniyars, Chettiars and et al., all co-existing with peace and harmony

Unfortunately, places of historical importance have been under attack on various fronts  and irreplaceable, priceless assets lost to posterity.  Protecting heritage does not mean protecting monuments alone but also should reflect protecting historical and important places.

We, the residents of Triplicane appeal that this constituency should not be done away with in the name of delimiting and redrawing boundaries.  TRIPLICANE Constituency should remain forever in posterity.

PS : Draft representation made by me  in   May 2010  ~ presented by SYMA and various Organsiations of Triplicane to the Election Commission, protesting against the delimitation exercise merging the ‘Triplicane Constituency’ with Chepauk Constituency……… sadly, this too failed.

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