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Friday, September 1, 2017

Mayors ~ acting, fearsome and one day Mayor !!!

The Shankar directed great hit – Arjun starrer ‘Mudhalvan’ ~ was in fact ‘Oru naal Mudhalvan’ (Chief Minister for One day)….it was indeed an enjoyable movie by most counts with inspirational dialogues of our beloved Sujatha.

The charter of George I in Sept 1726 provided for the development of the town anciently called Chinapatnam and Fort St. George.  A Body Corporate was accordingly authorised to consist of a Mayor and nine Aldermen, of whom Mayor and not less than 7 Aldermen were to be natural born  subjects of British.  

The Mayor and Aldermen were to be a Court of record authorised to try all civil suits.   Elihu Yale  was the Governor of the East India Company settlement in Fort St. George, at Madras  under whose regime,  Corporation for the city and Mayor to head the same were instituted. The idea of a Municipal Government of Madras was reportedly begotten from the Dutch Government in the East Indies.

Earlier in  1688, the Madras Corporation was inaugurated with all due solemnity, the Mayor and others taking their respective oaths.  Nathaniel Higginson (1652 –1708) was an English politician and a scion of the Higginson family of Salem, Massachusetts served as the first Mayor of Madras, and later as the President of the colony from 1692 to 1698. Mr. Higginson served only six months as Mayor and resigned.

There have been some very active mayors ~ Artūras Zuokas was the Chairman of the political party Lithuanian Freedom Union and was the Mayor of Vilnius from 2000 to 2007 and again from 2011 to 2015. Zukoas earlier worked as  independent reporter for Independent Television News as a war reporter in Iraq, where he taped the bombing of the Baghdad TV Tower during the First Gulf War. In August 1991, he brought  captured footage from the site of the Medininkai Massacre to the official meeting between the president of the United States George Bush and Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow, which caused concern from the American side about the use of force against freedom-seeking nations.

During his tenure he was daring and once at Lithuania's capital, Vilnius, he was  filmed using an armoured vehicle to crush a car parked illegally in a cycle lane. "That's what will happen if you park your car illegally," Mayor Arturas Zuokas, an avid cyclist, was to say in  a clip posted on the Vilnius City website. In the video, Mr Zuokas ticks off the car's owner, sweeps up the broken glass from the wreckage and then hops on a bicycle and rides off - a scenario many cyclists would relish.

This certainly is different and I could not understand sense behind.  As Brynneth Pawltro, the latest mayor of the small Kentucky town of Rabbit Hash, settles into office, town residents are praising her as outgoing and having a great smile. She also happens to be a dog.
rep photo from

“There’s always inappropriate licking going on,” Bobbi Kayser, secretary of the town’s historical society, told of how meetings with the new mayor tend to go. Brynneth, or Brynn for short, is a 3-year-old rescue pit bull. She defeated several contenders, including Stella the cat and a donkey named Higgins, to win the mayoral election. According to People magazine, Brynn amassed more than 3,300 votes, winning the election by a “landslide.” Brynneth is actually the fourth dog to be elected mayor of the town, which is so small it doesn’t even need a real mayor. The elections started in the late 1990s as a fundraiser, Bamforth told the station. Each voter is charged a dollar and allowed to vote as often as they would like.

The money from the election normally goes toward town improvements — but this year it helped repair the General Store that was severely damaged by a fire. On the campaign trail, Bamforth said that Brynneth would help to sniff out the community’s problems.

Back home,  there was this sensational hero – Dashrath Manjhi in the hills of Bihar – the man who broke the hill with iron will of a mountain, making his native village accessible. A straight lift from a popular movie – Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked this septuagenarian from Gaya to occupy his chair for a little over five minutes. Nitish said that was one way of acknowledging the greatness of the great deed. Manjhi died in chill penury is another sad story….  

Actors hog limelight – in  1962, invited by the then-US President, John F. Kennedy, Sivaji Ganesan visited US.  During his visit there, he was honoured by being made the honorary mayor of Niagara Falls, New York for one day and was presented the key to the city. The only other Indian who has had this honour before Ganesan was Jawaharlal Nehru.

Before concluding, there was this tragic incident of one day Mayor – Gisela Mota, 33,  (pictured at the start)   mayor of the Mexican city of Temixco was killed in a terror attack a day after she took charge and thus was Mayor for a day only.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th June 2017

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