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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Triplicane mourns the death of Mr P Nagarajan

Triplicane mourns the death of another good person.  Mr P Nagarajan who had been Ward Councillor multiple times excelled with his sincerity, honesty and simplicity. The man in his mid 80s would walk his way, wish people with a nice smile. During his tenure as a Councillor in Chennai Corporation he did commendable work, helping people in civic issues.  A man who has been associated with SEva Dal and Congress since pre-Independence days was liked by everyone.

He was one of the key persons behind ‘Friends Association’ which actively put up arches on 4 sides leading to Sri Parthasarathi Temple, the Geethacharyan tableau on the walls of Temple, playing of Sreevishnu sahasranamam on the eastern arch and in bringing Thiruvallikkeni Post office in North Tank Sq.

In his passing away this morning Triplicane is missing another jewel known for his simplicity and good nature.   Pray for strength to his family to bear this loss. Deep condolences !!


With regards – S. Sampathkumar


Monday, April 12, 2021

the grand wise oldman bids adieu at 104 !! Triplicane is sad !!!

104 is a primitive semiperfect number and a composite number.  Be that it may – 104 and 12th Apr 2021 have given sadness too ! – for the grand oldman of Thiruvallikkeni is no more ! – renowned scholar and centenarian Mandayam Sri S Parthasarathi Iyengar is no more  He was born in 1917 – passed away peacefully at Hyderabad today at ripe age of 104! Triplicanites would for sure remember that brisk, measured walk of a grand progressive thinking oldman – who was adept in all modern gizmos including laptops.  .. yes, till recently, when we could meet him on the mada veethigal of Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam, he would walk briskly and more importantly walk his way to venues and travel by transport corporation buses and in trains (after hitting century of age !) – young and cheerful in mind !!!

Tracing back, he was a descendant of Pradhan Tirumal Row   (Row is anglicisation of a title similar to ‘Rao Bahadur.’) who was  given the post of Collector of Coimbatore. When the Wodeyar dynasty came back to power many years later, the British, according to a signed agreement, were to restore the post of Pradhan to Tirumal Row, but they reneged on their promise.

We all know and rever the famous Barathiyar illam where the greatest Mahakavi  Subrahmanya Bharathiyar   lived in Triplicane.   Bharati’s life was short; he pioneered modern poetry, was a great journalist, eternal optimist, fought British with flame, incensed people of the Nation.  We have read about a Tamil weekly ‘India’ launched in 1906 of which Bharati was the Editor.  This provided the correct platform for the flaming words of Bharathi  ~ this was owned by patriotic Mandyam Brothers—Tirumalachar and Srinivasachar—who were ready to spend their large inherited fortune in the cause of Indian Independence.   Sri S Parthasarathi is the son of Mandayam Srinivasachariyar of the magazine ‘India’. During that exile of Mahakavi in Pondy, their family had Aurobindo connection as well as  Mandayam Srinivasacharyar, Bharatiyar, and V.V.S. Iyer had philosophical discussions with Aurobindo.  

One of the relatives of this now late grand oldman  Sri Parthasarathi, Yogi Parthasarathy Iyengar, a great scholar with great vision and forethought, established Sri Saraswathi Bhandaram though which he supported many scholars and ensured publication of many sampradaya granthas for the first time.  Sri Yogi Parthasarathi Iyengar was invited to present a paper in the World Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893; did not go and yes, it  was attended by Swami Vivekananda whose 150th birth centenary is presently being celebrated.  Yet another relative Mr Alasinga Perumal helped and arranged the visit of Swami Vivekananda.

Sri S. Parthasarathi has contributed much and was the  guiding the Educational institutions of Hindu Sr Secondary School and century old Hindu Higher Secondary School, being a member in the Educational board of various Educational institutions including MOP college.   

in 2017

Throughout his life of 104 years,  Mr Parthasarathy Iyengar remained an exceptionally organized person, having been  a student of library science, having worked as librarian, keenly organising the things the way he has done his life.  He was the first director of the Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre. Apart from being a guiding  member of the Hindu Educational Organisation, he was an  active mentor of the Ranganathan Centre for Information Studies.

Sadly he breathed his last today, at ripe old age of 104 – having lived a life full of purpose, knowledge, affection, erudition and inspiration for all of us. 

On 28.11.2020 after completion of 9th decad of Thiruvaimozhi in the  uthsavam at Sri Nampillai sannathi, Thiruvallikkeni – Dr U.Ve. Mandayam Ananthanpillai Venkata Krishnan swami briefed the history of the place and its creators.  Way back in 1874, Saraswathi Bhandaram Committee had been constituted  with Yogi Parthasarathy Iyengar as secretary.  With great efforts they collated  manuscripts of works on Visishtadvaita and published them in the Saraswathi Bhandaram Press,  located in what is Komutti bungalow now.  Yogi Parthasarathi Swami who was born in Karthigai Avittam in 1840 (it was his 180th birth celebrations  – 3rd sashtiabda poorthi) brought in knowledgeable resources of grantham and also those who learnt printing technology for publication of rare granthas in book form.   

Mandayam Parthasarathi Iyengar walked his way to the place  as a special guest and part of family.  I had clicked a few photos on that grand occasion. Recall those happy moments when he was SYMA’s Chief Guest in 2013 on Republic Day Flag hoisting and on many more occasions at Gangaikondan mantap and elsewhere.

In his parting, Triplicane has lost a ‘rare jewel’ – who was young and cheerful throughout his life, adapted himself to modern changing times, briskly walked his way everywhere and would be remembered by thousands of us.

Triplicane bows in tribute to this grand old man.

With profound grief and regards – S. Sampathkumar


(first  and last  photos credit : Mrs Revathi; rest mine) - above me with the grand old man at SYMA medical centre in 2013

Friday, April 9, 2021

Prince Philip. Duke of Edinburgh aged 99, passes away !!

Prince Philip. Duke of Edinburgh aged 99,  passes away at Windsor Castle

The Queen today announced with 'deep sorrow' the death of her husband Prince Philip at the age of 99, her 'strength and guide' throughout their 73-year marriage and her 69-year reign. The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle with his wife after a 28-night stay in hospital having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition. Her Majesty announced her husband's death at midday as the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace and on public buildings across the UK and Commonwealth.

          Philip, born in June 1921, was a Prince of Greece but with no Greek blood and in fact had complex background.  His Family fled Corfu in December 1922 after father, in Greek army, was arrested and charged with high treason. Evacuated on a British warship, he was carried into exile in a makeshift cot made from an old orange box. After fleeing Corfu, Philip's family finally arrived in Paris, and were dependent on relatives for financial help . 

To understand History better, there were Emperors of India.  George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 1895 – 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.  Though he lived between 1895 to 1952, he was Emperor of India for the period 11.12.1936 till 22.6.1948 i.e., for a period slightly over 11 years 6 months.  For the records,  there were only 5 Emperors : Queen Victoria,    Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI.

In September 1939, the British Empire and Commonwealth—but not Ireland—declared war on Nazi Germany. War with the Kingdom of Italy and the Empire of Japan followed in 1940 and 1941, respectively. George was seen as sharing the hardships of the common people and his popularity soared. Buckingham Palace was bombed during the Blitz while the King and Queen were there, and his younger brother, the Duke of Kent, was killed on active service. George became known as a symbol of British determination to win the war.   George relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June 1948 and instead adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. He was beset by smoking-related health problems in the later years of his reign and died of coronary thrombosis in 1952. He was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II.  

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (10 June 1921 – 9 April 2021) was a member of the British royal family as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.  After being educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18.  During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets. After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish titles and styles, became a naturalised British subject, and adopted his maternal grandparents' surname Mountbatten. He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947.  

Philip had four children with Elizabeth: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Anne, Andrew, and Edward. A sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He was a patron, president, or member of over 780 organisations, and he served as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, a self-improvement program for young people aged 14 to 24.  He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the longest-lived male member of the British royal family.   

The day before the wedding, King George VI bestowed the style of Royal Highness on Philip and, on the morning of the wedding, 20 November 1947, he was made the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London.  Philip and Elizabeth were married in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey, recorded and broadcast by BBC radio to 200 million people around the world.  Philip was introduced to the House of Lords on 21 July 1948, immediately before his uncle Louis Mountbatten, who had been made Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

Elizabeth II (here being referred as wife of Philip) was born in 1926 – and is   Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms. Her father ascended the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive.  

Homage to Mr Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


IPL 14 - is all set to begin !!

Cricket’s biggest extravaganza – ‘Indian Premier League” is all set to begin a few hours from now .. .. at Chennai but not involving the local yellow brigade CSK!

The 2021 Indian Premier League, (Vivo IPL 14)  is scheduled to be played between 9 April to 30 May 2021 across six different venues.  Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium, the first stop in a tournament that will be played entirely on neutral grounds. This night it will be  Mumbai Indians  and Royal Challengers Bangalore will see a rigorous test of their adaptability.

Of the many things that CSK is proud of - Chennai Super Kings has been the only team that has not changed its captain so far.  .. .. IPL is a great money spinner, a great entertainer, newer situations and rules get challenged – sixes galore and it is no stranger to controversies too – in 2015 Umpire asked Kieron Pollard to remain calm,  and the West Indian came with a tape over his mouth !

It's only been five months since the Mumbai Indians won their fifth title in Dubai, and the IPL is back already. It's back, and it's back home, but the eerie, not-of-this-world feeling that accompanied the 2020 edition of the tournament will persist, simply because the world hasn't changed all that much in the interim. One cannot refrain asking the Q – at a time when India is recording 1 lakh new Covid casea a day since April 4 – is the tournament necessary.  

Looking back in 2007, BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) announced the start of the Indian Premier League and an year later there were matches. The man who honed it was  Lalit Modi, Commissioner of the league – who later fell to infamy moving out of the country. Before IPL, a similar styled ICL (Indian Cricket League) did not take off.   The first match of IPL was played on 18 April 2008 between ‘ Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalroe’ – first ball being bowled by Praveen Kumar (remember him !) to dada Sourav Ganguly. 


Life has changed a lot these 14 years and now a resurgent pandemic with new strains, multiple positive cases within teams - including a few inside their bubbles, and the variables thrown up by the logistics: venues spread across India and the need for air travel- all pose very big challenges.  Last year IPL was played outside India at UAE  - in fact  three venues:  Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The day the tournament began, the UAE had 674 new cases; it crossed 1000 a week into the tournament and stayed at that level right through (1096 new cases on the day of the final). Now perhaps Chennai city not to speak of Mumbai or Delhi has more cases !!

Over the years   BCCI suspended Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, for "alleged acts of individual misdemeanours". The suspension notice was served on him by Rajeev Shukla, BCCI vice-president, and N Srinivasan, the board secretary, sending an e-mail to the same effect.  Later Mr N Srinivasan too fell out.   In May 2012, arising out sting operations 5 players - TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav, Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali, Delhi cricketer – were accused of involvement in spot fixing.  An year later,   3 players of Rajasthan Royals (Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila) were arrested by Delhi Police on charges of spot fixing. Same year,   Gurunath Meiyappan, a top official of the Chennai Super Kings franchise and son-in-law of BCCI president N. Srinivasan was arrested in Mumbai by Mumbai Crime Branch in connection with illegal betting. Amidst the melee in 2012,   US citizen Zohal Hamid accused, player Luke Pomersbach for molesting her.  In 2013, Chennai erupted with trouble and Srilankan cricketers or match officials were not allowed in Chennai matches !

.. .. .. .. yet in a few hours from now – IPL 14 would start and most of us would be engrossed in seeing the matches !  Gleaning my archives, here is something written and posted by me  a decade back on the start of IPL 4  : 

The WC was won – but it was apparent that there was the might of batting and cool captaincy.  Zaheer was indeed the leading wicket taker, but India lacked a genuine quickie…  do we look to Jharkhand for another solution ? Recently in a domestic match, the red cherry kicked lots of dust, bounced from the soil and went past the batsman – Niraj Patel – the bowler stared at and the batsman smiled back in approval – something unimaginable had happened !!

There certainly is overdose of Cricket but the victory in WC would do more good and reap in more money for the IPL.  Here players won’t complain of fatigue or mental depression.  There could different loyalty bases sans the geographical borders – there sure going to be some buzz of action in the fourth edition of the popular tournament which starts today with a match involving Chennai Super Kings and Kolkatta Knight Riders.  Dhoni Vs Gambhir – KKR had been through it all from glory to humiliation in the previous editions.

The 2011 IPL called IPL 4 is the fourth season of Indian Premier League started by the BCCI in 2007.  The opening ceremony would kick off today at Chepauk, Chennai.  The season will run from April 8th to May 28th.    Different from the previous 3 editions, this season will see 10 teams battling it out – the new teams being Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers – 5 teams are captained by Indians – Dhoni, Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj and Sachin ; then there is Warne, Sangakkara, Mahela, Gilchrist and Vettori.    In this 10 team format, there would be 74 matches.   The ten teams are divided into two groups of five.

In the group stage, each  team plays 14 games: facing the other four teams in their group two times each (one home and one away game), four teams in the other group once, and the remaining team two times.  Whilst every team would play the other in their group twice, they would play the team in their row in the other group twice, rest once.   Thus in the above XL, teams play twice those in their column and row.

In the first edition in 2008, there were 59 matches.  The 8 teams played each other twice.  RR defeated CSK in a last ball thriller.  The 2009 season coincided with general elections in India and was conducted in South African.  Deccan Chargers emerged winners defeating RCB in the final.    In 2010, DC could not play on their own ground due to Telangana trouble  CSK won the finals beating MI.  CSK has added Nuwan Kulasekara and Tim Southee and Aniruddha Srikkanth might walk out with Murali vijay with Raina, Badri, Dhoni and Albie to follow. KKR has Gauti, Ten doeschate, Kallis, Eoin Morgan and Yusuf.

Now coming to the dust at the first para, it was Varun Aaron from Jharkhand who bowled probably the fastest ball in Indian cricket, sadly infront of no spectators at all.   It was in the  Vijay Hazare Trophy final between Jharkhand and Gujarat  with people engrossed in WC, the 21-year-old tear-away quick bowled a delivery at 153 kmph.  Varun Raymond Aaron,  right-arm medium-fast bowler hails from Jamshedpur.  He made his first class debut against Jammu and Kashmir in 2008.   He was selected by Ganguly earlier and eventually has a contract in IPL 2010.  In the Deodhar match against West Zone at Sawai Mansingh Stadium this month, he delivered one at 147 kmph.  He was born in 1989 and is only 21.

In 2008 he along with Shrikant Bhaskar Wagh of MRF Pace foundation, represented Australian Institute of Sport team in the fourth year of the Emerging Players Tournament.  In the recent Deodhar against a strong WZ he took 5 for 47.  May be we see more of him and such new players emerging in the IPL in the years to come which augurs well to Indian Cricket. Meantime, some teams could struggle to have the final eleven, as they made some illogical picks in the auction, despite the fact that they could have only 4 overseas players in the final playing eleven.  

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.
9th April 2021.


Thursday, April 8, 2021

CRPF commando - Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, returns !!

Bastar is a district in the state of Chhattisgarh is in news for wrong reasons !  Jagdalpur is the district headquarters. Bastar is bounded   by Narayanpur District,   Kondagaon District,   Nabarangpur and Koraput Districts of Odisha State, and by Dantewada and Sukma. The district possesses a unique blend of tribal and Odia culture. Bastar and Dantewada districts were formerly part of the princely state of Bastar. Bastar was founded in the early 14th century, by Annama Deva, the brother of Kakatiya King Pratapa Rudra Deva of Warangal in Telangana. After India achieved independence in 1947, the princely states of Bastar and Kanker acceded to the Government of India, and were merged to form Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh. The district,   was one of the largest in India when formed.


Maoism, is failed principle perhaps but violent one at that.  The philosophical difference between Maoism and traditional Marxism–Leninism is that the peasantry are the revolutionary vanguard in pre-industrial societies rather than the proletariat. This updating and adaptation of Marxism–Leninism to Chinese conditions in which revolutionary praxis is primary and ideological orthodoxy is secondary represents urban Marxism–Leninism adapted to pre-industrial China.  

COBRA (backronym for COmmando Battalion for Resolute Action) is a special operation unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)  proficient in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare. Originally established to counter the Naxalite problem, CoBRA is deployed to address insurgent groups engaging in asymmetrical warfare.

The Nation was shocked and saddened to read that as many as 22 bodies of soldiers were found from the site of the gunfight that broke out between security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region on Saturday. While 32 soldiers were injured, 1 was reported missing. Bijapur's superintendent of police Kamalochan Kashyap confirmed the toll.  Since the 2010 Chintalnar massacre, the Dantewada-Sukma-Bijapur axis has claimed the lives of more than 175 security force personnel, besides several civilians. While the Chintalnar encounter saw 76 CRPF men killed, the latest encounter in Bijapur Saturday led to the death of 22 security personnel.

A look at the data on Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh shows that most attacks and casualties have happened between March and July. Sources say this is because the CPI (Maoist) usually launches its tactical counter-offensive campaign between February and the end of June. This campaign involves aggressive military operations against security forces before the monsoons—that make movement difficult—hit the region. The key concern is that security forces are still struggling in this region, known as Bastar, despite the campaign against the Left-wing extremists starting around 15 years ago.

A host of factors—remoteness, jungle terrain, absence of administration and lack of political will—have been blamed for the slow progress there. Sources in the security establishment say the eradication of the movement in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Odisha has led to a concentration of cadre and leaders in the Bastar region—which provides easy movement for the rebels across borders because of its proximity to other states. Most, however, point to absence of roads, communication and proper administration as the main reason for Maoists continuing to hold the area. Some also point to the Chhattisgarh police having been “reluctant” over the years to take the lead in the fight.

The good news is :  Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commando who went missing during a deadly encounter in Chhattisgarh last week, was released after five days in Maoist captivity. 

“Bastar has some good news for the nation,” a police source said. Manhas was released in the presence of social worker Dharampal Saini and Gondwana Samaj chief Gelam Boraiya — they were in talks with Maoists for the jawan’s safe return —  and hundreds of villagers, according to the source. An 11-member team that went to bring Manhas back also featured seven local journalists. Sources said Manhas was brought to a camp in Tarrem — the area where the encounter took place. A CRPF official said Manhas will undergo health checkups and that he did not have any “apparent injury”. The jawan was admitted to Basaguda field hospital for medical examination. Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel congratulated the team that brought Manhas back.

It is time that Governments acted tough and eradicate completely the menace of Naxals.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Perungamanallur massacre ......... ... Theeran athikaram onru !!

You may have read about ‘Operation Bawari’ or have come to know about it otherwise.  It was a well planned operation by Special TN Police  against organized dacoity, murder and robbery that were prevalent in residential areas near the National Highway during 1995 - 2006 that was carried out by the notorious group of lorry drivers who belonged to Bawaria community. The operation was launched by Tamil Nadu Police in January 2005 soon after the murder of AIADMK Gummidipoondi MLA Sudarsanam when armed dacoits struck affluent houses surrounding the National Highway in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Perungamanallur is a village in Peraiyur taluk, Sedapatti block, Madurai district   and part of Usilampatti (State Assembly Constituency) .. .. .. and this is a post on the massacre that shook the Nation but was never part of our History in school books and elsewhere. !!

History has a way of leaving unfortunate legacies. “If the Local Government has reason to believe that any tribe, gang or class of persons is addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences, it may report the case to the Governor General in Council, and may request his permission to declare such tribe, gang or class to be a criminal tribe.”  quoted from the Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) of 1871.

Various pieces of legislation in India during British rule since the 1870s were collectively called the Criminal Tribes Act (CTA). They criminalized entire communities by designating them as habitual criminals. Under these acts, ethnic or social communities in India which were defined as "addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences" such as thefts, were systematically registered by the government. Since they were described as "habitually criminal", restrictions on their movements were also imposed. Adult male members of such groups were forced to report weekly to the local police.

At the time of Indian independence in 1947, thirteen million people in 127 communities faced search and arrest if any member of the group was found outside the prescribed area. The Act was repealed in August 1949 and former "criminal tribes" were denotified in 1952, when the Act was replaced with the Habitual Offenders Act 1952 of Government of India, and in 1961 state governments started releasing lists of such tribes.

At a glance, it might look like the CTA was brought about to instil order and security by the colonial authorities, but contemporary historians are now seeing the measure as a part of a wider attempt at social engineering which, for example, saw the categorisation of castes as being “agricultural” or “martial” or recognising which groups were loyal to the colonial government and therefore suitable for military recruitment, respectively. 

Perungamanallur killings, took place on April 3, 1920, and in someways can be regarded as the south Indian Jallianwala.  There is a black pillar with a burning torch on top in Perungamanallur silently lamenting  the heartrending story of villagers who fought for their rights against an Act.

It was the unfair Criminal Tribes Act  that triggered the carnage. The British Government introduced the Act in 1870 and implemented it in 1914 on communities like Keezhakudi Kallar and Thogamalai Kuravar. The Act was first implemented on Keezhakudi. In 1919, the whole of Piramalai Kallar community came under the scan of Criminal Tribes Act. According to the Act, the members of Kallar community had to register themselves by submitting their thumb impression at the respective police stations. In addition, male members above 16 years had to spend their nights in police stations and get police permission to visit their relatives.

As a result, villagers who resented being labelled as criminals, disobeyed the order. Residents of Perungamanallur were the first to oppose registration. Residents of Kaalappanpatti and Kaniyampatti joined them in the protest, which resulted in the firing. Soon the resistance spread to nearby villages like Melaurappanur, Poosalapuram and Sorikampatti. In the melee, scores of protestors were killed. “As per Government record, only 12 persons including one woman named Mayakkal were killed,” says Su.Venkatesan, who has authored a 1300-page novel, ‘Kaaval Kottam', dealing with life in Madurai region.

So a century ago,   16 persons were killed in Perungamanallur, near Sedapatti resisting CTA.  Reportedly Kallars who were brought under this black section were compelled to sleep at Police station daily thereby making life of the community stark and difficult.  Refusals to appear for registration saw several armed policemen go to the village of Perungamanallur near Sedapatti, protests by the Kallars resulted in indiscriminate firing where 15 Kallar men and one woman was killed.  Historian David Arnold in his book ‘Police Power and Colonial Rule Madras, 1859-1947' writes, "The police fired 89 rounds of ball and 17 of buckshot at villagers armed only with spears, sticks, stones and sickles, eleven were killed outright and of the eight others seriously injured, three died later."

Sad such outrageous murder went unnoticed and not so well recorded in the History – despite such  heinous crime committed by Britishers, we read merciful Cawning and our rulers were so good, providing so much of good for the Nation and .. the last straw that freedom was obtained without bloodshed –‘freedom obtained by Gandhi and Congresss without knife or war !’. 

Before concluding, the then Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, Ms Jayalalithaa ordered intensive action against the culprits and thereby Operation Bawaria. Director General of Police S. R. Jangid along with Additional Director General of Police Sanjay Arora led a team to investigate.  Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru released in 2017,  written and directed by H. Vinoth with Karthi on lead was based on true events from the Operation Bawaria case. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

oldest Lion passes away at Sakkarbaug Zoo

In 1513, a group of men led by Vasco Núñez de Balboa marched across the Isthmus of Panama and discovered the Pacific Ocean. They had been looking for it—they knew it existed—and, familiar as they were with oceans, they had no difficulty in recognizing it when they saw it. On their way, however, they saw a good many things they had not been looking for and were not familiar with. When they returned to Spain to tell what they had seen, it was not a simple matter to find words for everything. For example, they had killed a large and ferocious wild animal. They called it a tiger, although there were no tigers in Spain and none of the men had ever seen one before. Listening to their story was Peter Martyr, member of the King's Council of the Indies and possessor of an insatiable curiosity about the new land that Spain was uncovering in the west. How, the learned man asked them, did they know that the ferocious animal was a tiger? 

Lions and tigers are among the most ferocious animals but there are important differences between them.   Lions are majestic !  Lions have been admired throughout history for as symbols of courage and strength. These iconic animals have powerful bodies—in the cat family, they’re second in size only to tigers—and roars that can be heard from five miles away. An adult lion’s coat is yellow-gold, and juveniles have some light spots that disappear with age. Only male lions typically boast manes, the impressive fringe of long hair that encircles their heads. 

The Asiatic lion’s current range is restricted to the Gir National Park and environs in the Indian state of Gujarat. Historically, it inhabited much of Western Asia and the Middle East up to northern India. On the IUCN Red List, it is listed under its former scientific name Panthera leo persica as Endangered because of its small population size and area of occupancy.  The first scientific description of the Asiatic lion was published in 1826 by the Austrian zoologist Johann N. Meyer who named it Felis leo persicus.   Though it lived and was seen in Saudi Arabia,  Turkey, Iran, Mesopotamia, and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and Narmada River in Central India, in the last century it is more restricted to the Gir Forest National Park and surrounding areas.  This lion population has steadily increased since 2010.  The lion is one of five pantherine cats inhabiting India, along with the Bengal tiger (P. tigris tigris), Indian leopard (P. pardus fusca), snow leopard (P. uncia) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). 

Junagadh  is the headquarters of Junagadh district in the  state of Gujarat. Located at the foot of the Girnar hills, 355 kilometres (221 mi) southwest of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar (the state capital), it is the seventh largest city in the state.  Junagadh means ‘Old Fort’ – and is a fort city.  After a brief struggle between India and Pakistan, Junagadh voted to join India in a plebiscite held on 20 February 1948. It was a part of Saurashtra state and later Bombay state. In 1960, in consequence of the Maha Gujarat movement, it became part of the newly formed Gujarat state. 

Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden also known as Sakkarbaug Zoo or Junagadh Zoo is an 84-hectare (210-acre) zoo that opened in 1863 at Junagadh, Gujarat. The zoo provides purebred Asiatic lions for the Indian and the international endangered species captive breeding program for the critically endangered species.  


The not so happy news is the oldest lion of Gujarat’s Gir Forest, Dheer, died on Saturday. Dheer was 22 years old. He passed away in Sakkarbagh Zoo. Before Dheer, no other Lion in Gir Forest had lived more than 20 years. Generally, Asiatic Lions have a life span of 15 to 17 years. But, in Gir forest, some lions have survived for more than 18 years.  Neerav Makwana, RFO of Saqqarabagh Zoo, said that Dheer was living in Saqkarbaaz Zoo for the last 17 years. She was resuscitated from Gir Forest in 2004. From the age of 5, Saqkarbagh Zoo had been Dheer’s house. 

According to Neerav, Dheer was running ill for some time and had stopped taking food as well culminating into weight loss. She also added that the lion failed to walk as well due to severe weakness. The medical team of the forest department was constantly monitoring him.  But on Saturday, Dheer fell extremely sick, and later the oldest Asiatic Lion of Gir Forest passed away. 

Gir Forest is known for the Asiatic Lions. The entire forest area of the Gir National Park is dry and deciduous which provides the best habitat for Asiatic Lions. As per the new statics of 2015, the entire Saurashtra Region is inhabited by 523 Lions and more than 300 Leopards. The photos appearing are of a lion and lioness at Sakkarbagh zoo taken by me on 20.12.2o19  during our visit to Dwaraka, Somnath and Gir.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar



Monday, April 5, 2021

Covid 19 is threatening humanity again ! .. .. be safe, remain at home, wear mask when outside !

Do you run a WA group – are you in the habit of posting / sharing posts regularly in social media .. .. .. read on ! – do you feel that our recklessness is the cause of the trouble that we are facing [worser still – some are still not aware of this]

A 48-year-old Chartered Accountant in Hyderabad was arrested this morning  for allegedly circulating a fake government order that announced imposition of partial lockdown in Telangana from April 1. Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar, while speaking at a press conference on Monday, revealed that the fake ‘G.O. 45’, dated April 1, 2021, was a copy of last year’s G.O that was allegedly forged and circulated by one Sreepathi Sanjeev Kumar.  The accused works as a Chartered Accountant with Karvy & Co. in Hyderabad. A native of Nellore town in Andhra Pradesh, Kumar has been living in Hyderabad since 1993. According to the police, Kumar on April 1 downloaded and forged the G.O copy issued by Telangana government last year when a lockdown was imposed. “After changing the dates of lockdown, he shared the PDF copy in a whatsapp group comprising 40 others from his badminton team. This was soon circulated to other groups via WhatsApp and soon went viral on social media,” said the police commissioner.

After the fake G.O went viral, announcing that establishments were to shut at 6 pm till 8 am, Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar quickly issued a statement saying no such order had been issued, and that the government was not considering imposing a lockdown. The Cyber Crimes police station in Central Crime Station(CCS) of Hyderabad police had registered a case invoking sections 469(forgery) and 505 (1)(b) (intention to cause fear or alarm to public). The West Zone team of Hyderabad Commissioner’s Task Force nabbed the accused Monday morning. The police also seized a Dell laptop and an i-Phone used in allegedly commiting the offence.

Meanwhile, in the grip of a second wave of coronavirus infections, Telangana has recorded over a 1,000 fresh infections for the third consecutive day. Before the sudden surge in new cases, the number of new cases in mid-March hovered over 150-mark. In my paranoia, I look into this site ‘’ typing Covid 19 to find the statistics and they are alarming these days.   Today it reads 13,13,42,071 people are affected globally and deaths of 2853631. USA leads with 30732250/554579; followed by Brazil 12984956/331433 and India 12589067/165101.  The max no. of fresh cases in 24 hours threatens us beyond a point – it is India 103558; France 80629 while USA has 36670 & Brazil 31359. The curve was coming down spectacularly, but have we by our recklessness spoilt it ??

As India battles the second Covid wave, Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in the country, saw the highest-ever daily surge with 57,074 fresh infections on Sunday. Mumbai, India's financial capital, also saw the highest-ever single-day spike with 11,163 new infections, taking the city's tally to 4,52,445 cases. With 1,03,558 fresh Covid cases, India has seen the biggest-ever daily surge, taking the tally to 1,25,89,067. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on Sunday held a high-level meet to review the situation; central teams have been rushed to three states.

Delhi also recorded a huge spike of 4,000 fresh infections taking the Covid tally to 6.76,414 infections. This is the highest daily surge this year. It was one of the top five states that reported the highest number of cases in the last 24 hours. Chhattisgarh (5,250), Karnataka (4,553) and Uttar Pradesh (4,136) are the other three states that saw the biggest spike in cases in the last 24 hours, the government data shows.

Tamil Nadu recorded 3581 positive cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the state tally to 8,99,807. Among these, Chennai reported 1344 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,53,760. The state recorded 14 deaths on Sunday, putting the state toll at 12,778. Twelve of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 1813 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,65,071. Over the past 10 days, the Covid-19 test positivity rate (TPR), which is a measure of the spread of the infection, has almost tripled in Chennai from 3.61% on March 23 to 5.31% on March 27 to 9.13% on April 3.

Vaccine seemingly is the answer – in a  few months, it’s reasonable to expect that more than 75% of the adult population of the US and the UK will have had a first dose of the vaccine. The EU, Japan and other developed nations will be not far behind; most likely they will reach that milestone in the latter part of the year.  But this is not fast enough. Billions of people will still be unprotected, mainly in the developing world. India and China have made impressive strides, but it is unlikely that the whole world will have been vaccinated until the end of 2022 – and even that date is optimistic.  According to  World Economic Forum – this  is too slow; much too slow. We need to speed the process up, enormously. The costs and the risks are too great.

Realise, be aware – whether the Govt imposes lockdown or not – don’t venture out unless it is necessary. Whilst you are out, follow basic principles – wear a mask, follow social distancing, clean your hands often.  Corona virus is not yet eliminated and it is imperative that WE fight it.

It is a funny World, there were huge crowds in Election rallies – while President Joe Biden is facing criticism for continuing to wear a mask at all times despite being fully vaccinated. Biden has continued to wear his mask for various photo opportunities since being fully vaccinated. On many occasions he is joined by Vice President Kamala Harris who is also fully vaccinated.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Fakhar Zaman run out at Johannesburg and tweets against MI & Rohit Sharma !!

Followed this 2nd ODI, Johannesburg, Apr 4 2021 between hosts South Africa and Pakistan in Cricinfo.  It was a nail baiting finish boiling down to last over.  Pakistan chasing 342, came very close making 324/9 .. .. in that  first ball of the final over – the opener was run out and with him the hopes of Paki.  Fakhar Zaman was the man of the match but angry Pakis took to twitter trolling Quinton de kock and many of them spilled vitriolic against Mumbai Indians and Rohit Sharma too ..

The man - Pakistan opener batsman Fakhar Zaman smashed an  unbeaten 210-off 156-balls including 24-fours and 5-sixes with strike rate of 134.61 helping Pakistan post their record total of 399 against Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI. 4th ODI, Bulawayo, in July 2018.  He became the first Pakistani batsman to score 200 in One-day international cricket history and the sixth player to achieve this feat in ODIs.

Yesterday at Johannesburg, South Africa survived an astonishing onslaught from Fakhar Zaman to secure a series-levelling 17-run win against Pakistan in Johannesburg.  Zaman's 155-ball 193 was heroic, a one-man show in the truest sense of the word because no other Pakistani managed more than 31 in a chase of 342. It is the highest score in a chase in ODI cricket history, and the second highest ever in a losing cause. Zaman also surpassed Herchelle Gibbs' 175 to record the highest individual score at this venue.

After several stutters, South Africa did manage to get over the line, thanks to a commanding batting performance spearheaded by the top order. Captain Temba Bavuma top-scored with 92, while Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller each brought up half-centuries, allowing South Africa to post 341 in the face of a listless bowling effort from the visitors.

Pakistan were never really in the chase right until the final 15 overs; once Zaman brought up his first ODI hundred in two years, he would run riot. Despite finishing with the highest score by a Pakistani in ODI cricket in South Africa, it always looked like an unassailable task, and in truth, proved so by some distance in the end. Pakistan have never chased a total of this magnitude in ODI cricket, and a daunting challenge became even tougher when Imam-ul-Haq, fell in the second over.    The way he got run out, however, is what sparked the immense controversy flooding your social media feeds.

It boiled down to almost improbable 31 in the final over -  Zaman faced pacer Lungi Ndidi for the first ball. He hit the ball down his off-side, and ran for a double with Haris Rauf on the non-striker's end. As Zaman made his way back to his crease, wicketkeeper De Kock’s gesture suggested that the ball, being thrown by Aiden Markram, was headed for the non-striker's end. Zaman, with his back towards the ball, saw the gesture and slowed down considerably, only to be stunned as Markram’s direct hit cut his extraordinary innings just short of his highly anticipated second double century in ODI cricket.  Was it  naivety of the batter or cheating by the keeper ? !

Law 41.5.1 states: “It is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball”

Fakhar Zaman, however,  took responsibility for his run-out saying it was "my own fault". However, Temba Bavuma, the South Africa captain, appeared to suggest that the gesticulating on the part of wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, which seemed to distract Zaman, was a deliberate act after all, calling it "quite clever".  The  direct hit from Aiden Markram from long-off caught him short of the crease at the striker's end, but   there was a question mark surrounding the legality of the dismissal, because de Kock was moving his arms about, possibly indicating that the throw from Markram might be going to the non-striker's end. He might, equally possibly, have been trying to communicate something to his team-mates. Zaman slowed down considerably, even turned around to look at the non-striker's end and was caught short.

Quinton de Kock did not intend to deceive Fakhar Zaman when the batsman was run out in the second ODI between Pakistan and South Africa, and is not in breach of Law 41.5.1 on fake fielding. That is the conclusion match officials are believed to have come to after reviewing footage of Sunday's match.   It is stated that   in a post-match meeting, which officials regularly have to discuss the game, match officials re-looked at the dismissal and on studying all frames, were happy that de Kock called "bowler's end," even before the first run was complete.   De Kock's actions were not deemed to have been a trick, with officials satisfied that he was indicating for the throw to go to the bowler's end even as it came in at his end.  Tabraiz Shamsi tweeted that de Kock was calling for a fielder to back up the throw at the non-striker's end.

Pakistan management is believed to have spoken to Andy Pycroft immediately after the incident, and drew his attention to the relevant law. That, it is believed, was not an official complaint as much as a reminder about the law and there appears to be an acceptance that the law is there for match officials to interpret and implement. Before that ball, Pakistan needed an unlikely 31 from six balls. They went on to lose by 17 runs, but if de Kock's act had been deemed illegal, Pakistan would have been allowed the two runs they attempted as well as five penalty runs, and the ball would have to be re-bowled, leaving them with 24 to get from six balls.

It wasn't the only point of contention towards the closing stages of the match. In the 47th over, Bavuma dropped a chance from Zaman, only for the ball to touch his hat, which had fallen off. The umpires didn't award any penalty runs, which is in line with the law (28.2.2), which states that it is "not illegal fielding if the ball in play makes contact with a piece of clothing, equipment or any other object which has accidentally fallen from the fielder's person".

In Dec 2013 at Dubai, in the 2nd ODI – Pak  were 157 for one in the 35th  over with Ahmed Shehzad batting at 80 with Mohammad Hafeez.  Shehzad played  Seekkuge Prasanna bowled towards cover and returned for two.  The throw came at Shehzad’s end and on his second run, Shehzad for a moment felt that he had misjudged the two. Sangakkara seemed to have collected the ball, in a swift action removed the bails ~  Shehzad dived desperately hurt himself  only to see the ball arrive much later.

Sangakkara had faked the take and stood their smiling mischievously, having fooled the Pakistani batsman. Shehzad was angry.   Pakistani physiotherapist came rushing in, with spray and tape to attend his injury that he sustained after diving. The batsman went on to score 124 in the end but Pakistan lost the match by two wickets, with Sangakkara top-scoring for Sri Lanka with 58. 

Queensland player Marnus Labuschagne became the first cricketer to be penalised 'fake fielding' under the new International Cricket Council (ICC) rules implemented from Sept  2017   The incident took place during a match between Queensland Bulls and Cricket Australia XI.   Labuschagne dived and tried to stop the ball hit by Cricket Australia XI batsman Param Uppal, but missed it completely. He tried to fool the batsman by faking a throw and umpires took action against him.

Before concluding the unwarranted ire against MI & Rohit was because – Quinton de kock plays for Mumbai Indians in IPL and Rohit Sharma is the only player to have scored more than 1 double century in a ODI. (He has 3 of them)

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Ship Evergiven salvage at Suez Canal - the Lunar help !!

I am interested in  Sea, ship, boats, cargo, transportation, logistics, insurance  and more – being a Marine Insurer – with so much being written on Suez Canal blockade by a containership – me too chipping in (albeit a different one – not a scholastic one !) 

First many articles  have appeared about a ship ‘Evergreen’ getting struck in Suez canal and the photos too depicted  the 400-metre long mega-ship with  'EVERGREEN' painted on the vessel,  the name of the ship is  'Ever Given',  operated by the Evergreen Marine Corp, a Taiwanese container transportation and shipping company.

Ever Given is a Golden-class container ship, one of the largest in the world. The ship is owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha (a shipowning and leasing subsidiary of the large Japanese shipbuilding company Imabari Shipbuilding), and is time chartered and operated by container transportation and shipping company Evergreen Marine, headquartered in Luzhu District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan.  Ever Given is registered in Panama and its technical management is the responsibility of the German ship management company Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM). Truly international !!

On 23 March 2021, while traveling from Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the ship ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking it. The ship remained in place for six days before salvage crews freed it on 29 March 2021.  .. .. that garnered global attention and concern.

Ever Given (IMO 9811000) is one of 13 container ships built to the Imabari 20000 design developed by Imabari Shipbuilding, 11 of which have been chartered by Evergreen Marine with names starting with Ever G—. The ship was laid down on 25 December 2015, launched on 9 May 2018 and completed on 25 September 2018. It is Evergreen's second ship to be named Ever Given; the first one (IMO 8320901) was built in 1986 and has since been broken up. With a length overall of 399.94 metres (1,312 ft 2 in),[3] Ever Given is one of the longest ships in service. The hull has a beam of 58.8 metres (192 ft 11 in) and its height from keel to main deck (hull depth) is 32.9 metres (107 ft 11 in  Ever Given has a gross tonnage of 220,940; net tonnage of 99,155; and deadweight tonnage of 199,629 tons at design draught. The ship's container capacity is 20,124 TEU. Massive indeed !! 

Ships are massive…. made of steel, fitted with  many machineries, carrying many a  crew, supplies, carries thousands of tonnes of cargo (containers and cargo inside here) -  but yet floats and sails, carrying cargo from one place to another – it is always a marvel.  To float there are the principles of Density and Buoyancy.   They have wide hull bottoms and have a massive draft beneath the water ensuring that they displace enough amount of water to remain afloat.  Archimedes better explained !

When the ship is in control and steered in the desired direction, the destination is reached but when it flounders, it runs aground, would be extremely difficult to be pulled back and might end up as a wreck.  It cannot be allowed to rest as it is either in the mouth of a harbour or even in a sea bed – it not only contains valuable cargo, machinery – its intrinsic value also would run into crores.  Once the floatation is lost, it is difficult to pull it back to waters – more so if it gets embedded in to sands and dunes.

Left uncared for, the strong waves would render it a wreck sooner.. it would no longer be a ship – the marine insurance terminology for this is ‘loss of specie’ becoming a Total loss.

Vessels which run aground or adrift or without working machinery are saved by acts of salvage.  Don’t be confused by the terminology, which has a different meaning in property insurance – which is ‘residual value’. Here salvage is rescue and those engaged for towing the vessel to safety are known as salvors.  The act of salvage is extremely difficult as it is rendered not on hard but many times in mid-sea.  The principles  of salvage and salvage law have evolved over many centuries. A fundamental concept is that the salvor should be encouraged by the prospect of an appropriate salvage award to intervene in any casualty situation to salve the ship, property and, in particular, to save life and prevent pollution. The salvor's right to a reward is based on natural equity.

Marine salvage is the process of rescuing a ship, its cargo, or other property from peril. Salvage encompasses rescue towing, refloating a sunken or grounded vessel, or patching or repairing a ship. Now in tune with the changing times, preventing pollution and damage to the Marine environment becomes the immediate priority when the vessel involved has substantial oil as cargo or in its holds as bunker fuel. 

"Salvors" are seamen and engineers who carry out salvage to vessels that are not owned by themselves, and who are not members of the vessel's original crew.  They are highly skilled and employ equipments including cranes, tugs, floating dry docks and more.  Often salvage is arranged on ‘No Cure No Pay’ basis and the form that is universally in vogue is ‘Lloyd’s Form of Salvage agreement’ known as LOF form – LOF 2000 [the suffix would mean the year of the edition being used].   In return for salvage  assistance rendered, the Salvors are entitled to proportion of the saved value depending upon the difficulty and other parameters.    The concept of no payment when no recovery is also changing reflecting the public interest in the operation of saving the subject matter as also preventing damage to the environment.  

There is an association for the professional salvors known as - International Salvage Union (ISU).  Its members  provide essential services for the world's maritime and insurance communities. Members are engaged in marine casualty response, pollution defence, wreck removal, cargo recovery, towage and related activities.

Sec 65 of the Marine Insurance Act 1963 defines Salvage charges :

(1) Subject to any express provision in the policy, salvage charges incurred in preventing a loss by perils insured against may be recovered as a loss by those perils. 

(2) "Salvage charges" means the charges recoverable under maritime law by a salvor independently of contract. They do not include the expenses of services in the nature of salvage rendered by the assured or his agents, or any person employed for hire by them, for the purpose of averting a peril insured against. Such expenses, where properly incurred, may be recovered as particular charges or as a general average loss, according to the circumstances under which they were incurred.

I always try to understand smaller things and bigger things in part – that way Fishing trawlers replicate ships in many aspects. In my experience in Kakinada, (way back in 1994 or 1995 !)  a fishing trawler insured with us   was reported to have run aground in Hope island off Kakinada. Accompanying the surveyor and the owner, We ventured into the sea in another fishing trawler, travelling around 45 minutes, reached the island, walked to the other shore - could see the fishing boat crouched on the sand. The salvage efforts were simple – to remove the sand from the bottom of the boat manually (sounds simple but very difficult to remove wet sand embedded under the weight of the boat against rough waves) dig on the sides, put wooden logs, pull it back to the sea by ropes tethered to another fishing boat, also push the boat manually. If it is cargo vessel, cargo load could be removed to lighten it.  Here they attempted to break and dismantle the engine from its cabin bed first.  This was done more to lighten the boat ; pulling a bare hull from sand to water is relatively easier. 

The value at risk (price of the boat) was around 10 lakhs (big money those days) – the poor fisherman owner had little money and could mobilise much little at difficult times – salvor was Dharmadi Apparao (or was it Dharmadi Satyam !) [there were no other interests ! involved] ~ the salvors had good experience and were famous having retrieved many such stranded vessels.  The process appeared simple – mobilise some labour, reach the place,   dig the sand under the belly of the boat, push it manually and try to pull the boat to waters by other boats.  A couple of days later came the information that ‘salvage efforts had failed and the boat had broken’ – the photos revealed only a few large planks and no trace of what was once a fishing trawler !!   If none of us had seen it earlier (with our eyes) – perhaps the entire episode of running ground and then reduced to planks would have remained a story and we would have doubted the innocent fisherman of creating a claim story after intentionally breaking the boat for a TL claim.

A vessel on sea would yaw, pitch and roll but when aground, life is miserable.  Waves keep lashing on one side while one side is on the sand – and if refloating is not successful within a short time, the logs start giving up, eventually exposing the keel and news that there was once a ship !  .. two fishing boats had been hired and stood anchored,  but were not used in pulling, when enquired – the salvor after a pause said – they would be used in high tide when ebb is flowing – they predicted the time too ..

This episode ran in my mind when I read this article in titled – ‘How 'Worm Moon' helped free the stuck ship Ever Given in the Suez Canal’. ~ wonder what could be Moon connection to the ship stranded in Suez !

It took a little help from the full moon to free the massive Ever Given cargo ship from its perch stranded in the Suez Canal. For nearly a week, the boat debacle took the internet by storm: a 1,300-foot-long (400 meters) container ship had gotten wedged into a key trading passageway, blocking all traffic. A digger, dwarfed by the massive boat, came to scratch away at the canal's sides, an allegory of every quixotic attempt we make to manage the behemoth crashes in our own lives.

Even from space, on the International Space Station and 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the fray, all eyes turned to the Ever Given. Russian Cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, who has been living and working in the orbiting laboratory since October, even shared images snapped from his orbital vantage point of the now-notorious Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal.  "One of the most discussed news is the incident in the #SuezCanal," Kud-Sverchkov wrote. "One of the world's largest container ships #EverGiven has blocked one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Specialists are making every effort to restore shipping. You can see it now from the @SpaceStation." Satellites also monitored the situation, naturally.

                 The European Space Agency released images from its Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite comparing typical Suez Canal traffic with the situation on Thursday (March 25), when a traffic jam had built up behind the splayed ship. According to the Associated Press, it may take as long as 10 days for the backlog to clear. Meanwhile, satellites operated by the U.S. company Maxar watched as rescue efforts came to fruition, with both WorldView-2 and GeoEye-1 satellites from the company offering views of the Ever Given and its surrounding tugboats in the late morning of  Mar 29. 

But the view of those tugboats had a helping hand from some celestial mechanics. After all, the Suez Canal, like so many other bodies of water, rises and falls with the tides, a side effect of Earth's relationship with our cosmic neighbours. Tides are most extreme when the Earth aligns with both the sun and the moon, the two objects that exert the strongest gravitational pull on our planet. (Because water moves most easily in response to this pull, the tides are the most obvious response to this gravitational tugging.) When there's a full moon or moon is in its new phase, its gravitational pull adds onto that of the sun, resulting in more dramatic high and low tides, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

And the moon was full on Sunday (March 28). Even better for the stranded ship, as the moon was simultaneously relatively close to Earth in its orbit; it will reach the closest point, called perigee, on Tuesday (March 30). Perigee can also accentuate the extreme tides caused by full and new moons, according to NOAA.  Those factors mean that the moon really lined up to give the Ever Given a much-needed boost. According to the New York Times, the Suez Canal may have seen water levels about 18 inches (46 centimeters) higher than usual.

"We were helped enormously by the strong falling tide we had this afternoon," Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, the salvage firm charged with freeing the Ever Given, told The Associated Press. "In effect, you have the forces of nature pushing hard with you, and they pushed harder than the two sea tugs could pull."  and now, thanks to the moon, the infamous Ever Given is on the go again.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Collated from various sources including BBC, MailOnline – moon’s help article from  :