Is there basis for celebrating Madras Day and that too on August 22?
This is a query that has been asked often.
This year, a onetime senior journalist who now runs the Chennai 2000+ Trust says this celebration is a hoax and that people of this city must celebrate its heritage that runs for over 2000 years and that the date must be different - perhaps the day on which Madras was renamed Chennai.
Rangarajan has also launched a petition on change.org and lcoa media are feeding on it.
Rangarajan makes the point that the city zone's history is far far older. True. The catalysts of Madras Day have not challenged that at all. It is true.
What is being celebrated is Madras that is Chennai as a metro city. Our belief is that the metro formation started soon after the East India Company dug itself in in this area by setting up the fort-factory and sensed the formation of empire later.
Celebrate the city in whatever form, whichever dates; thats what its catalysts say.
Yes, its kicker line when the Day was launched was - Celebrating the Founding of the City. 1639.
The event had to kick off on some date; be it July, August or September.
Instead, many people seem to nitpick here.
People like Rangarajan say - celebrate its 2000 plus heritage. Sure. Many events of Madras Day, now Madras Week/Month host many events that look at local histories, archaeological findings and expeditions, even pre-historic man's life around this area.
Narratives will take their own form in a purely voluntary process here; but that over 150 events for 2016 Madras Week shows how a city's community is keen to celebrate its places, people, history, life, pockmarks and all.