The Imperial Gazetteer of India reported the intensification of the urban character of Madras in the early twentieth century, noting that 30 percent of the city’s population was between the ages of twenty and forty and that the sex ratio was 98/100.
...In Bengal the British , who had been trading there since 1650s, settled for Calcutta as their base around 1690. Here a collection of bungalows which looked like ‘thatched hovels’, a stables , a hospital , a barracks , and a powder magazine could all be found huddled next to the imposing Fort William. The three as yet unpromising settlements of Bombay , Madras , and Calcutta, were eventually to become the power centers of British rule in India.
Look. You are not playing for Delhi, Punjab, Madras, Calcutta or Bombay; you are playing for India. You are Indian.
I recalled when I worked in the woods and the bars of Madras, Oregon. That short-haired joy and roughness America your stupidity. I could almost love you again.gary snyder
The Corporation of Chennai (previously Madras) is the Oldest Municipal Institution in India established on the 29th September 1688. A charter was issued on the 30 December 1607 by East Indian Company constituting the "Town of Fort St. George" and all the territories thereunto belonging, not exceeding the distance of ten miles from the Fort, into a Corporation.
Partisan of both “Madras” and “Chennai” used those names to assert that the city was, from its inception, a volatile borderland , a point of contact, mixing, hybridity . For its part “Chennai” suggests the frontier of pre-modern empire , whereas “Madras” is a frontier of modern imperial expansion. Both names, however, assert that the city is a “glocality” – a global entrepot in which diverse population , exchange media , languages , and ideas were brought into intimate and enduring relationships, and, more recently, a product of and staging ground for globalizing capitalism .
There is little doubt that [all of India ’s major cities], owe much to the beginnings of modern progress that Madras gave the rest of the subcontinent ... Madras, till the 1760s, lay the foundation on which modern India has grown.
What emerged [over the eighteenth century]... was not merely a collection of separate quarters, but two or even three distinct societies with their own characteristic ways of organizing space ...the outstanding feature of Madras was that these cultural units – colonial European , indigenous urban and rural societies – in many cases shared the same territory without actually merging together or losing their distinctive characteristic.
Madras, then, is a story of sheer accident changed the future of a fishing village...The fact that Madras is an artificially stimulated growth and not a naturally evolved organism explains why the growth of Madras has been at the expense of the region in which it is set.
Early leadership of the Indian National Congress, and its forerunner, the Hindu Mahajana Sabha, was based in Madras and the city had hosted early meetings of these organizations. The high-caste residents of Madras were also prominently represented in the Home Rule League, a Gandhian organization with strong ties to the Theosophical Society, Headquartered on an estate in Adyar, about 9 km south of the city’s urban core.
The Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) is a comprehensive nuclear power production , fuel reprocessing, and waste treatment facility that includes plutonium fuel fabrication for fast breeder reactors. Commercial operations at MAPS started in 1983.
That aroused my curiosity and I started reading more about the city and its origins and realized that the foundation for modern India was laid in Madras... it all started here.
Constant efforts were made to attract merchants to settle at Madras. In 1688, an agreement was signed between the Armenians and the East India Company at London the right to trade to and from any of the ports to which the English traded, or where the English had a settlement , on the same terms that the English enjoyed.
The Armenians had begun to settle in Madras even earlier, for they were reported to have made Madras their permanent base on the Corommandel Coast from 1666. They had been trading along the coast since the sixteenth century, and claimed to have directed the Portuguese to Saint Thome.
Before long the Armenians were the richest inhabitants of Madras.
The first viable French company, the French East India Company, was launched by the Minister of Finance Jean Baptiste Colbert, with the support of Louis XIV, in 1664. After some false starts, the French company acquired Pondicherry (now Puducherry), 85 miles (137 km) south of Madras , from a local ruler in 1674...At first the French initiative suffered from the mixing of grandiose political and colonial schemes with those of trade, but under the care of Francoise Martin from 1674, the company turned increasingly to trade and began to prosper.
Puducherry contains the Hindu ashram (religious retreat) of the philosopher Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) as well as w:AurovilleAuroville, the international township and study centre that was named for him. The Roan Rolland Public Library houses some rare French volumes. A medical college, a law college, an engineering college, and several other colleges for general education are affiliated with the University of Madras.
Globalised Chennai is no longer the hamlet-tish Madras of slow days and early nights, quiet avenues and conservative lifestyles . And yet, beneath the gloss lies the old sheen of kapi-tipan [Coffee and Snacks] and Carnatic music.
”Chennai” or variants also appear in descriptive essays and literary works as names for the city that the English know as Madras. The Vishvagunadrasa Campu (composed between 1650 and 1700) and Anandarangavijaya Campu , composed in 1752 refer to the settlement as Chenna Kesava Pura and to “Chenna Patna”, and the Sarva-deva-vilasa uses the term “Cennapuri” or “Cennapuram” as the place name
Critics of the name change favoured the retention of “Madras” and took the incoherence of its spatial form and built environment as their point of departure. Instead of treating these qualities as sins of lack, however, they celebrated them as artifacts of the city’s origins as a colonial port and its status as the ground zero of Indian modernity.
By the first decade of the twentieth century, 125 newspapers and periodicals existed in the Presidency , of the total, 65 were under vernacular (Tamil, Telugu or Hindi) or bilingual publications. The city itself had 5 daily newspapers at that point, all English language; 3 (The Hindu, The Madras Standard, and The Indian Patriot) were published and edited by Indians .