Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Why Chennai ?

Thanks to DonTheCat for making me post this.

This is in regard to an Article by Shoba Warrior on the Rediff. After reading this My Blood kept boiling around. The article, if you havent read, is about the Park Hotel incident. Something everyone were against. The news media has behaved eccentric and blown up the issue monstrously. Im with Shoba Warrior on this issue. I understand her thoughts on that, and thats pretty much everyone's thought.

But the Stories Spun to explain that scenarios are Awkward to the core (may be i can use the word childish). I dont know if it was meant, but any other reader would easily interpret the text as Chennai is a Good-for-nothing city (atleast i felt it).. Thats too bad a write-up. Can we just scribble up something just to make some hype and interest ? Atleast I wouldnt expect that from a Rediff page.

Let me sum you up the moral of the 4 stories she had given.

Moral of the story: If you are in Chennai, never sit on a park bench with your girlfriend or boyfriend. And, most importantly, never hold hands. It is not part of the great Chennai Culture.

Besides Morality.. there's just onething I'd like to emphasize. The Above Inference is NOT TRUE. Proof will be a walk through Marina Beach.

Moral of the story: In Chennai, you should not go to a dance party unless it is Bharata Natyam. You should not kiss your spouse even if you are dancing the Bharata Natyam. You should respect the great culture and traditions of the city.

Hey, this is a meaningless abuse of the city. Nobody, not even the police were talking about the culture and traditions of the City.. Why bring it in.. Looks like Shoba is offended by the goodness of the city... and clearly shows an offensive mood towards the city. But Why ?

Moral of the story: If you are an engineering student in Chennai, you should dress 'decently' and never talk to the opposite sex. That is, if you want a good job in a good company.

Not True Again. Why is Decent dressing and Campus placements related ? Any Engineering Student would disagree to it.

Moral of the story: If you are a woman living in Chennai, a city that has Big Brothers who flaunt their several wives/mistresses as proof of their wealth and social status, never talk about sex, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, AIDS, condoms or virginity.

This one is political and it happens everywhere. Shivsena would do it in Bombay and many others in respected cities. Why Bash on Chennai for that ??

Whilst So many parts of the article are not true, what is this article doing ont he Rediff page ? It is not that I want to raise a fight against Shoba Warrior (I know I cant), but would like to clarify from her one simple question.

Why is Chennai a part of these issues ?

I felt it was completely unnecessary to bring in the city for an abuse.. Looked like the people living there are fools.. Looked like the people in other states and cities allow Night Club Kissing, Free Speech and so and so stuffs. I know Mumbai and Banglore are even worse on this.

I request any Chennai blogger to take up on this and make his views directed to rediff, if you feel offended just like me.


thennavan said...

Keerthi, question eliciting an honest answer. Did you feel my post on this was also similar? If yes, then please say so and if no, again why do you feel so? Since my example could have been extended to any other city which does moral policing too but since I can only speak as a (and for) Thamizhan, I focused my attention on Chennai and Tamilnadu. So, what do you think? Naan nallavanaa kettavanaa :-)

iyengarkatz said...

i dont agree with the whole issue. why does everybody make it seem like chennai is the problem?? when are the so called modern males/females going to stand up to their hearts and be more open about it?? why sit in the park and hold hands?? why not sit in the living room of their homes and do it?? how many do that?? if the parents chastise their kids for doing so, will people then start to say BIG BROTHER = PARENTS?? if you are not afraid of what you are doing, and can defend it anywhere, you shouldn't have a problem standing upto to any policing authority. the problem is not everyone is like that because some of them do things on the sly! that has to change and that change has to come from the homes before it starts to spread into the society.

DontheCat said...

Thennavan, There is a strong difference between your post and Shobha's . While your post was written in jest and shows your anger at the moral policing, SW's article smacks of chauvinism and bad journalism. Actually, it condemns an entire city...

Your post reflects your love for TN, while Shobha's reflects her weel-known prejudice for TN.

Jacky said...

This article is over the top but do you think Chennai allows anyone to live their lives? Try holding hands at 3 or 4 pm in Marina and you'll find a cop to question you.
There's a sincere sigamani group to stop your car before ECR tollgate by 12 am only to ask you all inappropriate questions.
Sigamani group 2 will be in front of Drive-in, Cathedral rd – they stop you – oothunga sir, oothunga.
Sigamani group 3 – Police patrol at 12 am in marina – it's okay if they ask us to leave but if it's a group of guys, they come to inspect your car "Bottle ethuvum illaya, Veetuku ponga pa".
And if you're unlucky you will bump into Sigamani group 4 which stops you by Clock tower, you have to convince them that you're coming after watching night show in Melody by showing your tickets.
Chennai sucks and it sucks big time. I know its hardcore residents will not agree.

Prabu Karthik said...


i think the cop questioning in marina and the anna nagar tower incident (which happened a yr back app) are bad.

But i dont have any issues with cops stopping me midnight during night patrol. I've been stopped a numerous times but has ever had problems on showing the vehcile papers and answering basic questions.

Prabu Karthik said...


neenga eludhinadhu for fun sake.
any northie reading shobha's article will begin to see chennai in not so good light.

i've interacted with a few northies elsewhere and their views of chennai as such is well"the less said the better" types.

Articles like shobha's will only add a few more chennai-bashers

keerthi said...

What you wrote was concering the Issues burning. What Shoba Warrior has written is bringing the Chennai into the issue. You never blamed the city.

exactly... either you yourself mail this to rediff.. or i will do it for you..

i thought this happens in every city. I've faced this in Mumbai too.

Krithiga said...

Yeah, I did read this article quite sometime back. I felt like the writer is prejudiced towards Chennai. If you ask me, I'd still say Chennai is warm and friendly and embraces the East and the West with equal affection. A few rotten eggs here and there shouldn't let people jump to such imbecile conclusions.

Bala (Karthik) said...

As proud as i am (was) about Chennai, sometimes we got to stare truth in its face.

"Moral of the story: If you are in Chennai, never sit on a park bench with your girlfriend or boyfriend. And, most importantly, never hold hands. It is not part of the great Chennai Culture."
Unfortunately, the incidents of couple-harrasment by our thoppai-maamas are happening too frequently to be dismissed as "stray" incidents.
That said, it would be too simplistic for anyone to dismiss our Chennai on the whole as a prudish city and i agree with you there...

iyengarkatz said...


you are more than welcome to use my comments as you please.

few incidents of such moral policing shouldn't be overblown anyways. especially that segment on engg. college asking students to refrain from wearing revealing clothes. heck, i would think it is within their rights to set a dress code. why i have heard that software companies have fired employees for bad grooming habits and one cannot go looking like a hippie to work if you want to keep it, so why is such a big deal being made of this??

also, i would personally think instead of people rising up in anger etc over this issue, one should cold shoulder it thereby giving it only a cursory glance and nothing more. barking dogs seldom bite and in this case, will never be able to sully the history of the city.


DontheCat said...

Curious quirk of fate? Clever use of search engine algos? Dunno? Check for yourself.

Do a Google on "Shobha Warrier" and see for your self. She's not going to like me any better, but then I dont like her either. :-)

VK said...

hey...i agree with u keerthi...enna koothu can she do something like this abt chennai..we the people who rise for a fellow blogger, would we lie in mute response to something like this....something has to be done...any suggestions

keerthi said...

krithika, appdi sollunga. I would appreciate you reply on the rediff forum about this. Lets talk back.

bala (Karthik), right. we might have law-enforcements, and occasional (yes, occasional..) couple-harrasment like what you mention. And as you say, such things dont bring the city down.

thanks Katz, will put it up as your comment on Rediff.

mr. Murali, Wow !! Google is certainly intelligent.

vk, respond in rediff about this. Read Iyengar's comments (2 comments above yours..) :D

Narayanan Venkitu said...

Yeah, I felt offended as well. Thanks for Don for bringing this out, and thanks Keerthi for writing about this.

I did express my feelings to Rediff via an email.

keerthi said...

venkittu sir, thanks for referring me to Don. I read your comment as well.

The One said...

udal manukku, uyir tamizhukku!

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Instinctive Traveller said...

Aren’t we missing the fact that we in Chennai are being told what we must think and be? Hello! Where goes democracy? Where goes free speech?

Pray, would someone tell me who in this culturally rich Chennai has been offended by the late-night partying and the likes? Would they stand up to be counted?

And while you stand, I’d like to ask you: mister or miss or ms moral police, what has caused you to loose sleep over the partying or whatever it is you find aggrieving?

Who are you to tell me what i should do? Would you listen to what i have to say? Who are you to draw my borders and decide my wardrobe or the authors i read or what i do with my time and money as long as i have in no way infringed on your reasonable liberty? Who are you pray?

And who's given you the right to rule my private space? Is intrusion your culture? Is intolerance your culture? Is hypocrisy your culture? Because it sure isn't Chennai’s as you claim.