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Volume 57 Number 4, June 2006

Chennai not Madras

Perspectives on the City

Edited by:  A.R. Venkatachalapathy

Photographs by:  Ramu Aravindan

Price:   Rs 2500 (INR) / $66 (USD)
Binding:   Hardcover  
Specifications:   148 pages, 140 illustrations  
ISBN:   81-85026-74-2  
Dimensions:   305 x 241 mm

    Though the city of Chennai is over 350 years old, it has not received the kind of attention that other metropolitan cities in India have. Writings on the city that are available are written from a somewhat elitist perspective, epitomized by the opposition to the renaming of Madras, a few years ago. But the fact is that it has been referred to as Chennai in Tamil works. Thus the tussle revolves around the cultural struggle between colonial Madras and the Chennai of a wider democratic populace. This somewhat provocatively titled book highlights the vernacular character of Chennai.

    A.R. Venkatachalapathy, the editor of the volume, has a doctorate in history from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is Associate Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai. He has written/edited over fifteen books in Tamil on the social, cultural, and intellectual history of colonial Tamil Nadu. He has translated Sundara Ramaswamy's J.J.: Some Jottings (2004). His most recent publication is In Those Days There was No Coffee: Writings in Cultural History (2006).     

    Introduction: Chennai, Not Madras
    A.R. Venkatachalapathy

    “Madras Manade” How Chennai Remained with Tamil Nadu
    A.R. Venkatachalapathy

    Geography of a Lingua Franca, History of a Linguistic Fracas
    Pushpa Arabindoo

    Urban Mobility and Early Cinema in Chennai
    Stephen Hughes

    Chennai: Politics, Architecture, and the City
    A. Srivathsan

    Search for Self in an Urban Jungle: Notes on Contemporary Art in Chennai

    Visual Essay: Travellers’ Tales
    A.V. Ilango

    The Chennai of My First Visit
    Sundara Ramaswamy

    The City without Sparrows

    East is East, West is West

    Chennai Days, Vivid Dreams
    Blake Wentworth

    Photo Essay: Tondiapet to Mylapore
    Ramu Aravindan