Chennai - Sandesh

July 20, 2017


An instance of kindness in Khaki. Shri. Manivannan, a special sub-inspector of police, attached to the Kasimedu police station, Chennai, got a special invite last week from the Chennai city police commissioner A K Viswanathan, a sweet surprise for him. Manivannan was on night patrolling when he received a rescue call through the city police control room at 2am on June 12. 22-year-old D Ramya, had suffered an injury on her head after an asbestos sheet fell on top of her due to the heavy downpour. Manivannan referred her to the Stanley Medical College Hospital for treatment. Doctors examined her and asked her to take scan at a private facility. He took her to the scan and purchased medicines for her injury. Manivannan also gave her Rs1,000 for treatment. Ramya lived at a rented house with her husband Desamuthu, mother-in-law and two children. Desamuthu worked as a daily wages labourer. He was not there at the house when the accident took place.


Consider the several methods of what is now known as ‘crowdfunding’. In Keeramangalam, a Tamilnadu village in Pudukkottai district, it has a traditional flavour. Villagers call it ‘Moi irundhu’ (Feast for gift). Unlike crowdfunding, the contributors to the fund are all known to the receiver of the fund – friends and relatives. Personal invitation cards and flex banners create an atmosphere in the neighbourhood. A sumptuous non veg feast is offered in a pandal erected in the middle of the village. Cash counters manned by close relatives of the receiver collect the contributions. Every contribution is recorded. Cashiers from bank branches nearby are invited to count the cash. They arrive, armed with currency counting gadgets. Normally the collection is deposited in those branches. Several other villages in the district too hold Moi Virundhu. The purpose of the farmer families in conducting moi virundhu is normally to acquire coconut groves or to buy a new bus or setting up business in the nearby town, etc. A family can conduct moi virundhu once in five years and not more often than that. Village custom enforces the discipline. Male invitees attend the event only in white dhoti and white shirt. So cloth merchants open shop and benefit. In some moi virndhus the collection crosses one crore rupees. Another business that thrives on account of Moi irundhu in the district is meat sales. This year over 10,000 goats might be bought for the feasts. Moi Virundhu is held in Aani –Aadi (June July) months.


Demand for a state flag may be a Congress mischief in Karnataka. But it is bound to spill over to other states, stoking separatism. It has actually raised its ugly head in Tamil Nadu. M.G.K. Nizamuddin, national general secretary of Indian National League and former MLA wants a separate flag for Tamil Nadu and calls for observing a Tamil Day. He may be a non descript entity now but if Tamil politicians were to copy the Karnataka effort to design a state flag, national integration is sure to take a hit. All this remind one of the dark days of 1970’s when DMK tried to push for a state flag, soon after it declared a state anthem, in line with its separatist agenda. Today’s Tamil Nadu is home to dozens of groups supporting Jihadis as well as naxals hit the roads for no major cause but bent upon on disrupting public order. Given such a climate, nationalists in the state are concerned that the demands of persons like Nizamuddin might end up in opening the Pandora’s box.

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