Chennai Journal
Saturday, September 29, 2007
We had an unexpected long holiday this weekend. October 2 (Tuesday) is Gandhi's birthday, but now a Bandh (means "closed" in Hindi) has been called for October 1. Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister, has said that the strike is not called by the government, but "by the alliance parties to draw attention to the people's demand in a peaceful manner." The "people's demand" is for the realization of the Sethusamudram Shipping project, which would involve dredging a canal between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Since the waters between the two are quite shallow, large ocean going ships have to navigate around Sri Lanka to reach the eastern coast of India. The canal would allow a shipping lane through this strait between the two countries.

As an idea, the canal project has been around more than 150 years, but for various reasons has never materialized. It got more of a kick start a couple of years ago when it was backed by PM Manmohan Singh, but still faces controversy---according to some reports, it isn't economically viable, and the environmental impact on marine life--including the trade of small fishermen along the Coromandel coast--could be devastating. There are religious objections, too---a necklace of islands between the two countries is called Rama's Bridge (Hindu) or Adam's Bridge (Islamic) and is tied to mythology about Rama's pals building the bridge so he could reach Lanka to rescue his wife Sita. The Islamic version would have Adam crossing to stand on one foot on the highest peak in Ceylon (old for Sri Lanka) for a 1000 years to repent his sins. This same mountain is also sacred to the Buddhists. Anyway, interesting timing to choose a "bridge day" between a weekend and a major holiday to announce a bandh over such a project...

Although things are expected to be peaceful and the Madras High Court has charged the government to ensure that services are not disrupted and traffic runs normally, I decided to take the opportunity for a bit of travel. So I got on the web and quickly organized a short trip to Kolkata. Despite its association with poverty through the work of Mother Teresa, it's supposed to be a lovely old city with lots of places to see and old Raj charm. And Bengali food is among the best....more when I return....

unlock iphone 4
how to unlock iphone 4

unlock iphone 4 unlock iphone 4 unlock iphone 4
unlock iphone 4

how to unlock iphone 4 unlock iphone 4 [url=http://theunlockiphone4.com]unlock iphone 4 [/url] how to unlock iphone 4
Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger

Bloggapedia, Blog Directory - Find It! Travel blogs