April 16th, 2015Amazing Feats, Historical Links, Pre-Independence, Inspiration/ Positive News and Features, Records, All, World Opinion
by K R A Narasiah
I recently had a chance meet ing with Durailingam who told me the story of his father, Subedar Subramanian of the Madras Sappers regiment. Subramanian lost his life trying to protect others during mine clearing operations in Italy in World War II. Subedar Subramanian was awarded the then instituted George Cross; the first Indian to get the bravery award for noncombatants.
India was drawn into the Second World War without its ond World War without its consent and in spite of stout protests from the national leaders. Madras SapParis pers’ 4th division was put into operation in the Italian campaign landing in Taranto in December 1943. Two companies of the Madras Sappers joined action 100 miles south of Rome where they were mainly engaged in clearing the mines. In all, about 50,000 Indian troops fought in Italy. Half of them were injured and one in ten lost their lives.
The Madras Sappers were sent there after the allies invaded on September 3, 1943 the Italian mainland, with the invasion coinciding with the armistice made with the Italians who then joined the allies’ side. The objective of the attack was to draw the German troops from France, where an offensive was planned. The allies were facing the Gustav line (German winter defensive position) which extended from the river Garigliono in the west to Sangro in the east. Very soon the allies had occupied the ridge overlooking the river.
The Sangro River Cremation Memorial near Torino di Sangro is one of the memorials erected in Italy to officers and men of the Indian forces whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith. In that memorial Subedar Subramanian’s name is inscribed.
The details recorded in the Sangro river memorial reads, “Subramanian, son of Kannayiram and Thangammal holding the rank of Subedar, with official Number 14069 from the unit Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sapper and Miners and husband of Shanbgammal of Keelvodivakkam, Chengalpet, India.”
The details show that while Sub Subramanian was operating the mine detector, with Lance Naik Sigamani behind him marking his path with a white tape, there was a small explosion. The subedar realized immediately that the Lance Naik had stepped on an anti-personal mine and within the next four seconds the canister would be thrown into the air and explode causing great damage. Without the slightest hesitation and knowing that this would be fatal, Subramanian hurled himself over the mine knocking the Lance Naik aside. The force of the explosion was neutralized by the Subedar’s body which caused his death. With this action he saved the lives of his comrades, especially Lt Young, who was next to him.
In a rare gesture of gratitude, touching tributes were paid to 5,782 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives fighting for Italy against the fascist forces, on Oct 5, 2007 in Rome. The Memorial Gates in London have been constructed in the Constitution Hill, to pay tribute to the brave men of WW II. Sub Subramanian’s name is included in the memorial list.
Durailingam who did well for himself in his business wanted to perpetuate his father’s memory by giving the ancestral home in his village Keelottivakkam in Kanchipuram district to the Army to run an Ex Servicemen Health Service (ECHS) polyclinic. Durailingam has erected a statue (bust) of his father at the site with a cenotaph. Unfortunately, stating no reasons, the Army has withdrawn from this place after using the same for seven years in 2013. Durailingam says he has no idea why the Army withdrew. He says since he is getting older his only wish is to donate this land of over 700 sq yards to the Army so that the polyclinic can be set up.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / TNN / April 15th, 2015
Fifty years ago, Sivaji Ganesan’s film, Santhi, marked the end of a popular combination in Tamil cinema.
It was the last film in which Sivaji and M.R. Radha shared space on the silver screen.
This snippet was shared by T. Murali of Nadikar Thilakam Films Appreciation Association which organised a function on Sunday to the mark the 50 year of Santhi.
The film that was to be released on April 10 in 1965 was delayed by 12 days as the makers wanted a ‘U’ certificate instead of an ‘A’.
“Earlier, the Central Board of Film Certification thought of giving it an ‘A’. The makers thought such a certificate for those times would deter people from bringing their families to the film. So, it took them a little while to get a ‘U’ certificate,” he said.
Jayanthi Kannappan, daughter-in-law of A.L. Srinivasan who produced Santhi, brought the camera using which the film was shot 50 years ago.
“My father-in-law had the privilege of paying salaries to four Chief Ministers, including M. Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa, M.G. Ramachandran and N.T. Rama Rao, for various films. Not just that, he also introduced five directors, including A. Bhim Singh and K.S. Gopalakrishnan,” she said.
The programme was followed by the screening of the film. The film’s cast included Sivaji, C.R. Vijayakumari, Devika and S.S. Rajendran, and was directed by Bhim Singh.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – April 13th, 2015
Rare symbols have been discovered at the Lord Shiva temple at Alundur in Srirangam taluk in the district recently denoting the Brahmadarshana symbol, Manduka Diagram and Sulastone with plinth.
According to research team scholars headed by T L Subash Chandra Bose, the symbols were found at Shiva temple in Alundur as well as in some of the surrounding areas.
The scholars claimed they also found a trident with a base with the Tamil letter ‘Ka’ inscribed on the right side of one of the pillars in the temple. The symbols could date back to the 16th century BC, they said. Elaborating the significance of the Tamil letter ‘Ka,’ Subash Chandra Bose said that the alphabet refers the first true letter and also the first numerical number ‘one’. The root of letter ‘Ka’ is a cross between vertical and horizontal lines referred to as the ‘causation’.
“Ka represents Lord Param or Brahman (not Brahma). Lord Param is also symbolically indicated as an oblong with a cross at the center. It is a four square matrix (Pecaka diagram) which you can see in the Sulastone at Keezhakuruchi village stating about the Siva Temple — Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari — in Thiruvanaikoil near Srirangam where the tree, the spider and an elephent attained moksha,” he said.
The Mayamata — the temple architectural manual — says the centermost four square in the 64 square matrix is the heart zone, where the Ka — Lord Param or Brahmam dwells. An interesting reference found in Chaandogya Upanishad (verses 4.10.4-5). Ka and Kha is Brahman. Below is the explanation or interpretation of it, he said.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by Express News Service / April 04th, 2015
Amidst the many camera flashes, clicking noises and constant whispers from on-lookers, city-based language teacher, P Aravind, was trying his best to recall the 270 binary numbers being flashed before him from a computer. He finally managed to recall all the 270 digits shown to him in the fifth attempt in a bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records at the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Trust on Friday morning.
Aravind, 36, who teaches Italian, Spanish and French and has a passion for languages, had been dabbling in memory techniques for more than 15 years to help make learning of languages easier. “Every time I learnt a new language there was always a long list of words, verbs, vowels, nouns, phrases and sentences to learn,” said Aravind. “I initially found it tough and monotonous. I noticed that my students began losing interest when the going got tough,” he said.
That was when Aravind began researching memory techniques which he used to test his memory power from time to time.
I began training a year ago with just 40 numbers, and slowly kept increasing it by 20 every two months,” he said. “The earlier record was set in 2011 by a Mr Jayasimha with 264 digits. I decided to use the memory palace technique developed by Greek Poet Simonedes in 2500 BC which involves imagining a palace where you place numbers in various corners, place the rest in any way, leave the palace and continue your journey. When you return and start looking at the palace you start finding the numbers as you walk through it,” he said. He practiced at least three hours a day.
He managed to memorize 270 numbers in a minute and repeat it within eight minutes, practicing in front of many locations. “I did it in a crowded bus stop, Brookefields Mall and at the location on Thursday evening to get used to distractions,” he said.
While he looked nervous during the first attempt on Thursday evening, he looked more confident during the second attempt and was close to reaching the target before failing at the 240th digit. After a five minute break, he began all over again and succeeded in his fifth attempt.
Aravind dedicated the achievement to all his students. “I want this to be an example to all students who think they can’t memorize anything. They just need to zero in on the right technique,” he said.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Coimbatore / TNN / April 04th, 2015
Seventeen students from VIT University calling themselves ‘Team Vimaanas’ has been awarded the first position in the Asia-Pacific Region, in the Micro Class of airplanes category at SAE Aero Design international competition held at Lakeland, Florida, USA, competing with 25 other teams from prestigious universities across the world.
Teams from IIT Kanpur, NIT Jamshedpur, Manipal Institute of Technology, McGill University, University of Western Ontario, Polytechnic Institute of NYU and other European and American universities competed in the international competition. VIT chancellor G. Viswanathan while complimenting the VIT team for their achievement, said VIT University encourages students to take part in technical events as they provide a platform for them to broaden their horizons while gaining rich and practical experience.
SAE Aero Design competition is conducted by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)International.
“The contest was to design a micro-class category light aircraft that could hold a cylinder of a six-inch diameter and we began to work on this since September last year,” said Rushat Gupta Chadha, the VIT team captain who is in his fourth year Mechanical Engineering.
Weighing just 330gms the micro plane is capable of lifting a weight almost three times its weight with both wingspans measuring 36 inches and also measuring 36 inches from the tip of its nose to its tail. Although the team from VIT University was adjudged the sixth best team overall, they stood first in the Asia-Pacific Region. With several categories on which the micro planes were judged, the team was awarded the second prize for Highest Payload Lifted, fourth prize for the Highest Payload Fraction, and the sixth prize for Design.
“We got three returns on our investment of hard work. First, we learnt to apply technical knowledge and test them practically. Second, this competition acted as a booster to our morale and confidence. Finally, it is an achievement that probably no other Indian student team has achieved so far,” Chadha said. The team now plans to compete in the Advanced Class category in the same competition.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by Express News Service / April 02nd, 2015
New Delhi :
Tarun Vijay has become the first north India to get famous Kamban Academy award.
The BJP MP from Uttarakhand received the award from Justice Rama V Subramniyam at Karaikudi — the samadhi place of Kavi Chakravarty Kamban, the immortal author of Tamil Ramayana.
This is the first time that the highly prestigious ‘Aruntamizh Aarvalar Award’ is given to any non-tamil person by Kamban Academy.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / TNN / April 02nd, 2015
Here’s a question for the nerds… what do Roger Federer, Jesse Owens, Arsene Wenger, Donald Bradman and India’s Viswanathan Anand have in common?
Well, apart from all of them being connected to some sport, they all have minor planets named after them. The former World Chess Champion joined this unique club when a minor planet (4538), located roughly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, was named after him.
The newly-named minor planet, (4538 Vishyanand), was discovered by Kenzo Suzuki of Toyota, Japan, on October 10, 1988.
A staff members of Minor Planet Center, Michael Rudenko, was invited to name the object as it remained unnamed for more than 10 years. “The idea of naming a minor planet for Anand was entirely my own,” Rudenko told Express exclusively. “After careful consideration I selected him because in addition to being a great chess player he is also a gentlemen and astronomy enthusiast,” Rudenko said.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Swaroop Swaminathan / April 03rd, 2015
March 31st, 2015Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Inspiration/ Positive News and Features, Leaders, Records, All, Science & Technologies
On the occasion of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Cancer Institute (WIA), its chairman V. Shanta recalled the years of struggle that the team faced to ensure that the hospital functioned properly.
Speaking at the function on Friday, she recalled the formative years of the institute, when it was difficult to find donors.
“ Today, we have a new problem, with no space being available on either of our campuses for any development,” she said.
The Cancer Institute (WIA), founded by Muthulakshmi Reddy in 1954 when her sister died of cancer, started out as a four-bedded hospital. Sixty years later, it is a 500-bed speciality hospital.
N. Ram, chairman, Kasturi and Sons Ltd., said the negative portrayal of cancer in the media and culture was a problem. “In recent years, the scenario had changed a bit, but the problem continues to take a toll,” he said.
The Diamond Jubilee Book of the Cancer Institute was released by Mr. Ram. Ram Santhanam of the TVS Group, Sivasankari, Tamil writer, N. Sugalchand Jain, chairman, Management Committee, Cancer Institute (WIA), K.R. Purushotham from the Satyanarayana Trust, N. Sankar, chairman, Sanmar Group, and A. Krishnamoorthy, chairman, The Amalgamations Group, were present.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – March 31st, 2015
At World Working Women’s Day
Women achievers in various fields were honoured at the World Working Women’s Day observation organised by Department of Women’s studies, Bharathidasan University, here on Friday.
Sister Stella, founder of Asisi Farm and Training Centre, Kanyakumari, was honoured for her social service and Thenmozhi, Tamil writer for her Tamil writings.
Karpaga Kumaravel, Syndicate member, Bharathidasan University, gave the awards to the achievers.
A. Puratchikodi, faculty, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Anna University, Chennai Regional Office, said sexist tendencies started even at the level of brining up children. Daughters were discriminated against sons. Preference for son still prevailed in spite of strides made in various fields.
“Women are afraid to even walk on the streets of Delhi after 8 p.m. and they openly concede this,” Ms. Puratchikodi said.
N. Manimekalai, Director and Head, Department of Women Studies, Bharathidasan University, said that inequality should be removed.
Prizes were distributed among winners in various competitions.
Students of Srimad Andavan Arts and Science College here won the first prize for group dance.
Students of Chettinad College of Arts and Science College won the second prize, and Bharathidasan University Constituent College at Lalgudi won the third prize.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / by Special Correspondent / Tiruchi – March 28th, 2015
From 400 small scale units to around 2000 small and medium scale firms, Ambattur Industrial Estate has come a long way.
To celebrate the estate’s Golden Jubilee year, members and officials of the Ambattur Industrial Estate Management Association (AIEMA) from all over the State gathered at ITC Grand Chola on Saturday and awarded its past office bearers for their contribution.
“This industrial estate which was opened in 1963 has grown and is counted among the largest in the country today. This has only been possible because of the support we have got from several Government departments and of course our members. It’s an honour to be a part of its Golden Jubilee celebrations,” said R Shridharan, chairman, AIEMA.
Shridharan went on to read out a few events the Association conducted in the past. “AIEMA has also been a part of the Tamil Nadu State ranking carrom tournament, kabaddi tournament, dental and diabetic camps. AIEMA has also been one of the first industry associations to make voluntary blood donation.”
Vinod K Dasari, managing director, Ashok Leyland presided. He spoke about the association of Ashok Leyland with the units in the estate.
“Today Ashok Leyland is worth `14,000 crore. This would not have been possible without the support of our employees and especially our suppliers, a large number of whom have their workshops at Ambattur Industrial Estate,” he said.
“We have never had a single defect from their side, and we have been able to achieve fine quality because of these suppliers. I hope our relationship with AIEMA grows and strengthens over the years to come,” Dasari added.
Sivagnanam, additional advisor to the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said, “AIEMA has employed over two lakh people which is a herculean task even for ones running a 20,000 crore industry. I thank you for demonstrating your leadership and making AIEMA a living example of hard work and dedication in this country.”
Also present on the occasion were V Muthuswamy, president, TANSTIA and Gautham Venkatramani, executive director, India Pistons.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by ENS / March 28th, 2015