1. Work Images of India/Tamil Nadu
“‘There is truly an economic boom, but it’s a capital-intensive boom. None of the industries coming up are Labour intensive. Alam told AFP. ‘The boom is through high-technology which creates skilled jobs.’ ‘This exodus from villages is people looking for low-skilled or semi-skilled jobs.’ Derek Scissors, an Asia economics expert with the Washington-based think-tank The Heritage Foundation, says under-employment as well as unemployment i endemic in rural areas. ‘Official unemployment statistics aren’t going to capture that,’ he says. He believes the Bareilly employment fair, as well as underlining the enduring attraction of ‘jobs for life’ in the public sector, also shows how cheap transport and communications have changed modern India.
‘ People in rural areas have much better information about what’s going on far away from them. That’s a good thing most of the time,’ he told AFP. ‘On the other hand, you can get mass movements of people across the country and they can overwhelm the ability of any environment to handle them,’ he says. The sight of thousands clamouring for jobs is as much a feature of the modern Indian economy as lines of call centre staff answering phones on behalf of international companies.[…] ‘The employment situation is terrible in villages and it breaks my heart when over-qualified candidates beg to do menial jobs like cleaning toilets,’ he said. ‘Even (high-caste) Brahmins apply for such work because there are just no jobs available.'” (Source: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/Fast-growing-India-facing-afp-3451166305.html)
Vegetable market in Tiruvannamalai
Weavery in Tiruvannamalai for widows and single mothers
Apple/Mall in Chennai
Fishing boats near the Fish Market on Chennai beach.
Fish market in Chennai
Fishermen near Tharangambadi
Cars in front of an Ashram
The Hindustan Ambassador – The classical Indian car…
2. The Holy Cow
3. Chennai – The Capital of the Future
Oliver Balch describes his meeting with the futuristic part of Chennai – the Mahindra World City. Although the picture is from central Chennai, it resembles some the general futuristic aspects of the mega-city in Tamil Nadu:
“The futuristic township lies on a sprawling patch of wasteland outside Chennai (formerly known as Madras), one of a cluster of mega-cities that Indians affectionately refer to as their ‘metros’. It took an hour to get there from the airport. A clogged line of commuter traffic crawled slowly into town in the opposite direction. Heading against the flow, we’d sped along” (Source: Oliver Balch, India Rising, p. 2).
Wealth in Chennai
Wonderful corner in Chennai
4. Temple in Tiruvannamalai
Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple in Tiruvannamalai
“Shiva is known by devotees as Annamalayar or Arunachaleswarar. And this is believed to be the largest temple in the world dedicated to Shiva. The history of this Annamalayar temple dates back to thousand years. Mention has been made in the Thevaram and Thiruvasagam, both great works in Tamil. Bramha took the form of a swan and flew to see the crown of Siva. Unable to see the crown, Bramha saw a thazhambu flower which had decked Siva’s crown falling down. […]
The place where Lord Siva stood as a column of fire to eliminate the ego is Thiruvannamalai. The Saiva cult is a world phenomenon. Thiruvannamalai is the capital of Saivism. The South Indian deity Siva is the God of all countries. Annamalaiannal is the most sacred of the names of the manifestation of Lord Siva” (Web: http://www.arunachaleswarartemple.tnhrce.in/ )
“AZHWARS AND NAYANMARS have sung the glory of the Almighty as One who symbolises the five elements of Nature — fire, water, sky, wind and earth. The places where the Lord is seen as one of the elements are known as Panchabootha sthalas. The most important among them are Arunachala or Thiruvannamalai, and Chidambaram, Many centuries ago Annamalai was a hilly range emitting fiery lava. According to geologists, after thousands of years it cooled down and took its present shape. People of the Vedic age worshipped fire. It was kept burning all the time in yaga kundams (fire pits).
“And fire or light is worshipped at Thiruvannamalai (on the Villupuram-Katpadi rail route). It is one of the most important Sivakshetras sung by Saints Thirugnanasambandar, Appar and Manickavasagar. It was here that Manickavasagar composed the “Thiruvempavai”, sung in the Tamil month of Margazhi. The place has been mentioned in our epics, in the Sangam classics and in Saivite religious lore.” (Web: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/fr/2002/06/21/stories/2002062101820600.htm ).
“Thiruvasagam (Tamil: திருவாசகம், lit. ‘sacred utterance’) is a volume of Tamil hymns composed by the ninth century Shaivite bhakti poet Manikkavasagar. It contains 51 compositions and constitutes the eighth volume of the Tirumurai, the sacred anthology of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta. Legend has it that Manikkavasakar was appointed as minister by king Arimarttanar and sent to purchase 10,000 horses from Arab traders but spent the money building a temple in Tirupperunturai. As the legend goes, Thiruvasagam is the only work which is signed by lord Siva” (Web: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiruvacakam#cite_note-auto-19).
Because He, Civan, within my thought abides,
By His grace alone, bowing before His feet,
With joyous thought, Civan’s ‘Ways of Old’ I’ll tell,
That thus my former ‘deeds’ may wholly pass. (20)
I came, attained the grace the ‘Brow-eyed’ showed,
Adored the beauteous foot by thought unreached.
O Thou, Who fill’st the heaven, Who fill’st the earth, art manifested light,
Transcending thought, Thou boundless One ! Thy glory great
I, man of evil ‘deeds’ know not the way to praise ! (25)
HIS VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS
Grass was I, shrub was I, worm, tree,
Full many a kind of beast, bird, snake,
Stone, man, and demon. ‘Midst Thy hosts I served.
The form of mighty Asuras, ascetics, gods I bore.
Within these immobile and mobile forms of life, (30)
In every species born, weary I’ve grown, great Lord !”
(Source: http://www.projectmadurai.org/pm_etexts/utf8/pmuni0094.html )
The Temple seen from the mountain in Tiruvannamalai
A holy man inside the temple
5. Tharangambadi – Trankebar
All religions merge in Trankebar. The entrance to the town Tharangambadi (formerly known as Tranquebar)
The Danish fort in Tharangambadi
The Danish fort in Tharangambadi
The Danish fort in Tharangambadi
Monument on the protestant mission in Tharangambadi
The Danish governor’s mansion in Tranquebar
The Danish church in Tranquebar
The old Danish churchyard (Sign of religious co-existence)
People – mostly women – waiting for rice
A man from Tharangambadi (formerly known as Tranquebar)
All Religions Merge in Tranquebar: Religious Coexistence and Social Cohesion in South India (Nias Studies in Contemporary Asian History):
“With globalization helping those who assert incompatible differences between their respective faiths, clashes of faith are increasingly common in different parts of the world. As a result, the study of religious conflict is also increasing.
This book reverses that perspective by addressing a case of peaceful religious coexistence and social cohesion, namely in the South Indian village of Tranquebar (Tharangambadi) in Tamil Nadu. The birthplace of the Lutheran mission to India in 1706, this former Danish colonial settlement is now a famous heritage site.
Although badly hit by the 2004 tsunami and today numerically dominated by members of a Hindu fishermen’s caste, so far the town has managed to steer clear of the kind of religious conflicts too often found in a number of states in present-day India, including Tamil Nadu. This in-depth study, based on post-tsunami field studies in 2006 and 2007, examines the ways in which Hindus, Muslims and different Christian denominations interact in their day-to-day lives. Further, it demonstrates that the role played by religion – as far as social cohesion is concerned – is invariably tied up with several other factors (social stratification, economic development, educational institutions and such social communities as caste councils, etc.) and may serve as a basis for unity as well as division.”
Hindu temple in Tharangambadi with a view (Sign of religious co-existence)
Mosque in Tharangambadi (Sign of religious co-existence)
6. Science – University of Madras
7. Signs in Public Space
8. Indian art
“Indian Arts consists of a variety of art forms, including plastic arts (e.g., pottery sculpture), visual arts (e.g., paintings), and textile arts (e.g., woven silk). Geographically, it spans the entire Indian subcontinent, including what is now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and eastern Afghanistan. A strong sense of design is characteristic of Indian art and can be observed in its modern and traditional forms.
The origin of Indian art can be traced to pre-historic Hominid settlements in the 3rd millennium BC. On its way to modern times, Indian art has had cultural influences, as well as religious influences such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. In spite of this complex mixture of religious traditions, generally, the prevailing artistic style at any time and place has been shared by the major religious groups.
In historic art, sculpture in stone and metal, mainly religious, has survived the Indian climate better than other media and provides most of the best remains. Many of the most important ancient finds that are not in carved stone come from the surrounding, drier regions rather than India itself. Indian funeral and philosophic traditions exclude grave goods, which is the main source of ancient art in other cultures.”
To be continued …