The article “Our tryst with celluloid magic” by Stephen Putnam Hughes (August 15) the article which traced the history of India's first permanent theatre, Mrs. Klug's Bioscope, was truly amazing. The fact that Mrs. Klug's Bioscope had adopted the practice of continuous shows to cater to the demands of people from different walks of life aptly reflected her passion and creativity. Mrs. Klug's Bioscope is, no doubt, another feather in the crown of the city of music and culture called Chennai.
Women have been the catalyst in fighting for their own emancipation and liberty. Quite evidently, the portrayal of C. Minakshi by A.Srivathsan ( ‘Scholar extraordinaire', August 15) was both an inspiring and enlightening read. The great historian showcases strength and perseverance to the women of today. It would be beyond our imagination to delve into the struggle she might have undergone to reach where she did in a country where even today male chauvinism masks the might of many a women. If a woman, in her 34 yrs of existence can be a role model of such magnitude, imagine how much more women of this era can contribute, given their full freedom.
It may be mentioned that, in addition to what has been written, the subjects selected for her investigation for Ph D thesis were: 1) The Historical Sculptures of the Vaikuntaperumal Temple; 2) The Kailasanathar Temple and 3) The Administration and Social Life under the Pallavas. It appears that one of the examiners, A.N. Dixit, remarked that any one of the three subjects alone would have earned the coveted degree for her! As said in the article, Sir Mirza Ismail, the then Diwan of Mysore, after perusing her studies on the Pallavas, offered her professorship in Maharani's College, Bangalore.
K R A. Narasiah
Best and worst
This refers to the views of some eminent personalities about what they thought was the one best, and the one worst, moment in the 63 years of our tumultuous democracy … (August 15).
I, as a citizen of India, feel August 15, 1947 is a day of Great Divide: 200 years before the date were marked by political and economic suppression of Indians by the Britishers, and in the last 63 years the dubious role has been taken over by Indian politicians. Eventually, there is no respite for the people.
The economic growth in the post-independence era hasn't kept pace with the demands of society, and therefore the problems of poverty, unemployment, corruption, etc haunt the society. Pathetic indeed!
For a keen student of history the Magazine (August 15) was a pleasure to read. Be it the history of the bioscope, an account of Lahore in the 1940s, the enterprise of Kulsum Sayani or the details of the Viceregal Lodge at Shimla, the whole issue is full of historical nuggets. I grew up listening to the enthralling voice of Ameen Sayani and wondering how he looked. And here we have the photograph of young Ameen along with his mother and brother.
Prof. Anil K. Joshi
Dept. of History, Kumaun University