Tag Archives: tamil nadu

Chennai Floods – Impact of Social Media and the real heroes

Actor Siddharth (Left) and RJ Balaji (Right) started the relief work in Chennai with their #ChennaiMicro movement

Actor Siddharth (Left) and RJ Balaji (Right) started the relief work in Chennai with their #ChennaiMicro movement

When I first heard about the incessant rains in Chennai I had no clue about the devastation it had caused to the city I grew up in. When I later looked at the videos and photos it was really heart breaking. It really pained me that I was not there and was not able to help the people in need. This was the time I read an article and found few of the twitter posts by actor Siddharth and RJ Balaji. I do have twitter account but I hardly use it. Let me be honest, I am not a big social media fan. Even though I have Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc… I hardly use it.

Now when I logged on to twitter and looked at the posts and the number of people involved in making a difference I was completely inspired. I decided instead of feeling bad for not being present in Chennai during this time, I can do something worthwhile. So there began my involvement in doing something useful to help the people in need. The twitter proved that if used well social media is the most powerful tool in the current generation. I was able to help out people providing useful information or guiding them to the right contact being here in the US which would have not been possible like 15 years ago.

The other thing which was amazing was the number of young volunteers who were involved in the relief work. It was really inspiring to see how much they were working hard to help the people in need. I met lot of very good people and was able to help a few of them with their needs. It was truly amazing experience to be part of the work which was going on in full swing with their relief work in Tamil Nadu. The kind of pictures we saw of the floods meant that these volunteers braved their way in conditions which were extremely dangerous to help the people who needed food and supplies. There are not enough words to thank these countless volunteers who made the difference during these testing times for the state.

We need to thank actor Siddharth and RJ Balaji who started this movement and used the social media via their #ChennaiMicro movement to reach out to people. They have been brilliant and their team has done some amazing work in the Chennai and Cuddalore which were the most affected. The Tamil film industry in unison was completely involved in the relief work and it was brilliant to see how they were ready to help anyone who needed any supplies. I would also like to mention Khusbhu, Vishal, Vishnu, Karthi, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Karthik Kumar, Singer Suchitra, Shanthanu and countless others who joined the movement and were not only in social media but also were in the field helping people in need.

These are the real heroes. No amount of thanks can repay the efforts they put in during the time of adversity to help the people of the state. The people of Tamil Nadu have once again proven that humanity is bigger than any religion, caste or language.

I am so happy that I took to twitter a week ago as otherwise I wouldn’t have been so close to whatever relief work was happening in TN. I really want to salute all the heroes who decided to leave their homes and go on the streets and help people in need. I would also like to mention the countless brothers and sisters from all over the world (not only from India) who donated generously to help the relief work. The spirit of the people of TN has been heartwarming. Even though we were not getting much attention in the national media, the people brushed it off and helped themselves to recover from one of the largest natural calamity the state has faced since the tsunami of 2004.

I am really proud of my state and my city. I am really proud of the Tamil film industry. This has been really a rewarding experience and I would like to keep myself involved in every way possible in the state’s rehabilitation work.

Isn’t it just common sense?

People talk about creative freedom, secularism but for me it boils down to just common sense. The things that have been happening in Tami Nadu are unfair on the brilliant creator that is Mr Kamal Hassan. I am a big admirer of Kamal Hassan’s work. Let me be clear I am no fan boy. I love good cinema and Kamal Hassan has provided that in abundance.

When Viswaroopam released and when I learnt that it deals with terrorism I did not expect it to create such a furor. We have had countless movies releasing in India on similar themes, so I thought this movie will be considered one among them but that is not to be. Viswaroopam was banned by Tamil Nadu government and subsequently by other governments in India and abroad.

I can’t believe that in this day and age people actually believe that a movie can cause security issue. It is sad that one of India’s finest creators has to suffer due to some political agenda.

Kamal Hassan has talked about moving out of Tamil Nadu and even the country if the justice is not served. It will be a shame for the nation/state if such a thing happens. Creative people like Kamal Hassan are nation’s pride. The kind of jewel we all need to cherish and celebrate. India is the only country where their legends are treated with so much contempt. The government needs to wake up and put an end to this madness.

The creative freedom on an actor and creator needs to be upheld. It is sad to see the great man talking about bankruptcy and losing his home. It is even astonishing that the government hasn’t done anything to avert this situation. The perplexing thing is that the Tamil film association has kept mum on this issue. Few actors including our superstar have voiced in their support but as an association they should have stood behind their own.

It is nice to see the support of the fans for the movie. I hope that everyone continues to support the movie and keep our beloved icon in his home state. I hope that the Supreme Court intervenes and overturns the ban on the film. An icon like Kamal deserves better and we cannot let the constitution down.

Kamal Hassan is one of India’s finest actor/director. He has given us numerous classics and is very much responsible for taking Indian cinema overseas.

Cold weather is depressing

I live in Illinois, USA and it is summer here right now. Contrary to last year the summer this time has been pretty hot with temperatures touching 90 F almost every day. So recently when we were discussing about the weather over lunch one of my friends told me that he would rather prefer the winter in Illinois as the summer is too hot for him. When he said that I almost fell of the chair, this guy comes from same state as I do from India, Tamil Nadu, which except for few cities is not exactly known for its cold weather.

I would have agreed with him if we were in Bay Area, California or in Florida where the winter indeed is more pleasant than the hot summers but Illinois, you got to be kidding me. The winter here to put it plainly is downright “depressing”. How great can the weather be when at 4:00 PM you reach home and it’s already dark? Winter in Illinois is lots of snow, very low temperatures, Ice/sleet formations on roads and parking lot most of the times. It means not going out, lots of cleaning snow from your cars, feeling lazy, eating a lot and jumping up and down in joy when the temperature is 30 F. Thanks but no thanks.

I practically hate the winter here. Even though the summer has been hot, I would take this anytime over the winters here. I come from Chennai where the idea of winter is 60-70 F and 90-100 F during the rest of the year so naturally I am more inclined towards Florida sort of weather, but it’s not like the locals love winters here either, they complain all the time about the winter and would rather prefer the hot weather.

So basically I disagree with him big time as worrying for my life driving at 20 miles/hour on snow is not my cup of tea. Anyways the summer is almost over and winter is around the corner and I think my friend will be one of the very few who will rejoice the prospect of the same. As for the rest of us it will be a hard to say good bye to summer.

Is Hindi our official language?

Is hindi our National language? The answer is “No”, Should it be our National Language? Again the answer would be “No”.India does not have a National language which not many Indians know(Including myself until last week). According to the National languages act of 1963 Hindi and English together was made the official language of communication for the central government. The act also mentioned that each state would have their own official language together with English. So according to the act people in TamilNadu, AP or in Gujarat need not know Hindi as thats not their state’s official language.

This is not a great situation though as I think that knowing the language is a great plus for every Indian no matter where he comes from. The reason why I said that Hindi should not be declared as our National language is because it may cause a huge regional clash and the people, not the politicians will be blamed for not knowing the language. I was lucky enough to grow up in Delhi, so can speak the language fluently but not all Tamilians have that luxury. The problem is that most of us do not know that Hindi is not our National Language and keep blaming the people from south for not knowing the same. Well now we have an excuse and reason for not knowing the language. People from North have to realise that not all Indians need to speak Hindi.

Being a Tamilian myself who can speak Hindi, I just think that by knowing the language my life has become little bit easy. I guess by knowing hindi it gives you more freedom to move around within India and makes life very simple when you travel abroad. Regional politics played by the politicians in TamilNadu has made sure that people from that state are discouraged to learn the language. We do have people who learn the language through their own efforts by giving “prathmic” exams and stuff but the number is too less. With the growing IT market and people moving to different parts of the country to work, it becomes easier if you can speak Hindi.

Unless and until the Govt can make sure that every state in India will cooperate and make learning Hindi madatory, we cannot even think of making it our National language. The possibility of that happening is very less as no sooner there is a talk about making hindi our National language there will be riots accross India. At least now we know that the people from different parts of India are not required to know that language and it boils down to personal interest to learn the same. When people used to say to me that every Indian should know Hindi as its our National language, I never had a defense against the same but now I do. Its not the mistake of any Indian that he cannot speak hindi but its the politicians and the respective state governments who deny us that chance.