My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

MADRAS MISCELLANY- A strait by another name


In all this brouhaha over what’s now being called Ramar Sethu, with even a bandh being declared today as part of all the sound and the fury, some long-used names in Geography textbooks have been forgotten. The chain of rocks linking Rameswaram Island in India and Mannar Island in Sri Lanka has for centuries been known as Adam’s Bridge without anyone getting worked up about it. Even less remembered in all the excitement is that for a couple of centuries all maps of India have called the strait between the two islands Palk Strait and the bay, northeast of it, separating the two countries, Palk Bay. Who Palk was even fewer will remember, so I’ll try and refresh some memories today before, as part of the current impassioned preoccupation with Indian antiquity, it becomes a name to be eliminated from the maps of India.

Robert Palk was the first man of the cloth to become not only a civil servant but also a Governor in India in Medieval and Modern History. He was appointed Governor of Madras in 1763 and, as befitting an ordained clergyman, his period of office was marked by no extraordinary alarums and passed off peacefully. But the first of his significant contributions to history was his deputing, in 1765, Lt. William Stevens of the Engineers to survey Adam’s Bridge. That survey report is something I’d like to get my hands on in the context of today’s happenings. I wonder whether the Tamil Nadu Archives has a copy. Be that as it may, Stevens’ extensive survey was enthusiastically encouraged by Palk – and his enthusiasm for this little bit of exploration got both Strait and Bay named Palk.

A naval chaplain with Admiral Boscawen’s fleet, Palk was in 1749 transferred to the Company’s service when the quarrelsome, abusive and aggressive Rev. Francis Fordyce was dismissed from service after coming to blows with Robert Clive in Cuddalore. Palk served nine years as chaplain in Fort St. David, Cuddalore, and St. Mary’s in Fort St. George. During this period, he was on numerous occasions sent to conduct political negotiations with the French and the Rajah of Tanjore. For successfully negotiating with the latter, his inseparable friend Major Stringer Lawrence, founder of the Madras Regiment and Father of the Indian Army of today, recommended that he be presented a diamond ring of value 1000 pagodas.

This political role he had played in the Carnatic had the Company urging him to join its civil service – and it was as Third in Madras that he returned in 1761 after a couple of years in England. The Governorship followed, during which his second significant contribution to the history of the times was to negotiate a treaty with the Moghuls and obtain for the Company the Northern Circars – what’s northern Andhra Pradesh and southern Orissa today.

Retiring to England in 1767, the Rev. Sir Robert Palk (I wonder how many priests have been knighted) bought himself Haldon House in his native Devonshire, in which he lived with his fellow-bachelor and friend Stringer Lawrence, a major-general by then. When Lawrence died, Palk raised a tower on the summit of Haldon Hill in memory of his friend. Palk himself served in Parliament for 14 years.
(The Hindu, Metro Plus Chennai, 01:09:2007)



Blogger braahmii said...

మీరింత తెలుగు పండితులై ఉండి, మీ బ్లాగులో ఇంత ఇంగ్లిష్ ఏమిటండి.

8:42 pm

Blogger Carani Narayana Rao said...

తెలుగు పాండిత్యమా,పాడా! అటువంటిదేమీ లేదండి.తెలుగు భాషలో కాస్త అభినివేశం ఉంది.అంతే! పాఠశాలలో ఓ 7(6వ తరగతినుండి 12 వ తరగతివరకు) సంవత్సరాలు తెలుగు చదువుకొన్నా, కళాశాల, ఉద్యాగాలలో ఆగ్ల వాడకం 30 సంవత్సరాలకు పైనే ఉంది.అందుకే, ఆంగ్లంపై ఉన్న పట్టు తెలుగు మీద రాలేదు.

హిందూ, ఈనాడు వార్తా పత్రికలు, ద వీక్, స్వాతి పత్రికలు చదవడం నా అలవాటు. ఇవి చదివేటప్పుడు ఏవైనా ఆసక్తికరమైన విషయాలుంటే ఆ భాగాలు మాత్రం కత్తిరించి, భవిష్యత్తులో ఉపయోగ పడుతుందేమోనని ఆ ముక్కలు దాచిపెట్టుకునేవాడిని. ఇప్పుడు, కత్తిరించడం మానేసి,ఆసక్తికరమైన విషయాలుంటే ఆ భాగాలను నా బ్లాగులో సంకలనం చేస్తున్నాను. అందుకని నే చెప్పేదేవిటంటే, నా బ్లాగులో నా సొంత ప్రేలాపనలు తక్కువ, తెలుగు ఆంగ్లాలనుండి సేకరణలే ఎక్కువ.

10:06 am


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