To mark the completion of 300 years of founding the modern city of Chennai a scholarlyvolume containing 17 essays compiled and painstakingly edited by S.Muthaiah, ascholar is brought out. There are two more volumes that follow this.The essaysmostly written by Members of the Association of British Council Scholars ofChennai deal with the Land, people and their governance in Madras , now renamed as Chennai. The aspects covered include geography,history, religions, archaeology, administration and governance. In religions,Hinduism, Islam and Christianity have been considered. The opening chapter ison the geography of the city and gives physiographic data, climate andecosystem. Other chapters include those on wild life, demography andarchaeology. Theodore Bhaskaran gives impressive information on the wildlife inthe city and details a good amount of information on flora and fauna. He alsounderscores the dangers they are facing in today’s unplanned development of the400-year old city, apathy and wanton destruction by people as well as thestate. C. Chandramouli has written a chapter on demography giving data thatcovers over a century since the earliest census.
Growth rate, density, sexratio, migration, literacy and religious and linguistic composition provide arich treasure house of information. Easily understandable maps, charts andtables add to the presentation. S.Suresh gives an interesting account of thearchaeological finds in the vicinity of the city. There are chapters on historyof Madras andthe political parties thereof. There is a lengthy chapter on military historyand another on women’s empowerment. Administration, Law enforcement andJudiciary have been made into another chapter. The write up on Mappillarebellion makes an interesting and also maybe a controversial reading. Onewishes that the uprising of agrarians in 1921 and the Anti-Hindi agitationought to have found a mention in this record.