Chennai: Where India Works
Published on: August 26, 2012
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  • WigWag

    What a wonderful post; the trip sounds fascinating. What a treat to hear about Professor Mead’s sojourn in India.

    I know that this is a blog about politics and international relations but it would be quite interesting to hear the Professor’s take on the cuisines that he encountered during his travels. I have heard that the food preferences in the South trend towards vegetarian style and I wonder if Professor Mead enjoyed the food he found in Madras or if he found it off-putting in any way.

    There is a substantial Indian population in Queens not far from Professor Mead’s Jackson Heights home. There are also some excellent Indian Restsurants in Little India in Manhattan, also known as Murray Hill. The best Indian restaurants in New York are on 60th street between 2nd and 1st Avenues. The two best are Chola and the incomparably good, Dawat.

    Of course London is also home to wonderful Indian food. That old favorite the Red Fort is one I always liked but it might be more for sentimental reasons than the quality of the food.

    Anyway, it would be interesting to know what Professor Mead thought of the cullinary styles he encountered on his trip and whether the Indian food he tasted in India was as good or better than the Indian food than he has eaten in the United States, Great Britain or elsewhere.

  • Anthony

    WRM, you are correct India is a country of regions, cultural identities, etc. Both national and subnational identies in India may converge to facilitate economic growth and comity. Historically, as you alluded to, India has granted different powers to different terrirorial units and Chennai represents current example. The crux is how does a would be world power become an actual one going forward.

  • Anthony

    Correction: territorial units.

  • cacrucil

    Did you go to Punjab. I’ve heard that that northern state, which is predominantly sikh, is quite prosperous due to a strong agricultural sector.

  • Andrew Allison

    Welcome back, you were missed!

  • Gary L

    One of the names on the registry book at St. George’s parish church: Eli Yale, who was married in the church while carrying out the trading activities that earned the wealth he would later share with the college that now bears his name.

    I looked up Eli Yale on Wikipedia – one interesting bit of trivia is that some dispute the centrality of Yale’s role in establishing what was originally called the Collegiate School, arguing that Jeremiah Dummer (1681-1739) – who is said to be the first American to earn a Ph.D at a foreign university (a degree in Theology from the University of Utrecht, 1703) – was the true father of that campus. It seems that, in attempting to establish the college, Dummer persuaded Yale – then living in London – to make a significant financial donation, as well as several hundred books from his private library. The leadership at the College balked at naming the school after Jeremiah – no doubt they anticipated the centuries of “Dumb and Dummer” jokes that would have been made whenever Harvard and Yale were contrasted.

  • dearieme

    “part of the same colonial expansion that settled the eastern seaboard of the United States”: oh rubbish. North America had colonies in the sense of people going to live there, the other was a trading station.

  • Jim.

    So, is Churchill’s observation that “India is no more a country than the Equator” still accurate?

  • I hail from Chennai and I’m really proud to be the quintessential ‘Madrasi’. While I hate tags and the usual identity politics that go along with it , this one I wear proudly. It’s just great to see that someone of your stature shares the thought that ‘Chennai shows what India looks like when it works.’
    P.S: I recently attended your seminar at JNU, New Delhi and just wanted to say that it was fantastic. Looking forward to more visits

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