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VOL. XXIV NO. 8, August 1-15, 2014
Two enter their 100th year
(by R.V. Rajan)

Two well-known institutions in the South, both in Madanapalle, Chittoor District, once part of Madras Presidency, Province and State, have entered their hundredth year from July 19th.

Rev. Dr. L.R. Scudder (left) and Rev. B. Rottschaefer of the Arcot Mission.

Besant Theosophical College, founded by Annie Besant, was inaugurated on July 19, 1915 by Governor Lord Pentland. The College drew students from as far away as Burma and England. Its first Principal was M.U. Moore and on its staff were James H. Cousins, English Lecturer, and his wife Margaret Cousins (English Composition). Both were well-known Madras Theosophists.

Construction of the College buildings began in January 1916. When Rabindranath Tagore visited the College in 1919, he translated Jana Gana Mana into English, and it was set to music by Margaret Cousins and sung at the College.

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Rev. Dr. L.R. Scudder (left) and Rev. B. Rottschaefer of the Arcot Mission.

Later that same July 1915 day, Lord Pentland opened the Union Missionary Tuberculosis Sanatorium now called the Arogyavaram Medical Centre.

Originally located in Madanapalle from 1912, the hospital was shifted to Arogyavaram, about 4 miles from Madanapalle.

The hospital was started with 109 beds which later increased to 397 beds in the 1950s and to about 450 beds in 1965. The largest hospital in India, it occupies an area of about 300 acres.

Eight inter-denominational missions, led by the American Arcot Mission, cooperated in setting up the sanatorium. The Executive Committee instrumental in establishing the institution was convened by the Rev. L.R. Scudder, and the Building Committee, convened in October 1912, was led by the Rev. B, Rottschaefer, both of the Arcot Mission.

Published with this reminder sent by Ramineni Bhaskarendra Rao are pictures of those early days of both institutions.

The moving song of India

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India's destiny. Thy name rouses the hearts of the Panjab, Sind, Gujrat and Maratha, of the Dravid and Orissa and Bengal; it echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of the Ganges and Jamuna and is chanted by the surging waves of the Indian Sea. They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise. The saving of all people waits in thy hand, thou dispenser of India's destiny.

Victory, Victory, Victory to thee.

Day and night thy voice goes out from land to land calling the Hindus, Buddhists, Shikhs and Jains round thy throne and the Parsees, Musalmans and Christians. The East and the West join hands in their prayer to thee, and the garland of love is woven. Thou bringest the hearts of all people into the harmony of one life, thou dispenser of India's destiny.

Victory, Victory, Victory to thee.

The procession of pilgrims passes over the endless road rugged with the rise and fall of nations; and it resounds with the thunder of thy wheels, Eternal Charioteer! Through the dire days of doom thy trumpet sounds and men are led by thee across death. Thy finger points the path to all people, Oh dispenser of India's destiny!

Victory, Victory, Victory to thee.

The darkness was dense and deep was the night. My country lay in a deathlike silence of swoon. But thy mother arms were round her and thine eyes gazed upon her troubled face in sleepless love through her hours of ghastly dreams.

Thou art the companion and the saviour of the people in their sorrows, thou dispenser of India's destiny.

The night fades; the light breaks over the peaks of the Eastern hills; the birds begin to sing and the morning breeze carries the breath of new life. The rays of thy mercy have touched the waking land with their blessings. Victory to thee King of Kings; Victory to thee, dispenser of India's destiny.

Victory, Victory, Victory to thee.

Rabindranath Tagore
February 28, 1919

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In this issue

Madras Landmarks - 50 years ago
Build as you please
Watching heritage go up in flames
The father of primary healthcare in India
Will this magnificent interior be restored
Two enter their 100th year
Madras week programmes
An American who danced with the travancore trio

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Dates for Your Diary
Readers Write
Quizzin' With Ram'nan


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