Monday, October 17, 2005

Chennai Trivia - 9

What connects Nova Scotia,Canada and Chennai?

Ans: Dupleix, the French Governor General of Pondicherry, captured Madras in 1746 from the British. This was during the War of Austrian Succession 1740-1749 when British and French were fighting all over the world. At the end of the war, they signed the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, under which British agreed to give up Loisbourg,Nova Scotia to the French in lieu of which Madras was handed back to the British. If not for the treaty, we would probably be blogging in French.

Dupleix was an interesting character, the first European to dream of ruling India. The British actually had no interest in taking over India then, they were treating it as a trading outpost only. Dupleix's actions prompted the clerk in Madras East India Company, Robert Clive to take up arms and rest is history. Dupleix's Dubash Ananda Ranga Pillai had kept meticulous records of daily happenings in his diaries. These provide great insight into those turbulent years. I have read bits and pieces of them. If you get a chance do read them.

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