Chennai, Sept. 6: A spectacular air show today allowed the Marina beach to grab headlines for the right reasons.
Last month, the Jayalalithaa government had razed the Seerani Arangam concrete platform at the beach from which public rallies had been addressed since the time of the Independence struggle.
Twenty months ago, a statue of Tamil woman icon Kannagi was removed allegedly because Vaastu Shastra deemed it inauspicious for the ADMK regime. The government also intends to pull down the Queen Mary’s College housed in heritage buildings close to the Marina to make way for a new secretariat.
But today the chief minister kept her demolition squads in check, choosing instead to watch spellbound the one-hour Indian Air Force flypast that included a breathtaking aerobatics display.
The show, the first of its kind in the state was aimed at attracting more Tamil youths to the air force. It was also watched by chief of air staff, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy.
The event, jointly organised by the air force and the Jayalalithaa government, should boost the standing of the chief minister, who is hoping for a take-off into national-level politics.
A sea of humanity, which had braved the heat to gather at the Marina, watched spellbound as the show began with two Chetak helicopters showering petals to welcome the gathering.