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(chĕn`nī), formerly


(mədrăs`, mədräs`), city (1991 pop. 5,421,985), capital of Tamil NaduTamil Nadu
, formerly Madras
, state (2001 provisional pop. 62,110,839), 50,180 sq mi (129,966 sq km), SE India, on the Bay of Bengal. The capital is Chennai (formerly Madras).
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 state, SE India, on the Bay of Bengal. A commercial, railway, and manufacturing center, Chennai has large textile mills, chemical plants, and tanneries and is the main center of India's automobile industry. Providing offshore and back-office services to foreign corporations is also an important industry. Together with docks and warehouses, its harbor provides modern transportation linkages to peninsular India. A cultural center, the city is the seat of the Univ. of Madras (1857), institutes of dance and music, and a number of museums. There are many large public buildings; a famous shore drive, the Marina; and Guindy National Park. Near Chennai is Mt. St. Thomas, the traditional site of the martyrdom (A.D. 68) of St. ThomasThomas, Saint,
one of the Twelve Apostles, called Didymus. According to John, he refused to believe in the resurrection until he saw Jesus' wounds; hence the expression "doubting Thomas." John 11.16; 14.5; 20.24–29; 21.2.
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, the apostle. He is said to be buried in Chennai at the Cathedral of St. Thomé.

The city, as Madras, became an important British trading center, growing largely around Fort St. George, a British outpost (1645) at the site of an earlier British settlement (1639) that became the seat of the British East India Company until 1773 and the capital of the Madras presidency (1653). The French captured Madras in 1746, but the British recovered it two years later. The presidency became a province (1937) and, with Indian independence, a state (1950), renamed Tamil Nadu in 1969. In 1996 the city was renamed Chennai, after Chennapatnam, a precolonial village near the original British outpost. Coastal areas of the city were hit by the Dec., 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami.

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References in periodicals archive ?
One of the textbooks says "idli and dosa are famous in south India" and "Madrasi food is very famous".
If there exists among them the national question (quomi) of Punjabi and Sindhi, Hindustani and Pathan, Kashmiri and Balochi, we find the problem of Bengali, Bihari, Madrasi and Marhati, Gujrati and Marwari among Hindus.
"Homosexuality is an offence under shari'a law and haram (prohibited) in Islam," Deputy Vice Chancellor Maulana Abdul Khalik Madrasi of the Islamic and academic center Darul Uloom Deoband said.
"Our fatwa applies to the whole world, there is no need to issue a new one," vice rector Abdul Khalique Madrasi said.
Indian food is a favourite of mine, and I've discovered a restaurant called Madrasi in Low Fell, Gateshead, which specialises in Southern Indian dishes.
that child who puts the shell's howl to his ear, hears nothing, hears everything that the historian cannot hear, the howls of all the races that crossed the water the howls of the grandfathers drowned in that intricately swivelled Babel, hears the fellaheen, the Madrasi, the Mandingo, the Ashanti" (CP 285).
(5) In an interview in May 2003, the deputy rector of the Deoband seminary, Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi, blamed Zionist and Christian forces for waging a "crusade to realize their dream of greater Israel." He quoted extensively from the speeches and writings of organizations like the Southern Baptist Convention, the Touch Ministries and Franklin Graham to state that the war in Iraq is a war "between forces that believe in one God and forces upholding Trinity." In what can be seen as a definitive enunciation of the Deobandi worldview, Madrasi explained:
"This upright village" (1991, 60), as he calls it, where "a dozen races mingle," is characterized by its "waves of food smells" (64) which offend the old (White) residents and visitors from "civilized odour-free homes." These smells turn the immigrant inhabitants of the building into "connoisseurs" of the diversity of their own community--"Chappatis and rice, vegetable, potato, and meat curries cooked the Goan, Madrasi, Hyderabadi, Gujarati, and Punjabi ways, channa the Carribean way, fou-fou the West African way" (65).
In addition to the typical coriander and cumin flavors, ethnic food formulators request aromatic notes associated with "'roasted" peanuts, "dry roasted" fenugreek or "sauteed" shallots, and in a proportion characteristic of Madrasi or Punjabi cuisine.
Scavengers, mostly Madrasi, were frequently condemned for corruption and inefficiency, although they resisted and evaded regulation.
(A Madrasi's son is never a true one.) Madras-ah Government-ah no good-ah, apply, apply, no reply Bombay Government-ah very good-ah, today apply tomorrow reply.