Monday, March 29, 2010

The Country Roads

By: Reetasri Bhattacharjee

Who says dancing is not everyone’s cup of tea? In India, among most of the cultures dancing forms an integral part of traditions and merry-making. But in todays past paced world, these aspects of the various Indian cultures seem to be fast eroding and only those with a keen interest in this form of art are keeping alive the tradition.

As if understanding this sorry state of affairs, the Indian roads have taken in to themselves to keep alive the tradition. Now you may be wondering how a non-alive thing make such a thing happen. Well, anyone familiar with the interiors of India will find the link between the comparison. The roads are in most cases broken and never repaired. Heavy traffic in the form of heavy vehicles keep moving on these roads making the condition worst. and us poor souls travel on them without having much of an option. The combition can get fatal if you are on a really bad road on a bus which seems to have come straight out of ‘Malgudi days’ and whose the seats have been loosely put together and sadly have managed to get the last seat. The natural dance steps will make you see heaven and hell together!

The situation may seem funny at first but if one looks deeper into it, who is to be blamed. We are a country who loves blaming each other. In this case, the people will blame the authorities, the authorities will blame the government and someone probably can also raise the issue of corruption here. It has become such a jungle of problems that even if someone tries to rectigy them, it will be difficult to identify where to start.

For my age, I have travlled quite a bit around India and have seen almost all kinds of roads, though a interiors are still to be explored. From fascinating highways that do not have a single crack on them to the roads that do not have any unbroken parts left I have seen them all. As a child I reme,ber naming one such road the ‘disco road’ because once on a rickshaw on that road I could only keep making the disco move, albeit involuntarily. Currently I am staying in an institution which have amazing infrastructure. Professionals coming to visit it get amazed at how beautiful and self suffiecient the campus is. However they hardly come by the road that we need to travel with. For them there is a smaller but better road available. On the road that the majority of the population moves in so dilapidated that the government has been turning cold shoulders from ages. The irony of all this is that beside a state-of-the-art institution lies a rundown road and no one can do anything to improve its situation.

At the end of the day, it is us the common people who have to bear the brunt of all this and let the country roads led us to heaven and hell together boogie woogiing all the way.

This blog has been contributed by Reetasri Bhattacharjee a dear friend of mine. She is a regular blogger on blogspot and maintains the blog My Passing Moments


Friday, March 19, 2010

Knights finally seem to be riding in IPL

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Its just the first week in IPL and thre have been quite a few surprises. First season's champions Rajasthan Royals loosing both the matches they have played so far. Last year's champion Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings going down in their opening ties. But nothing has been more surprising that the resurgence of Kolkata Knight Riders. The team which looked like a bunch of school boys in the last season in South Africa has registering two convincing wins in their first two matches.

Start matters and when the Knight riders started their first match against the Deccan Chargers in Mumbai and were struggling at 0 for 2, fans were relived the agony of the last season. It seemed like the KKR had carried it's bad form from one continent to another even after a year. But some spirited effort from Owais Shah and Angelo Mathews lifted the Knights from the bottom giving them a respectable total to defend which they did successfully backed by some good bowling performance at the death.

Many critics have been arguing that Deccan Chargers lost the match more than Knight Riders having won it. But aren't sudden changes in the course of a match common in this slam bang version of the game. If their first match was a close one, their second versus the Royal Challengers Bangalore was clinical. Never in the match did RCB looked like threatening the Knights. It was almost the perfect kind of match any team would like to play having dominated the opposition throughout.

Sourav Ganguly has been a great player but more that that he has been an exceptional captain. In the two games that have been played so far there has been something in Ganguly's body language which says that he is not willing to bow down this time around. He bowling changes have yielded results for the Kinghts and he is showing huge faith in players like Manoj Tiwari who has returned his captain's gesture with a strokefull half century against the Royal Challengers.

Another plus for the Knights has been the way Ishant Sharma has bowled in the two games. He has brought in the much needed aggression that the team lacked in the last season. With Shane Bond yet to come to the party in the later part of the tournament, KKR might have one of the most formidable fast bowling attacks in the tournament. Add to that the flamboyant Chris Gayle, party just seems to have started for the Knight Riders.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Parliament might soon require bouncers!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Subhash Yadav, Sabir Ali, Veerpal Singh Yadav, Nand Kishore Yadav, Amir Alam Khan and Kamal Akhtar, and Ejaz Ali were nominated to represent the people in the temple of Indian democracy. These people have now been suspended for their unruly behaviour in the Rajya Sabha. What's worse is the fact that they defied the action by Rajya Sabha. These parliamentarians (read hooligans) refused to leave the house after being suspended. Marshals had to drag them out of the house in an incident which has shamed the entire nation.

The scene was such that many would have felt the need for bouncers in our parliament. Bouncers might soon find government jobs thanks to the behaviour of our netas! The manner in which these MPs attacked Vice President Hamid Ansari was no different from a drunk unruly individual in a bar. The only difference is that they did all this without being intoxicated which goes to show the level at which our polity stands today.

The Lok Sabha or the lower house has witnessed many lows but the Rajya Sabha was considered to be a house of solemnity and intelectuals but all these have been shattered. State assemblies have witnessed hooliganism throughout the 60 years of the Indian republic but the Parliament luckily hadn't witnessed such incidents regularly. But the incident on Monday has shocked the entire nation. Much worse is the fact that the hooligans who committed the sinful act seem to have no remorse.

The MPs who represent some of most backward regions of the country Women's Reservation Bill was moved for discussion. This perhaps shows the reason behind the backwardness of these regions of the country. There is enough space for protests within Indian parliamentary democracy and if any party opposes the bill should stand up against this in a democratic manner. Although BJP and the Congress are on the same side of this bill some narrow minded political forces seem to be against making it a law.

It remains to be seen what action the Parliament takes on this issue. Suspension seems to be too less a punishment in this case. If not some bouncers should be employed by the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha to protect a few descent men and women from such hooligans.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Women's Reservation Bill: Will it become a law?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

All of us have heard about the 'Women's Reservation Bill.' For the past decade or so before the start of every parliament session this bill hits the headlines. As the session comes to a close it is one of those ever lasting bills which doesn't get passed in the any house of the Parliament and waits for another Parliamentary session. This has been the story of the bill over which the two national parties BJP and the Congress have a consensus!

The Bill guarantees 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies if it become a reality. Over the last many years this bill has had it's supporters and detractors. While the BJP, the Congress and the Left have been in favour of the bill. the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Janata Dal United have famously fought against it. It may not surprise many that all the detractors come from the 'bimaru states' or infamously termed as the cow belt of the country.

Now that one among the detractors has supported the bill it has got a fresh lease of life after rolling in the parliament for 13 years since 1996. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has reportedly shifted from the party line and backed the Bill. This is a smart move by Nitish who is being seen as a Renaissance Man in Bihar. By doing so Nitish establishes his image as a pro-development politician and scores vital points over Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Some prominent female faces of the Parliament cutting across party lines, Sushma Swaraj of the BJP, Brinda Karat of the Left have come together for the cause. Congress President Sonia Gandhi is also supporting the bill. Although both the BJP and the Congress which hold substantial seats in the Parliament have always voiced their support for the bill both of them never really pushed for it in the last 13 years.

The reason for this is quite simple, in this era a coalition politics where even a inch of vote swing could change results, both the BJP and the Congress could never assess the pros and con for the Women Reservation Bill. The detractors on the other hand are sure of loosing out their vote share with the brand of politics they play in the rural heartland and thus their opposition to the bill should not surprise anybody.

It remains to be seen if the Women's Reservation Bill finally becomes a law in this session of the Parliament or it would be worth some more writing in the near future.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Calcutta is changing

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Competition pushes any man or organization to excel and achieve higher goals. This is quite an universally accepted and Calcutta seems to be no different. In the last five years that I have visited the city I have witnessed the change. An old world seems to be giving into the new. Now may would ask a question, what is there to write about if some changes are happening in the 'City of Joy.' Well it is a fact that any mega city see change on a daily basis and Calcutta being a mega city (atleast by virtue of it's population if not anything else) is the same. That is exactly where the similarities between Calcutta and any other mega city ends.

I had been visiting this city annually right from the time I was a toddler. But from then on right through my teenage somehow this city refused to change. My hometown Shilling would see much more change than Kolkata in spite of being the most important city in the entire eastern part of the country. The same old hand pulled rickshaws, the same unpainted buildings, the same overcrowded buses. In someway Kolkata began to symbolize a museum of Indian history rather than a buzzing metropolis.

Most intellectuals from the city migrated to other parts of the country and the world. Even more wrote obituaries about the city which was once the most precious jewel in India during the days of the British Raj. But the last decade has seen a new Kolkata rise, a Kolkata which wants to change not parting ways with it's rich tradition and culture. People are willing to let some of the old ways of life go and compete with the rest of the country. The oversized pride in the glorious past is being overshadowed by the urge to excel in the future.

Come to Sector V and you see a completely different Kolkata as now it has been rechristened. It is a completely different world nothing like what you see in the old city. Having got a job here and taking a serious tour of this place after a gap of three and a half years, I can swear this place has changed. Comparing it to a Bangalore or a Hyderabad at this stage will be quite insane as Kolkata woke up to IT and ITES business almost a decade after others. But never the less it seems to have taken a good start even though it isn't crusing yet.

Bangalore was no Bangalore about two decades ago till IT majors Infosys and Wipro wrote the horoscope of the modern day silicon valley of India. Gurgaon was a sleepy stop on the Delhi-Jaipur highway till Maruti Udyog and BPO majors like GE set up bases. Today these cities are examples of an India which is raising it's head in the globe. There is no reason that once India's most advanced city cannot be a part of the same legue in the coming decade.

Loosing Tata Nano factory in Singur and a few IT investments can be described as a setback but the city seems to be slowly obercoming another bigger one, the feeling of pessimism. One reason why this city remained isolated from the development in the last decade of millenium was because the people in this city had become intoxicated by pessimism and living in a self created environment of negativity. Thankfully a substantial section of the society especially the middle class seems to have gotten over it.

The only thing that the people need to keep in mind is that a city is as good as it's inhabitants and Calcutta is no different.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP