Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It’s Finally A Bandh In Kolkata

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

It’s been close to two months that I have arrived in Kolkata and finally I get to see the event (celebration) that the ‘City of Joy’ is famous for! Event as everybody has been talking about it for the past few days and there will be assessment of it for the next few. Celebration as many students and working professionals have got an unscheduled holiday and they don’t seem to be complaining about it (unlike some of us who have to compensate this working on a Saturday). And finally what is this bandh about, well price rise as some political party believes that the price of essential commodities have gone up. Well it is anybody’s guess if the prices will come down in the market tomorrow as an outcome of the bandh?

The ground reality is that prices of essentials have gone up all across the country and both the Centre and the States should not escape the blame. But will a bandh which causes inconvenience to the masses help the situation? Thousands of people stranded at airports and train stations have more to worry today than the price rise! Can’t they protest? Well, they can but the political leadership (from the cadre on the road to the people sitting in Writers) expect people to express the solidarity with them. Staying indoors and not working for an entire day wasting millions of ‘man hour of work’ and harming the already dented image of the state. Some people still expect investors to come to West Bengal!

Now the question arises, are only the people of Bengal affected by this price rise. From New Delhi people might reject such an idea. But the ground reality is people in Bengal are more affected by such the price rise. The reason is again the political leadership of this state who have been ruling for more than three decades. Their policies and programmes have meant that this state could never generate wealth as has been the case with many states in the post-liberalization era. Can a government after ruling for so long at one stretch shy away from the fact that Bengal lost its industrial friendly image it had prior to its rule?

The sad part is that even the opposition parties are patronizing the same brand of politics. People seem to having a difficulty in choosing between the leadership and the opposition. The lead up to the Assembly elections of 2011 will see many such bandhs and strikes as it has become Bengal’s most well known characteristics to the entire nation. Price rise hurts people when they do not have good means of income and it is the responsibility of those in power to think about empowering people rather than do such events of political tokenism. As for the people they need to understand, people choose the government and get the governance they deserve.


Friday, April 2, 2010

When the Bengal tiger roared again

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

If consistency defines Sachin Tendulkar and patience defines Rahul Dravid, persistence has to be the word for Sourav Ganguly. There is can be no better example of defiance in Indian cricket than that of Prince of Kolkata's or Dada as they fondly call him in his hometown of Kolkata. One thing which Ganguly has come to epitomise is determination to prove his critics wrong. The moment people count him out he produces something to silence all his critics. No cricketer of this stature has perhaps had to prove so much as Sourav Ganuly has.

The swashbuckling 88 that he scored against Deccan Chargers is a fitting reply to all the critics who have put question marks on his skills. The thumping of the chest after he scored his 50 said it all that the Kolkata's favourite son still has the fire in him to keep him going. Those sixes of Pragyan Ojha brought back memories of the vintage Ganguly who used to murder left arm spinners. Ojha can perhaps only blame his luck as he was up against a player who was known to be the killer of his art.

Most critics of Ganguly who were calling for his head have been silenced for now as Dada has let his bat do the talking and proving his point. But does he need to prove his point to anybody anymore? Most of his critics are people who haven't gone beyond playing first class career of have had a guest appearance at the international level. Is Ganguly's class subject to their testimonial? Surely not, as a out of form Ganguly is still better than most of his critics at their peak.

It is perhaps destiny that Sourav Ganguly has had top face critics all throughout his international career since 1992 when he was infamously dropped from the team after just one game and had to wait for another four years to make a comeback. God only knows what his records would have been had Sourav Ganguly not missed those four years. But the never say die attitude is something which has kept him going for so many years in spite of facing hurdles time and again.

Every sportsman is known and respected for some of his skill set. For Sachin Tendulkat it has been his form, fitness and above all ambassadorship of the Gentleman's Game. Brian Lara made cricket look like art while he batted, Rahul Dravid's patience and concentration has no parallels in world cricket. But what Sourav Ganguly will be best remembered for his mental toughness.


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