Monday, May 31, 2010

Dwindling Population of the Majestic Beast

The population of tiger is dwindling dramatically. Though India boasts of having the highest number of tigers in the world till date yet it has lost two-thirds of its tiger population within a decade or so. The increasing demand for tiger skins and body parts especially from China for procuring medicines and aphrodisiacs has attracted the complicity of poachers and Forest Department to make a lucrative business of poaching. As China is celebrating this year as ‘Year of the Tiger’, it seems poaching will be made extensively.

Seemingly, the government is innocent about the whereabouts of the poachers. But in reality, the Forest Department and the Nation Tiger Conservation Authority themselves are responsible for poaching and thus the tiger trade is rampant and the poachers continue to roam free. The slipshod government effort to protect this endangered species is an organised crime and a national shame.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Gurudeb

The 150th birth anniversary of the literary, cultural and philosophical genius, Rabindranath Tagore whose rich, diverse and vast literary oeuvre is virtually unmatchable in the world, was celebrated through an array of colourful programmes by various art, literary and cultural organisations, schools, colleges and universities across the country.

A cluster of state-level programmes are set to be celebrated in memory of Tagore round the year. In addition to releasing of the revised Rabindra Rachanabali, another 15 books on Tagore’s life and creation will hit the literary world by Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi. Various Tagore-oriented discussion forums comprising personalities from India and abroad will be organised during the whole year. To mark the 150th birth anniversary, a park named after Tagore will be inaugurated and Tagore Award will be declared. In collaboration with Bangiya Sahitya Parishad, the universities in North Bengal will organise colourful programmes featuring Tagore. A few dramas and dance-dramas of Tagore will be staged jointly by Natya Akademi, Sangeet Akademi and Rabindra Sadan. A 10-day Tagore Fair will be organised to portray various directions and dimensions of Tagore’s creation. Exhibitions on the life and creation of Tagore will be held in Kolkata including in almost all the districts of West Bengal.

The state-based celebration committee will coordinate with the Central Government and the centrally-funded cultural organisations located in the State.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Light in Darkness!!

This summer has been witnessing a series of power cuts in each and every day, which began long before the arrival of this Bengali New Year. The frequency of load-shedding is increasing day by day leading to a dismal state of affairs. With the advancement of time, the use of power is growing and the demand is acute owing to the increasing use of various modern appliances. Add to this, is the severe change in weather condition. The scorching heat during the whole day is becoming unbearable. In consequence, the use of air conditioners is getting doubled rapidly.

According to recent reports revealed by the leading dailies, lawlessness is in its zenith in production and transportation of coal from various coal mines across the country. Coals are being looted from hundreds of wagons by several gangs of local looters in broad daylight and in the presence of police personnel posted in considerable numbers. That the coal is smuggled abruptly was nothing uncommon to us but the looting is done in the absolute presence of police administration, which is unforeseen and purely shameful. Though the Ministry reports suggest that there are sufficient sources of coal throughout India but it is depleting horribly because of the heavy usage in producing thermal energy.

Based on the resources and technology available, we are bound to produce thermal power. But we should be cautious to utilize this limited resource and alternative sources of power should be discovered and put in place in no time. The production of hydro-electric power should be strengthened in every possible location. It would have been most welcoming if solar power could be produced without heavy infrastructural investment.

Power is indispensable and it is preposterous and shameful to live in ever increasing power cuts due to shortage of supply. Special attention should be driven immediately so that this menace can be cured through establishing new energy producing units and proper upkeep of the existing ones.

Monday, March 22, 2010

On-road Journey: An Unhealing Woe

With the sudden influx of railway passengers from the nearby districts of Howrah alighting at Santragachi Station on all weekdays instead of the terminal point Howrah Station, the local passengers, especially the office-goers are facing the music. Only recently, Kona Expressway has become the flagship discovery to zero in the distance amid Kolkata and some of the districts on its western bank. This has led to extreme preference by the passengers from far-fetched localities resulting in utter displeasure of the locals instead of several fleets of govt and private buses being inducted in regular intervals.

Despite several passenger vehicles rushing on every minute, the local passengers are at a loss as the vehicles ply only when it is fully loaded from its terminus, Santragachi and daredevil passengers dangling outside the door even resting a single foot on the footboard. The to and fro journey from office by riding these vehicles has become a nightmare for the office-goers these days. Very few people between Santragachi and Hastings stoppages can risk their life over time. Add to the injury is the manifold criticalities prying in mind. The private players running vehicles in this route have no concern for the passengers rather they find it as an ideal business option. In consequence, reckless driving is a regular affair, the vehicles are not properly maintained, seats are not spacious, room between two rows of seats is unscientific and above all, the question of comfort is an absolute zero.

The horrific bus journey during the office hours is an added tension amongst the commuters of this route metamorphosing the stoppages into a passenger fair with listless eyes rushing towards every vehicle but denied. Until the deployment of scores of new buses in place, it seems the woes will no longer be healed…………………..Thoughts welcome.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mouri in Bou Katha Kao

The Star-Jalsha aired Bengali soap Bou Katha Kao has won immense of accolades and thousands of beautiful hearts irrespective of age. The budding star Manali Dey swayed by innumerable fan-following and popularly identified with her cast name Mouri, Mayurakshi in full, beckons a silver-lining by a stunning success starring her maiden role. The 6-day evening delight is a fervour to engross in some romantic moods and touchy feelings amidst an array of relationships.

The spellbinding fame has notched such a zenith that people leave no room to reveal their irresistible addiction, be it at home, office, waiting places and even in moving passenger carriers. The star-casting is so beautiful that it deserves encomium from every possible corner. With Manali, the co-star Riju Biswas as Nikhil, playing the role of her beloved better half, wins countless soft hearts with his happy-go-lucky looks and simplicity. On the flip-side, the lead role of Nilima, the mother-in-law of Mouri, attracts ire of the viewers through spontaneous acting.

The attraction and acceptance touch such a sphere that the fulltime homemakers fix fervent eyes before the idiot-box leaving behind the tutorship of kids, office-goers enjoy homecoming squeezing time from preoccupations, age-olds return early from evening walk and what not!

The soap is a boon contributing three-pronged success. One, the diversified relationship blends of acting benefits the viewers to forget their psychical wounds and hard-hit loneliness a bit. Secondly, it unveils a new horizon to the talented, educated but unemployed youth to weave a career barring the main stream market of lifeless jobs. And finally but most significantly the rejuvenated Tollywood film industry fetching bulk bucks, woos unpredictable investments from far-fetched producers and raw-talented directors.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Empowering Women??

It is unfortunate that even over 60 years of Independence, we still require enactment of law to provide a space for our women. Reservations are generally made for the minorities lagging behind the main stream. But women should not be treated as minorities in India at least in terms of number. The irony of fate is that women are the most neglected and thus the largest minority in our country.

Time and again, it has been proved that with equal opportunity in a level-playing field, women can excel as best as men can. No other alternative is as good as education. It is the only medium for a better life, for a better tomorrow.

The prime impediment of all the social evils is illiteracy. Education for all is to be ensured to avoid nipping in bud of the girl child, laxity in women education and undermining equal status to women. The only elixir to empower women is education and education only.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Outsourcing Care for the Aged

A polar change is imminent to redefine the lifestyle of the aged in vogue. Gone are the days where the issueless senior citizens or the old parents with NRI issues become not for nothing and count their last days lacking company, care and love.

Like all other mobile services delivered at our doorsteps, a Mumbai-based company is about to step in our City of Joy to bring back the revelation already prevailing in full-swing there. Earlier outsourcing was an inseparable term of business only. But now outsourcing is a household term even in facilitating care for the old age people. It is an initiative which helps people avail of services ranging from fixing a broken bulb to a bruise. The service costs about Rs.2,000 a month. Categorically, the service includes what not – a lonely aged can even ask for company while he is watching movies, reading out the poems or singing the song s/he loves. The upside-down change covers security, finance and healthcare concerns of the aged.

A sigh of relief for the lonely old-age people.

Cable Broadband: A Sharp No-No

Internet connectivity has hailed revolutionary changes in the socio-economic life even in the remotest corner of India. Thanks to broadband for providing accelerating services at our doorsteps. But considering the IT prowess India boasts of, the degree of broadband penetration is very dismal keeping it lagged well behind the rational estimation.

Here blinks a ray of hope. A much soughtafter plan is ready for implementation. Read on. The government is planning to spend another Rs.18,000 crore to revive the broadband penetration through laying of fibre optic cables. But laying of fibre cable to the length and breadth of India is both time-consuming and costly. It is ridiculous keeping in mind the full-fledged application of wireless communication is in place. The wireless technology is a boon of science as it is far faster and cost-effective, literally.

Better the government should think twice before implementing the revival plan.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

BESUS on the way to IIEST

With the advent of the coveted budget announcement for the maiden allocation of fund by the Centre to convert the Bengal Engineering and Science University into an Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology, a festive season reigns all over the University.

There have been plethora of take-over rumours ever since the phenomenal year 2008 stepped in. Despite several initiatives from various possible corners leaving no stones unturned, the conversion remained a long-waited dream to become a reality of all the well-wishers of this renowned Institute. But it’s time for celebration now as the abode of education unveils to become a national institute of learning.

Thanks to the Ministry of Human Resource Development for this welcoming announcement which energizes the state University for an overall remodeling of its infrastructure and building of a level-playing atmosphere of national importance to widen the fruition of this long-cherished recognition so as to introduce multifarious avenues of higher education and research amongst the future aspirants of India and abroad.

Heartiest Welcome to IIEST!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Farewell to the Legend

Jyoti Basu, the veteran political legend breathed his last leaving behind loads of charismatic contributions in the Indian political scenario over the past five decades like a colossus. Indeed, the Communist Party has lost one of the greatest frontrunners of its ideology with the sad demise of this pioneering leader.

May his beautiful soul rest in eternal peace.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

National Youth Day

India boasts of giving birth to several visionary Indians and Swami Vivekananda, a larger-than-life personality, is one of the most remembered persons, who is popularly known world over for his spiritual teachings and arduous endeavour for social reform. By his tireless efforts the world became known about the essence and importance of Hinduism, making it a world religion. This great visionary had played an immense role in introducing Vedanta in the Western countries. The ideology for which he lived and worked is a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth.

To commemorate his dauntless contributions towards the youth, National Youth Day is celebrated every year on 12th January, the birthday of this luminous star who ignited young minds with words like the ones below:

• "Brothers and sisters, the long night is at last drawing to a close. Miseries and sorrows are disappearing. Ours is a sacred country. She is gradually waking up, thanks to the fresh breeze all around. Her might no one can overcome."

• "Are you prepared for all sacrifices for the sake of our motherland? If you are, then you can rid the land of poverty and ignorance. Do you know that millions of our countrymen are starving and miserable? Do you feel for them? Do you so much as shed a tear for them?"

• "Have you the courage to face any hurdles, however formidable? Have you the determination to pursue your goal, even if those near and dear to you oppose you? You can be free men only if you have confidence in yourselves. You should develop a strong physique. You should shape your mind through study and mediation. Only then will victory be yours."

• "I loved my motherland dearly before I went to America and England. After my return, every particle of the dust of this land seems sacred to me."

It would be absolutely befitting commemoration if on this very day, the young strength of India take a pledge to serve for the country beginning in their neighbourhood through engaging themselves in various social works like plantation of trees, literacy drive, donation of blood, concern for the aged and involvement in games and sports and different cultural activities to help India dreaming a true developed Nation of the future.

The Shattered System of Transportation

It is welcoming that the Department of Transport, Govt of West Bengal has taken some significant initiatives to eliminate the long-drawn woes of the passengers mostly dependable on road-transport. The recent deployment of a good many Volvo buses is not only a problem solver to some extent to ever-increasing passenger-load but worth-watching too. The glam look is also playing a fine quotient to the passengers like a pleasure never before.

But the transport system in Howrah is still miserable enough. Almost all the main roads are labyrinthine and clumsy and a lion’s share of them is occupied by several number of illegal and shabby make-shift shops as squatters. Barring Kona Expressway bearing the tag, a lease of life and quite a few, all are deplorable, slothful and typically unplanned. It is to our utter surprise that to travel a distance of a mere 5 km, 1 hour or so is exhausted. There are several routes still to be discovered all over the city.

The connectivity among the various fringes of north and south Howrah is an absolute worry for the commuters. To reach the extreme north of the city like Bally, Belur etc. from Botanic Gardens, it takes at least one and a half hour time with not less than one break journey, which is absolutely frustrating and sarcastic in these days. Moreover, there is not a single route vehicle plying through this route. The narrow stretch of the Grand Trunk Road from Bally to Botanic Gardens is an utter dismay with hundreds of multipurpose vehicles like bicycles, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, trolley-vans, taxis, mini-buses, buses and ever busy pedestrians heading to a destination which is already overcrowded. The situation has reached to such a momentum that covering this distance on foot is more than a sigh of relief. The tortuous routes through which public buses like 52, 55, 57, 58 and some minibuses ply are indescribably horrible considering the traffic-jam, discomfort and waste of invaluable time by the passengers.

It is better late than never that the concerned authorities should come forward to lessen these long-drawn woes of the commuters. Various modernized plans are required to be drawn and implemented. Even stringent steps must be undertaken for widening of roads even by issuing ordinance, rooting out the squatters and slums abutting the roads etc. etc.

Monday, January 4, 2010

21st Howrah District Book Fair

With the advent of another new year, a series of district book fairs are on the anvil and some of them have already been inaugurated. Yesterday, I visited Howrah District Book Fair. This is my maiden visit here. With the passage of time, this book fair has grown young and now it is 21. Earlier, I heard of this book fair but never paid heed to visit it once at least. Many of us have little information about this fair.

This book fair is not like Kolkata International Book Fair which has spent many winters and the coming one is going to be 34th. Though this district book fair at Howrah has no grand look like that of the fair presently organized at Milan Mela, its present abode yet there are around 60/70 bookstalls with books of varied taste. Moreover, various discussion and cultural programmes are being organized to attract people from all over the district and its suburbs. Sunday saw a huge number of readers flocking there with full of enthusiasm to enjoy the fair. Even the cultural programmes arranged, has got wide response from the audience present. The ambience here is very quiet but attracting. There are no such over-crowded gatherings and dusty atmosphere rather a couple of hours can be spent pleasantly.

I urge my dear friends to please have a visit there before the fair downs its curtain on 10th January 2010.