ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A Calcutta Diary

A Calcutta Diary
May Day is a paid holiday in Calcutta — and in West Bengal. In the afternoon, unending processions of the labouring classes converge on the maidan ; they are entertained to passionate speeches by the...
The dialectics of ensuring home employment vis-à-vis outsourcing for higher profits is very much joined. Outsourcing is bad for the working class at both ends of the spectrum - in the developed as...
The Indian oligarchs have taken care of themselves. They are already integrated nationally. The next milestone is transit to international integration. But while our elites integrate with the rest of...
The United States is a trapped elephant; it evokes, with every day, a little less fear and a little more contempt. Its capacity to dispense favours is markedly getting depleted.
Irrespective of whether one applies the criterion of parliamentary or extra-parliamentary influence, Marxists and not revanchists of the Togadia-Singhal brand reflect the overwhelming vox populi in...
As economic circumstances worsen, ordinary people come under intense pressure. They have to ventilate their ire and anguish, they have no alternative but to march and organise meetings. They must...
Whether joining this side or that, we are a community of murderers. Those belonging to our team are described as heads of states; those lined up against us are a dirty bunch of despicable killers...
The political bosses would not like Kashmir to be dropped from the agenda. They have a vested interest in Kashmir, for they have a vested interest in defence and security outlays; commissions from...
The curse of the empire will not leave us. The curse of the empire has rendered existence in Calcutta into a mournful colonial experience. Much worse, it has kept in bondage scholars and scholastic...
If the law pinches, just abolish the law. Indian politicians are about to do just that. Legislation is on the anvil to abolish the nasty provision requiring that those wanting to get elected to the...
It is not that Subhas Mukhopadhyay did not receive enough of prizes and rewards when he was a card-carrying communist. He was a household name in Bengali left households, generations have been reared...
Unchanging India, and even the World Bank has now joined the troupe of excuse-mongers: India has been unable to reap the full advantages of liberalisation because of natural calamities that have...
Charged with hijacking a Thai Airways plane at Bangkok airport in November 1990 to highlight the Burmese nation's struggle against the ruling junta and shuttling ever since between New Delhi,...
The world is a great harlotland and the Indians jolly well have to play the role of strumpets. Should they behave to the contrary, they will be guilty not only of unfriendliness to the hyperpower but...
The eerie early hours of May 19, 1993. Five intruders, Kalashnikovs already blazing, barge into a two-room bit in a house on the eastern fringes of Calcutta and, no questions asked, summarily shoot,...
While we should praise famous men, how does one know that today's notorious terrorists could not emerge as tomorrow's famous men? What is much more ominous, are we heading towards a situation where...
Since the thirties of the last century, India has witnessed a good few instances of intense sincere efforts of some somebodies to disown or step out of their bourgeois class allegiance and rush...
The economic recession, which threatens to be long-lasting, is the product of the recession of political and cultural ethos; countrymen, we have rediscovered the bliss of colonialism, at least a new...
The past few weeks have been a trauma, not just for the Iraqis but for thousands of men, women and children in the rest of the globe, including in the United States and Great Britain as well. What is...
The vocal sections of Indians have their priorities sorted out in excellent detail. The nation, the part of it that matters, lives for cricket and is prepared to die for it. Entertain no illusion,...
Are the current enthusiasts for the turnover tax at all sure that their labours will lead to an integrated national market? Should the fiscal switch-over lead to a dramatic shrinkage in the earnings...
Borders are imposed by political fiat. Social exchanges indulged in by human groups however transcend such artificial divisions. That is the great historical truth. The BJP government in New Delhi...
Under the present dispensation in India, the operational doctrine is head-I-win-tails-you-lose; where the rich will gain an advantage, you apply the principle of fixing uniform rates; where the...
Western civilisation, that is, if civilisation it has to be described as, has turned an interesting corner. Science and rationality would appear to have had their day. The country where western...
The option has to be exercised, either for rationality or for black magic. Should you want to vote for the Left Front in West Bengal and, at the same time, be besotted by the Missionaries of Charity...
are in command and the tycoons Calcutta Diary command the politicians. Maybe the Ring out the old, ring in the new, the new is the same cliche as the old one
Grandiloquence and India's ministers are usually inseparable. The deputy prime minister has proposed a new legislation which will make the death penalty mandatory for crimes against women. The...
Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence is fast occupying the space in official lexicon the communists occupied half a century ago. The ISI is no innocent abroad, but the problem arises with the...
India has always been in the forefront where supplying of revolutionary ideas in the realm of philosophy, including economic philosophy, is concerned. It is therefore not at all surprising that, even...
If disinvestment boils down to a network of arrangements which enables those close to the centre of power to make mindboggling profit on their money, while the rest of the species are condemned to a...
It is a full decade since Ashok Rudra has been gone. There will be never another one like him.
The minister for justice in Germany can compare George W Bush with Adolf Hitler, irrespective of consequences. We cannot tell off even a mere assistant secretary of the US government when he pitches...
Had our policy-makers played their cards well and not allowed themselves to be led astray by notions of imperial grandeur, we, instead of insignificant Norway, could have played the decisive role to...
Our star cricketers, some of whom reputedly earn anything between 20 and 50 crore rupees annually, should have the modesty to admit what they owe to the nation's poor. It is because the poor are...
As long as the belief persists amongst a sizeable number of political craftsmen that the Nehru-Gandhis are indispensable for the nation, the majority of the electorate will be stubborn enough to...
Having preached for so long the mantra of Kashmir being an integral and inalienable part of India and international meddling in the matter was not on, to agree to the American proposal is going to be...
Immigration of ordinary labour from the poor to rich countries fouls up the ethnic mix; but some kinds of immigrants, scientists, and such others even of poor countries are allowed in. James Tobin...
It is not any extraordinary development that the US government has of late decided to go public with its choice of heads of states and prime ministers of countries located in different continents...
A nation, a substantial section of whom holds in great deference Puranic tracts, will be easily enchanted with mythology, any mythology, even that of a small-time defence bureaucrat suddenly...
Between the two World Wars, literature buffs were wont to spend an enormous amount of energy and talent to discuss the pros and cons of art for art's sake in creative pursuits. We appear to have run...
Where war hysteria is concerned, a military dictatorship and a competitive democracy are equally advantaged or disadvantaged. It is the my-patriotism-is-superior-to-yours syndrome on both sides of...
To name the airport at Port Blair in the Andaman Islands after V D Savarkar, at least some people would conclude, is a deliberate affront to India's war of independence. But, please, hold your horses...
The parallel with the likes of Silvio Berlusconi is breathtaking: non-Christians, according to the Berlusconis, do not belong to civilisation; the non-Hindus, according to the 'parivar' and its...
We cannot both applaud the defence minister's wish to get friendly with the Chinese and at the same time join the Nepal government forces to suppress the Maoists there. Either the defence minister...
Let us be honest, the Gujarat citizens are being honest to the Gandhi legacy, just as the BJP and its 'parivar' have drawn conclusions which are to their own advantage from the examples set by the...
Civilisation obviously has many facets. Even as the two self-appointed leaders of Christian West are embarked on their killing spree, the law of dialectics too has set at work. Dissent and protests...
The democratic pretensions of the polity lie in ruins. Nobody minds the Constitution any more. Why be unhappy though? The holy task of demolition of the Constitution started quite some time ago...
History marches on. Consider the colourless budget the union finance minister presented on the last day of last month. Even he could not but admit the sorry reality of the economy having come to a...
The Calcutta Book Fair is now a formidable institution and has completed a quarter of a century's existence. It draws participants from across the country and sometimes from overseas as well. Even so...
The people in Buenos Aires and other towns and cities in the Argentine Republic have rolled into the streets with their pots and pans and sticks and umbrellas and faced police batons and tear gas...
The temptation to create a Pakistan and, by implication, a Muslim phobia was indeed very great. The stability of the government at the centre is crucially dependent upon the outcome of the assembly...
The Republic of Argentina has proved the point. It is not necessarily TINA. There can be an alternative, there is an alternative. Suppose, way back in 1991, the Indian ruling class, instead of...
The architects of national decisions that matters have actually played themselves into an impossible corner. They must eat the cake and have it too; they must cultivate democratic pretensions and yet...
Substitution of sales taxation by value added tax, it is being claimed, will reduce distortions in the economy caused by multiple rates of taxation of inputs and help the establishment of an...
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