Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams: Chapter 225
- Letter from India: In flood lands of India, caste prejudices thrive ...... The Minister said he was going to Moscow in Russia for defence-related ...... Tagore was a great Indian but not a founding father of the Indian nation. ..... particularly Rather Rashi, Rashiar Chithi, Rakto Karabee, chandalika and his self ...
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- 1 post - 1 author - Last post: 23 Dec 2008Two reviews, by Kathleen M. O'Connell and Uma Dasgupta respectively, of Tagore's Raktakarabi— translated and adapted by Nupur Gangopadhyay ...
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- by Tapati Dasgupta - 1993 - Literary Criticism - 230 pages
Tagore was not against private property; but he was strongly in favour of social ... Rural reconstruction, according to Tagore, is not to be looked at as a ...
- Bohurupee?s trailblazing Rakta-karabi premiered on May 10, 1954, and its golden anniversary continues with as many as five versions of Tagore?s classic ...
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- Lyrics : Rabindranath Tagore Singer : Bahurupi Language : Bengali ... Year of Release : 2005. Song Track List : 1. S04202 - Rakta Karabi ...
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Kolkata Newsline - May 7, 2009
Singur While industrialisation and development are being used as a poll plank by the ruling Left Front in West Bengal, the shadow of Nano is looming large ...
Singur witnesses large turnout Press Trust of India
Voting in Singur peaceful Thaindian.com
The Nano Story: Government's Cuddly Embrace Asia Sentinel
Business Standard - May 7, 2009
While Nandigram was on the boils even on the polling day, Singur in the Hooghly constituency remained peaceful. Till afternoon, the segment witnessed about ...
Singur, Nandigram gear up for key roles in Act II Economic Times
In violence, signs of worry & 'defiance' Calcutta Telegraph
He fights CPMisation of colleges, offices Daily News & Analysis
Times of India - May 6, 2009
KOLKATA/SINGUR: This is one slip that might prove too costly for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. While she is using her political success in the ...
The Daily Star - May 7, 2009
Livemint - May 3, 2009
Singur: A year ago, Jharna Bhar was planning to hire a private tutor for her 12-year-old son, having already bought a mobile phone, a television set and ...
Vote, even if CPM cadres try to stop you, Mamata tells voters Kolkata Newsline
Merinews - 9 hours ago
Then the land issue in Singur came up and left some dark clouds on the project. But Tatas emerged successfully from all the drop backs whether it be the ...
Times of India - May 4, 2009
The bookings have even gone below the initial production capacity target of 2.5 lakh units that Tata Motors had earmarked for Singur, and which is the ...
Nano deliveries curbed by capacity constraints Daily News & Analysis
Want a Tata Nano? Get In Line Behind 200000 Indian Buyers TheCarConnection.com
Calcutta Telegraph - May 5, 2009
Tarun is among the few hundred youths in the villages around the aborted Nano plant in Singur who had qualified for special training by Tata Motors, ...
The Statesman - May 4, 2009
What has made the CPI-M's poll prospect gloomy is that following the Singur land grab and the Nandigram carnage, a strong anti-Left Front wind is blowing in ...
Business Standard - Apr 20, 2009
Merinews - 3 hours ago
"The secessionist forces of Darjeeling are visiting Lalgarh and vice-versa. In the morning phone calls are coming from Lalgarh to Trinamool office and in ...
Economic Times - Apr 29, 2009
WEST MIDNAPORE: Tension ran high in Lalgarh under the Jhargram Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday, 24 hours before Lok Sabha polls after the CPI (Maoist) ...
Lalgarh reluctant as buses lined up to ferry voters Financial Express
Lalgarh poll police hostage Calcutta Telegraph
WB registers 25 to 30% polling by 1100 hrs Business Standard
The Statesman - Apr 30, 2009
LALGARH, April 30: The pre-poll hype surrounding the elections in Lalgarh, was a stark contrast to the drab response of voters today, in spite of the best ...
At Lalgarh, Maoists win the day Indian Express
Lalgarh poll boycott a slap on Buddha's face IBNLive.com
Action at night, fear takes toll at dawn Calcutta Telegraph
Sify - Apr 30, 2009
Lalgarh (West Bengal), April 30 (IANS) Indian Air Force helicopters roared in the sky, the thumps of the heavy boots of security personnel pierced the ...
Poll security a concern: Debasis Sen Business Standard
Elections in the shadow of guerrilla ultimatum Calcutta Telegraph
Calcutta Telegraph - May 3, 2009
The Statesman - Apr 23, 2009
MIDNAPORE, April 23: The Lalgarh poll uncertainty seems to be far from over despite yesterday's tripartite meeting which decided that around 40000 voters of ...
Violence tests Lalgarh truce Times of India
Govt gives in, shifts booths in Lalgarh Indian Express
Economic Times - Apr 30, 2009
ANANTNAG/LALGARH: Jammu and Kashmir may still be known for poll boycotts and low turnouts, but on Thursday voters in Anantnag did what some of their ...
The Statesman - Apr 29, 2009
LALGARH, April 29: Confusion reigned in Lalgarh a day before it goes to polls, with the tribals not still aware where to cast their votes. ...
Expressindia.com - Apr 20, 2009
The People's Committee Against Police Atrocities of Lalgarh seems to have softened its stance. Though the home secretary reiterated the Chief Minister's ...
Lalgarh relents, with a rider Calcutta Telegraph
Welfare schemes a big hit in tribal belt Times of India
Hindu - Apr 24, 2009
Stir spreads: Tribals take out a rally in Kolkata on Friday to protest against "police excesses" in the Lalgarh area of Paschim Medinipur district. ...
No polling booths inside Bengal's Lalgarh IBNLive.com
No healthcare, water, they look to Maoists for help Expressindia.com
Tribal tremor in heart of city Times of India
Times of India - 6 hours ago
... out a separate Telangana within 100 days if voted to power at the centre. It has also tacitly backed the separate Gorkhaland state demand in West Bengal.
IBNLive.com - Apr 29, 2009
Merinews - May 6, 2009
By nominating Jaswant Singh from Darjeeling, supported by the Morcha and now openly shoring up the demand for separate states of Gorkhaland and Kamtapur, ...
Chandigarh Tribune - Apr 29, 2009
Times of India - May 3, 2009
It became more blatant after BJP challenged the might of CPM, RSP and Forward Bloc in the elections, riding piggyback on pro-Gorkhaland and Kamtapur forces. ...
MorungExpress - Apr 22, 2009
Kolkata, April 22 (UNI): Opposing creation of Gorkhaland by carving Darjeeling out of West Bengal, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the ...
Pranab calls for national land policy Times of India
Economic Times - May 5, 2009
Undoubtedly, the trigger remains the Gorkhaland movement and election games around it played by political parties. Following the death of two in post-poll ...
The Statesman - Apr 21, 2009
"The BJP- propelled Gorkhaland demand would soon crumble against hard reality and the saffronites would desert the hills once the election is over. ...
Dangerous politics Daily News & Analysis
Yechury campaign in Darjeeling today The Statesman
Indian Express - May 4, 2009
Let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time"— Hamlet, II, 2 The clamour for Gorkhaland is, once again, ...
Hindu - 2 hours ago
Times of India - May 7, 2009
KOLKATA: "Police will not be able to ensure victory for CPM this time, they will lose," Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday, ...
Hindu - May 7, 2009
The CPI(M) will lose despite indulging in violence," Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee told reporters here. She also claimed that the there was no ...
Rahul's comments didn't hurt Congress-TC alliance: Mamata Times of India
Polling begins in West Bengal; Left and Mamata fight it out BreakingNewsOnline.
Left & rivals in blame game Calcutta Telegraph
Hindu - 17 hours ago
... any political formation," she asserted. "Therefore any vote for Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress could well turn out to be a vote for the BJP."
Prakash Karat hints at post-poll alliance with Congress at Centre BreakingNewsOnline.
Business Standard - 19 hours ago
Hindustan Times - 10 hours ago
Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee too declined to comment, though reports, quoting sources, said she made it clear that the Congress would have to ...
Congress, BJP are haunted by past misdeeds (Comment) Thaindian.com
Thaindian.com - 2 hours ago
And so did Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, except that she went wrong on a fact - to the delight of the Communists. Speaking during a TV interview ...
Livemint - May 6, 2009
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee first grabbed the nation's attention when she won election to Parliament from West Bengal's Jadavpur ...
Mamata declines comment on Rahul's overture to the left Press Trust of India
Mamata rebuts: Take Left support, we walk out Indian Express
Mamata Banerjee warns Congress against going to Left BreakingNewsOnline.
Indopia - May 6, 2009
"She (Mamata) has no sense of courtesy," Singh said regretting that she had found no time to visit SP's Howrah Lok Sabha candidate and party state unit ...
3 held for Howrah attack, Amar visits injured SP leader Times of India
Howrah candidate assault: SP files complaint Kolkata Newsline
Kolkata Newsline - May 3, 2009
Kolkata Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee urged voters in Hooghly to exercise their franchise "even if CPM cadres tried to stop them". ...
Notices fly as Trinamool, CPM trade fire Indian Express
Hindu - 2 hours ago
Hindu - 3 hours ago
Kolkata (PTI) The CPI(M) on Saturday said that there is no division within the party over its decision to pitch for a Third Front without the Congress or ...
Hindu - 19 hours ago
Thiruvananthapuram: The State secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has alleged that the United Democratic Front is exerting pressure on ...
Kerala CM to stay: CPI(M) politburo Times Now.tv
Strike over SNC Lavalin case The Statesman
Hindu - May 7, 2009
Kolkata (PTI) Accusing the CPI(M) of unleashing terror during the second phase of polling in West Bengal on Thursday, the Trinamool Congress said the Left ...
Trinamool threatening voters in Nandigram, claims CPI-M Hindustan Times
CPI(M) demands repoll in 50 booths of Nandigram Press Trust of India
The Statesman - May 7, 2009
The most significant event of the elections in Hooghly is that CPI-M agents were not allowed to enter six booths in Jangipara ~ a red citadel which holds ...
Trinamul man killed in Asansol poll violence The Statesman
Hindu - May 4, 2009
Thiruvananthapuram (PTI) The CPI(M) in Kerala on Monday rebutted reports that it had directed the LDF cabinet to accept the legal opinion given by the ...
Fate of Lavalin case almost sealed Express Buzz
Will Kerala government sanction Vijayan's prosecution? Thaindian.com
Press Trust of India - May 7, 2009
Economic Times - 22 hours ago
BHUBANESWAR: CPIM general secretary Prakash Karat on Friday met Orissa chief minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik here and held talks on formation of a ...
Naveen to play key role in govt-formation: Karat Press Trust of India
CM's session sidelines print journalists The Statesman
Navin snubs Sheila Daily News & Analysis
The Statesman - May 7, 2009
Although the Dum Dum constituency is commonly known as a red bastion, the defeat of the CPI-M candidate in two previous parliamentary elections has ...
Merinews - May 7, 2009
Political clash took place in these villages between the supporters of the CPIM and TMC. AFTER THE polling officials and Central paramilitary forces left ...
Calcutta Telegraph - 17 hours ago
According to CPM MP Mohammad Salim, there can be skirmishes around the day of the polls if the rival camps are too charged up. "Violence isn't desirable, ...
Day after polls dawns red too, four die Expressindia.com
Troublespot Nandigram turns out in force Times of India
The Statesman - May 7, 2009
Hindu - May 8, 2009
Tamluk (WB) (PTI) A two-year-old girl was one of the two victims of post-poll violence in Nandigram. Sania was shot dead when her mother Alia Bibi stepped ...
Reuters - May 7, 2009
"I think the results in West Bengal in this round of the poll are crucial for the Congress if they want to form government at the centre," said Sabyasachi ...
Earthtimes (press release) - 6 hours ago
The West Bengal government was forced to withdraw its chemical hub plans for Nandigram in 2008 after prolonged protests and violence. ...
Daily Times - 15 hours ago
The channel quoted Mukherjee as telling a public gathering in Western Bengal that Taliban were spreading nothing but violence. He said it was necessary to ...
In Murshidabad, CPM plays victim Kolkata Newsline
Containing Taliban good for whole world: Mukherjee Press Trust of India
Voter turnout was very high in Jangipur: Pranab SINDH TODAY
Indopia - May 7, 2009
... in violence while two voters died of sun stroke during the second and penultimate phase of the Lok Sabha election in 17 constituencies in West Bengal ...
75% turnout in phase 2 polling in WB NDTV.com
BBC News - May 7, 2009
"Polling was by and large peaceful barring a few stray incidents of violence, particularly in West Bengal. The commission would like to define Thursday's ...
Economic Times - May 7, 2009
The Statesman - 17 hours ago
RAIGANJ, May 8 : More than a decade has passed since the officials of North Dinajpur district administration started the construction of Rabindra Bhavan at ...
Remembering Gurudev with words & tunes Calcutta Telegraph
Rabindranath Tagore's birth anniversary celebrated Thaindian.com
Calcutta Telegraph - 16 hours ago
May 10 at Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan; 6 pm: Surangama's annual convocation and Rabindra Janmostsav celebration. Featuring excerpts from Tagore's dance-drama ...
KalingaTimes - 3 hours ago
... auspicious eve of the 148th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore at Rabindra Mandap auditorium here on Friday evening. ...
The New Nation - May 7, 2009
This is the 20th National Rabindra Sangeet Festival, which began on May 5 at the Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of the Central Public Library at Shahbagh ...
Orissadiary.com - May 3, 2009
... also known as Rabindra Jayanti which falls on the 25th day of the Hindu month of Baisakh, on May 8 (Friday) at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar. ...
Citizen Matters - May 4, 2009
The Daily Star - May 6, 2009
Durjanerey Hano," the five-day '20th Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Utshab' (National Rabindra Sangeet Festival) began at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, ...
The Daily Star - 18 hours ago
Top: Kalim Sharafi was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by Channel i at this year's "Rabindra Mela."Bottom Left: Hashem Khan paints on the theme ...
The New Nation - May 6, 2009
To mark the 148th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore on Baishakh 25, special gathering and fair titled 'Rabindra Mela' organised by Channel i will be ...
The Statesman - May 7, 2009
From Rabindra Nath Tagore to discussions on the Lok Sabha polls, talks brew up amid smoke, sweltering heat and nostalgia. A few government officials ...
Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel medal was stolen from Santiniketan! it is almost FIVE Years and perhaps SHANTINIKETAN has forgot the Nobel Medal!
CBI GAVE up and the Nobel medal still absconding while we do CELEBRATE RABINDRA JAYANTI across the Political borders in the divided Bleeding geopolitics under Manusmriti Apartheid Zionist Illuminati Tri IBLIS SATANIC ORDER!
Three and a half years after Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel medal was stolen from Santiniketan, there was suddenly hope that the
CBI has already given up the investigation saying the trail has gone cold. "The probe is fruitless, so we closed down the investigation," CBI had said in August 2007. But with DHAKA`s startling revelation, there might have been hope that the replica medal at Santinketan will be replaced with the real one.
Which turned out to bea false Alarm!
If Friday was the hottest day of the season, with the temperature touching a sizzling 41.8°C and humidity down to 22%, Saturday and
It is a very suitable ENVIRONMENT to celebrate TAGORE on PACHISHE Baishakh with the Marxist Brahaminical Hegemony makes BENGAL BLEEDING in political violence in a Politically CONSCIOUS Land of Poetry, Art, Music and RABINDRA NATH TAGORE. It is hightime to read RASHIAR CHITHI,the Letter from Russia and watch CHANDALIKA and RAKTO KAROBI Enacted.
Blood spills all over BENGAL to sustain Manusmriti rule while there is no distinction in between STREET VIOLENCEand state Sponsered GENOCIDE CULTURE!
No difference between IndividualProperty and STATE CAPITALISM!
No difference in between Fanatic Religion and Marxist Ideology and POLITICS is all about the Language of Religion!
Tagore had his definite role in the Struggle for Freedom. He played GUIDE for Gandhi and Deshbandhu. He was the face of Resistance in Bengal Partition period in 1905 and just after JALIWANWALA BAGH GENOCIDE while he ABDICATED KNIGHTHOOD with DESPISE!
I am afraid,had TAGORE been alive, he would have also been branded as GIRAFFE!
On a day Kolkata scrambled for cover from the searing heat, the weatherman at the Regional Meteorological
The highest temperature the city has recorded in recent years was on May 20, 2002, when the mercury soared to 43 °C. "We have issued a heat wave warning for Kolkata and the rest of south Bengal. A continuous stream of hot and dry air is flowing into Bengal from central India. Rain could have lowered the temperature but there is no rain in sight in the next 48 hours. Even if a strong southerly wind blows around Monday, it will only raise the humidity, further pushing up the discomfort level," said RMC-Kolkata director G C Debnath.
The continued spell of heat in the past couple of weeks has been the longest in 59 years, with the mercury hovering around the 40°C mark for 10 days. It has claimed seven lives so far. Till Friday, the hottest day in Kolkata this summer was April 19, when the mercury touched 41.2°C. On April 27, it again soared to 41.1°C.
Though a heat spell in April is uncommon, Met officials said it wasn't an abnormal weather pattern. May is supposed to be the hottest month in this part of India. "The temperature hitting a high notch between two Nor'westers is a normal phenomenon. There is nothing unusual about the heat wave," Debnath insisted.
In Bangladesh, The government has taken an elaborate programme to observe the 148th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore on May 8 at national level.he nation celebrated the 148th birth anniversary of revered poet Rabindranath Tagore on Friday, highlighting enduring relevance of his creations and philosophy in the present day.A poet of the earth who left an indelible impression on the psyche of the Bengalees and on the world literature, Tagore's birth anniversary falls on the 25th day of Baishakh, which actually comes on May 8, by the lunar cycle.
He was born to an eminent zamindar family in Jorashanko in Kolkata, India
A poet, playwright, novelist, educationist, social reformer, nationalist, business manager, artist and music composer, Tagore became Asia's first Nobel laureate when he won the prize in literature in 1913.
President Zillur Rahman is expected to inaugurate the programme at 4.30 pm at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy premises on next Friday.
Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad will preside over the inaugural function. National Prof Kabir Chowdhury will deliver a commemorate speech.
Bangladesh Television and Betar will telecast the programme live while various TV channels will also air the programme, said an official press release here on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Cultural Affairs has published a souvenir on the birth anniversary of legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore. The ministry has already formed several bodies to make the programme a success.
A cultural function would be held in the dancing auditorium of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy where reputed singers will perform Rabinrda songs and recite poems of Tagore.
To mark the Tagor's birth day, various programmes have been taken at Shilaidah of Kustia district, Kuthibari of Shahjadpur, Patisar of Naogaon and Dakkhindigi of Khulna.
District administrations will hold various programmes to be participated by Ranbindra experts, writers and dignitaries.
A discussion on Rabindranath Tagor will be held in the seminar room of Bangla Academy on May 10. Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof Nazrul Islam will preside over it. Ranbindra researcher and Language Hero Dr Ahmed Rafiq will present a keynote paper.
The birth anniversary of poet Tagore will also be observed with due respect at Bangladeshi missions abroad, the press release added.
Different social and cultural organisations took extensive programmes to mark the birth of the greatest Bengali poet and social thinker.
Bangabandhu Sanskritik Jote took out a rally from Bangabandhu Avenue at 11am and ended at National Press Club.
The cultural affairs ministry held a function at Osmani Memorial Auditorium at 4pm, which was inaugurated by president Zillur Rahman.
Separate speeches were given by the president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina, a Bengali literature graduate, on the occasion.
The president said the contribution of Tagore in the Bengali language and literature is unforgettable and insurmountable. His vast and multi-faceted creation has put Bengali language in the higher echelons.
The prime minister said 'Kabiguru', as Tagore is fondly referred to by admirers, has wanders in the heart of every Bengali. He is the beacon of the Bengalis and the eternal source of inspiration in all their movements, struggles, uprisings and creation.
"Rabindranath was an extraordinary genius with his poetic brilliance. He was a prolific author of dramas, plays, short stories and novels. He was also an artist, philosopher, singer, social reformer and educationist," Hasina said.
Opposition leader Khaleda Zia in her speech said Tagore had immense influence on the people of Bangladesh. His works not only have enriched the Bangla literature, but also projected it to the entire world.
Tagore has a dazzling presence in all branches of Bengali literature. He was not only a writer of novels, essays, and articles, a philosopher, he also wrote songs and sang them; he wrote plays and acted in them; he wrote dance-dramas and danced in them.
Newspapers ran special supplements on Tagore's contribution to the Bengali literature and music. The electronic media was aired special programmes, including soirees, recitation from his poems, discussions, film shows and dramas scripted or based on Tagore's stories.
Chennai Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rubbished the talk of sending army to Sri Lanka and favoured a political solution to the problem of Tamils within a united and federal set up, brushing aside the views of parties in Tamil Nadu, including ally DMK, pitching for a separate Eelam.
"What is possible and what is not possible, I think it is a matter of speculation. But quite frankly we are dealing with a sovereign state Sri Lanka… a sovereign country. It is not so easy to march armies to a sovereign state," he told a press conference in Chennai.
He was replying to a question on AIADMK chief's Jayalalithaa's remarks that if a government of her choice comes to power after the elections, it would send army to Sri Lanka for creation of a separate Tamil Eelam state.
With AIADMK and its allies PMK and MDMK raising the stakes on the Eelam issue, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi also joined the bandwagon for a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka.
"There is such thing as international law and all those constraints I think are known to all those who are making tall promises," he said in an apparent reference to Jayalalithaa's recent election speeches.
The Prime Minister appeared to suggest that any action by India should not also make Sri Lanka go for other options. Singh told the southern neighbour that there could be no military solution but only a negotiated political settlement which is fair to Tamils.
"We are living in very uncertain times. Whatever we do vis-a-vis our neighbours, we have to recognise that they are sovereign countries. In dealing with sovereign countries who have options other than dealing with India, sometimes we can hurt the wider national interests by taking a narrow shortsighted view," the Prime Minister said when asked why India can't snap ties with Sri Lanka.
Singh took strong objection to a question that he was maintaining silence on the Sri Lanka Tamils issue and said it was not true.
"That's not true. I am deeply concerned over plight of the civilians in Sri Lanka. I have used every opportunity to take up the issue with the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka," he said.
"This is not an issue which is of concern only for the people of Tamil Nadu, but for the people of India," the Prime Minister said.
Asked about different opinions by political parties on LTTE, he said: "As far as Government of India is concerned, LTTE has been regarded as a terrorist organisation so far."
On India's stand about Prabhakaran and whether New Delhi will help Sri Lankan Government in nabbing the LTTE chief, the Prime Minister said: "Prabhakaran is a proclaimed offender and he is wanted in India. Now the issue is not this.
"The issue is the future of Tamils in Sri Lanka... On how the Sri Lankan Government settle the issues through political means so that Tamils in the country can live with dignity and self-respect. The immediate concern is that the people trapped should be brought to the safe zone and the Sri Lankan government should resolve it through a political settlement," Manmohan Singh said.
After NSA revocation, Varun launches attack on Maya
Pilibhit (UP) A day after revocation of the stringent NSA imposed against him, BJP leader Varun Gandhi attacked the Mayawati government saying there was "lawlessness" in Uttar Pradesh and farmers were not being treated well.
Addressing a rally in Dakshin Puranpur village, Gandhi alleged that anti-social elements have been going door-to-door in various parts of the region misbehaving with the people.
"The poor in villages are being harassed by goons who go door-to-door threatening them. Farmers are not getting the Minimum Support Price for wheat," he said adding that he would work for "upholding the honour of the people."
"My struggle is for upholding your honour and awakening the feeling of self-respect in you," he told a gathering of hundreds of villagers.
Gandhi said there was a need to imbibe a spirit of nationalism and make a new political beginning in the state.
"If this does not happen in UP, we all will be orphaned," said Gandhi who is contesting the Lok Sabha poll from here. Invoking his father Sanjay Gandhi, the BJP leader said "my father did not believe in only making promises but he believed in putting them in action. I will work like my father."
Varun Gandhi got a reprieve on Friday as the Advisory Board of the Allahabad High Court held that the NSA imposed against him for his alleged hate speeches was invalid.
Exports from SEZs set to reach Rs 1.25 lakh cr
New Delhi Exports from the Special Economic Zones are expected to reach the target of Rs 1,25,000 crore in the current fiscal, with Reliance Industries' Jamnagar refinery alone likely to contribute Rs 35,000 crore to the total shipments.
While leading SEZs like Mahindra World, Nokia, Apache, Hyderabad Gems and Jewellery became operational in 2008-09, exports from these zones fell short of target of Rs 1,20,000 crore in the last fiscal, according to the Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs.
"Gems and jewellery, textiles, engineering and telecommunications SEZs, were the major contributers to the exports," council's Director-General L B Singhal said.
Singhal was confident about meeting the target for the current fiscal with the commissioning of the big ticket SEZ Jamnagar refinery by the Reliance Industries in December last.
"We are hopeful of achieving the target as the exports from the Reliance Industries Jamnagar SEZ are likely to be worth Rs 35,000 crore," he said.
The RIL has a production capacity of 5,80,000-barrels-per-day of fuel products.
Tata Steel may shut Teesside plant
Posted: May 08, 2009 at 1427 hrs IST
Mumbai Tata Steel, the world's sixth-largest steelmaker, said on Friday its Corus unit has opened talks which might lead to the mothballing of its Teesside Cast Products plant in England and large job losses.
Tata said the decision was unavoidable after a four-member consortium which had a slab offtake agreement decided last month to unilaterally terminate the contract, making the operations unviable.
The consortium includes Italian steelmaker Marcegaglia and South Korea's Dongkuk Steel. In January, Marcegaglia and Dongkuk had agreed to buy an 80 per cent stake in the Teesside unit.
Zardari hoping for better Indo-Pak ties, welcomes US help
Washington Hoping for better relations with India after the general elections, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said he would welcome any American help in improving Indo-Pak ties.
"I know they are busy at the moment. Democracies are always willing to work with democracies. I'm hoping for better relations," Zardari, who met President Barack Obama in Washington at a trilateral meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said.
Obama, during his talks with Zardari, had bluntly told him that Pakistan needs to concentrate on security challenges within the Taliban-infested country rather than considering India as an "existential threat".
"I'm looking forward to a relationship with India after the elections," Zardari told reporters in response to a question at Capitol Hill, after his meetings with the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee along with Karzai.
He was flanked by Karzai, John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its Ranking Member, Senator Richard Lugar.
"If our American friends can help us, they're welcome to," Zardari said responding to a question and added, "We always encourage help from all friends".
In his interview early this week with the CNN, Zardari had said that he is awaiting the formation of a new government in New Delhi to start a "fresh dialogue" with it. The two-day trilateral summit of the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan that concluded on Thursday, saw the presidents of the three countries pledging to work together to "defeat" al Qaeda and the Taliban from the region.
Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik said "our friend" India should unconditionally support efforts by Islamabad to deal with the Taliban insurgency.
"If they (India) have given any conditions, I think it will be in good faith that they withdraw them and show a gesture of friendship," Malik said.
On reports that Pakistan wants the US to ask India to withdraw troops from its western border, Malik said: "there is nothing of that sort".
"But I think the trust deficit needs to be decreased. Unless we have trust to a desired level, I think this suspicion will continue to exist," he said.
Obama to tell Zardari: India not a threat to Pak
Washington Concerned over the rising Taliban insurgency in the Afghan-Pak border, US President Barack Obama is expected to do some tough talking with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari on the need to take firm action to rein in the extremists and also tell Islamabad to shed its "obsession" of viewing India as a "mortal threat".
Zardari and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai arrived in Washington to participate in the two-day trilateral summit of US, Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday with the spotlight firmly on fighting the Taliban in the region.
The trilateral summit is an initiative of Obama, who wants to establish his own channel of direct communication with the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the prime focus of his foreign policy.
"I think he (Obama) will reiterate what he said to you guys last week," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said when asked whether Obama will make it clear to Pakistan that "there's no threat from India."
Referring to the statement made by Obama in this regard last week, Gibbs said: "I think the President spoke pretty clearly to this last week in underscoring where the threat lies in Pakistan and where it doesn't."
Obama had last week said Pakistan has started to recognise that that the "obsession" with India as the mortal threat to it has been misguided and that its biggest threat right now comes internally.
The crucial meeting on May 6 and 7 comes as Obama is pledging more troops to war-torn Afghanistan and more resources, including military aid, to the region to eliminate what he has called an international threat.
The Obama Administration has been pressing Pakistan that they should not view India as their main threat.
"The President is concerned about the situation (in Pakistan). You've seen administration officials talk about their concern," Gibbs said.
The summit assumes significance in the backdrop of Pakistan Army launching a military operation against Taliban in three districts of Dir, Swat and Buner in the restive NWFP close to the border with Afghanistan after US officials raised alarm to the extremists coming nearer to Islamabad.
"He (Obama) will spend a lot of time on Wednesday trying to get the steps that we take moving forward right as it relates to Pakistan and Afghanistan, to finally have a regional approach, and ensure that the time that is spent and the resources that are spent go toward making a difference in this region of the world," Gibbs said.
Both Zardari and Karzai are leading a high-power delegation from their respective countries. However, Pak Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani will not accompany the President in view of the "alarming security situation" in the country.
On Wednesday, Obama would be meeting Karzai and Zardari separately following which the US President would head towards the trilateral meeting with both the leaders.
After the trilateral summit at White House, the scene would shift to the State Department wherein the delegations of the three countries would hold detailed discussions in separate groups in various focused areas – foreign policy, security, intelligence sharing, transit and finance and agriculture.
State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the real purpose of summit is to "coordinate our activities as we try to deal with the fundamental problems that Pakistan and Afghanistan face terrorism".
"..but the economic situation and the impact that the global economic crisis is having on the region, to try to do what we can to better deliver services in government to the peoples of both countries."
Zardari and Karzai would also be going out on the Capitol Hill to meet Congressional leaders and brief them about the positions of their respective governments.
Prominent among the meetings include that with the House of Representative Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
Swine flu spreads, first cases reported in Japan, Australia
Posted: May 09, 2009 at 1206 hrs IST
Mexico City The new H1N1 flu killed its first patient in Canada, making it the third country after Mexico and the United States to report a death from the virus that has made more than 3,400 people in 28 countries ill.
The chief medical officer in the Canadian province of Alberta said on Friday that the woman in her 30s who died on April 28 had not travelled to Mexico, the epicentre of the swine flu outbreak, which suggests a more sustained spread of the infection.
Japan and Australia confirmed their first cases on Saturday, although there have been no deaths in either country.
The Canadian woman's death raised the confirmed global toll from the virus to 48. The virus is a strange coupling between a triple-hybrid virus with pig, human and bird elements and a European swine virus not seen before in North America.
Alberta was also where a herd of pigs became infected with the H1N1 swine flu, apparently infected by a man who had travelled to Mexico.
The World Health Organization kept its global pandemic alert at 5 out of 6 because the new virus was not spreading rapidly outside North America, where US officials expect it to spread to all 50 states.
Japan said its first three confirmed cases were a man in his 40s and two teenagers who had spent time in Canada.
Australia's first case was a 28-year-old woman who returned on a flight from Los Angeles on Thursday.
Health officials said the woman had shown flu symptoms while travelling in the United States in April but she had since recovered. Passengers on the same flight were being contacted.
One More Mexican Death
In Mexico, authorities reported one more death, based on lab tests of patients who died in past days, to raise the total to 45. A quarter of the dead were obese, the government said.
The virus has also killed two people in the United States, where President Barack Obama said, "... we're seeing that the virus may not have been as virulent as we at first feared but we're not out of the woods yet".
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 1,639 US cases on Friday, up from 896 on Thursday, a jump that has been expected as a backlog of lab tests were confirmed. The Mexican case total climbed to 1,364 from 1,204.
Global figures stood at at-least 3,416 cases, according to the WHO, the CDC and national health authorities.
Financial markets were rattled briefly after Mexico announced it had detected a new virus on April 23. Hog futures were also hit temporarily after several nations imposed trade restrictions, which came even though health officials said there was no risk of spreading the virus by eating pork.
Mexico, already in recession, has said the flu crisis could knock 0.3 to 0.5 percentage points off gross domestic product as tourism revenues suffer and after the country shut down all non-essential businesses for five days to control infection.
A senior executive at HSBC told the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit the flu outbreak would delay economic recovery in Mexico, saying lending would suffer.
In Asia, countries whose health diplomacy skills were honed by SARS in 2003 and ongoing outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza pledged to boost drug stockpiles, share essential supplies and tighten surveillance against what they called an "imminent health threat" to the region.
"We cannot afford to let our guard down," ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan told a meeting of health ministers from China, Japan, South Korea and the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations.
In Hong Kong, authorities said a Mexican man confirmed as the city's only case had been released from hospital. Hong Kong imposed a week-long quarantine on almost 300 guests and staff at a hotel where the man had stayed.
Hours after Nandigram rape victim's vote robbed by CPM, her brother killed
Bidyut RoyPosted: May 09, 2009 at 1017 hrs IST
Nandigram Hours after Sabina Begum (name changed to protect her identity), a Nandigram rape victim, was intimidated and not allowed to vote yesterday, alleged CPM cadres raided the house of her brother, 50-year-old Yaseen Meer, and hacked him to death.
As first reported in The Indian Express today, it was at her brother's house that Sabina had sought shelter when she wasn't allowed to enter the Satengabari primary school polling booth despite a valid Election Commission card with a valid number (withheld to protect her identity).
She and her husband had fled their home after Sabina was allegedly raped by a gang of CPM cadres during the violent Operation Recapture in November 2007 in the wake of the SEZ land acquisition controversy. Yesterday, they walked 10 km to their polling booth where they were turned back by CPM cadres and not allowed to vote.
Her brother, Yaseen, a daily labourer and a supporter of Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, had also received threats but he ignored these, cast his vote yesterday — and paid with his life. The Trinamool Congress has called a 12-hour Nandigram bandh tomorrow to protest against what it calls police inaction.
Sabina claimed there was more to her brother's murder than political vendetta. "Those who attacked my brother's house last night included some who sexually assaulted me in November 2007. They put pressure on my brother asking him to get me to withdraw my rape case," she told The Indian Express today.
Of the five named she mentioned in her rape FIR, four are at large, one was arrested but later released on bail.
According to Yaseen's wife, Hasina Bibi, CPM cadres kept a watch on their house since morning and saw that Sabina and her husband had taken shelter there.
Soon after Yaseen returned home in the evening after dropping Sabina off at her house in Samsabad village, the cadres came calling. "They first picked up a quarrel and then beat him with sticks, later two of them stabbed him.
Yaseen was bleeding profusely," said Hasina, who claimed she witnessed the murder.
Yaseen was taken to Tamluk hospital where he was declared dead. Hasina lodged a complaint with the Nandigram police station and named, among others, Touhid, Hasanur and Kalu Bachchu — all known CPM men in Satengabari.
Said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, SP of East Midnapore: "They are saying miscreants are from the CPM but I cannot say at this moment." He said that in another incident in the same village, a child died of gunshot wounds and her mother, Ali Bibi, was admitted to hospital with gunshot injuries. The attackers in this incident were also alleged CPM cadres.
When asked if there was any connection between Sabina's rape case and her brother's murder, the SP declined to comment.
Nandigram Block Development Officer Anirban Chattopadhyay said he had ordered an inquiry to "ascertain the circumstances under which she (Sabina) could not cast her vote yesterday despite having valid EC identity cards."
Stop bombing Afghanistan, Karzai to US
Washington Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded an end to air strikes by US and allied forces in his country, which he said has resulted in heavy civilian casualties.
Early this week, some 100 civilians were killed in US air strikes, which were later regretted by US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The US has ordered a joint investigation into the incident with the government of Afghanistan.
"We believe strongly that air strikes are not an effective way in fighting terrorism. That's not good for the US, that's not good for Afghanistan, that's not good for the conducting of the war," Karzai told CNN in an interview.
"We demand the proper conduction of operations. We demand an end to these operations," he said. Observing that the war on terror is not fought and should not be in the Afghan villages and homes, Karzai said: "that the air strikes, especially, and sudden bursts into homes at night are not in any way good for this war."
On another television show - the popular Charlie Rose show on PBS - Karzai appeared along with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, who also conceded that civilian casualties is a major issue for both the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"We need to find a way to end the loss of civilian life, especially where and when it occurs as a consequence of aerial bombardment or the use of airplanes in villages," Zardari said.
"In Afghanistan we've been saying for a long time now that the use of air power is no solution to fighting terrorism, whether there are one or two or many, that we have other ways of doing that," he argued.
At the tri-lateral meeting, which concluded Thursday, they agreed on a mechanism of joint operations through a joint centre of a coordination operation between Afghanistan forces and American and international forces. "That should be implemented," Zardari said.
"Through the implementation of that, the need to use air power will go away, and that need will not arise anymore. That will mean lesser casualties for Afghanistan civilians," he said.
Terrorists threaten to blow up US embassy in Dhaka
Dhaka Bangladesh has beefed up security at Dhaka's posh diplomatic enclave after a militant group threatened to blow up the US and three other western embassies in Dhaka.
"We have intensified our security surveillance at the diplomatic zone and deployed extra police forces, including patrol units with weapons and plainclothesmen, after the embassies received the faxed letters from an Islamic militant group, Jemaah Islamiyah al-Qaeda," a police spokesman said.
Witnesses said anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) troops along with the elite Armed Police Battalion were checking cars and commuters passing through the diplomatic area as part of the intensified vigil.
Police and embassy officials said the US embassy and British, Australian and Canadian High Commissions in Dhaka received the threats from the group, said to be a pan-Asian extremist outfit and closely linked to al-Qaeda, on Thursday night.
However, the US embassy declined to make any official comment on the security issue of the mission.
According to the police officials, the outfit demanded USD 100,000 through Western Union Money Transfer for "releasing the German bomb engineer detained in Malaysia and asked the four countries to shut down their activities within seven days and leave Bangladesh to evade the bomb attacks".
Security experts said, Jemaah Islamiyah al-Qaeda, little known in Bangladesh, is a Southeast Asian militant group dedicated to the establishment of a Islamic State of their brand in Southeast Asia incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Singapore and Brunei.
The militant outfit was enlisted in the United Nations list of terrorist organizations linked to al-Qaeda or the Taliban in 2002.
I'm inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, says Obama
Washington, February 23: Barack Obama, Democratic front-runner for the US Presidential nomination, sees Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration and has a portrait of the apostle of peace in his office to remind him that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
"In my life, I have always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration, because he embodies the kind of transformational change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things," he wrote in a yet to be published article in the ethnic India Abroad newspaper.
"That is why his portrait hangs in my Senate office; to remind me that real results will not just come from Washington, they will come from the people," he said in the article, excerpts of which were provided in a write-up on Friday.
That is why, he said, "I am proud to have the longstanding support of so many Indian Americans in all aspects of my campaign (for party nomination for the post of the President), as well as the endorsements of leading elected Indian American lawmakers."
Mulayam offers truce to Azam, asks him to canvass for SP
Rampur (UP) Stepping in to end the intra-party rift, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav sought to pacify Azam Khan saying he wanted him to start canvassing for the party and stop working against its interests.
Yadav's move came a day after Amar Singh virtually threatened to quit the party if Yadav does not rein in Khan.
At an election rally in Rampur, Yadav said Khan should stop working against the party's interests. "Abhi bhi samay hai, samman sahit wapas aayiye, chunav prachar me lag jayiye (There is still time. Come back with dignity and start campaigning for the party).
The former UP Chief Minister had said on Friday that he was not happy with Khan's criticism of party colleagues Amar Singh and Jayaprada.
Yadav said he wanted to know from Khan the reason for his grouse against Jayaprada. "If Khan was so keen to oppose the SP nominee, I asked him to oppose me (Mulayam). Otherwise, disclose the reason for his annoyance (towards Jayaprada)."
Yadav said he awaited Khan's return (to canvass for the party) adding, "I will welcome him if he comes here".
Amar Singh at an election meeting in support of the sitting MP Jayaprada, the cause for Khan's tussle with the party leadership, had said he would decide over continuing in the party after the end of the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls.
Khan, who has been carrying on a campaign against the candidature of Jayaprada, has been unrelenting in his attack on Singh.
In Left's Hooghly, CPM tastes its own medicine
Posted: May 09, 2009 at 0225 hrs IST
Kolkata Post-poll violence in Hooghly district's three Lok Sabha constituencies — Arambagh, Sreerampore and Hooghly — which began on Thursday evening peaked on Friday with Trinamool Congress workers allegedly ransacking and setting fire to a CPM office in Keshabpur village in Arambagh constituency.
Elsewhere in the district, incidents of violence were reported in Dhanekhali, Jangipara, Goghat and Khanakul areas where clashes erupted between the rival parties after Trinamool workers were allegedly assaulted. Hooghly is a Left stronghold.
The CPM Hooghly district committee member, Sunil Sarkar, said Trinamool men attacked the party's Keshabpur office "without any provocation."
"Around 90 party members were in the office when Trinamool supporters entered and beat up everyone present, including an elderly person. They then set the office on fire. Much of the premises, including records and documents, were destroyed. We staged an agitation to protest against the incident," said Sarkar. "In Jangipara, the Central Paramilitary Forces stood by as our polling agents were barred from entering six booths," he added.
CPM Arambagh zonal secretary Muzamil Hussain said that apart from his party office, two houses belonging to CPM supporters were also ransacked by Trinamool supporters. But he downplayed the violence and said, "Poll-related violence can happen in one or two places. It does not indicate widespread violence."
But this has not stopped the CPM from retaliating. The Left cadres are targeting Trinamool supporters. Consider the following incidents that have taken place since the polling came to an end on Thursday.
* Trinamool supporter Bahadul Haq of Ramanandapur in Goghat was working in his field when he was attacked with choppers allegedly by CPM cadres for working for the Trinamool's election campaign. He sustained injuries in his arms and legs.
* In Ghoshpur, Trinamool supporter Iliyas Chowdhury was severely allegedly assaulted by CPM cadres.
* In the same area, Trinamool's polling agent Rafiq Gayen's house was ransacked before he could return from the polling station. Gayen spent the night in Trinamool leader Samir Bhandari's residence
* In Boso, Dhanekhali near Booth No 100 which happens to be CPM zonal secretary Dilip Mukherjee's area, booth agent Shekhar Mukherjee was beaten up allegedly by CPM cadres. In retaliation, Trinamool workers set up a road block and agitated.
* In Tarakeshwar's Malpaharpur, Jharkhand Disham Party leaders Sukumar Malik, Mohan Hansda and his wife were assaulted by CPM cadres.
However, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) vice-president Amit Kumar said the violence trend this time showed increased opposition to the CPM.
"Earlier, the CPM would not allow anyone to vote for any other party. In the late 1970s in Jangipara, they cut off the hands of those who voted for the Congress. Now, in that same area, their polling agents were stopped from entering the booths. The youth are gravitating towards the Trinamool now. What other option do they have?" Kumar said.
Claiming the CPM's allegations baseless, Trinamool leader Samir Bhandari said the CPM had set fire to its own office and was implicating the Trinamool.
"This is still a CPM stronghold. As far as I know, there is no one who would have the guts to torch a CPM office here. If clashes are being reported, it's because the police are against us, and people will do anything for self-protection against CPM's atrocities. How long will we take this intimidation and assault?" Bhandari said.
Largest Central force for violent Bengal
With the second phase of polling in Bengal turning bloody and sporadic incidents of violence taking place even after the polling, the state government will be allotted additional 30 companies of Central Police Force for the third and final phase on May 13.
"We are thankful to the Union Home Ministry for allotting the Central force to us. This is by far the largest force to be deployed in any part of the country for poll duty," said Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti.
At present, the state has 215 companies of CPF which, according to state Chief Electoral Officer Debashis Sen, is not enough for deploying central force personnel in every polling station. "For deploying at least one CPF official at every polling station, the state needed around 600 companies of CPF that we got in Assembly elections in 2006. In this election, the number of booths has increased but the number of CPF companies deployed in the state has decreased. So, it is not possible for us to deploy CPF in every polling station," said Sen. Earlier in the day, top officers of Kolkata police held a meeting with Sen on poll-preparedness. CPF commandants and presiding officers were also present in the meeting.
On May 13, 50 companies of CPF will be manning the booths in Kolkata. There are 2,635 booths on 788 premises in the city that will be under the purview of Kolkata police. Out of this, 247 booths have been declared sensitive or super-sensitive. "There will be at least four CPF personnel on each polling premise. Certain premises have more than four booths. In that case there will be a constable from Kolkata police to man the gates that cannot be manned by CPF," said a senior officer of the Kolkata police. "We will have to be extra cautious because of the large crowds that are likely to gather in these areas during the peak polling period," a Kolkata police officer said.
On the polling day, no civilian other than an official will be allowed within 200 metres of a booth if he/she is not a resident of that area. "We might even arrest violators of this rule," an officer said. According to the instructions of the CEO, agents will not be allowed to carry mobile phones; even voters will have to keep their phones switched off. No agent will be allowed to carry any voters list or any kind of paper out of the polling booth.
Central forces are scheduled to begin "area-domination" — the exercise of formally taking over an area's security with a flag-march or a patrol drill - from May 9. Police teams will take up positions at booths a day before the polling. Liquor shops will remain closed from 5 pm on May 11 till May 13. The outlets will close again on May 16, the day of counting votes.
"CPF will be there in all polling booths in Kolkata. In district, all booths will have armed police. We have also maximized the numbers of micro observers in all the booths. Micro observers who have been deployed in the booths in Burdwan, Howrah, Hooghly and East Midnapore will be re-deployed in booths where third phase of polling will be held," said Sen. ENS
"I do not think Congress is going to make a hero of Nitish Kumar. The manner in which he has aligned with the BJP and is carrying on ... that kind of a pollution of his secular credentials with the communal," AICC media department in-charge M Veerappa Moily said.
His comments came in the wake of reports that Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan were skipping Friday's Cabinet meeting in disapproval of Congress' overtures to "rivals" like Kumar.
He accused the Bihar Chief Minister of following a mixed communal and secular agenda, "What he (Kumar) is doing is a mix of communal agenda and also the secular agenda. We are not happy with (with this)," he added.
Moily also alleged that for Kumar retaining the Chief Ministership was more important than ideology and maintained that Congress was aware of Kumar's limitations.
"We know his limitations. He is with JD-U. Sooner he joins hands with us, he will collapse. He knows it. To him retaining Chief Ministership is more important than ideology. He is prepared to join with the communal forces like BJP to continue to be the Chief Minister," he said.
"If he (Kumar) wants to do that it is up to him. If he wants to be within the communal cauldron and burn himself, I do not think that anybody can save him," Moily said, adding "he has to know his limitations."
On the issue of "straining" of relationship with RJD and LJP, Moily said there are "more reasons" for Congress to be angry, referring to seat sharing agreement in Bihar, where the two allies left just three out of 40 seats for Congress.
"We should be more angry...we never let them (Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan) down. (However) Paswan and Lalu for the reasons best known to them just decided the seats for themselves," he said.
"Can a national party like Congress gulp this kind of insult. It was because of this reason that Congress fielded candidates in both seats (Ram Vilas Paswan's constituency Hajipur and Lalu Prasad's constituency Patliputra)," Moily said.
If "proper discussions" and "harmonious dialogues" had taken place over the seat sharing issue, "may be that situation would not have arised", he said, adding both in UP and Bihar, the allies chose their "own path of confrontation".
Pak ready to shift troops from Indian border to fight Taliban
Washington Under pressure from the US, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Saturday that Pakistan is ready to shift some of its troops from the Indian border to its western frontier to fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists.
The US has been pressing Pakistan to step up its offensive against the Taliban but Islamabad has been reluctant to move troops from the eastern border as it considers India as its main threat.
US President Barack Obama, who met Zardari in Washington, has been trying to convince Pakistan that such a belief is "misguided" and that the terrorists inside the country pose the most serious threat to its security and safety.
"Let me tell you that we have moved some more (troops) recently because the action asked for it. If need be, we will move more," Zardari told the popular Charlie Rose Show on PBS on Friday when asked about the US request in this regard. Afghan President Hamid Karzai also appeared on the show.
"It was the demand based proposition, when the demand goes up, we shift. Whenever we have to move, we will have to move from that (Indian) border towards this (Afghan border)," Zardari said.
Zardari's comments came after the US said it continues to be concerned over the situation in Pakistan. Washington also voiced scepticism over assurances given by Zardari to Obama on the Taliban issue and made it clear that the country needs to "do more" to meet the threat.
Asked about the perceived threat from India, Zardari said the Indian border is sometimes hot and sometimes cold.
"But democracies are always trying to get friendly with each other... We are trying to improve our relationship with India, So we never talk war. Pakistan under a democratic system has never gone to war with India," he argued.
"At the same time, there is an active threat on the Afghan border from our side, from their side, from within the mountains, and that's where we're engaged today. Today's war for the perceivable future for the world and for us is that area," Zardari said indicating he is now convinced that the Taliban posed a serious security threat to his country.
"I can assure you that everybody in my government knows that the threat is to them. It is not a threat to you or anybody else," he said.
The Pakistani President said his country needs the equipments to successfully fight out the Taliban and al-Qaeda from within its territory. "We need much more help. And more technology. We need more helicopters, we need night vision equipment. I have even asked for the drones," he said.
Seeking to allay western apprehensions, Zardari assured that Pakistan's nuclear weapons are safe and it would never land in the hands of the Taliban or al-Qaeda.
The Pakistani President said the reports about an eminent Taliban taken over of Islamabad are a media creation.
"The Taliban are in the mountains, which are geographically 80 miles from Islamabad. They have always been there. Didn't show up yesterday. So if they take one hill top and try to take the others that does not mean that Islamabad is in danger," Zardari said.
But Washington made it known that it was not convinced with Zardari's assurances.
"I think both President Zardari and President (Hamid) Karzai went back to their countries with the understanding that there is some scepticism on the (Capitol) Hill and that Pakistan and Afghanistan are going to have to do more and take the steps that are necessary to deal with these threats, to alleviate some of the concerns that exist on Capitol Hill," State Department Acting Spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, "Obviously, we continue to be concern about the situation and will watch it carefully."
Responding to a question on the ongoing military action by the army against the Taliban in the Swat Valley, Gibbs said, "we're heartened by the developments thus far".
However, Gibbs was quick to point out that it's something of deep concern to the president and to the national security team, and it is something which the US will continue to monitor.
"This has been on the President's radar for many years and something that the team and the President here spend an increasing amount of time watching to ensure that we continue to make progress," he said.
Rabindranath Tagore's timeless poetry came alive on stage, with some prominent Pune-based Marathi artistes putting up an impressive show. On Rabindra Jayanti, the master poet from Bengal was remembered by Surajhankar — a trust that believes in promoting the arts from Bengal. The evening saw prominent theatre personality Chandrakant Kale, along with his group Shabdavedh present Kabyer Katha. Apart from this, Kalmrigaya, a dance-drama presented by Sadhna dance troupe of Sumita Mahajan enthralled the audience with its exquisite compositions, while renowned classical vocalist Veena Sahasrabudhe graced the occasion as the chief guest.
ArtMay 9 - 17 at Nehru Children's Museum: An exhibition of artworks, based on Tagore's work, by the students of Nehru Children's Museum. Inauguration today at 4 pm. Till May 9 at the Promenade Lounge, Taj Bengal: The Vase and The Warriors of Love, a solo show of new works by Italian artist Tarshito. Till May 10 at Shree Art Gallery, 11 Gurusaday Road, Kusum Apartments, Flat no. 61, #9903235566; 3 pm - 7 pm: An exhibition of exclusive paintings by Milanendu Mandal and other eminent artists of Bengal. Till May 10 at Birla Academy of Art & Culture, 2nd floor; 4 pm - 8 pm: Scarlet Palette presents an exhibition of paintings by Jayanta Mukherjee, Saroj Sarkar, Biswarup Garai, Naba Kr. Chakrabarty, Badal Pal and Tapan Das. Till May 15 at Gallery with Difference, 152 S.P. Mukherjee Road, near Rashbehari crossing: Narrative Movements 2009 — a group exhibition of art, curated by Bibekananda Santra. Till May 17 (except Monday and May 13) at Birla Academy of Art & Culture, 1st floor; 3 pm - 8 pm: An exhibition of artworks and photographs by Satyajit Ray, entitled Rayimages. Till May 17 (except Sunday & holidays) at Museum & Art Gallery, The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Gol Park; 10.30 am - 1 pm & 2.30 pm - 6 pm: Glimpses of Ancient India — paintings by Prabhatmohan Bandyopadhyay (1904-1987). Till May 20 at Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre, 36C S.P. Mukherjee Road; 2 pm - 8 pm: The Seagull Foundation for the Arts presents Somnath Hore: Bronzes, Drawings, Watercolours — an exhibition of the works of Somnath Hore. Till May 22 (except Sundays) at Akar Prakar, P 238 Hindustan Park, #24642617; 2 pm - 7 pm: A retrospective show of sculptures by Sarbari Roy Choudhury. Till May 23 at Experimenter, 2/1 Hindusthan Road, #98300 15854; 11 am - 8 pm (Monday to Saturday): Tell-Tale: Fiction, Falsehood & Fact 2 — contemporary artist's narrative perspective on stories and storytellers. Featuring works by Amritah Sen, Anupam Chakraborty, Rajesh Deb, Sarnath Banerjee and Sujay Mukherjee. Curated by Dr Paula Sengupta. Till May 24 (except Monday) at Bose Pacia, Stephen Court, 18 Park Street, #40010148; 11 am - 7 pm: The Vase and The Lines — new works by Tarshito.
PERFORMING ARTSMay 9 at Science City Auditorium; 6.30 pm: Indo Occidental Symbiosis and Juhu Cultural Association (Mumbai) present Tagore's Panchaputra featuring Dr Balamuralikrishna, Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty, Mohan Singh, Srikanto Acharya and Supratik Das. Narration: Gouri Ghosh and Bratati Bandyopadhyay. Music arrangement: Durbadal Chattopadhyay. May 9 at Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts, 94 Ballygunge Place; 6 pm: Classical vocal concert by Pandit Shyam Sundar Goswami, with Ustad Sabir Khan (tabla), Ustad Roushan Ali (sarangi) and Francoise Jalais (tanpura). May 10 at Science City Auditorium; 6.30 pm: Indo Occidental Symbiosis and Juhu Cultural Association (Mumbai) present Tagore's Panchakanya featuring Asha Bhosle, Lopamudra Mitra, Shubhamita Banerjee, Shraboni Sen and Aditi Mohsin (Bangladesh). Narration: Goutam Ghose and Rudraprasad Sengupta. Music arrangement: Durbadal Chattopadhyay. May 10 at Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan; 6 pm: Surangama's annual convocation and Rabindra Janmostsav celebration. Featuring excerpts from Tagore's dance-drama Chandalika and other dance numbers accompanied by Tagore songs.
RABINDRA JAYANTIabindranath Tagore's 148th birth anniversary will be celebrated today all over the city with performances by established as well as upcoming practitioners of Tagore songs and recitation. A list of the programmes: Kabi Pranam by Rabindra Bharati University, Jorasanko campus, 6 am - 12 noon Kabi Pranam 1416 by Bidhannagar Sanskriti Angan; at Bidhannagar Mela grounds (Central Park), 6 am and 5 pm Kabi Pranam by Rabindra Sadan and state government's ministry of information and cultural affairs, at Rabindra Sadan complex, 6 am onwards. Kabi Pranam: Gaane Gaane Tabo Bandhano Jak Tutey by Srinandana at Subinoy Roy Mancha, HA Block Community Centre, Salt Lake, 6.30 am Nabo Anandey Jaago by Lake Town Boimela and Morning Cultural Association, at Milan Sangha ground, 6.30 am Rabindra Prabhat by Jadavpur Laughing Club, opp Gate #4 of Jadavpur University, 6 am Prabhati Kabi Pranam by Behala-Thakurpukur Club Samanyaya Samity at Behala Sarat Sadan complex, 6.30 am Rabindra Jayanti by Satayau at Tara Ma Mandir, opp Circular Railway ticket counter, Sovabazar Ahiritolla, 5.30 am Rabindra Prabhat O Rabindra Sandhya by Nehru Children's Museum and Tagore Foundation; at nehru Children's Museum, today (7 am & 5.30 pm) and tomorrow (9 am & 5 pm). Aloker Ei Jharna Dharay by Calcutta Museum Society at Calcutta Town Hall, today and tomorrow at 3.30 pm Kabi Pranam by Sankhamala and Rice Education, at Udayan, Belghoria, 5.30 pm Rabindra Sandhya 2009 by BSNL with Arundhati Holme Chowdhury, Rano Guhathakurta and Indranil Sen, and artistes of Dancers' Guild, at Mahajati Sadan, 5.30 pm Hey Pita — Pachishey Boisakh by Chhandak at Abanindra Sabhagriha, 5.30 pm Rabindrasangeeter Kromobikash (E Shudhu Alasha Maya), songs interspersed with discussion by Baitanik; at Maharshi Bhavan, Jorasanko, 6.30 pm
DRAMAMay 9 at Academy of Fine Arts; 2.40 pm: Bratyajan presents Ruddha Sangeet. Drama & direction: Bratya Basu. May 9 at Academy of Fine Arts; 6.30 pm: Natasena presents Fata Gopal. Direction: Durga Chakraborty. May 9 at Tapan Theatre; 6.30 pm: Sayak presents its latest production, Dournama. Direction and in lead role: Meghnad Bhattacharya. May 10 at Academy of Fine Arts; 3 pm: Sansriti will stage Winkle Twinkle, directed by Debesh Chattopadhyay. May 10 at Tapan Theatre; 10.30 am: Eso Natak Shikhi will stage two one-sct plays: Jantra-Na (No More Machines) and Tatan Aar Sada Payra (Tatan and the White Pigeon). Direction: Dr Tapas Das. May 10 at Madhusudan Mancha; 6.30 pm: Durgadas Smrity Sangha presents Amla-Madhur. Direction: Tirthankar Chattopadhyay. May 10 at Academy of Fine Arts; 6.45 pm: Drishyapat presents Aguner Barnamala, with Debshankar Haldar and Writa Dutta Chakraborty in the lead. Direction: Anirban Bhattacharya.
PHOTOGRAPHSTill May 15 at 46 Satish Mukherjee Road, near Kalighat Park; 2 pm - 8 pm: The Seagull Foundation for the Arts and Tasveer present A Long Exposure — photographs by T.S. Satyen. Till May 15 at South City Mall; 12 noon - 8 pm: Memorable Outdoors — an exhibition of photographs taken by Asish Bal, Samir Basu, Sandipan Das, Sanjay Thakur and Subrata Bose.
TALKMay 9 at Bidhannagar Ramakrishna Vivekananda Kendra, DD-44 Salt Lake; 7 pm: Swami Amalatmanandaji will speak on Bhagaban Buddhadeber Jeeban O Bani. May 9 at Ramakrishna Math, Baranagar; 7 pm: Discourse on Life and teachings of Bhagwan Buddha by Swami Satyamayanandaji.
POETS' DAYMay 10 at Sisir Macha; 10.30 am onwards: Sahitya Akademi hosts a multiligual poets' meet.
MOTHERS' DAYMay 10 at Oxford Bookstore, Park Street; 5 pm: Oxford Junior and CINI commemorate Mothers' Day, organising a discussion on Who is a Mother, emphasising on the various aspects of a mother-child relationship. The programme aims to create awareness on pre- and post-pregnancy care for mothers, malnutrition of children and impart valuable parenting advice.
WORKSHOPMay 9 - 13 at Kriya, 67B Bondel Road, Ballygunge Phari; 10 am - 12 noon: Kriya 'Click Away' photography workshop for the age group 10 yrs to 19 yrs. Call 9831180292 for registration. May 10 - 14 at 1/5 Roland Road; 4 pm - 6 pm: Manjari Kanoi's The Pottery Project for children 7 yrs to 15 yrs. Call 9830379166 for registration details.All those who wish events to be included in this column should write not less than a week ahead to: Time out, The Telegraph,6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta-700 001; Fax: 2234-8244
All those who wish events to be included in this column should write not less than a week ahead to:
Time out, The Telegraph, 6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta-700 001;
|Flaunting a cool wardrobe |
Summer's all about making a cool statement. So, when a city store recently showcased an exhibition of saris, dupattas, scarves and garments in cotton and silk, there were takers galore.
Violence erupts the day after
Statesman News Service
BURDWAN/SURI/HOWRAH/TAMLUK, May. 8: At least four persons were killed and a number of others injured as post-poll violence simmered in most districts across south Bengal that went to polls on Thursday. Violence in yesterday's poll had claimed five persons across Howrah, Burdwan and Midnapore East districts. Chief secretary Mr Asok M Chakrabarti conceded that the post-poll scenario remained volatile. "Violence has claimed some people. This is unfortunate. Police are at work and political parties have been urged to solve disputes with dialogue," he said.
Today, two persons, purportedly Trinamul supporters, were killed and a number were injured in a clash between Trinamul and CPI-M activists in Burdwan district. Two more youths were killed and seven others injured in two separate incidents of violence at Bagnan in Howrah. Many houses were damaged and later burnt.
In Burdwan, Rahamat Sheikh (36) was hacked to death and Mr Joydeb Bag (40) sustained critical injuries when they were attacked allegedly by CPI-M cadres this morning while on their way back home in Salon village near Kalna.
Moinul Sheikh alias Nazu (40) was killed at Khanzi village in Ketugram. Nazu and six others, all residents of Khanzi and Khaspur village, had fled their homes following alleged CPI-M atrocities and had returned to vote only yesterday. CPI-M goons allegedly hurled bombs at them on the outskirts of the village. All seven were rushed to hospital with injuries. Nazu died this morning. Police raided Bonteer village in Raina, in search of four Trinamul supporters accused of murdering a CPI-M leader and allegedly ransacked and plundered at least 200 houses and shops owned by Trinamul supporters.
In Howrah, Sheikh Sariful (16) was killed and his brother injured when some goons allegedly backed by the Trinamul hurled bombs at their residence at Chilampur. Police said the victim's father, Taher Ali, a CPI-M local committee member, had prevented some Trinamul supporters from entering a polling booth yesterday. A CPI-M supporter, Sheikh Saidul Haque (21) was killed and six others injured in a clash at Rabibhag in Bagnan this morning. Police said the seven were critically injured when Trinamul-backed goons hurled bombs at a shop where they had taken shelter. Haque was declared brought dead at a local hospital.
To protest the murder of a child and a Trinamul worker at Satengabari yesterday, the Trinamul has called a 12-hour Nandigram bandh on Saturday. At Reyapara, a group of Trinamul workers allegedly left five CPI-M cadres wounded. Trinamul supporters tried to dig up a road at Raynagar to prevent the entry of police today, but police stopped them from doing so.
At Dalimborchawk in Haldia, CPI-M-Trinamul clashes left 10 hurt. Six houses were also torched. In Birbhum, at least 11 people were injured in a clash that broke out in Md. Bazar near Suri between Congress and CPI-M supporters.
Trouble erupted again late this evening at Satnara in Burdwan, when 19 Trinamul supporters including a lawyer of Culcutta High Court, Mr Pradip Dan were locked in a house and the place set on fire allegedly by CPI-M backed goons. A police contingent however rescued the men. Seven more houses were also set on fire by the goons.
Tragedy of Sania, 1 year 11 months: bullet kills baby, then hits her mother
|IMRAN AHMED SIDDIQUI|
Nandigram, May 8: The "politically conscious" state that threw up the highest turnout yesterday also witnessed the death of probably the youngest victim of political violence this election.
Sania Khatoun, a year and 11 months old, was in mother Aleya Bibi's lap last night, being fed her dinner, when alleged CPM supporters entered their home and opened indiscriminate fire. One of the bullets went through Sania's leg, and then lodged in the stomach of Aleya, 27.
No political party in Bengal could recall anyone as young as Sania being killed in poll violence in recent memory. During last year's panchayat elections, Mili Khatoon, 4, was killed by a bomb as she played on the verandah of her home in Murshidabad's Talibpur village.
No one has been arrested for Sania's murder because "no one has filed any complaint", East Midnapore superintendent of police P.K. Ghosh said.
Sania bled to death on the way from Satengabari village to a Tamluk hospital, where Aleya lay in the female surgical ward today, recuperating from an operation to remove the bullet. Hospital authorities and relatives have told her Sania is in the paediatric ward and is recovering. Aleya's husband Sheikh Safiul Ali, a tailor in Delhi, is on his way home.
"I wonder how my baby is doing. I remember very little of what happened last night," Aleya said in a weak voice.
"All I remember is that there was a lot of chaos, shouting and people with flashlights roaming around the house. Sania was in my lap and I was feeding her rice. Then there was firing and I felt a searing pain."
The gunmen, allegedly hunting down Opposition supporters for defying a diktat not to vote, seemed to be looking for the wife of a local Trinamul leader who took shelter in Aleya's home.
Sanyara Bibi alleged the gang had come looking for her and husband Mir Raushan Ali. "I saw them coming because they were shouting. I ran to Aleya Bibi's home and hid under the bed," Sanyara said.
"When they found my house empty, they searched Aleya's home but could not find me. But they were sure I was there, so they fired at random, killing poor Sania."
Police sources corroborated that armed CPM cadres had travelled from village to village last night in Amdabad II, the only one among Nandigram's 17 gram panchayats that the Marxists won in last year's rural polls. Their targets, Opposition supporters alleged, were Trinamul leaders who had "motivated" the villagers to vote.
The district administration admitted receiving reports of Trinamul supporters being threatened and warned not to vote.
"Yes, we had received such complaints and informed the police," said Nandigram's block development officer, Aniruddha Chattopadhyay. The local police said they had "no idea" about this.
Unlike the November 2007 "recapture" of Nandigram, the gunmen did not come on motorcycles; they quietly slipped into Amdabad II on foot four nights before the election. Thereafter, they visited Trinamul homes every night and threatened families that they would be killed if they "dared" vote, Sanyara said.
The polling itself was by and large peaceful with a large number of police around; the violence flared only at night when there were fewer personnel around. "They took advantage of the relaxed atmosphere after the peaceful polling," an officer said.
The gunmen disappeared from Nandigram after the violence, which included a 45-year-old Trinamul supporter being beaten to death in Satengabari. "From what we have gathered, they went back to Keshpur," the officer said.
CPM district secretary Ashok Guria said there had been firing both by his party and Trinamul. "Sania was killed when a Trinamul supporter opened fire."
Home secretary Ardhendu Sen has sought a report from district magistrate C.D. Lama.
| 9 May 2009, 0247 hrs IST |
CPM candidate for Kolkata North Mohammed Salim is perceived to be a genial, accessible politician with potential to evolve into a national leader.
| 9 May 2009, 0247 hrs IST, Nirmalya Banerjee |
The last panchayat elections put brakes on the Left Front juggernaut that routinely rolls over this constituency in every election.
| 9 May 2009, 0245 hrs IST, AJANTA CHAKRABORTY & DEBASHIS KONAR |
It's a Twenty20 match here slam bang in the heart of Kolkata. The slog overs will be played on Wednesday (V-Day). And the man of the match decided on May 16.
| 9 May 2009, 0245 hrs IST |
A ruckus broke out at Nava Nalanda High School on Friday when agitated guardians tried to barge into the school building to protest against a fee hike.
| 9 May 2009, 0244 hrs IST |
A man attacked his uncle and two cousins, critically injuring two of them, at Chari Anantapur village under Baishnabnagar police station on Friday.
|Tagore Songs in Oriya to mark Rabindra Jayanti in Orissa on May 8|
|Monday, May 04, 2009|| |
Report by Orissa Diary Correspondent; Bhubaneswar: The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, is organizing its first programme in Orissa on the occasion of the 148th Birth Anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore , also known as Rabindra Jayanti which falls on the 25th day of the Hindu month of Baisakh, on May 8 (Friday) at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar.
Remembering Gurudev with words & tunes
Jamshedpur, May 8: The residents of steel city will have a cultural date with Gurudev tomorrow.
On the 148th birth anniversary of Rabindranath, the Tagore Society has made elaborate plans to celebrate the day in style. A two-day cultural extravaganza has been lined up at Rabindra Bhavan.
"This is a day we look forward to in a year. This day not only holds significance to Bengalis, also for people who has read his works. We will start the celebrations from early morning with our staff and students," said Ashish Chowdhury, the secretary of Tagore Society.
The Rabindra Jayanti celebrations will start from 5.30am with Baitalik, followed by homage to Tag- ore by the president of the society. Floral tribute will also be paid to the nobel laureate.
The Kadma branch of Tagore Society will perform a dance drama, Tomaye Kori Go Namaskar, tomorrow. Another dance drama Jagate Ananda Jagne will be performed by the Telco branch. Din Chol Jaye, Gan Theke Jaye is lined up for the second day at Rabindra Bhavan.
An exhibition will be organised by the society on the premises of Rabindra Bhavan. The exhibition will have fine arts and crafts items made by the students of the society on display. A cultural programme will be presented by the students, which is scheduled for the morning.
"Through this celebrations we will pay a tribute to the lifeline of Bengali culture. Some of the programmes, which the students of the society will perform, will help them to understand the culture and appreciate Rabindranath Tagore from the core of their heart. They will also know the contribution of Kabiguru to the literature," said Chowdhury.
On May 10, Kavi Pranam, a cultural programme of dance, drama, shruti natak (play reading) and recitation has been organised by the staff of the Tagore Society.
From the poet's diary
Preeti SrivastavPosted: Apr 30, 2009 at 0144 hrs IST
While dance drama was used as a strong medium to propagate the goodness of Ramayana, later the same medium with a more vernacular touch was also used to bring about many social changes. And in the era of the technology boom, it still successfully conveys the message. Among various art forms, dance-drama has emerged as a strong form, that uses the goodness of both music and drama to convey a message, thus making it more impactful. And Rabindranath Tagore has been synonymous with it. Recreating that same magic, Surjhankar, a charitable trust which aims to promote music and related art forms of Bengal and share a platform with the local cultural milieu, is bringing together various performances to mark Rabindra Jayanti on May 2 at the Balgandharva Auditorium.
Apart from staging Kalmrigaya, part of a trilogy by Tagore that was inspired by European Opera, the event would also witness a performance by Shabdavedh, a group led by noted Marathi theatre personality Chandrakant Kale.
"We also believe in cultural give-and-take as that enriches both – the giver and the taker. Moreover, it is never one-sided. The programme would not only witness Marathi theatre actors presenting the rendition of Tagore's selected poems Kabyer Katha, which have been translated into Marathi, but also a performance by noted classical vocalist Veena Saharshabudhe, who will sing Tagore's songs in Bengali itself," says Madhumita Ghosh, general secretary, Surjhankar.
Veena Saharshabudhe will also be the chief guest on the occasion. Her performance will be followed by Kalmrigaya, which will be performed by the dance troupe of Sadhna, headed by Shumita Mahajan. Talking about the dance drama Ghosh says, "This was published in 1882 and is based on the story of Shravan Kumar. Though it is inspired from European Opera, drama is the main element in this."
She says a part of the money collected from the event would be donated to Balgandharva Pariwar as a token of appreaciation for their service to art and culture.
(Rabindra Jayanti programme will be held at Balgandharva Mandir at 6.30 pm on May 2 )
Friday, May 8, 2009
Tagore's birth anniversary
Rabindranath Tagore's 148th birth anniversary is being celebrated with full fervour in Bangladesh, West Bengal and other places abroad where the Bengali Diaspora now extends. There will be a lot of justifiable encomia and tributes for this great poet and personage of Bengal. I would like to say a few words about why I think that after Gitajanli and the Nobel Prize (1913), by the 1920s there was a distinct cooling off regarding Tagore in English literary circles.
There were basically two reasons. First it was his knighthood ( conferred in June 1915) which he renounced after the Amritsar massacre (1919). The British government to my knowledge did not officially cancel the knighthood, and many still referred to him as 'Sir Rabindranath'. This put his erstwhile friends when he visited England later in a quandary as to how to address him. With close friends, or non British, ( like WB Yeats, or GB Shaw etc. who were Irish) it did not matter much, but even William Rothenstein was not as enthusiastic. The situation was further complicated when a debate in parliament was raging on the Amritasar massacre, and the House was divided mostly in favour of General O'Dwyer who was in charge and perpetrated the massacre. Robert Bridges ( the English poet laureate) declined to meet Tagore, offering one excuse or another, although in 1912 he invited Tagore to his home near Oxford for tea and invited also an oxford student from Bengal to meet Tagore , whose name was Hussain Shahid Suhrawardy.
Perhaps the second reason was more important which is that suddenly books (Prose, poems, plays and essays etc) in English were being published by Macmillan apparently written by Rabindranath Tagore without any acknowledgement or statement that these were translations from his Bengali work. I have such a copy of his full length novel Gora published by Macmillan (1924). Although India was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, and Calcutta its second largest city it must have touched a raw nerve, especially as the only other writer in English who won the Nobel Prize was Rudyard Kipling ( 1907, and he also wrote mainly about India). There appeared to be an encroachment on the hallowed ground of English poetry with the likes of Milton, Shakespeare and the Romantic poets. W.B Yeats (who himself won the Nobel Prize in 1923) wrote a letter to Rothenstein in 1935 which expresses the sentiment quite clearly:
" We got out three good books and then, because he thought it more important to see and know English than to be a great poet, he brought out sentimental rubbish and wrecked his reputation. Tagore does not know English, no Indian knows English. Nobody can write with music and style in a language not learned in childhood and ever since the language of his thought. I shall return to the question of Tagore but not yet I shall return to it because he has published in recent years, and in English prose books of great beauty, and these books have been ignored because of the eclipse of his reputation as a poet."
Of course the situation ( of who writes poetry in English) is quite different now, about hundred years after Tagore's winning Nobel Prize.
Half-finished ode to Bengal's bard
Statesman News Service
RAIGANJ, May 8 : More than a decade has passed since the officials of North Dinajpur district administration started the construction of Rabindra Bhavan at Netajipally in Raiganj, yet it is not finished. Residents are now blaming the lack of celebrations for the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore on the half-finished Rabindra Bhavan.
Reportedly, officials of the district information and cultural department have no cultural activities planned for the 25th Baisakh to celebrate the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore in Raiganj this year. Several intellectual personalities of Raiganj have expressed their sorrow and displeasure on this account.
The construction of the Rabindra Bhavan started in 1998. The then district magistrate of North Dinajpur, Mr Prashant, while laying the foundation stone, assured the residents that the building would be completed in a year. But after two months, the construction agency ~ for some unknown reason ~ suspended the work for years. The abandoned building became a shelter for anti-socials until the year 2007. During this period, the estimated cost of the building has reportedly risen from Rs 90 lakh to Rs 1.30 crore. In 2007 the construction work started again, though the then administrative officials had faced an ordeal collecting the additional funds. However, as before, after two months the construction agency suspended work on the building yet again.
A writer of Raiganj Mr Swapan Majumder said: "We are extremely hurt that we have no proper place in Raiganj to celebrate the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. We several times requested the district administration to complete the work on Rabindra Bhavan. But they did not listen to us. Even this year, the officials of the district information department have no plans to celebrate the 25th Baisakh in Raiganj. This is absolutely shameful for us."
The district information officer of North Dinajpur Mr Soura Basu denied that the lack of celebration on the 25th Baisakh was caused by the absence of a completed Rabindra Bhavan. "We will not have any programme on 25th Baisakh because all the officials of the administration, as well as our department, are busy with election counting work. So we have planned to organize a programme in Bidhan Mancha, Raiganj, on May 20 instead."
The district magistrate of North Dinajpur, Mr Ramanuj Chakraborty, said: "The subject of the incomplete Rabindra Bhavan is out of my knowledge, because I recently turned up at the district. However, after the results of the Parliamentary elections have been announced, we will deal with the subject seriously."
The sabhadhipati of North Dinajpur zilla parishad Mr Moqtar Ali Sardar said: "It is shameful that Rabindra Bhavan has not been completed in 10 years. The reason for the suspension of work is unknown to me because I am new to the post of sabhadhipati of North Dinajpur zilla parishad. Shortly, I will meet the district magistrate and chalk out plans for the completion of the construction work within the shortest period."
N Bengal's ties with Tagore
SILIGURI, May 8: Tagore's association with north Bengal was long and deep. Yet, Rabindranath stayed away from the debate that pitted the culture of north Bengal against that of the south. Rabindranath's enigmatic silence cannot help but tickle intellectual curiosity, especially as the world celebrates Tagore's 149th birth anniversary tomorrow.
Tagore's ancestral zamindari extended over Silaidaha, Sahajadpur and Patisar ~ all in erstwhile north Bengal in undivided India. According to scholars, most of the poems of Gitanjali were written in the area. Why, then, did north Bengal never figure in the enormous span of Tagorean literature, save for a few witty references in a couple of epistles to the region's alleged 'fiery masculine' temperament? And what was the reason for Tagore's silence on the fierce debate in Bengal's erudite circles around the question of cultural superiority in reference to 'Raar' and 'Varendra' (south and north Bengal)?
North Bengal figured in three epistles by Tagore, all written in 1931 to Hemantabala Devi, who was related to the Rajsahi royal family in erstwhile East Bengal. One such epistle runs: "It seems the temperament of north Bengal is as fierce as its favourite spicy dishes. It is too much for the typical south Bengal temperament, submissive as it is, having been nurtured in the softening silts of the fertile plains." Aside from these epistles, however, Tagore's extensive oeuvre places very little focus on north Bengal.
Tagore was keenly interested in the activities of the Varendra Research Society which ~ under the guidance of a towering scholar, Akhsay Kumar Maitreya ~ was in the vanguard of vigorous study concerned with re-discovering the luminous past of north Bengal.
The period of endeavour was arguably a reaction against the supremacy of Calcutta-centred academic discourse in Bengal.
Several academics, based in north Bengal, placed emphasis on the Aryan civilization reaching the region through Magadha long before they reached the south. Many scholars ~ like Haraprasad Shastri and Pramatha Chowdhury - enlivened these intellectual debates with their scholarly profundity. Yet Tagore kept a conspicuous silence throughout.
Referring to Tagore's silence in regard to a region he loved so much, historian Prof. Ananda Gopal Ghosh of North Bengal University has claimed that Tagore favoured an approach of wholeness rather than focusing on the manifestations of difference. "Wholeness fitted more with his holistic temperament rather than the jarring parts," Prof. Ghosh said.
Prof. Ghosh added that Tagore's allusion to the peculiar north Bengal temperament reflects his knowledge of the battle-scarred past of the region. "North Bengal was the epicentre of socio-political turmoil, spanning over the whole of the mediaeval period. It was a hunting ground for the Huns. Besides, history was replete with incessant sanguinary upheavals involving Kashi, Kalinga and Kamrup.
"This past has certainly influenced the regional mentality. Tagore was perhaps alluding to the north's high-strung temperament - a peculiar product of the cataclysmic time," Prof. Ghosh commented.
Banaras forgets Tagore anniversary
VARANASI: When the nation was celebrating the 148th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on Thursday, the cultural town of
"Tagore was the chairman of Bharat Kala Parishad established in 1920, which in course of time was converted into Bharat Kala Bhavan (Indian Art Museum). Now, it is a part of the Banaras Hindu University," said Tarun Kanti Basu, an elderly citizen whose ancestors were very close to Tagore. According to him, Tagore in 1930s, also took part in a function of Bangiya Sahity Parishad in Jangambari area. "Tagore arrived Varanasi in a boat from Ghazipur and during his boat journey, he conceived the idea of his two creations Nauka Dubi and Chokher Bali," claimed Basu. Later, Rituparno Ghosh made films casting Aishwarya Rai (Chokher Bali) and Raima Sen (Nauka Dubi) at the backdrop of this millennia-old city and its majestic ghats.
"We did not organised any programme, but the students of fine arts came to the museum to watch the artifacts and mark the occasion," said Dr Deo Prakash Sharma, the director of Bharat Kala Bhavan, when contacted on Thursday. According to records, founded with a modest collection, the museum has a record of steady growth and its present holding exceeded one lakh art collections that include archaeological materials, paintings, textiles and costumes, decorative art, Indian philately and literary and archival materials. Though, the museums target visitors are university students, alumni, research scholars and teachers, it also serves as a regional museum and caters to the need of a huge number of visitors.
Sharma said the museum became the property of BHU in 1950 when the collection was transferred to university campus and the then prime minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone of Bharat Kala Bhavan on the campus. Later, Nehru opened the the present building of the museum in 1962.
As per university records, the Indian University Act 1904 permitting establishment of universities through private funding was a challenge to the national genius of the country. It was a period when many charismatic personalities like Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore, Dr Annie Besant, Lokmanya Tilak, Dr Radhrakrishna and many others appeared on the socio-political horizon of the country. The campaign launched by the Mahamana, Dr Annie Besant, Rabindranath Tagore, Sir Syed brought about evolution and development of BHU, Aligarh Muslim University, Viswabharti. Tagore popularly known as Gurudev wrote an essay `Hindu Vishwavidyalaya' and read it at Ripon College, Calcutta in 1911.
It was on this campus itself that not only can the foot prints of Gandhi, Tagore and Malaviyaji could be found, there are also buildings and places where they stayed during the life-time of Malaviyaji and held prayer meetings and gave discourses on cultural and political dimensions of India's freedom struggle to the BHU community and the citizens of Varanasi at large.
However, the BHU has planned to create a memorial- Tagore Bhavan- at the Mahamana Malviya Heritage Complex on the campus. The Tagore Bhavan is intended to be developed as a regional centre to store material relating to the cultural life of Bengal in Gurudev's times and national movement with reference to literature, art movement and folk culture. It will also have collection of publication on Tagore. The complex will be situated in the premises of Malviya Bhavan. It will also house Gandhi Bhavan and Dr Annie Besant Bhavan. The aims and objectives of the Mahamana Malaviya Heritage Complex are to reflect the basic parameters of Mahatma, Mahamana, Gurudev and Dr Mrs Annie Besant's views and philosophies, canvas and perspectives, goals and means for the basic concern for the welfare of the mankind in general and Indian people in particular.
The Tagore Legacy
New Books By And On Rabindranath In English
Possibly even erstwhile critics who were opposed to the lapse of the Tagore copyright in 2001, are now convinced. They feared abuse of Rabindranath's writings through cheap and vulgarised editions. The opposite took place. Granted, after the monopoly was gone, a number of publishers flung Bengali editions of various popular books by Rabindranath on the market at a very low price. Accordingly, the paper and get-up were of poor quality. Yet, these editions were not any worse than the single book editions Visva-Bharati had published in the previous decades. However on the whole, the removal of the copyright created a spate of innovative, exciting anthologies and translations.
The "Oxford India Tagore" series (Oxford University Press) is probably the most ambitious project of presenting the poet in competent English translations, with comprehensive introductions and notes, collected in thematic anthologies. The latest volume is a 500-page-tome with "Selected Writings on Education and Nationalism" (2009), edited by Uma Das Gupta. This astonishing book brings together the writing on Rabindranath's own childhood experiences with school education, and on his experiment with his brahmachari ashram school in Santiniketan, further his essays detailing his visions of a unity of India and the West which resulted in Visva-Bharati.
Finally, we find Rabindranath's essays and talks on nationalism with which he guided and commented on the Independence movement. Looking at Rabindranath's ideas of education from our times, we realize with shocked amazement how deeply relevant they are even today. Possibly, these essays are even more urgently in need of being read and taken to heart now than when they were written. Then, colonial rule could be blamed for the deplorable state of education; today, we can only blame ourselves.
Uma Das Gupta has gifted us another wonderful collection from the treasure-house that is Rabindranath. Its name is "My Life in My Words" (Penguin 2006) which arranges the poet's autobiographical writing in chronological order. Tagore never wrote an autobiography covering his entire life. We have his Chelebela and Jibansmriti, two books narrating his early life; he penned travelogues, essays, and a mass of letters many of which reflect on his own life. In fact, Rabindranath considered his life a model for his time and revealed many of its aspects to the public. He was an educator even in his autobiographical prose. Lesser men would seem vainglorious, but he never was. It surprises me that such a book has not been thought of before which goes to show how urgently we were in need of it.
It has always surprised me that Indian universities have not, like their Anglo-Saxon counterparts, produced prominent university publishing houses. There is no dearth of universities with long and admirable traditions. But their influence has not spread beyond the circle of their students and teachers. Visva-Bharati, being founded by the national poet who had a missionary temperament and a universalist bend of mind, could have been the ideal body to develop a publishing house of world-wide importance. Instead, the Publishing Department has feasted indolently on its monopoly to publish books by Tagore.
Even when, after 2001, the forces of the free market induced the Visva-Bharati Publishing Department to produce better quality books, it took them a long time to become more professional. However, has anybody noticed that over the last one year, Visva-Bharati has brought out over half a dozen books which look elegant, which are well-printed on good paper, carefully edited and which widen the horizon of Tagore scholarship? First, some old classics long out of print are being smartly republished, for example Leonard K Elmhirst's Poet and Plowman, and Shambhu Saha's eternally beautiful photographs of Tagore and Tagore's Santiniketan between 1935 and 1941 (Faces and Places of Visva-Bharati).
Further, a series of monographs has been launched on Rabindranath's relationship with the outside world. Shailesh Parekh's Tagore in Ahmedabad and Rabindranath Tagore and the Bulgarian Connection by Anna and Nikolay Nikolaev are slim volumes with well-documented material drawn from hitherto untapped sources. A collection of essays (Rabindranath Tagore: Reclaiming a Cultural Icon, edited by Kathleen M. and Joseph T O'Connell), which emerged from a conference held in Toronto in 2005, seek to raise new ideas on the personality, the artist and composer, the educator and the world-traveller that was Tagore.
This fresh beginning of the Visva-Bharati Publishing Department has been possible through the energetic efforts of its new director, Kumkum Bhattacharya. She landed a veritable coup by securing the publishing rights of the translations of Tasher Desh and Dakghar by the noted British Tagore scholar, William Radice.
Card Country and Post Office are being released on Rabindranath's birthday in Santiniketan. After Radice's Penguin collections of selected poems and short stories, he continues his translation work with this double-set. Rabindranath's original hand-written texts are reproduced in facsimile and the translation is set on the opposite page. The book is embellished by the quirky, vivacious drawings of the Shimla-based artist Baniprosonno which genially set the mood of the plays. Radice's translation is vigorous and subtle at the same time; we see the careful hand of a poet and opera librettist. These two books are collector's items!
The Sahitya Akademi's involvement with Tagore scholarship has been serious and long-standing. We owe the Centenary Volume of 1961 to its endeavour. To it we owe, even more importantly, The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore which Sisir Kumar Das edited in three hefty volumes. After Prof Das's death, a fourth volume has been added in 2007 with miscellaneous writings, edited by Nityapriya Ghosh. After long procrastination, the Sahitya Akademi has also managed to publish the superbly researched volume on Rabindranath's relationship with Hungary: Hungry Tiger (2008) which brings alive the entire epoch of Tagore's wandering years in East Europe. Imre Bangha, the author, did his doctorate in Santiniketan and now teaches Hindi at Oxford.
In exactly two years, the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore will be celebrated. It should give Tagore scholarship, and especially Tagore translation work, a boost.
Can we expect that the university will make an effort to revive the Visva-Bharati Quarterly, the English language journal founded by Rabindranath Tagore? It used to be the flagship of the poet's ideas and mission in the world with writers and thinkers from both hemispheres vying to make contributions. For all too long, the VBQ lacks quality both in content and production. There is no sale to speak of, luckily so, one might say. With some funds and a competent and dedicated editor, a reborn VBQ could prove to the world that Rabindranath's ideas and his brand of idealism still have currency in India and the wider world. The 150th anniversary could be a fitting occasion to show this.
The writer is a German scholar, based in Santiniketan
elebrating Tagore in every sphere
"Rabindra Mela" by Channel i
Perhaps it would not be an overstatement to say that Bengali culture would be incomplete without Rabindranath Tagore. Yesterday marked the 148th birth anniversary of the Nobel laureate poet. To celebrate the day, Channel i held a daylong "Rabindra Mela" at its Tejgaon office premises. This was the fourth "Rabindra Mela" by Channel i.
"The objective is to remember Tagore on his birth anniversary and to pay homage to the great poet," said Faridur Reza Sagor, managing director of Impress Telefilm Ltd and Channel i. "The programme is aired live, so people across the globe can join the celebration," Sagor added.
The mela began at 10:05 am with a group performance by artistes of Sur-er Dhara. Members of the organisation rendered "Akash bhora shurjo tara."
Veteran Tagore singer and exponent Kalim Sharafi was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by Channel i. As part of the award, Kalim Sharafi will receive Tk 10,000 every month. Sharafi was presented a crest, an 'uttorio' and a cheque for Tk 1,20,000 at the programme. Shykh Seraj, head of News, Channel i, handed over the crest; Tagore artiste Rezwana Chowdhury Bonnya presented Sharafi with the 'uttorio.'
Throughout the day, cultural organisations and artistes performed songs, dance, poetry recitation and more. Group performances were presented by Protiti, Rabirashmi, Nibedan, Rabiraag, Udichi, Geetanjali, Dhrubotaan, Boitalik and Shurtirtha.
Artistes of Nrityam and Spondon staged dance performances. Poet Nirmalendu Guun, Pijush Bandopadhyay, Kazi Arif and others recited poems.
Mita Haque, Salma Akbar, Shoma Roy, Azizur Rahman, Mohammad Sharful Islam, Lili Islam, Fahim Hossain Chowdhury, Sajed Akbar, Naima Ali and others performed Rabindra Sangeet.
A musical based on Tagore's "Tasher Desh" was staged by Sur-er Dhara. The performance was directed by Rezwana Chowdhury Bonnya and choreography was by Tamanna Rahman.
The mela was well attended by leading writers, Tagore exponents, poets, artists and more. Artists -- Hashem Khan, Abdul Mannan, Monirul Islam, Shahed Kabir, Shahabuddin, Farida Zaman, and others attended the programme and painted on the theme, "Tagore." A painting competition for youngsters was also held.
A total of 19 well-decorated stalls were set up at the venue. Books containing literary works of Tagore were on display. One stall featured reproductions of Tagore's artworks and paintings. Some rare collections of gramophone records of Tagore songs recorded by Lata Mangeshkar, Suchita Mitra, Sachin Dev Burman, Debabrata Biswas, Hemanta Mukhopadhyay and other legendary singers were on display. However, some of the stalls had nothing to do with Tagore or his works.
The mela ended at 5 pm. The daylong event was aired live on Channel i.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kolkata has long been known for its literary, artistic and revolutionary heritage. As the former capital of India, Kolkata was the birthplace of modern Indian literary, artistic and scholastic thought. Kolkatans tend to have a special appreciation for art and literature; its tradition of welcoming new talent has made it a "city of furious creative energy".
 Para, Adda, and "club" culture
Paras in Kolkata signify a neighbourhood with a strong sense of community, and are usually sharply defined on the basis of loyalties (like which households contribute economically to which public or "barowari" puja). Paras culture typically segregate Kolkata communities on the basis of origin (West Bengal origin "ghotis" versus East Bengal origin "bangals" - there are paras which have names like "prothom bangal para" (first bangal para)), occupation and socio-economic status (paras have names like "kumorpara" (potter para)), and sometimes even politics and religion.
Typically, every para has its own community club, with a club room ("club ghar"), and often a playing field. People of a para habitually indulge in adda or leisurely chat in "rock"s or "rowacks" (porches) and teashops in the evenings after work. North Kolkata paras typically have more street life at late nights with respect to South Kolkata paras. Sports (cricket, football, badminton) and indoor games (carrom) tournaments are regularly organized on an inter-para basis.
The para culture is fast waning, for good or bad, with the rise of apartment complexes, and the rise of the cosmopolitan nature of Kolkata.
An adda involves an informal discussion usually involving friends talking over a bhaar(cup) of tea on current issues. An adda may be viewed as a form of intellectual exchange among members of the same socio-economic strata. It is most popular among the youths belonging to the so-called "middle-class intelligentsia".
Graffiti was used not for vandalism, or counterculture art, but mainly for political propaganda. Walls were "captured" for fixed numbers of years, and graffiti over-painting was tantamount to political transgression. Generations of political graffiti artists have been at work on Kolkata's walls, producing slander, witty banter and limericks, caricatures and propaganda. However, such acts being clear cases of defacing private property, the Calcutta High Court ruled to ban political graffiti from private properties without express consent of the property owner. Graffiti lives on in "club" walls, unclaimed property walls, and the occasional flouting of the order. Graffiti artists have become a part of Kolktata's heritage. Many house owners now welcome them to paint on their walls so that these are not captured by political parties. Social messages like AIDS awareness, environmental issues etc, are now getting more popularity.
 Traffic and commuter culture
Calcuttans are aggressive commuters, but with a sense of humour. The local and suburban rails and buses, as well as the underground Kolkata Metro railway are usually packed during office hours. The practice of "reserving" public seats by daily passengers is widespread. Share taxis are a common occurrence for travel to and from railway stations and such. The practice of car pools is also growing after the construction of the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass and the emergence of the CBD in Bidhan Nagar.
Another phenomenon of Kolkata traffic is the Auto-rikshaws. Auto-rikshaws or autos as they are acronymed are small contraptions on the roads. They have three wheels, and are extremely agile. The regulation is three passengers at back, one in front along with the driver. This regulation is disregarded with impunity and often six or more people get in. Autos ply on fixed routes and the fare ranges from Rs.2.50 to Rs. 15, depending on the distance covered.
While Mumbai is the capital of commercial cinemas in India, Kolkata is the house of art-films. Stallwarts like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen are the pride of Kolkata. The biggest event of Indian cinema was the release of Pather Panchali in 1955 made by Satyajit Ray based on a novel of Bibhutibhusan Banerjee. This film connected Indian film to the rest of the world. The movie was acclaimed throughout the world specially in the Western world as a symbol of undying human spirit. Presently, Aparna Sen, Budhdhadeb Dasgupta, Gautam Ghose, Rituparno Ghosh are bearing the mantle of the great tradition. Kolkata Film Festival, held annually across several cinema theatres in the city serves to the taste of Kolkata people for cinema from all over the world. Nandan is a popular cinema complex in the premiers of Rabindra Sadan, maintained by the state government. This theater complex holds regular shows of national and international cinema.
In 1897, films were shown for the first time in Calcutta. Couple of years later, Hiralal Sen from north Calcutta started making films at the Classic Theatres. In 1901, Hiralal Sen set up Royal Bioscope, produced scenes and dance sequences from popular Bengali plays. The first Bengali movie was "Billwamangal" in 1919 which happened to be a silent movie. The first Bengali talkie, Dena Paona was released in 1931, directed by Premankur Atarthi and produced by New Theatres. The first popular hero in Bengali film was probably Pramathesh Barua, who was a director himself too.
The commercial Bengali cinema industry, known as "Tollywood", is based in Tollygunge locality of the city. Several film studios are located here. Though the popularity of the commercial Bengali cinemas has dwindled in the urban area, they continue to be popular in the rural West Bengal. The golden age of commercial Bengali cinema is said to be 1950-1970 and involved legendary actors such as Uttam Kumar, Soumitra Chatterjee, Utpal Dutta, Suchitra Sen, Chobi Biswas, Sabitri Chottopadhya, Pahari Sanyal, Bikash Roy. Suchitra Sen received best actress award in Moscow Film Festival for her role in Saat Paake Badha co-starring Soumitra Chatterjee.
Bengali prose became modern courtesy of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. The doyens of nineteenth century Bengali literature like Rabindranath Tagore, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Kazi Nazrul Islam were from Kolkata. As the then cultural capital of India, Kolkata based literature affected and shaped the thought and culture of many Indians. Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was an author whose specialty was exploring complex human psychology, especially that of female mind. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was one of the earliest Bengali novelists and is popularly known as the author of India's first national song, "Bande Mātarom" (pronounced in Hindi "Vande Mātāram"). Tarashankar Bandopadhyay was another famous novelist whose works feature a realistic picture of the many-colored fabric of life in rural Bengal. The Kolkata literateurs still borrow a lot from Tagore. In the 1940s, 1950s and 1950s, a new breed of Bengali writers and poets came into being in Kolkata exemplified by Jibanananda Das, Sukanta Bhattacharya, Bishnu Dey, Premendra Mitra, Buddhadeb Guha etc. They wanted to break free from the traditional mysticism and surrealism of Tagore style and present various concepts such as modernism, post-modernism, cubism through their writings. Satyajit Ray was also a prominent writer, especially for children. Other literary figures include Sunil Gangopadhyay, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Manik Bandopadhyay, Samaresh Majumdar, Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, Shankha Ghosh, Amitav Ghosh, Nirad Chaudhuri, Shakti Chattopadhyay, Mahasweta Devi, Joy Goswami, Mani Shankar Mukherjee, etc.
The most important counter-cultural activity in post-Independence West Bengal has been the Hungryalist Movement, known also as Hungry Generation spearheaded by the two outsider brothers Samir Roychoudhury and Malay Roychoudhury, who are today cultural cult-figures
The Calcutta Book Fair is an annual fair showcasing books published by the regional, national and international publishers. Started in 1976, the book fair projects every year a particular country as the theme of the year. There is a separate area dedicated for the little magazines.
 Dramas and theatres
The tradition of Jatra is still observed in West Bengal. Jatras are folk-theatres with epic four-hour-long plays featuring loud music, harsh lighting and dramatic props played on giant outdoor stages.
The city has a long tradition of theaters and Group Theatres, producing groups like the Little Theatre Group, Gandharba, Calcutta Theatre, Nandikar, Bahurupee etc. and movements like the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA). Famous drama and theatrics personalities include Ajitesh Bondhopadhya, Utpal Dutta, Rudraprasad Sengupta and Shambhu Mitra.
 Music and dance
Rabindra Sangeet, Rabindra Nritya Natya (songs and song-dance sequences composed by Tagore) and Nazrul Geeti (songs by Kazi Nazrul Islam) are integral part of Kolkata as well as Bengali life. Songs by other poets like Dwijendralal Roy, Atulprasad are also famous. Kolkata is also a noted place for the cultivation of Indian classical music and dances. World famous musicians like Nikhil Banerjee, Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan were from Kolkata. The era after the independence saw the development of Adhunik (modern) songs. The songs of Bengali commercial movies are also extremely popular. Legendary musicians and singers include Hemanta Mukherjee, Manna Dey, Sandhya Mukherjee, Shyamal Mitra, Ruma Guha Thakurta. From the early 1990s, there has been an emergence and popularisation of new genres of music, including fusions of Baul and Jazz by several Bangla bands, as well as the emergence of what has been called Jeebonmukhi Gaan (a modern genre based on realism) by artists like Kabir Suman, Anjan Dutta, Nachiketa and bands like Bhommi, Chandrabindoo, Cactus, Lakkhichhara, Fossils and Insomnia. Kolkata also has a strong musical 'counterculture' in the form of original English Rock music, which has talented bands like Cassini's Division, Skinny Alley, Insomnia, The Supersonics and Crystal Grass.
Key elements of Kolkata's cuisine include rice and macher jhol (fish curry), with Rasgulla as dessert. Bengal's vast repertoire of fish-based dishes include various hilsa preparations (a favourite among Bengalis). Street foods like rolls (mutton roll, egg roll, chicken roll, and sometimes in the Park Circus region - beef roll) and phuchka are very popular. Phuchka (called golgappa in North India, and panipuri in West India) is a deep-fried whole-wheat hollow crispy ball which is filled with spicy potato filling and spicy, herbed water when serving. Common accompaniments to Phuchka are things dishes like Churmur, Ghugni. A Bengali meal is incomplete without sweets. Popular sweets include rossogollas, mishti doi (sweet curd), langcha, kheerkadam, sandesh, rajbhog, kamala bhog, etc.
One common feature of Kolkata cuisine today originates from Tibetan regions - momo and thukpa. The Elgin Road offshoots have a lot of outlets specialising in the delicious steamed dumplings (pork, chicken, vegetarian) called momos - typically served with a clear stalk soup. Thukpa is a common accompaniment - a clear soup with noodles, vegetables and other herbs. Due to the high popularity, momos are now available all over the city, and are even served as street food at some places.Kolkata is the cultural capital of india
The males usually wear western garments like pants and shirts, rather than the traditional dhoti and kurtas. Females are usually seen in the traditional Sarees and Salwars. Females are also gradually taking up more and more Western-wear, with jeans and skirts predominating in the college campuses.
- '^ Sinha P (1990). "Kolkata and the Currents of History". in Chaudhuri S. (ed.). 'Kolkata — The Living City. Volume 1: The Past. Oxford University Press, Oxford..
Cited by: Heierstad G (2003). "Nandikar: Staging Globalisation in Kolkata and Abroad" (PDF Format). University of Oslo, Norway. 102. http://folk.uio.no/gheierst/nandikar.pdf. Retrieved on 2006-04-26.
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