Monthly Archives: December 2009
I recently got an e-mail.I want to quote her:
I Nisha Bose from Salt Lake,Calcutta (India).My husband has been missing since 2005.I fear that he was murdered.He was associated with a radical left party and probably the victim of political rivalry.I appeal through your blog that I need immediate financial help($300) for my ailing mothers eye operation.Further delay may effect her eyes.
Aruna Shanbaug, a former nurse, has been brain dead and paralysed for the last 36 years after she was raped in November 1973 in Bombay . Writer and her well wisher Pinki Virani, has approached the Supreme Court of India seeking respite for her and has appealed that Aruna be allowed to die.
According to Experts,when a person carries out an act of euthanasia, he brings about the death of another person because he believes the latter’s present existence is so bad that she would be better off dead, or believes that unless he intervenes and ends her life, it will become so bad that she would be better off dead . To deny people the choice of death by active euthanasia is to force them to do something that is against their will and may well prolong their suffering, and therefore lose human dignity and decency. These are the arguments about euthanasia.
Those against euthanasia claim that patients are often too affected by their illness to make adequate decisions about their future.The New Jersey Supreme Court (USA) rules in 1976 that 21 year old Karen Quinlan can be detached from her respirator. According to experts,the Quinlan case becomes a legal landmark, drawing national and international attention to end-of-life issues. In 2004,K. Venkatesh died in a hospital in India. He was severely ill with muscular distrophy,and had requested an assisted suicide. He was denied, but he died from his disease. In April 2002, the Dutch Parliament legalised it making the Netherlands the only country in the world to legalise Euthanasia.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian who claimed that he had helped more than 130 people die since 1990 .He was known as Dr. Death. In April 1999,he was awarded 10-25 year prison sentence for murder under the law of State of Michigan (USA). In 2001 the Patna High Court in India dismissed Tarakeshwar Chandravanshi’s plea seeking mercy killing for his 25-year-old wife Kanchan, who had been suffering for over a year. In the same year,the Kerala High Court rejected the plea of BK Pillai, who had a uncurable illness, to die. But people still practise euthanasia in India for their near and dear one.
Dalhousie Square-once the seat of administration of the British Government this whole area with laldighi (a pond with historic importance)in its midst,is still Bengal’s power centre.Renamed as BBD Bag(named after the freedom fighters who fought against the British-Binay,Badol and Dinesh who killed a high profile police officer inside the Writers Building),it is surrounded by some significant land mark historic buildings.
General post Office(GPO)- is one of the best known city landmarks.Built on the site of the old Fort William,it is fronted by rows of columns.It houses the headquarter of postal department of Bengal.
Writers Buildings built in 1776,it is still the power center of Bengal government.
Governors House:Constructed by the Governor General Lord Wellesley,it is surrounded by gardens and vast grounds.
Victoria memorial;In the intersection of Red Road and Quin sway,this gigantic structure was built on the memory of Queen Victoria by then Governor General Lord Curzon.Planned in 1901,it was opened to the public in 1921.Surrounded by gardens,the Victoria Memorial draws people from India and aboard.
New Market:In 1863,British Civilian officials appealed to Calcutta Corporation to set up a market for them.In 1871,a special committee was formed by the corporation to look after the matter.The committee recommended to set up a market.For this purpose,25 Bigha land in Chowranghee’s Lindsay street and Bertram Street worth Rs.2 lakh and 18 thousand was purchased.Burn and Standard Company started construction.In the year 1873,the market was completed.The amount spend to construct the building was Rs.6 lakh 65 thousand and 950.The market complex was officially inaugurated in 1st January,1874.The market was named after Sir Stuart Hog,the chairman of Calcutta Corporation.Dakshineswar kali Temple:Built by Rani Rashmoni,the landlady of the area near Bali Bridge at the banks of river Ganges in 1847.Here,Sri Ramkrishna,the spiritual Guru of Swami Vivakanda worshipped Mother Kali.Devotees from all over the world assemble here.
As of 2001,Calcutta city had a population of 4,580,544. Over here the urban agglomeration had a population of 13,216,546. Sex ratio is 828 females per 1000 males. This is, however, lower than the national average. In this City of Joy, a lot of working males come from rural areas for better job.
Calcutta’s literacy rate : 80.86%.Bengalis consist of the majority of Calcutta’s population, with Marwaris from Rajasthan and Bihari communities from Bihar forming a large portion of the minorities. Besides, there are some of Calcutta’s notable communities including Chinese, Tamils, Marwaris, Anglo-Indians, Armenians, Tibetans, Maharashtrians and Parsis. Major languages spoken in Calcutta are Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, English, Maithili, and Bhojpuri.
As 2001 census measured 77.68% of the population in Calcutta is Hindu, 20.27% Muslim and 0.88% Christian. Other minorities such as Sikhs, Buddhist, Jews and Zoroastrian constitute the rest of the city’s population.The Muslim rate of growth here is more than twice the national one, and more than four times that in some cases.
Three years ago on Independence Day, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had vowed to make the city’s hand-pulled rickshaws a part of history, terming humans pulling fellow humans as “inhuman”. After three years and an amendment to the Hackney-Carriage Bill in 2006, it now seems that nothing has changed, as the hand-pulled rickshaws continue to ply Kolkata’s streets and lanes.
There are two types of taxis in Kolkata: yellow taxis have permits to travel all over Kolkata and West Bengal, while black-and-yellow taxis are restricted to Kolkata. Metered fares are very reasonable, but you have to strenuously insist that the driver uses the meter.
Artisans of Kumartuli (statue makers)in North Calcutta:
Spread over an area of nearly 400 m, Kumartuli is flanked by workshops which double up as studios, a few homes, shops selling clothes and embellishments for decorating the images.works are going on to convert dark, dingy and dilapidated Kumartuli to a modern artists hub. It was around the mid-18th century that traditional idol-makers from Nadia settled in the village of Govindapur near the Hooghly river. Later they congregated at the village of Sutanati, also near the river. Since the clay and straw were brought down by boats along the Bhagirathi-Hooghly, it was necessary for them to settle down on the banks of the river.The mode of transporting the raw material has remained unchanged even today. The name Kumartuli derived from the fact that kumor or potters live here . After the post-Independence partition of Bengal, many artisans from East Bengal settled down in Kumartuli.
Thanthania Kali Temple was established in the year 1709.In the year 1946 during the Hindu- Muslim riot before the partition of Bengal, the Temple was protected.The Kali idol in this Temple is made of clay.There is a shiva temple inside the temple.
Kalighat is located in the city of Calcutta on the banks of the river Hooghly (Bhagirathi). The name Calcutta is said to have been derived from the word Kalighat.Kaali is regarded as one of the principal deities of Bengal. Goddess Kaali is regarded as the destroyer or liberator and is depicted in a fearful form.The Kalighat temple attracts numerous devotees throughout the year.