Human survival basically existential war Where path of the Truth be the only savior Crisscrossing through many a ditches evil Ailments sorrows deaths as would reveal Aberration allurement for unstable mind Sources of deviation detrimental to unwind Inner senses to attain level of supreme bliss When core of consciousness never miss Discarding each epitome Gradual uplifting on the path to salvation For the Truth manifesting in illumination Leading to the ultimate stage of Nirvanam To Dhamma Sangha Tathagata saranam.
In the morning my doorbell rang – after opening doors I find my Dhobiwala standing outside after months of absence. In fact like me most of his elderly customers do not venture outside since pandemic , hence hardly needed pressed clothes to wear for outside engagements. Casually I enquired – whether he has opened his laundry as usual? Sadly he reacted – already very little of customers for his laundry left; now that restricted lockdown imposed after sundown he manages to knock at customers doors , otherwise how to feed family. I prefer not to say any word but had him over couple of clothings sensing his plights. He is no lone sufferer because of the prevailing Covid scare but at every strata of the society livings and livelihood collapsing fast .
There are no denying to the halfhearted preparedness to the pandemic with misleading and quackery policy spreaded in the beginning compared to the rapid improvisation of Healthcare facilities and research.Finally we woke up after a long sleep of Lockdown but lost enough time and manpower which could have been utilized to improve infrastructure for Healthcare.By now Demonetisation followed by Pandemic have crippled employment, investment, output and market system for the entre economy.Lockdown never a solution accepted worldwide by all who are concerned.Now when testing facilities and also vaccination are adequately available ,both the protocol need to be expanded and utilized unrestricted to reach out every household.Elderly may recollect how in 50s and 60s yearly vaccination drive used to reach at every house and locality. Our country successfully eradicated many a epidemic diseases without any lockdown call locally or nationally.No doubt increase in population and non adherence of safety measures have become deterrents but literacy, affluence supported by advancement in science, medicine and healthcare are priviledges awaiting rational will to combat adversities.A delayed response or allclosed method would obviously be abortive in final outcome.
History suggests best of human faculty comes out post crisis and also it suggests offering enough way outs to all who matter but one who knows to seize wins. Post Great Depression in 30s Prof. Keynes realized the shortcomings in the prevailing Classical Theory of economics for failing to explain and avert depression in anticipation of self correction.Prof. Keynes in his path breaking General Theory insisted the creation of effective demand and increased state participation to stabilize economy. During expanding recession in USA spreading to UK and Europe and worldwide inflationary pressure made emergence to a new school of thought from the Chicago school of economics promoted by Prof. Friedman . The focal point of Friedmanian prescription has been liberalizing economy from govt. intervention and market forces to determine and to bring about stabilization.Popularly known as Neo liberal economic doctrine or Market economy now has become the adopted messiah globally as the world becoming one market .Successive world Trade conferences initiating removal of tarrif,restrictions or sanctions to facilitate free trade among countries.
With ills from Demonetisation soon followed by pandemic Lockdown, our country has been witnessing an unforeseen socio economic crisis of recession,unemployment, price riseand curtailment of state socoal initiatives .forcing negative movement of economy .The fact corroborated by both the officials and non official sources.Since introducing liberal market policy by Narasimha Rao government AND because of improved macroeconomic policy from RBI,our economy averted Worldwide Recession in 2008.Ours has been among handful countries professing rising economy.Hence the scenario of Lockdown has become usheror for economic collapse slowly.We for sure don`t know if eminent Canadian author Naomi Klein `s predictions that Neo liberal authority uses crisis to impose harsh unpopular policies when public focus manipulated through several agencies and media.
Fortunately our democratic fundamentals and values are capable to withstand crisis and public are seized of situations.No doubt the pandemic has shown many fallacies in the neo liberal market economy – while economy , as per official survey, expected for V- shaped recovery from rock bottom at 2020; more than 4 million migrants lost livelihood, Entire MSME sector dying, all essentials price soaring, welfare policies slashed,education – classes virtual but fees recovered full, healthcare budget not hiked but list of Indian billionaires added by seventeen this period.
The state of affairs at USA under the champion of liberal economy Trump administration has revived the idea of state participation and the pandemic has necessitated the concept of welfare state policies away from market economy but not necessarily Marxian. Lockdown may be a shortcut passage but would become Achilles heel of the revival process for the economy.
Beatrice from small town Messina( of well off household)
Since childhood, crazy with dancing acting and dreams bold,
Benedict from the neighborhood always uses to tease Beatrice
Although his introvert nature withholds his feeling as cold as ice:
Ambition and glamour show alluring the girl now in her late teen
She arrives at the big city to make her name on silver screen-
Appearing in small roles here there before she gets to be noticed Chanced upon Don Juan -the producer for hisnext film Edifice;
Party Revelry Romance she now in dates with upcoming hero Claudio
Anyway Claudio , maintains to live in with another partner ,a modern Romeo:
Within the glamour cobweb blinks fun melodrama and twist of thriller
At a closely held charged revelry-Claudio found dead in washroom corner,
The fact, lying aside on wash basin Beatrice`s diamond earring socket,
The Police promptly taken her under custody as the main suspect:
The sensationalized news reaches her town with spicy byte(s)
Her guardian Leonardo and buddy Benedict feeling no respite-
Both mobilizing their resources and reach city before trial
Upset they are at the sight of dear Beatrice`s state of ordeal,
Beatrice`s counsel arguing away prosecution chargesheet
With tears of joy she,now released,intimately hugs Benedict.
Happy ending with nuptials would have been as expected
But lo ! a later narco charge suddenly appearing resurrected
In fine, so much ado about so many loose thriller knot(s)
To Bard ,with due apology,be in rest at the graveyard plot.
She plays her violin and intermittently begs onlookers for few pences.
He plays his flute and for passers by to throw coins wait with patience,
You may find her on Strand beside the river Thames .
I find him occasionally on Princep beside the Ganges .
World apart they even not knowing each other.
Professionally both would be identified as street beggar.
Do they both really beg for self sustenance?
Do public not paying to listen their solo performance?
It’s the one-world dominating by rules of market economy.
Nothing available as freebies except social relief money;
London or Kolkata people make own different ways for living
On the playground of life one must know the art of dribbling.
During the last twenty days , the capital city of the country al siege by the agitating farmers of the northern belt states namely Punjab, Haryana & UP. The impact of the agitation has created serious ramifications among the political parties, media, various state governments ,overseas Indians other than stakeholders of the agitation. Even many among foreign leaders abruptly had voiced their concerns on the justifiability of the causes for farmers` grievances – the entire episode eventually now snowballs at the doorstep of the Highest Judiciary for whatever reasons. The farmers have been on agitations as soon as three bills were passed in the parliament namely,Farmers`produce trade and commerce (promotion & facilitation) act ,Farmers` (empowerment & protection ) agreement on price assurance and farm services act, Essential commodities act in the month of September 2020.
If we indulge a cursory look around the world during past few years, agitations by the people dependant on agriculture and allied activities had been frequently sparked out over southern states of USA , EU countries, UK ,Latin Americann countries and also in South Africa. The causes and effects might be varying but the common thread remained fierce protests of anguished farmers against the failure of the authority either to protect the interest of the farmers or to address the growing crisis on agricultural issues.Even the method adopted apparently appears similar – assembly and barricade at principal square with tractors, ploughers and trucks and then regular charges by law keepers retaliatory from protesters.As found from reports, finally the settlement or the arbitration emanated politically out of dialogue between the Govt. and the protesting farmers and without any other agency broking settlement irrespective of the nature of the ruling authority.
The ongoing farmers` agitation, notwithstanding the veracity or justifiability of the causes, definitely needs to be resolved through political goodwill of the stakeholders and peoples`trust over the process and the parties.In a democratic setting the people or the farmers and their representative law making authority or the government should have faith and confidence mutually to resolve the dispute whatsever.Any other wing or interlocutor encroaching or outreaching to the arena would at the end may destabilize the basics of people`s authority.
The last resort in the democracy to agree on any disagreement between a government and the people ( be of any affiliation) would remain the august floor of Parliament not before the blindfolded lady with scale of judgment.
A very ancient but popular saying – dharmo rakshati rakshitah i.e dharma protects the protected ; definitely dharma here does not indicate religion or ISM but intrinsic value of the element or matter.Each element bears an value or property which holds its singular basic property for identification among similar other items.So also journalistic dharma holds with publishing the truth and without any fear or favour.
Today`s world are frequently mentioned sarcastically as synonym for purchased media of fake reports- not at all honourable ascription.To say journalism has deviated from its dharma now a days may be minimal depravity. It happened to be British colonial era more than a century from presentday an educationist of Bengali origin , also principal of a well reputed institution in Allahabad started his publication of monthly magazine in Bengali ` Prabasi ` in 1901, he was late Ramananda Chattopadhyay also known as father figure of Indian journalism. Born in a remote village of Bankura in the year 1865 he completed his post graduation in English from university of Calcutta in 1890. While pursuing his postgraduate studies he got close to Brahmo Samaj and was Astt. Editor of their journal Indian Messenger where began his stepping stone for future pursuit to journalism.After a stint of lectureship he left for Allahabad in 1895 to join Kayastha Kanya Pathsala .Meanwhile he had been editing a periodical but disassociated soon owing to differences on outlook as he held strong independent views not amenable at any cost.
Probasi had been enormously popular and accepted among intelligentia as well as middleclass gentry from Bengal and out of Bengal as it could offer fictions, short plays,articles on varied topics and poetry alongwith illustrations.To its credit was that Rabindranath had been a regular contributor and most of his novels were published in serialized version including Gora.With the immense success of Probasi the monthly , Ramanand Babu had been keeping watch on the political scenario and nationalist movement under the Congress leadership. Meanwhile the Allahabad based newspaper The Pioneer had been passing through internal crisis and shifted publication to Lucknow.Soon his journalistic instinct and financial cost to run Probasi manifested in bringing out a sister monthly publication in English Modern Review in 1907.Since its inception Ramananda Babu kept the newspaper independent of any Party inclination but with nationalistic outlook and a forum for the pan india intellectuals .It did established such a credential of its own in its time that it had most of the intelligentia as contributors, including pseudonymous Jawaharlal Nehru .
Ramananda Babu is described as a pioneer in Indian journalism because he believed and set precedence in free and unbiased news publication with faithful coverage for readers from all status of the society.He advised true reporting needed knowledge in depth to display public opinion.Both Probasi and Modern Review later shifted to Calcutta as headquarters till their final closure.But these two newspapers had steered the course for true professioanal journalism, unfortunately somewhere eclipsed for fear or favour to an extent.
It was a fact Ramananda Babu was associated with Brahmmo Samaj and later in life with Hindu Mahasabha for some years before quitting but he never imposed or impressed on his newspaper his personal views.
Sometumes i prefer life`s journey reversal
To compensate so many unachieved desire
Body not permitting with age also in denial
To patch up many imperfections leftover,
How bdo i find lost days in adoloscence
Run on halfpant over football ground
Playing inside paddy alleyno adherance
Days of thrills and laughter then abound,
On downpour if classes closed all of sudden
Myself Sabbir Paul walked drenched to the lake
Slipped on sharp pebbles bruised with pain
Indomitable our joy, never felt at stake.
Bygone moments in life never to return
In blackhole of time for nobody`s concern.
With apology to Sant Kabir – Devi khadi kanooni bazar mein
Bair hui nyayalay
Vakil unki sarkari
Bhaktojan bane ashay
With the unwrapping of current happenings in the country , the Divine Grace has been crest- fallen on the floor of His Lordshps where He/ She has been summoned as litigant persona ; be it to decide gender discrimination of the devotees ,to adjudicate the birth place of deity or to restrain devotees Darshan of the idol from close proximity, it is the judiciary ` saranam gachcha`( Redeemer ).
The festival of invoking Maa Durga ( popularly known as Sarodotsav) bears an umbilical cord to the people and residents of the Bengal – the bangalis : the singularly exuberant Bangaliyana by tradition. Aswin , a month of autumn arrives when cotton flake like cloud gliding around blue sky, when Kash ( tall alley grasses) flowers blooming in abundance, when high pitched beat from Dhak ( drum) resonating in the air and our heart wafting with pleasantly cool atmosphere ; it is then the Godess Durga accompanied with her children begins her journey of home coming during the holy fortnight – Devipaksha . The invocation rituals of the Ma Durga begin on the sixth of Aswin fullmoon fortnight ( Mahasasthi) and are being performed till Tenth of the fortnight ( Vijayadashami ) ending with immersion of the idols into the river.
The invocation of the Godess Durga had its root in the ancient Purana as a symbol of the omnipotent Adi Shakti but it used to be worshiped during the spring month of Chaitra fortnight of the full moon as Ma Basanti.The current calendar of Puja festival , also named AkalBodhan, as per folklores had been initiated by Raja Kansnarayan of Taherpur ( some said Raja of Dinajpur ) during the Moghul rule in the end years of 1500 A.D. Later the landlord from Barisha the Saborna Roychowdhury began to worship Ma Durga since 1610 A.D.In the initial years, the Puja used to be celebrated in the household of the wealthy or the rich landlords to exhibit their opulence to the British rulers- many of the British officials would enjoy as invitees the special entertainment programmes in their honour. The community worship called Baroyari Puja ( twelve friends) was first organized in 1910 by a group at Baghbazar and now becomes popular as Sarbojanin Puja at public places with contributions as well as participations of the community.With the passing of years, what used to be pure orthodox way of celebration transformed into commercial pomp and showmanships barring domestic and few community like Baghbazar Pujas.
As it is most likely, any festival or celebration with mass appeal and participation will have political ramnifications expected to implore the multitude of voters. As a matter of fact, the link of Puja festivals with the political programmes had been established during the pre independence years as a cover to misguide the British rulers.But after independence, barring few early years the mass celebrations has become jamboree of political muscle powers where political leaders become covert patrons.Obviously following tussle of power centres , the Puja committee and the Divinity are occasionally dragged to the temple of the justice.
In the early 2021, the state of West Bengal is scheduled to go for the Assembly election and the ruling dispensation has much to worry this time with the Right Wing brigade already denting vote bank.With couple of months left before the election schedule announced , the Durga Puja is a god sent channel for party propaganda and public relations ; Ms. Mamata Banerjee , her party supremo and the chief minister in a calculated strategy to offset her minority appeasement image announced in the month of september2020 govt. allowance of Rs. 1000 /- per month and free house from govt. scheme for 8000 Hindu priests. On a subsequent announcement she sanctioned Rs. 50000/- to each of 37000 Puja Committees in the state . Added to it 50% concession in electricity bill and waiver of all permissions statutory also she conceded.
From October 14 , 2020 Ms. Banerjee on a pandal hopping spree has continued to inaugurate Puja in different parts of the city ; an act though popular to her image but in consequence afterwards has warranted massive uncontrolled crowd assemblies within pandals and all Covid protocols flouted.Under a crazy and alarming situation forthcoming, a division bench of Calcutta High Court responding to an application on October 19 passed an order –to summarise,
- Each puja pandal is declared as No Entry zone and no devotee or visitor will be allowed inside pandal as viewer or otherwise
- The area of no entry will be 5 meters for smaller and 10 meters for big pandals
- Only organizers will be allowed iside 25 for smaller and 50 for big pujas.
In a separate order from another bench ,it has been ad interim stipulated that the grant money of 50000/- from public exchequer must be used for purchases relating to masks, shields ,sanitisers with proper vouchers for audit and 25% may be used on non entertainmental public awareness activities.
The judicial intervention in the domain of administration or for that matter extra judicial outreach deactivates the checks and balances in any democratic setup and causes apparent point of conflict.We have quite often in the recent years came across the judiciary to intervene to set right legislative logjam, to adjudicate faiure of law and order , matter of religious faiths.Even the very Calcutta High Court order appears more a role play of the judiciary what ought to have initiated from the Administration or the Police and they failed miserably and alarmingly.In the process we find a few chips as how the public who paid subscriptions, who are devotees to the idol, whose money indirectly doled by govt. stand restrained from entry and also different from the organizers numbering 25 / 50? Why the pomp and extravaganza is not made to curtail beyond a limit? Why the concerned authorities are not taken to task even strictured (when there is live instance from Kerala the spurt in Covid infections post Onam festivals) for most irresponsible steps in the name of falling livelihoods.The state by now on record has around 330000 affected persons with daily additions. Should to remember a quote “ A hangman`s rope always support the hanged “,It would be inappropriate not to blame the oppositions – the right winger itself has organized celebration of puja fully aware of Centre`s advisory and otherwise awaiting to gain on the ruling party`s folly ; the left winger and ally desire to fishing in the already troubled political water.In such a scenario the judiciary is hailed by the people as ultimate savior, a role it always likes to abhor for itself .With the increasing data on infection during the days post Court order justifies the veracity of the sanctions imposed. An appeal is preferred on behalf of the Puja committees but rejected. In fact dilution of the order will be at the perils of the common people often bait in the big political game – the Election.
PRASIDA VISVESWARI PAHI
On a summer midday navigating through pages from FREEFALL by nobel laureate Joseph and enjoying his meticulous analysis how American economy ,leapt out of Great Depression in 1930, now facing a great squeeze or fall of its economy post collapse of big banks during 2008.As it happened since 1928 american agriculture was hit by severe droughts and simultaneously automobile and other manufacturing industries closed down one after another ( an entire city of Detroit almost abandoned)spreading fallout of industrial activities in the Europe and elsewhere.Exactly as a copy in 2008 closure of Lehmans` financial and banking business due to steady loss in subprime mortgage and real estate portfolio triggered panic button on its stakeholders creating cardhouse effect of collapses worldwide in financial markets. Also alike 1930`s during 2008 ,to make goings worst stocks witnessed freefall resulting heavy turmoil in the world economy with epicenter USA.The collapse in 2008 was not totally unpredictable or unwarned for few prominent economists as well as world bank officials had been red flagging or cautioning but overlooked as cynics.
I am absorbed in the book when my phone started ringing- I can see my friend from Barrackpur,my childhood place, on screen.After pleasantries etc. he drops a news—the young man who used to run a Tea stall near the portico of Railway station a few days back committed suicide inside his stall keeping shutter half closed. We would almost daily after commuting back from office halt at the stall and with sip in tea just ues to pass few moment before departing to own places. The stall for its locational vantage, quality tea and patron daily train passengers was having more than briskly business.My friend laments on phone due to pandemic and closure of local trains, the tea stall along with other shops whose primary customerbase being railway users totally closed their businesses and so nearly starved.This boy could not withstand as he had a family of 6 to maintain half fed unfed over 6 months with no changes forthcoming.After my friend finished his call, I begin to imagine the vast railways ( own employees apart)particularly local trains directly or otherwise sources of earning livelihood to innumerable hawkers, stallwalas, rickshaw poolers and so many people in the encompassment; but now their lifeline choked what lies ahead but extreme decisions.In fact I now have settled far from my native place and also have lost touches with people, places what once were ways in life.it is natural I would have forget in my current ways if a debate on TV start its cacophony.
These now jobless individuals are no migrant labourers-not estimated under urban or metro unorganized sectors. They are locals on their own have been engaged through petty businesses at rail stations or rail compartments to sustain their dependants.It will be surprising if ever or at all the turnover,residual surplus or collateral economic contribution got recorded officially or unofficially. On statistical data enumeration ,compilation and release, these business or non recognizable economic activities ,for sure,have gone with the wind on nonoperational rail tracks for thou no holy to estimate of GDP of economy.
Come to think on economy. Media buzzing on contraction of ourGDP during 1st quarter @ 23`9 – an alltime low.To explain further post COVID lockdown growth falling in construction port &infra sector approx.51%, in manufacturing 40%, in hotel/ transport falling 47%– except agriculture and exports of its produces showing modest rise.The state of economy with continuous freefall is not stranger to our bedroom but was much argued and predicted on all platforms – from IMF to various predictions by economists here and abroad.One focal cause stands neutrally common noncohesive casual implementation of Lockdown steps as noticed during demonetization.Citizens do accept seriously but policymakers dither.
With unprecedented lockdown clamping over months alongwith worldwide effects of pandemic,commercial and manufacturing activities at standstill ,agricultural limited produces and at home in service sector are incapable to pull economy from the brink of near collapse.Arguments and counters on the state of economy forcing steady GDP decline and course correctives have been pouring out even on ideological bias, irrelevant to the current issue.As fact of the matter our GDP has been broadly arrived at all economic activities in the country at factor cost adding entire expenditure at market price,investments and foreign trade surplus also taken in ambit.The indexing with a base year has been updated in 2015 for more accuracy in real GDP.Beyond the current fall analysis one larger perspective emerges the correctness and reliability of official figures datas to further worsened peoples` real situation. We did not have even figures on job losses due to lockdown and migration, on people affected by virus, availabilities of heath care facities, infrastructural updation in healthcare , loss of localized businesses and more , if taken into estimate one would collapse anytime
Prof Stiglitz did mention his recovery doses in Keynesian bottle disagreeing to freemarket mechanisms but advocated role of increased Govt, intervention and expenditure . Indeed Govt, initiated bailing out process for banks in USA and other European countries.Fortunately India effectively steered clear of 2008 fallout where RBI played crucial role. In the current scenario, bureaucracy miserably failed in implementation follow up as in past for Demonetisation. The course of economy to cruise in crisis rests on knowledgeable wise performers ( sans bureaucrats jacks of all trades) well versed in economic technology and with political trust – persons with dispassionate assessing outlook should join loose ends one by one of lifting rope as gobbling with too many tricks may be publicity stunts but self damaging at the end.
Stiglitz version of Freefall , A suicide and steep GDP decline apparently bear no link but in the ultimate impact all are entwined somewhere.