Monday, May 25, 2009

Election 2009: West Bengal Analysis

The Sunrise happened for the opposition when Biman Basu claimed the “Surjodoy(Sunrise) of Nandigram” and that to was ignited by the egotistic CM by bifurcating “Amra Ora” (We and They) and giving priority to “Party over State”. Though the left has done the same prioritization for decades, they became naked in Nandigram issue.

Nandigram cost a lot for the left in the 15th National Election. Not only the mandate of farmers, but also the minority (most of the victims were Muslims) vote bank shifted towards the TMC-INC for this issue. It was a blunder and opposition didn’t leave any stone unturned to capitalize the sensitive issue.

CPM tried to gain the reputation back with Tata in Singur. It was almost done, but at the final moment crazy Mamatadi intervened. Another mistake by Left was made there. They could have done some negotiation for the betterment of the state, but they allowed TMC to make a mess of the situation, so that people can blame them. This is what they did for decades; criticize center and do no work. This time they tried to do something, but as they don’t have the experience to do that they messed up.

These two phrases “Singur and Nandigram” wiped out the stable Left front from West Bengal. The main reason is the radical shift of party polarization in West Bengal. The Communist party was a party for the poor, farmers and intellectuals and now that portion is in favor of TMC. TMC tried in many ways to capture the vote bank of common people, first tying up with BJP. In 1999 election they did fairly well capturing 8 seats in National Election, most of them were the seats of Kolkata, but failed to get the rural and Muslim votes. Thus they switched the ally in the assembly election in 2001 and tied up with INC. They got few seats but not as much as they expected, so TMC turned to BJP again in the 14th National Election in 2004. It was a disaster and Mamata had to pay for her whimsical attitude. TMC has only 1 seat in Parliament (that to of Mamata) and in the 2006 assembly they performed poorly with BJP and came back to INC on 2009 National Election.

Despite the dilly dally TMC managed to have a clean sweep this time, young people are literally unhappy on Mamata for the Singur issue which hampered the industrialization process in WB, for which the state had pay and will have to pay a lot. But why people have given mandate for her?

Here goes my analysis.

1) The Minority Vote Bank: In the whole country the Muslim voters are shifted to Congress (INC) and in the state that has been aggravated by the Nandigram issue and the national report that shows the financial status of the minorities in WB are deplorable and worst in the whole country.
2) The Lower Cast votes: This vote bank shifted to INC-TMC. They placed couple of dalit candidates and managed to get a major portion of SC-ST votes.
3) Farmers and Lower class: They were the original CPM supporters, turned to TMC as CPM has gone for development and TMC occupied the vacant place with its agenda “Ma-Mati-Manus”. That is a major swing against CPM in this election due to erotic land accusation policy.
4) Urban Voters: The urban voters started shifting to Non-Left teams years before due to the poor development and Left policies. This election there was many factors against Lefts.
• They don’t want to be in the center but never leave a chance to embarrass the ruling party (Like they did with the Nuke deal).
• They ask vote against Congress and support congress in center.
• They had no agenda but tried to form third front with some selfish regional parties who have no principal and can do anything for their vested interested. Any rational voters will not vote for a Third Front where Mayabati was projected as PM.
• They always tried to put the communal forces (BJP) away which helped Congress to get more popularity as INC is better projected as secular party than any other regional parties.
• The arrogance and egotist attitude of the Lefts for their unprecedented enjoy of power without an opposition have become huge anti-incumbent factor this time which in turn helped the TMC-INC to swing the vote in their favor.
• People are not happy with the intellectual Politburo of Lefts and what they did with Somnath after the no-confidence motion against Congress and how they stopped Jyoti Basu not to be the PM in 1996. Left is still paying for their historical blunder and will continue to pay unless they change their mindset.

What will happen in near future.

TMC will have the Rail ministry and couple more small portfolios in the cabinet. They will try to do some visible development before the assembly election in 2011. They will continue with the agenda “Krishi bachiye Silpo chai” – Agriculture first then Industrialization. They will continue with INC in assembly and is they don’t score self negative goals, its just a matter of time Mamata will be next PM of WB.

Left will not go for any land accusation in next two years. They will play a safe game and will try to break the coalition of TMC and INC (though it will be hard as left is not required now in center and Mamata is getting good support from INC central leadership, specially Pranab Mukherjee is making a difference). Left will try to make maximum development in state and pass some policies for the minorities to regain the Muslim vote bank. They will also try to capture their rural base in panchayats level by some reformation in party level.

But despite that, it something magical does not happen, unequivocally TMC will come in power in State. But it is good for WB as both the parties will try to reform and the state will have actual development. Good for the ignorant Bengalis who will be given special attention.
The bad part will be the violence and riots. The CPM cadres will not allow the unprecedented supremacy of TMC-INC. At the cost of those innocent victims West Bengal will have the change in the political era in near future.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Do you believe “Gitanjali” was best creation of Rabindranath Tagore for which he got Nobel? I think there are quite a few master pieces written by Tagore, but Gitanjali wasn’t the only best.
But, none of us have any doubt about the Legendry Bengali poet, that he worth a Nobel. And he got it, so it is important that his work was recognized.

I think the same way when A. R. Rahman got the Oscar for “Jai Ho” song in “Slumdog Millionaire”. Rahman was exception in many of his creations, like the music in Roja, Bombay, Tu hi re, Dil se, Rang de Basanti, etc where few songs unequivocally enchanted millions of listeners. The combination of traditional and modern, North and South Indian mix, made Rahman a legend much before he has given music for “Jai Ho” lyric by Gulzer, who also grabbed a joint Oscar with Rahman.

Definitely they worth Oscar and they got it. We are proud of them. It’s a great moment for Indian film industry as the Slumdog team got 8 Oscar and 3 for Indians.
But this Oscar is for this year and only for Hollywood, so it is expected that his other songs were not eligible to be nominated, but I have seen many critics who are just criticizing without knowing the boundaries of Academy Award.
THE OSCAR WINNERS for this movie are... Best Picture: Producer Christian Colson for Slumdog Millionaire. “It has been collaboration between hundreds of people. All of us are here to share this moment. This was an extraordinary journey,” says the Slumdog... team.

Best Direction: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Song: A R Rahman and Gulzar for ‘Jai Ho...’ (Slumdog Millionarie) The Indian music maestro, Rahman wooed the audience with ‘O Saya’ and ‘Jai Ho...’ the nominated songs from ‘Slumdog...’, as the nominees for Best Original Song were being announced.

Best Original Score: A R Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire . “I have nothing but my mother and she is there with me. I thank her for making me coming all this way with her blessings,” said a proud Rahman.

Best Film Editing: Chris Dickens for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Sound Mixing: Ian Tapp, Resul Pookutty and Richard Pryke for Slumdog Millionaire. “This is just not a sound award, but a history being handed over,” said Indian receiver Pookutty.

Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire. “The cast and crew of the film told me so much about India and writing,” said a proud Beaufoy.

By Movie 2009 Oscar Prize
Slumdog Millionaire - 8
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 3
Milk - 2
The Dark Knight - 2

But now almost in every site, in many blogs I have seen people questioning whether “Slumdog Millionaire” is worth winning 8 Oscar prize. Had it been an Indian production, would it been recognized like that? It achieved the excellence as it is a Hollywood production movie. I guess the critics are doing a big mistake here. Oscar is for Hollywood and apart from Hollywood movies, the only category where the other can compete is the best International Movie.

So, basically its giving a different message that, Bollywood movies are of excellent quality and widely acceptable. If a film like “Slumdog Millionaire” plotted on Mumbai with Indian values can crack so many Oscar, then it would have been miracle every year if all Bollywood movies can compete in all categories in Oscar.

Some critics have the concern of portraying Indian poverty and slums in this movie. But there are real facts. We can’t ignore the millions of common poor destitute who are struggling for both ends meat, working day in and day out to fulfill basic needs. We can’t hide them in the glamour of Bollywood films, neither should we hide it. . I liked the film and enjoyed every moment of it. The editing is excellent as the sequence of actions will never be boring to the viewers. I liked the concept in the film because I am firm believer of destiny.

In few site I have seen Western Goras are calling Deshi Indians as “Slumdog”. It may be because of jealousy or for the superiority complex. But this is also fact. In India we have at least 100(if not more) “Slumdog Millionaire” who started from scratch and now a millionaire, including many industrialists, like Dhirubhai Ambani, Ajim Premji, etc. Well, it may not be the fluke as shown in the movie, but in reality that can be possible.

Apart from Slumdog, Megan Mylan won Oscar for Smile Pinki on Best Documentary Short Subject Category, which is based on Benaras.

What’s goanna happen now? We will see many eminent directors and producers from Hollywood will come to India with some Asian plots. It will give a boost in Indian film industry. I can see another possibility, few Indian production houses will be launched in Hollywood. That will be a golden day for Indian film Industry when we will bag Oscars in all categories by our own production house as I believe films like “Tare Jameen Par” “Rang de Basanti” “Lage Raho Munnabhai” “Dil Chah Ta Hay” are far more better than this year best International Movie “Slumdog Millionaire”.
P.S : Pics are not captured by me :) LOL

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Making of "Kharagpur Online"

It was one of my dreams to do something about Kharagpur. I thought either to publish a Photographic book or to write an epic (Bengali) on Kharagpur town. I went to Oxford Book stall couple of times to read and buy concepts on recent photographic books on Kolkata, went to a professor of kharagpur college, who is also a writer of Kharagpur history book. I promised him to give some of my photographs for his book but I couldn’t as I had to fly to US suddenly. I feel bad for it.

While blogging in 2007, I searched Kharagpur on Net. But I was disappointed by the result and thought to post Kharagpur Series in my personal blog. I started with this one. But this effort was not good enough to capture the wonderful city.

Last month I decided to launch a dedicated site for Kharagpur.As mentioned in this blogpost , I havnt got www.kharagpur.com domain and asked for suggestions and http://www.kharagpuronline.com/ was unanimous choice. Thus in the eve of New Year I decided to launch it through famous web hosting site “fatcow” and registered “KharagpurOnline” on 31st December 2008.

Now it was the time to design and shape this site. I am in blogsphere for couple of years, but I had no idead about website hosting. It was a challenge for me. I took help from couple of friends. Chaitree who launched http://www.chaitreebasak.com/ helped me a lot with the concept of dream weaver and html pages. Ananda was always a helping hand for me and this time it was not an exception. He helped me to install wordpress and with his valuable critics. Aritra took it one step ahead. He is the first registered author for this site and started writing in the Education category. Finally Pabitra took some amazing pictures of our town to enrich KharagpurOnline. My sincere thanks to Chaitree, Ananda, Aritra and Pabitra.

The design was a delicate issue. I was not happy with the free CSS templates as it is not interactive(or I havnt found a better one), neither I was interested to make it totally in Wordpress. In first week, I tried in many possible ways and after all permutations and combinations I merged these two concepts. First Page, Info Page and Contact page are in CSS and all rest topics (which I want to make interactive) are in Wordpress themes. This took out the overhead of complex file management in control panel and I can really focus on content. This merging concept has given me enough freedom to design in dream weaver as well as use wordpress to its fullest extent. It has given a flavor of a website as well as an interactive blog in a combined package. I am happy with this initial design and launched “KharagpurOnline” on 11th January 2009.
For site content, I approached couple of people to use their photos and videos. Some has given permission while others remained silent. Then people from kharagpur slowly involved with KharagpurOnline. We created a community in Orkut. Started promoting this site, gathered some information, and posted some photos. Our journey of KharagpurOnline started in this fashion.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Revisiting 2008

Another year passed by. An eventful year for all of us, for the whole World. I have gone through a lot of different scenarios of life, but forgetting the bad one I want to proceed. I want to continue my journey towards my destiny. I want to come back in blogsphere. But my New Year resolution is to open a site for Kharagpur. KharagpurOnline.com will be live soon and throughout this year I want to make it a success.

I was in India beginning of this year and then moved to Chicago for 7 months. It was a memorable experience specially in my professional career. In true sense it was happening with a mixture of good and bad. Then I came back to India again for 2 months. My Bro get married and those days were something to cherish. At the end of the year I am back in US again, but in a different location, Longmont, a small city of Colorado which is surrounded by mountains.

Throughout the year the following external events impacted me immensely.

Global Economic Recession: The slowdown of 2007 has taken a shape of recession worldwide, specially in US. India was immensely impacted by the crash of share market. The Sensex has gone down by 60% in 2008. Many companies have become conservative in their business, because people across the World are panicked. Companies like Lemman Brothers, J P Morgan in US have been bank crafted. Many more big MNCs are in verge of bank crafty and huge job cut is going on every month. Not only financial, banking, infrastructure, retails markets, it impacted IT too. Many project has been withdrawn, many have been downsized. Some of my close friends are out of project. We lost a project to our competitors. People across the World are worried about their jobs and most importantly the speculation is this recession will take a form of huge depression in 2009.

Terror Attack in Taj Mumbai. Image source economist.com
Mumbai 26/11 Terror attack in Taj: In last few years Terrorism was always a menace. All countries tried to combat against those devils, but it came in new form every year. Terror attack in Taj was shocking. Those breathtaking hours were a horrible experience for the whole World. In last few years how many times we told its Pakistan behind every terror attack. Don’t the normal Pakistanis understand that its against their goodwill and against Islam!!! The claver boy Musharaf was able to fool the while brains of white house by his tricks, but it had to open someday. But now its tough to control the growing terrorist activities in Pak Land. Common people in India and across the World are living in danger and politicians hardly bother about taking some effective preventive measures and we elect them every time. Shame on us, Indians!!

Cricket 2008: This was a wonderful year of Cricket. The year started in disappointing way for Indians but in last part of the year Dhoni’s team did many magics, like beating Aussies and England in Test series, ODI series vs. England. But the main attraction of this year was IPL, 20-20 championship. I was in Eden Garden(Kolkata stadium) cheering for Kolkata Knight Riders. It was amazing experience. But the most happening part was retirement of two legendry cricketers; Sourav Ganguly (Our very own dada) and Anil Kumble. Both contributed to Indian cricket immensely. Dada was close to my heart, inspiration in many forms, and my passion for cricket. I will miss those days in future but at the same time I am glad that he took a majestic retirement from Cricket World.

Change of Power: Democrats are back in power after 10 years beating the Republicans in USA. Obama, won the election and become the first black President of USA. It will have many impacts on Indians and Indian politics. The nuclear deal is now a question, H1 cap will not be increased, and outsourcing will be impacted. But at the same time Obama claimed that India will be one of the best partners of USA. This will be interesting to watch how they manage it. Will it impact the Global economy!! Will we have much better relation with US!! Will we be able to combat terrorism jointly!!

There are few more incidents which I like to mention. The foolish WB political parties made mess on Tata Nano project in Singur after messing with Nandigram. The ruling party of our state withdrawn support from the National Govt for the Nuke deal, which is a funny mistake that one can ever do. I feel shame for this as I belong from that land. Indian shooter Bindra won Olympic gold and bronze medal by Indian boxers was a proud moment for Indians. Viswanathan Anand won World Chess championship. India sent first ever moon mission was successful. Chandrayaan-1 success makes India fifth to reach Lunar Orbit

I hope 2009 will be a different year, a successful year to all of us. Hope all of us will be successful in our own mission. Happy New Year.