Coming to a shimana near you
by Udayan Chattopadhyay for AlalODulal.org
Every night, India and Pakistan engage in a ridiculous border ceremony at Wagah, on the outskirts of Amritsar, where respective national armies engage in a choreographed display of synchronized aggression, cheered on by their compatriots. Continue reading “Coming to a shimana near you”
Every year, 16th December, known in India as Vijay Divas, is commemorated through low key events in a few select major cities across the country. There is rarely any fanfare; in Delhi, there is a brief and solemn ceremony with sparse attendance; protocol dictates the titles of those who must attend or send a replacement in lieu; a minute’s silence is held by the Eternal Flame by India Gate, and the event is generally very lacklustre. Continue reading “1971: Missed Euphoria”
That the passing of Sunil Gangopadhyay came as a shock to many – despite his age and health – is a reflection of his being, till his last Puja season during which he died – the most prolific and recognizable mainstream writer in post-1947 Indian Bengal.
I will not dwell on literary critiques; I am not qualified. While, like most NRI-kids, I was very much aware of who he was growing up (our parents would always pass around his latest book after a trip to Calcutta) I was hardly able to delve into his tomes. In that I shared a disconnect with an increasing number of middle class Calcutta kids more proficient (at least reading) in English and even Hindi than in their parents’ tongue. I saw the films and serials people like Satyajit made from his works, and as English-translations started becoming available, I trawled through his seminal works such as Purba Paschim, Shei Shomoy and Prothom Alo. But that doesn’t form the basis of my bond. Continue reading “Kakababu choley gelen: Sunil Gangopadhyay (1934-2012)”
Udayan C: A couple of weeks ago, Altamas Kabir was sworn in by President Pranab Mukhopadhyay as the 39th Chief Justice of India. As far as I am aware, this is the highest rank held by a Bengali Muslim in India since 1947.