Kolkata’s 200-year-old Kalighat Temple to get a makeover
Kolkata, May 13, 2013: The over 200-year-old Kalighat Kali temple, one of the city’s
landmarks visited by tens of thousands of devotees and tourists every
day, is set for a makeover, thanks to the intervention of the judiciary.
The Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal government, in an
order passed earlier this week, to clean up the temple and its surroundings in response to two PILs.
The Kalighat Temple is regarded as one of the 51 Shakti Peethas (seats
of Hindu goddess Shakti), one of the sites where parts of the goddess'
body are believed to have fallen as Lord Shiva danced the Tandava dance,the celestial dance of
destruction. In the clean-up plan is the removal of 200 squatter shops selling
flowers, sweets and other items offered to the deity. Also ordered to be
cleaned up is the sanctum sanctorum that houses the deity of Kali in the
present form, dating back to 1809. The division bench of Chief Justice Arun K. Mishra and Justice Joymalya
Bagchi asked the temple authorities to bar devotees and priests from
entering the sanctum sanctorum with flowers and leaves. Only two priests
are allowed to carry these items into the sanctum sanctorum.
The judges also directed that devotees should not be allowed into the
sanctum sanctorum without the nod of the authorities. There are references to the temple is scriptural material from the 15th
and 16th centuries, but the present structure was built by the Sabarna
Roy Chowdhury family in 1809. Source: IANS .
Google doodle celebrates Satyajit Ray's 92nd birthday
NEW DELHI,ay 3, 2013: Legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray was on Thursday
honoured on his 92nd birthday by popular search engine Google by presenting a doodle
showing a scene from his iconic movie 'Pather Panchali'.
The doodle showed a famous scene from the movie where Apu, the
protagonist, runs along with his sister Durga across the Kash-reed fields to watch a train go by.
'Pather Panchali' was Ray's first film which based on the novel by Bengali writer
Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay . It was released in 1955 and went on to receive several international
accolades including the Best Human Document at the Cannes Film Festival.
Ray, who directed 36 films, including documentaries and short films, was
born on this day and was considered one of the greatest filmmakers of his time.
Ray's grandfather was Upendra Kishor Ray Chaudhari, one of the founding
members of the Bramha Samaj and his father was renowned Bengali poet who
pioneered the use of non-sense verses in any Indian language, Sukumar Ray.
Mamata to urge Manmohan, Chidambaram to withdraw economic blockade against West Bengal
KOLKATA, April 8, 2013: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on
Monday said that she will meet the Prime Minister and finance minister during her four-day tour to New Delhi and urge
them to lift the economic blockade against West Bengal. Mamata will be in New Delhi for four days from
Monday to attend Planning Commission meeting. Before leaving Writers' Buildings, the state administrative
headquarters, Mamata told reporters that "I shall meet the Prime Minister tomorrow after the Planning
Commission meeting and the Union finance minister P.Chidambaram on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and urge them not to deprive our state economically.
""We are not beggars. Neither we want any special favour or special
package from the Centre. Kerala and Punjab are two Congress-ruled states
and both are facing with acute loan burden. But the Centre is providing
them with some financial relief, while depriving us because we are no longer in the UPA government.
I don't want any special advantage from the Centre, but I must tell them
that the Centre will have to give us the our financial dues. This year
our government had managed to earn an additional Rs 12,000 crore. But
the Centre had collected Rs 4,000 crore from our additional income. The
Centre collects revenues worth Rs 40,000 crore from our state, but return us just Rs 18,000 crore. I am going to Delhi not for any
political reason, but for holding talks with the Centre to realise our
legitimate financial demands,visibly angry Mamata told reporters on Monday.
She also claimed that the Centre had stopped financial assistance to her
government for providing rice and wheat at Rs 2 per kilogram to the poor
people in Jangalmahal. ""I will ask the Centre why they have stopped
grants to our government for providing rice at a cheaper rate, the chief minister said. Source: The Economic Times
Sanjay Dutt has suffered a lot: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
KOLKATA, March 26, 2013 (PTI): Joining the bandwagon of politicians and filmstars seeking
pardon for actor Sanjay Dutt convicted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case by the Supreme Court, West Bengal Chief Minister
Mamata Banerjee today said he had "already suffered a lot for the blunder".
"I have received many requests from civil society and film personalities
to see that Sanjay does not suffer more," the Chief Minister said in a Facebook post.
"Though it is not in my hand, I feel that he has already suffered a lot
for the blunder he committed earlier. From complete wreck, he has again
picked up his career to unfold his potential," she said. Recalling her association with Sanjay's actor-turned-politician father
Sunil Dutt , she said they fought together strongly against TADA for its misuse potential.
"Today, I fondly remember Sunil Duttji. He used to come to my residence
whenever he was in Kolkata. If he were alive, he would have no doubt made all efforts to
see that Sanjay does not suffer any more. "My heart also echoes his sentiments. Let us all pray for Sanjay living a peaceful life," Banerjee said.
The 53-year-old actor will have to spend three-and-a-half years in jail
after the apex court reduced to five years the six year jail term awarded to him by a designated TADA court in 2006. Dutt has
already spent 18 months in jail. -PTI
Kolkata market: 19 killed, 50 injured
Kolkata, February 27, 2013: At least 19 people were killed and 50 people sustained serious burn
injuries as a massive fire engulfed Surya Sen market in central Kolkata's Sealdah area early today. The death toll may further go up.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also visited the fire site
after the incident and blamed the unplanned constructions in the area for the fire.
“This is a very tragic incident. And it has happened because of
unplanned constructions in the area. We would give Rs. 2 lakh compensation to the family of
those who lost their life. I have asked the police, fire department and Kolkata
Municipal Corporation to give me report in three days time following which we will take the next step,”
Banerjee said. According to the fire-fighters the fire was detected at 3.50 am at the
godown-cum-market complex when the victims were sleeping inside the room. Following which 26 fire-engines rushed to the stop to bring the
situation under control. The fire now though under control but is yet to
be doused completely. One woman and 18 men died so far, some sustained sever burn injuries and
others died of suffocation. Surajit Kar Purkayastha, Commissioner of Police is at the spot.
Opposition leader Suryakanta Mishra, rushed to the spot but chose not to
react to Khan’s statement. Firefighters climb up a narrow alley as they attempt to control a blaze
in the Surya Sen market building in Kolkata. AFP photo/Dibyangshu Sarkar.
The market has six floors, while the first two floors have
godowns, offices and shops the rest of the floors are vacant because of a
property dispute among the owners. According to eyewitnesses the fire
started on the ground floor, which had several shops stocking Thermocol
and jute items and then spread to the first floor and some parts of the
second floor. The reason of the fire is still unknown, however police
officials feel that a short circuit may have sparked the fire.Source: Hindustan Times
Saraswati Puja celebrated in West Bengal today
Kolkata, February 15, 2013: Today the youth in West Bengal
worshipped the Goddess Saraswati , the goddess of education.
The goddess of art, wisdom and culture is worshipped on this day by students across Bengal and beyond.
The goddess is worshipped as much in homes as in schools - particularly
since the Board exams are only a month away! The daughter of Goddess Durga comes with the whole family in autumn,
during Durga Puja.
She is also worshipped in other parts of the country at different times.
In Maharashtra and Gujarat, Saraswati Puja starts with 'Saraswati
Avahan' on 'Maha Saptami' and ends on 'Vijayadashami' with 'Saraswati
Udwasan' or 'Visarjan' (idol immersion). While in Eastern India, which includes West Bengal, the occasion is
celebrated in the 'Magha' month (January-February). It coincides with
'Vasant Panchami' or 'Shree Panchami' which is the
fifth day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of 'Magha'. In the southern states of India, Saraswati Puja is conducted during the
'Navaratri' which means 'Nine Nights'. But the actual celebrations continue during the 10th day, which is
considered as 'Vijaya Dashami' or the Victorious Tenth Day.
Bengalis wear traditional outfits on this day. Boys are usually seen in
payjama and punjabi while girls don saris. In Kolkata, major markets, including Jute and jute
goods, bullion, metals, oil and oilseeds and the Calcutta Stock Exchange, are closed.
College violence returns to Kolkata, cop dead
Kolkata, February 13, 2013: A Sub-Inspector of the Special Branch of the Kolkata Police was
shot dead and four students were seriously injured when fierce clashes
erupted between the members of the ruling Trinamool Congress and Congress during nominations for students’ union election in a local
college on Tuesday.
V Solomon, DC (Port), later said that the clash occurred when nomination
forms for students' union election in the Hari Mohan Ghosh College were
being distributed among candidates. Tapas Chowdhury, the SI, received bullet injury in the violence which
witnessed bombs and brickbats being freely used by students and also
local goons. He was declared brought dead after he was taken to the nearby CMRI hospital.
Solomon said, "The clash took place between TMCP (Trinamool Congress
student wing) and CP (Congress student wing and shots were fired in which the sub-inspector suffered injury leading to his death."
Today being the last day for filing nomination, there was a lot of rush
and hectic activities inside the college. A large number of policemen
were also deployed to avoid any untoward incident during nominations.
Soon after the incident, a battalion of Rapid Action Force was deployed
in and around the college and the situation is being closely monitored
by the Kolkata administration and the state government. A case has also been registered in connection with the violent clashes
and the police have begun investigating the matter.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is said to have directed the
city police officials to bring the situation under control and brief her
about the situation. She also directed the State Urban Development Minister, Firhad Hakim, to
take stock of the situation. Meanwhile, a blame game also began between the two political parties
over the Hari Mohan Ghosh College clashes. Trinamool Congress has blamed local goons for the unfortunate incident
and said that it can’t hold the students responsible for the clashes.
103 women sterilised in a day at West Bengal hospital; probe ordered
Malda, February 7, 2013: A government hospital in West Bengal's
Malda district is facing an inquiry for conducting mass sterilisation of women
in shockingly appalling conditions. Two doctors at the hospital
allegedly sterilised 103 women on Wednesday, even operating on some patients in the open fields.
The Manikchak block hospital, where the sterilisation camp was
organised, has 60 beds - 30 each for men and women. The rulebook allows no more than 25 sterilisations in a day.The doctors not only flouted that rule, their medical negligence went
further. After the sterilisation, many women were left to recuperate in
the hospital's open compound while still under anaesthesia. Medical experts are shocked how only two doctors
carried out over a hundred operations. Residents of Manikchak block say such frenzied sterilisation camps are
routine, but at other times the hospital at least puts up tents for the patients.The Malda district magistrate said the block medical officer had been
issued a notice and a probe had been ordered. Source: NDTV
Mamata calls for keeping West Bengal united
Kolkata/ Siliguri, February 02, 2013 (PTI): A day after GJM chief Bimal
Gurung threatened to launch a 'militant' stir for Gorkhaland, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
</india/prof_page.php?search=Mamata+Banerjee&select=1> on Thursday
called for keeping West Bengal united and countered his charge that her
government was bent upon adopting a divide and rule policy for the hills."The government's stand is very clear. We will work for keeping the
state united. We are for a united Bengal," Mamata told reporters after a
meeting with members of the Darjeeling district Trinamool Congress here.
On Gurung's charge that the government was pursuing a "divide and rule"
policy for the hills after she proposed development councils for the
Lepchas and Buddhists, she said, "We are for overall development of
Darjeeling. We will not resort to divide and rule and I believe the GJM
will also not go to that extent." Seeking to downplay Gurung's threat of a 'militant' agitation, she said,
"We will see when it (agitation) happens. We took over reins of the state by taking
oath as per Constitution. They (GJM) too are in power in the GTA by taking oath in accordance with Constitution. This is the
spirit of responsibility."
She said it was the duty of the administration to take both hard and
soft stands depending on the situation. "I will not be defeated in my
job. I am born in Bengal, but my motherland is India," she said. However, she reminded the audience that the GJM as a political entity
could launch a movement and adopt a political programme. She announced that at Gajoldoba, near Siliguri, a Rs 2,500 crore
eco-tourism project would be set up, which would give a boost to Siliguri's economy and promised to return to see for herself the
progress of the development schemes.
President set to inaugurate new terminal at Kolkata airport
Kolkata, January 20: President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the new integrated terminal
of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata, this evening. With a capacity to handle 20 million passengers annually, the Rs 2,300
crore modernized terminal has been developed by the joint venture of ITD Cementation India Ltd. and its parent company Italian-Thai Development
Public Co. Ltd, Thailand (ITD). The airport currently handles 7.46 million a year.The full-fledged operations will, however, begin from
March-end.The modern facility will have 48 international and 80 domestic check-in
counters, 38 immigration counters, 23 international and 33 domestic security gates and 18 aerobridges.
6 lakh take holy dip at Gangasagar
Kolkata, January 15, 2013 (DHNS): To mark the occasion
of Makar Sankranti, around six lakh people took holy dip in the Ganges which is considered to be auspicious by the Hindus at Sagar
Island- some 150 kilometres away from Kolkata on Monday. "Nearly six lakh devotees have taken the holy dip so far. More
than seven lakh pilgrims are here for the occasion. Nothing untoward
has fortunately occurred," South 24 Parganas district magistrate N S Nigam said.
Every year lakhs of people gather at Kapil Muni temple to mark this occasion of which is celebrated on the January 14.
Coconuts are offered before taking the dip at the confluence of the
river with the Bay of Bengal, known as Gangasagar. "Adequate
security measures have been put in place. Security personnel are
patrolling the entire area and we have put CCTV cameras at strategic
places. So far we have arrested 20 persons for petty crimes,"
superintendent of police (South 24 Parganas) Pravin Tripathi said.
"However around 20 people have been arrested for petty crimes," Tripathy added. Several state ministers, including
Public Health Minister Subrata Mukherjee, are camping on the island to supervise
Congress march against political violence in state turns violent
Kolkata, January 10, 2013: The West Bengal Congress on Thursday took out a massive rally
in Kolkata to protest against political violence in the state. The rally
turned violent in between as protesters tried to break through barricades at the administrative headquarters of the state - the
Writers' Building. The protesters had planned to gherao the building.
However, the police arrested a few of them as the protest turned violent. They were released later on. With Governor MK Narayanan having virtually indicted the West Bengal
government, the opposition Congress slammed the ruling Trinamool Congress for bringing
in 'goondaraj' in the state. "Goondaraj is going on in the state. The
administration is keeping silent on these incidents. We won't accept
goondaraj in the state," WBPCC President Pradip Bhattacharya said at
march to the state secretariat to demand a hospital on the lines of AIIMS at Raiganj in North Bengal.
Union Minister of state for Urban development Deepa Dasmunsi too
criticised the Mamata Banerjee government saying it had failed to live
up to expectations. "We had fought together to oust the Left to usher in
change in Bengal. But what kind of political change is actually taken
place? Even intellectuals who once supported Mamata Banerjee are now questioning the change in Bengal," Dasmunshi said.
She also criticised the chief minister for creating hurdles in way of
construction of a AIIMS-like hospital in North Bengal. "She is afraid
that if an AIIMS hospital comes up in North Bengal, Congress will become
a stronger force there," said Dasmunsi. The WBPCC president criticised
the police saying that they stopped Dasmunsi when she was on her way to
the rally and demanded an apology.
TMC workers heckle, throw money at hired women dancers at founding day party
Kolkata, January 02, 2013: Bengal's politics seems to have hit a new low. At the
Trinamool Congress' founding day party on Tuesday, party workers threw
money and heckled hired female dancers. The incident took place at South 24 Parganas district.
The celebrations that took place right opposite the local police
station, were sponsored by the Trinamool Congress party and organised by
Trinamool zila parishad member Meer Taheer Ali. The celebrations that took place right opposite the local police
station, were sponsored by the Trinamool Congress.
TMC leader Derek O'Brien condemned the incident. "One of the celebration
events obviously went wrong. We condemn what happened. We need to find
out who these people are, whether TMC workers or others. What happened
last night was condemnable. The TMC does not approve such events. We
will get to the bottom of this.We will take appropriate action. There is
absolutely zero tolerance on such matters. We have sent a team on the
ground to find out." He added that the issue will be dealt with severely so that it "doesn't