89 results for 'Proloy Bagchi'
“Desh aage barh raha hai” (the country is marching ahead), this is what Prime Minister Modi has been saying at various fora. Many would not agree with what he says. They would be right as in many areas of governmental activities not much change is perceptible. In fact, they have got worse. We would seem to be stagnating and the newspapers in the mornings are a great put-off. There is so much of negativity. Stalled parliament, rowdy legislators, crime, corruption, failures of public agencies, illegal exploitation of natural resources, atrocities on dalits, skyrocketting prices of everyday essentials... (more)
Rummaging through my collection of newspaper clippings I came across one that was of a fairly recent origin. Its sub-head said corruption remains major barrier to growth in India. This earth-shattering finding was made by as unlikely an organization as the World Economic Forum (WEF), a Swiss non-profit based near Geneva. Its mission is supposed to be "... improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas".
What the Forum has unearthed has always been known to most of us although, perhaps,... (more)
Only about 10 kilometres from Paris is located Versailles about which we had read in History and Political Science books. Its Palace hosted quite a few peace conferences during the preceding centuries. The most important was perhaps the Treaty of Versailles after the conclusion of World War I about a hundred years ago..
Beginning as a hunting lodge for the French monarch Louis XIII it graduated into an opulent palace from where the royal functions of French monarchy used to be discharged. Yes, it used to be the capital of France during the reigns of Louis XIV, XV and XVI, the last, however,... (more)
We made a beeline for the Louvre Palace the next day. Louvre, as is well known, is one of the largest museums in the world. Originally built as a fortress in the late 12th Century, Louis the XIV left it in favour of the Versailles Palace. Louvre was left behind as a place for display of his collections. Since then it has thrived as a museum containing a wide range of prized and famous exhibits from practically all parts of the world. Most of the pieces were from personal collections and later those that were seized during campaigns abroad were also added. The most significant contributions... (more)
Others in our group were to come to Paris from England. I had not joined them in their across-the-Channel trip. I was instead in Geneva and had taken in Basle and Lucerne in the few days I had. We were to meet at Paris. One morning I took the TGV (Trans Grand Vittese), the fast train the French had connected Paris and Geneva with. TGV in 1987 was still in its infant stage. They had one more line from Paris to Lyon. That’s about all that they had. Now, however, they have expanded phenomenally to most of Western Europe. My wife and I had travelled in it from Brussels to Paris and back ten years... (more)
Trupti Desai of Bhumata Brigade was beaten up the other day simply for entering the sanctum of Mahalaxmi Temple at Kolhapur in Maharashtra in a dress that is generally used by women in Punjab. Once used only by the Punjabis, the dress is now common all over India, including remote places of the North-East and South India, presumably because it offers ease in carrying out regular activities and daily chores inside the house or outside. The sari seems to hamper women in that and is also, apparently, cumbersome. The Punjabi outfit is no less Indian than sari and yet she was assaulted in a display... (more)
From Rome we had to get back to Geneva. The train was to take us through what is popularly known as the Riviera. In Europe coastlines are all called Riviera of which three are very famous – the Spanish, Italian and the French, the last, in fact, is the most famous. The overnight train took us past some exotic places of which we had heard so much. Genoa was one where my late brother had docked in 1952 on his way to the University in Frankfurt am Main, then in American Zone of a divided post-War Germany. Another was Portofino a well known scenic get-away and a well-known fishing village and has... (more)
WE reached Rome from Florence in less than two hours. Having read so much and having seen numerous Hollywood movies featuring Rome produced during what is termed as the Golden Era of Hollywood the anticipation was great. Who can forget the film Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and that handsome, huge hulk of a man, Gregory Peck? Then that musical featuring Frank Sinatra singing in his deep voice “Three coins in the fountain” shot at Travis Fountain of Rome; as also the film La Dolce Vita featuring Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni with his histrionics. That we were going to be there soon... (more)
The other day I happened to come across a write-up on the Kala Ghoda Art Festival in Mumbai. During my four years in Mumbai from 1984 to 1988 I had several occasions to pass by Kala Ghoda but do not remember to have come across any art festival in the area. Kala Ghoda is located in South Mumbai and it is in South Mumbai that I had my office in a heritage building, the massive General Post Office, virtually next door to the Victoria Terminus, now renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.
Unable to recall any festival ever organized in the Kala Ghoda area I got curious and read... (more)
On way to Kolkata from Nagpur we took in the Pench Tiger Reserve in December last. Made famous by Rudyard Kipling who used the jungles of Pench plumb in the heart of India and now in the two states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra as the locale for his widely read “The Jungle Book”, the Pench Reserve draws nature lovers like a magnet. Though I was once posted at Nagpur in the late 1970s and did a two year tenure there it never occurred to us to visit these jungles only a hundred-odd kilometres away. Perhaps, eco-tourism was yet to take a firmer root forty years ago. Besides, there was hardly... (more)