The scars of the city of joy yet to be healed;

Posted by Samim Akter Ahamed
January 26, 2018

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kolkata,is the commercial,cultural and educational capital of east India today.kolkata is the third largest metropolitian city in India with respect to its population and GDP growth.It is an epitome of  rich bengali culture,art and a paragon of arctitecturial genius of the style of 19th century European arctitecture.The city hosts plethora of venerable instutions of national importance related to fields art,science,sports,etc.A few worthy to be mentioned are THE NATIONAL LIBRARY,ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS,THE VICTORIA MEMORIAL,ZOOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA,THE BOTANICAL GARDEN and the list is a long one.Although the city holds many giant cricketing avenues,it also gives importance to association football and other games.

But these accomlishments cannot heal the scars that lies in its post independence history.Athough the city has gained mommentum in improving its economic conditions,it still holds the scars and grudges of the long economic stagnation that it was laden with during the 1960s and 1970s.Facors such as severe power shortages,strikes and violent marxist and maoist movements damaged much of the city’s infrastructure.The huge influx of the bangladeshi diaspora during the BANGLADESH LIBERATION WAR of 1970 strained the infrastructure of the city and created a huge imbalance in the population structure of the city.still today the government is facing obstacles in providing them shelter,employment and other basic amenities.All this gave rise to unemployment,proverty and severe felonies.In 1985 the then prime minster RAJIV GANDHI dubbed calcutta as  “The dying city”.The bengali diaspora across India and abroad are conspicously successful but the city which was once a nucleus of Bengal Renaissance,modern thinking and a hotseat of nationilistic movements and radical nationalism,the city which the centre of historical freedom struggles,which nurtured and shaped outstanding nationalists and freedom fighters who led India to freedom,has not got its right price.

Also the city’s economy faced a massive blow during the partition when several muslims left for east pakisthan and millions to hindus had to migrate to west bengal (especially in clacutta)leaving behind their assets,and turning from riches to rags.This was a blow to the level of conditions of living of the bengalis,thier financial conditions and ultimately to the economy of the city.

The textile and jute industries built by the britishers faced a huge blow as most of the fertile lands for cultivation of jutes were in east paskisthan and the factories were in calcutta,which had a destructive effect on the jute industries and was another massive blow to the city’s squelching economy.

The city’s fortune has improved after the Indian economy was liberalised and changes were made by the economic policies by the state government during the 1990s.During the period of 1977 to 2011 the west bengal was governed from kolkata by the left front which was dominated by THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA(CPM).It was the longest serving democratically elected communist government,during which calcutta was a key base for indian communism.

During these period calcutta experienced a steady decline in economic decline due to massive influx of refugees,frequent strikes called out by trade unions,which were backed by the left-wing parties.From 1960s to 1990s several factories were closed and business relocated,the lack of capital and resources further added to its depression.

But after economic liberalisation the has witnessed a slow but consistent improvement.Kolkata is the financial and commercial hub of east and north-east india and home to the Calcutta-stock exchange.It is a major commercial and millitary port and is the only city to have an international airport in Eastern india.

Kolkata is slowly moving towards its lost stature but the scars are still conspicuous.Still 38% of the available labour force in the slums are unemployed.Almost a quater of the population live on less than rs.27 per day.

Mssive industrialisation.Foreign investment.Ease of business.And promiting entrepeneurship propensity into the minds of the bengali youths are the ways that will lead to prosperity and developmet.


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