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Tuesday , June 21 , 2011
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Poor state of hospitals

• It is good that Mamata Banerjee paid a visit to the Bangur Institute of Neurosciences and saw for herself the state of affairs at the institution (A bin called Bangur Institute of Neurosciences, May 27). It is unfortunate that no such visit took place during the 34 years of Left rule.

Our earlier health minister was a silent witness to frequent incidents of mismanagement at all state hospitals, which are being held ransom by CPM-controlled unions.

Everybody in the government was complacent and indifferent to corruption in all walks of life. Trinamul leaders must learn from the mistakes of the previous regime and not take people for granted.

We must wholeheartedly support Mamata. Just like Rome was not built in a day, she needs time to put Bengal back to its glorious position.

The chief minister should pay unscheduled visits to all government establishments, in disguise if necessary, and make the authorities concerned realise that they have to deliver now.

Sunita Guha

Change in 34 years

Some of the things that have changed in Calcutta and beyond since the Left came to power in Bengal in 1977 (1977 To 2011: Worlds Apart, May 15) are:

4Introduction of the photocopier (Xerox): Education has two ages — the dark (pre-Xerox) age and the Xerox age. Socrates, Aristotle, Aryabhatta and Kautilya belong to the former. Founded in Rochester in 1906, Xerox is now a generic name.

In 1977, education in Calcutta was still very much in the pre-Xerox age. That meant sitting in obscure library reading rooms and copying books in longhand with fountain pens and guarding that zealously from peers, lest they score more marks. Exchanging slips with the fellow reader (or copier?) of the opposite gender was the only form of entertainment available to students.

4Nightlife: It’s not entirely true that “nightlife was an alien concept” in 1977’s Calcutta. Rakshakali puja, a nightlong activity, used to happen in almost every locality on a new moon day.

Youths had to spend nights at hospitals for an ailing neighbour. If he died, spending a night at the crematorium was interesting, complete with food and drinks.

• Electric crematoria were few, and burning the corpse with wood was a lengthy affair.

• Double-decker buses: Riding a dotola bus was fun. But the vehicle has disappeared from the streets of Calcutta.

Tapan Pal,


Police union

It was shocking to learn how the custodians of law have become the violators (Poll battle over, cops come to blows in public, May 17). It is shameful that cops and clerks at the police headquarters fell out with each other in public to gain the upper hand at the Lalbazar union.

I was unaware about the union culture in Lalbazar. Politics and unionism are ingrained so deeply in our social system that even the administration, which needs to be free and impartial, is not an exception to this practice. This incident sends the wrong signal to the masses.

Atif Ayaz,

Serampore, Hooghly

Brain drain

Responding to the question “What can Mamata Banerjee’s government do to convince GenX to stay back or return?” May 14, I would expect the chief minister to put in her best effort to plug the loopholes in our higher education policies. Mamata Banerjee should focus on improving the opportunities of higher education to retain budding talents to build a Sonar Bangla.

P.B. Saha,

Salt Lake

Higher education

There was a time when getting a place at Calcutta University meant a dream come true (CU issues merit order, June 9). Only students fulfiling strict criteria could get admitted. Seats were left vacant as the administrators conformed to the rules.

Today, the university is in a pathetic state; in fact, the less said the better.

Education should be kept out of the sphere of politics because a child, just after leaving school, cannot nurture any political philosophy — whether Marx or Mamata. He or she is usually naive, susceptible to being brainwashed. So, politics should be banned at the graduation level if Bengal aspires to live up to the old saying “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”.

Sarmistha Dutta

Image conscious

Unlike other winning candidates of the Trinamul Congress, actor Chiranjeet Chakraborty, who has won from the Barasat constituency, has refused to disclose his address, phone number and age (Dial M for MLA, May 16).

Chakraborty’s unwillingness and refusal reflects that he is afraid of being disturbed by the common man. He still wants to keep his image only as an actor, even to those who have voted in his favour and made him their representative.

In this regard, I would like to remind the MLA of his accountability to the people. Direct communication with the people and addressing their grievances are more important than his professional image.

Uday Bhattacharjee,


Mobile menace

Despite repeated accidents, lessons have not been learnt, and people continue to cross roads and rail tracks while talking over the phone (Schoolgirls run over by train, May 25). The death of two girls at Liluah station is a case in point.

The awareness level is quite low among cellphone users. A joint campaign and stringent provisions for offenders are the need of the hour.

Subhayu Saha,


Congratulations Didi!

Congratulations to Mamata Banerjee for being the first woman chief minister of the state. She should try to ensure speedy implementation of Metro Railway projects. The focus should be on ongoing jobs and completing them on time.

Our work culture has to change drastically to fulfil the promises of the Trinamul Congress. We are all looking for a fresh and practical approach to put Bengal back on track.

We are certain that Mamata will not accept the cholchhe cholbe attitude. We wish her all the best in her endeavours.

Sunita Wadhwani

CM’s security

Hats off to Didi, who has given us freedom from the communists.

I have just one request. I respect her gesture and down-to-earth behaviour but now that she is our chief minister, she should understand that security is important. She should not come out of her car every now and then.

R.M. Kapoor,


Irresponsible teachers

The report “Girls ill after drill on the field”, June 8, was shocking. How could the teachers and the school administration be so irresponsible as to make the students rehearse under the hot summer sun?

Such acts of extreme callousness should be condemned and the minister in charge of school education should take action against the irresponsible school administration.

Soumi Gupta,


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