What is the currency of the capitalist, a free market or political favour? The jury is out but not for long.
On Saturday, a Kolkata audience will decide if unfair political patronage to a select few is damaging the business environment in the country.
The Subhas Bose Institute of Hotel Management presents Calcutta Club The Telegraph National Debate 2023 powered by Peerless Hospital and BK Roy Research Centre will be held on the club lawns from 7pm.
The motion for the city’s favourite war of words — This house believes that cronies are breaking capitalism.
A fiery exchange of words between some of the sharpest minds in the country has been the hallmark of the debate. People with diametrically opposite political ideologies and diverse professional spaces have been part of the speakers’ panels over the years.
Speaking for the motion will be Prabhat Patnaik, professor emeritus, Centre for Economic Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Abhirup Sarkar, economist; and Jawhar Sircar, former Prasar Bharti chief who is now a Rajya Sabha MP on a Trinamul Congress ticket.
The opposition will be made up of Sanjaya Baru, columnist, author and media adviser to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and who wrote The Accidental Prime Minister; Koushik Chatterjee, executive director and chief financial officer, Tata Steel, and Rudra Chatterjee, managing director, Luxmi Group.
Sandip Chatterjee, neurosurgeon and one of the founders of the Calcutta Debating Circle, will be the moderator.
They will be part of a programme that has seen some of India’s biggest names take on each other with the spoken word. From Baba Ramdev to Rahul Dravid, Amitabh Bachchan to Mamata Banerjee, Swara Bhasker to Shashi Tharoor, the list of speakers over the years is long and illustrious.