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Old November 11th, 2010, 08:58 AM   #661
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Its nice and gives me pleasure to note that Bengali film industry is Scintillating again
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Old November 11th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #662
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Its nice and gives me pleasure to note that Bengali film industry is Scintillating again
@samrat -- yes. but let's not declare victory too soon!

i am happy to note that the article doesn't talk about getting "awards", which is alright but a wrong indicator as far as the film industry growth is concerned. from 1950 till 2000, just see how many bengali films got the national awards, and what is the market share? and then see how many tamil films got national awards in this period, and what is their market share.

we need a lot of improvement to reach the level of tamil and telugu films. by "level" i mean the sheer size of their market share. this needs rural electrification (rural tamil nadu had 100% electrification in the 70s!) and more screens per capita. and the movies should not be too "kolkata-centered." time to make movies whose stories are centered in mofussil towns, or siliguri or durgapur. [i guess both of us would agree to less kolkata-centeredness -- given our shared taste in music]
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Old November 13th, 2010, 06:31 AM   #663
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The setting sun on the evening of Chatt Puja in Kolkata
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Old November 13th, 2010, 06:34 AM   #664
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The rising sun on the next morning of Chatt (Arghya)
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Old November 13th, 2010, 06:44 AM   #665
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people busy in performing Chatt Puja in a Ghat in Kolkata
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Old November 13th, 2010, 06:48 AM   #666
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Old November 16th, 2010, 06:29 AM   #667
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The Telegraph

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Old November 17th, 2010, 03:07 AM   #668
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29 of the 66 migrants crushed to death in Delhi were from Bengal

http://www.telegraphindia.com/110111...y_13187352.jsp

(The Telegraph report has pictures)

Bengal’s migrant underbelly
Delhi tragedy rips a veil

DEVADEEP PUROHIT, IMRAN AHMED SIDDIQUI AND RITH BASU
The 6324 Trivandrum Express, full from floor to luggage rack, awaits departure on a night in August at Shalimar, off Vidyasagar Setu. Picture by Ananda Shankar Ray

Nov. 16: At least 29 of the 66 migrants crushed to death in east Delhi when a building collapsed on Monday night hailed from Bengal. The figure signposts the exodus of an abandoned generation and the inability of a state to retain its young or equip them for a better life elsewhere.

The death of so many Bengalis has brought out in the open troubling issues that policymakers — both in the state and at the Centre —politicians and civil society choose to sweep under the carpet but are certain to become talking points in the Assembly elections round the corner.

It also brings into sharp focus the wrenching, weekly sight of wagons chugging out of a ghostly station — not in some remote village but on the doorstep of Calcutta — carrying men and women to labour camps in Kerala, many of whose people are, ironically, sweating it out in the Gulf.

Many of those who died near the banks of the Yamuna on Monday chose to live in that hellhole because life was still better than what their home —Bengal — had to offer.

Bhim Halder, employed as a driver in Delhi, lost his cousin Swapan, 15, who used to live in a pigeonhole along with his five siblings and parents Jiten Halder and Deepali.

The family left their Murshidabad village as the income from farming was not enough to sustain his family.

“Most of us live in such inhuman conditions, but we cannot go back to our villages as we will starve to death,” said Bhim, who earns around Rs 10,000 a month in Delhi.

His earnings from cultivating the three-cottah plot in Nimtita in Murshidabad was never more than Rs 2,000 a month. “I came to Delhi because of the difference in income,” said the school dropout, confirming what textbooks on economic development have to say on rural-urban migration.

Among the several factors that determine migration in an economy, wage differential is one of the main reasons why people leave their roots in villages and land up in urban slums across the country, from Delhi to Kerala.

According to economist Abhirup Sarkar, Bengal has had a long history of “in-migration” and “out-migration”, but there used to be a difference between the quality of people coming to the state and those leaving Bengal.

“The in-migrants were primarily semi-skilled or low-skilled people from neighbouring states while bright people from Bengal used to go to other places in search of better academic and professional opportunities…. Now, it seems, people are leaving Bengal even in search of blue-collar jobs,” said Sarkar, ruing the inability of the state’s informal sector in employing these people.

The state government does not maintain any migration data but a National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report — published in June 2010 — on the basis of a study done between July 2007 and June 2008 puts the number of out-migrants from Bengal at 13,12,300.

Although the number does not reflect the nature of work the migrant workforce is engaged in, the average remittance figure in rural areas suggests the majority of migrants is engaged in low-skill jobs.

But even low-skill jobs outside the state generate higher earnings for the migrants in comparison to what they earn in their villages or urban areas in Bengal.

“A semi-skilled worker can earn around Rs 300 a day in Kerala and a large number of migrant workers from Bengal come here. Earlier, a majority of the migrant workforce was from Tamil Nadu, but the trend is changing,” said Irudaya Rajan S., an expert on migration and a professor of economics at the Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram.

From Calcutta, you just need to look at Shalimar station, off Vidyasagar Setu, where trains to Kerala chug out thrice a week to see for yourself the enormity of the outflow. Thousands from rural Bengal board the unreserved compartments of these trains to travel cheap to Kerala and in a crude reminder of Stephen Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, RPF constables shove — and sometimes cane-herd — people into the packed compartments.

“Even if they get 20 days’ work, they can earn up to Rs 6,000 and send money back home. They save on expenses as they pool in and live under one roof,” said Rajan, adding that migrant workers from Bengal were working in jewellery, plywood and construction industries.

“I go to Kerala because I can’t make ends meet here,” said Khokon Halder, 38, a Diamond Harbour resident who binds broomsticks in Kerala’s Kollam and saves at least Rs 3,000 to send back home.

According to him, he would not have thought about migrating to Kerala had the promise of “eksho diner kaaj (100 days’ work)” been fulfilled.

Not even 1 per cent households in Bengal got the promised 100 days’ work under the rural job guarantee scheme in 2009.

Poor returns in farming in Bengal — characterised by small land holdings — is another reason behind the large-scale out-migration from the state, said economist S. Mahendra Dev of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research in Mumbai.

“Rice is the main cultivable crop in Bengal but cost of production of rice for farmers in Bengal has increased sharply while realisations have lagged behind in comparison to other states as farmers in Bengal do not get the benefits of support price,” said Dev, whose research shows the disadvantage.

For long, the ruling CPM has raised this issue of how Bengal’s poor farmers lose out to the rich landed gentry in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh as they benefit from the Centre’s rice procurement programme.

The Centre offers a minimum support price to protect the farmers’ interests but most of the procurement is confined to these states, leaving farmers in Bengal at the mercy of the market controlled by moneylenders.

“The Centre’s discriminatory approach to farmers in Bengal is a valid criticism…. But the state government should also have made efforts to improve the condition of farmers by giving them the benefit of better technology and better irrigation facilities,” said a city-based economist.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 05:56 AM   #669
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Video source

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Tagore's work is interpreted here by Zoe Rahman (piano) and her brother Idris (clarinet), UK musicians of Bengali descent who are both veterans of the world fusion outfit, Soothsayers. LK Gourob of the Bangladeshi band AJOB is the vocalist. From the album 'Where Rivers Meet'.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 06:01 AM   #670
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Old November 17th, 2010, 06:14 AM   #671
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaincloud View Post
http://www.telegraphindia.com/110111...y_13187352.jsp

The state government does not maintain any migration data but a National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report — published in June 2010 — on the basis of a study done between July 2007 and June 2008 puts the number of out-migrants from Bengal at 13,12,300.
Here's the table from the NSSO report (source NSSO 2010 report based on survey carried out Jul 2007-Jun 2008).

You can get West Bengal's number by adding the migrant to other states and the migrant abroad and it comes to 1.3 million as stated in the news article.

Points to note:

1) states which have a positive number in the last column are net gainers in migrant population (Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat... West Bengal, Karnataka). States which ended up in the negative are Tamil Nadu (a bit surprising), Kerala (foreign migration), Andhra Pradesh etc.


2) Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu had more people leaving their state for another state than West Bengal.

3) Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh attracted the most migrants followed by West Bengal, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka.

4) Migration to foreign country from West Bengal is low compared to many other states.

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Old November 17th, 2010, 07:01 AM   #672
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STRAIGHT TALK
Brakes on development


Quote:
Abhirup Sarkar TOI
Accumulated debt of the government of West Bengal,which,at the time of the last state budget was perceived to go up to 1.69 lakh crore in the course of the current fiscal,is now expected to mount up to almost two lakh crore.The compulsion of implementing the Sixth Pay Commissions recommendations,the announcement of an additional 8% dearness allowance with an eye to the coming elections,a desperate attempt to woo a part of the electorate by indiscriminately giving employment in educational institutions and other places have all added up to bring about the current mess.The gravity of the situation seems to be apparent from a number of emergency steps taken by the finance minister to get a grip on the crisis.To generate more revenue,value added tax has been raised from 12.5% to 13.5% and excise duty on cheaper quality liquor from 40% to 45%.On the expenditure side,several austerity measures have been imposed on disbursements from the state exchequer.
The finance minister Dr Asim Dasgupta,through a number of recent press releases,would,however,like to have us believe that the crisis is neither deep nor unique to West Bengal.He would argue that if one goes by total indebtedness,West Bengal is in a club consisting of at least
four other states,with Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra ahead of us in terms of total outstanding debts and Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat slightly lagging behind.On the other hand,if debts are normalized by state domestic products (SDP),as,according to many,they ought to be,the consequent debt-SDP ratios would place us in the fourth position among the seventeen non-special category Indian states who receive no special assistance from the Centre.It is not a happy situation,but not a hopeless one either.The finance minister expects to get 7,000 crore of additional funds from the Centre as calamity relief,CST,and cess on coal.He believes that this amount,along with the additional revenue generated through increased VAT and excise,would help him tide over the present crisis.
The finance ministers expectations beat the common sense though.One wonders how an inflow of seven thousand crore or for that matter even ten thousand crore,if one includes the flow from increased VAT and excise,can solve the problem of indebtedness of two lakh crore.But quite apart from incredible expectations,there is a deeper problem.To understand the problem let us start with the debt-SDP ratio.We look at the ratio because presumably the denominator,namely SDP,gives an idea of the repayment capacity of the debtor state.Therefore,according to this measure,a state with a higher SDP may take more loans without being labelled more indebted than another state with lower debts but also lower SDP.But does higher SDP necessarily imply higher repayment capacity The answer,especially in the context of Indian states,is a big no.
Data,made available by the Reserve Bank of India,reveal that Indian states vary widely with respect to their tax-SDP ratios.And unfortunately,as far as own tax collection goes,the position of West Bengal is at the very bottom.For example,Andhra Pradesh is a state with indebtedness and SDP close to those of West Bengal,but with a much higher tax-SDP ratio.On an average,the Andhra Pradesh Government has a tax-SDP ratio of more than 10% while that of West Bengal is only 5%.As a result,Andhra collects twice as much tax as Bengal and therefore has a much higher repayment capacity,though the SDPs are not very different.This,in turn,entitles Andhra to take more loans.
We,therefore,suggest that instead of looking at the debt-SDP ratio,one should look at the debt-own tax collection ratio.Once this is done,the financial crisis of West Bengal appears to be both deep and unique.As a consequence of this crisis,the finance minister is compelled to cut down expenditure.But revenue expenditure,consisting of salaries,pensions and interest payments,can hardly be curtailed.The axe is on capital expenditure.This,in turn,reduces capital formation and stalls economic development.


The author is a professor of
economics,Indian Statistical
Institute,Kolkata
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Old November 17th, 2010, 07:51 AM   #673
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suncity View Post
Here's the table from the NSSO report (source NSSO 2010 report based on survey carried out Jul 2007-Jun 2008).

You can get West Bengal's number by adding the migrant to other states and the migrant abroad and it comes to 1.3 million as stated in the news article.

Points to note:

1) states which have a positive number in the last column are net gainers in migrant population (Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat... West Bengal, Karnataka). States which ended up in the negative are Tamil Nadu (a bit surprising), Kerala (foreign migration), Andhra Pradesh etc.


2) Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu had more people leaving their state for another state than West Bengal.

3) Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh attracted the most migrants followed by West Bengal, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka.

4) Migration to foreign country from West Bengal is low compared to many other states.
thanks, suncity! the reporters did say the correct thing -- number of out-migrants is 13 lakhs -- but they did not say that the number of in-migrants is 23 lakhs!

the net migration rate is (column 5 / column 6)*1000

basically west bengal needs a place like singapore or dubai or australia to benefit from remittances. and high quality talent from elsewhere as well. i guess that's the story of kerala and tamil nadu and some other states.

"moving jobs to people" (or setting up industry) is a time-consuming affair. "moving people to jobs" (training for employability) is faster and the more immediate way to deal with a situation where the state is bursting with people. educational institutes/vocational trainig/ english speaking institutes need to take care of that.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #674
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thanks, suncity! the reporters did say the correct thing -- number of out-migrants is 13 lakhs -- but they did not say that the number of in-migrants is 23 lakhs!
That's because it wouldn't go with the main story line.

The latest in selective statistical news reports is that of Abhirup Sarkar and Asim Dasgupta. Do I trust either one about giving us the full picture of WB's financial mess? Nope.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 01:48 AM   #675
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A few important aspect of NSSO survey :
1) Bengal exports 820,000 souls abroad. Any information on how many to USA,UK, Canada, Middle East?
2) Punjab, Kerala, Tamilnadu exports large number of people abroad ?
3) In spite of all the economic woos Bengal is still attracting in migration from rest of India and gaining population.
4) Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala are net population looser.
5) Maharastra, Delhi are major destination of population in flow.
6) Andhra Pradesh have very little in or out migration only exports abroad. Smart people!
7) Trend indicates NRI Bongs will increase in number in course of time.
8) Even UP exports more souls abroad than Maharastra and UP is a net population looser.
Sun thanks for this timely and valuable statistics.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 05:44 AM   #676
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Old November 21st, 2010, 07:49 PM   #677
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Trailer of Laboratory.

Award winning director Raja Sen's Laboratory is based on a short story of same name by Rabindranath Tagore. The story is about a scientist, a sikh woman and her daughter and explores feminism amidst a changing society of Bengal which saw its peak in scientific glory during 1930s. This is Raveena Tandon's first Bengali film.



A Rabindra Sangeet from Thana Theke Aschi ( a remake of an older classic). The new film stars Paoli Dam.



And two trailers (the movie was released early 2010)



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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:27 PM   #678
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Mahanagar@Kolkata by Rupam that won the national award. Unplugged Live Performance at Sangeetbangla

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Old November 22nd, 2010, 10:28 PM   #679
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A gem from yesteryears

Choti Si Panchi from the Tapan Sinha movie Sagina Mahato starring Dilip Kumar and Saira Bano. The film was later remade in Hindi. Song is sung by Anup Ghoshal and Arati Mukherjee

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Old November 23rd, 2010, 02:17 AM   #680
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A gem from yesteryears

Choti Si Panchi from the Tapan Sinha movie Sagina Mahato starring Dilip Kumar and Saira Bano. The film was later remade in Hindi. Song is sung by Anup Ghoshal and Arati Mukherjee

A memorable song. I drive Garden State parkway with this song in my car sterio.Thanks for posting.
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