Monthly Archives: January 2016

Glorious night for Bengal biz biggies


The state government is planning to join hands with chambers of commerce and industry bodies to create a structure for corporate social responsibility of the Bengal Inc, disclosed state finance and industries minister Amit Mitra at the fourth edition of the ET Bengal Corporate Awards held last week.

According to Mitra, one of the guests of honour, the award holds up the transforming image of the Bengal industry. Besides Mitra, Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya was the other guest of honour.

This time, 263 organisations participated in categories that included best financial performance, fastest-growing company, highest job creator and innovation in business. The first category received maximum nominations, followed by the second and the third category. There were two special award categories: lifetime achievement and Indian visionary business leader.

The Oberoi Group executive chairman Prithviraj Singh Oberoi received the Visionary Business Leader award. EIH Ltd executive vice-chairman SS Mukherjee received the award on his behalf from Panagariya. The Lifetime achievement award went to Emami founders R S Agarwal and R S Goenka. “The secret of success for industry is to create leaders who can execute,” Agarwal said while receiving the award. Panagaria, who was on his maiden trip to Bengal, added that the Bengal success story needed to be told to people.

As many as 13 companies got recognition in various categories. In best financial performance, four companies – Koppern Maco Corporation, La Opala RG, R S Software and Emami Ltd – bagged awards in different sub-categories.

Mega Moda, Indian Cable Net Company, Vikram Solar and Star Ferro and Cement became the fastest growing companies. AKA Logistics, 2 COM Solutions, Vedant Fashions and Magma Corp were the winners in the highest job creator category. The award for innovation in business model went to Senrysa Technologies (P) Ltd.

The award ceremony was sponsored by Anmol, Bengal Energy, Himadri Chemicals, Manyavar, Orbit, PS Group, Rashmi Group, Ultra Force, SKM GRoup, AMPL, Senrysa and was managed by Cherry Tree. The progrramme will be telecast later in ET Now.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Kolkata / TNN / January 25th, 2016

Mamata Renames Bengal’s Raj Bhavan Suites to Shed British Legacy

Kolkata :

West Bengal on Wednesday renamed all the suites at the Raj Bhavan, official residence of the Governor, to shed its British legacy. The palatial house, built in 1803 by the British when Calcutta was India’s capital till 1911, and known as Government House had suites named after the British.

Now, the Prince of Wales Suite has been renamed Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore Kakhsha and Anderson Suite Swami Vivekananda Kakhsha (Kakhsha means rooms). A State government official said, “All new names were personally selected by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She felt that when foreign dignitaries visit the state and stay in the Raj Bhavan and find suites with British names even after independence, it sends a wrong signal.”

The former Prince of Wales Suite on the first floor in the northeastern wing is reserved for the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and visiting heads of states.

The Dufferin Suite, named after Lady Dufferin, was renamed Kanchenjungha Kaksha, after the Himalayan peak, while Wellesley Suite, named after the former British Governor General in India, was renamed Sagar Kaksha, after the holy Gangasagar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

Government House was designed by Brit architect Captain Charles Wyatt as a copy of the British manor house of Lord Curzon’s family at Keddleston Hall, Derbyshire, UK.

Mamata also plans to rename Dhakuria Bridge in the city after Hindu preacher Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as Chaitanya Setu, and the Jerut Bridge after the wife of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, as Ma Saradamoni Setu.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Nation / by Arup Chanda / January 28th, 2016

40 Buddhist relics unearthed at Moghalmari in a single day

Kolkata / Midnapur:

The ancient site at Moghalmari witnessed much excitement on Sunday morning when around 40 bronze artifacts, dating back to fifth and sixth centuries, tumbled out of the earth, as the state archaeology department re-launched excavation of the Buddhist vihara after a gap of two years. The digging work coincided with a two-day Moghalmari Festival inaugurated on Sunday.


About two kilometres away from Dantan in West Midnapur as bronze artefacts dating back to fifth and sixth centuries started tumbling out of the ground, one after the other. The state archaeology department has re-started the excavations at the site after a gap of two years.

Around 11am, a bronze Buddha statuette, measuring 7cmX6cm, first surfaced in the middle trench of the site, which is about 2km from Dantan in West Midnapur. After this, several more statues of varying sizes started showing up to loud cheers from archaeologists as well as residents of the area. Monks from across the country, who have converged on Moghalmari for special prayers and seminars at the festival being organized by Kolkata-based Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha, were equally enthralled by the discoveries at the vihara, believed to be one of the oldest Buddhist sites in the country.

Of the area who gathered to watch the digging. A two-day Moghalmari Festival also started there on Sunday organised by the city based Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha. Invited by the Sabha, monks from across the country are camping at the site for special prayers and seminars. Naturally, the discovery of the bronze statuettes generated all around veneration for the site has already been established as one of the oldest Buddhist viharas of the country and definitely of Bengal.

While the smallest statuettes were around 7cm high, the biggest ones stood tall at 20-25cm, with widths varying from six to 12cm. While most were bronze Buddhas, statuettes of Saraswati and Avalokiteshwaras were also found. “We are going very slow with the digging work as relics are strwen across the entire zone. Finding over 40 antique figurines in a single day is definitely rare and prized. We are thrilled beyond explanation,” said Prakash Maity, who is in charge of the Moghalmari excavation. “Earlier, we found stucco figurines, gold, silver and mixed metal coins, pendants, votifs and seals.” The site dates back to the post-Gupta period when the dynasty’s influence waned and local satraps-here, Raja Samachar Dev, gained control. The pre-Pala phase of Bengal history was shrouded in mystery, experts said.

In fact, the state archaeology directorate halted the digging work as experts needed to analyse the coins and seals to verify the site’s dates. After research, historians were confirmed that they had found the key seal that revealed the vihara’s name as ‘Sribandaka Vihara Aryabhikkhu Sangha’ and the inscriptions on it established that the institute was founded and functioned in the 5th-6th centuries, if not earlier. The state government has decided to release funds for the new phase of excavation. Already, more than Rs 3 crore has been spent.


Atanu Pradhan, a local enthusiast and secretary of Tarun Seva Sangha, who was instrumental in drawing the Calcutta University’s attention to the mound under which the vihara lay buried for centuries is elated. “I am sure that with time, archaeologists will stumble upon artifacts of greater value and the site will be officially announced a fifth-century vihara,” Pradhan said.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Kolkata / by Sujay Khanra & Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey, TNN / January 24th, 2016

Pandit Shankar Ghosh passes away at 80

Kolkata :

Pt Shankar Ghosh left for his eternal concert on Friday, aged 80. Born in Kolkata on October 10, 1935, the legendary tabla player was comatose for 40 days after an angioplasty. He is survived by his wife Sanjukta Ghosh and son Pt Bickram Ghosh.

Bickram Ghosh said, “Baba was the one man from Bengal who single-handedly took tabla to the heights that it has reached today. Tabla in Bengal was defined by him.” Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia said, “I heard about Mrinalini Sarabhai’s death today morning. And now, it is this news. I have played at so many concerts with him. It is a big loss.”

Last month, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan had visited him in hospital and wished him speedy recovery. Ustad Zakir Hussain had played his composition when he had come down to perform in the city this month. The iconic table player has been a guru to not just his son but also Pt Tanmoy Bose and Pt Arup Chatterjee. Nephew Pt Swapan Chaudhuri is devastated. “I lost my mother long back. When my father died last year, I felt reassured since my uncle was still alive. Jantam je boromama toh ache. He was always jovial and it pained me to see him in such a state in hospital,” he said.

Childhood memories with his uncle flooded his mind as Chaudhuri recalled his days with ‘boromama’. “He was my uncle, my friend and my mentor too,” he said. Memories of his uncle’s landmark concerts in Kolkata continue to inspire the table player who is based in California. Those days, Ghosh would accompany all the legendary musicians like Pt Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. “In the early ’60s, I had the good fortune of listening to his concerts in Kolkata, Allahabad, Maihar and Delhi. He was a regular at the Tansen Festival, the Sadarang Festival and the All India Music Conference. I still recall his recitals with Ustad Vilayat Khan and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan at two separate concerts at Mahajati Sadan. What concerts they were!”

His stint at the Ali Akbar College of Music in California was equally memorable. “At first, he had gone there in the early 60s. Then he came back to Kolkata. Later, between 1968 and 1972, he went back to California. When I started teaching in California, he had already returned to India. But there are such great stories of his contribution to music during his stay there,” said Chaudhuri, who described his uncle an ‘all-rounder with great skills of an excellent singer, talented composer and an author of short stories and novels”. “Not too many know that in sarod, he was a ‘ganda bandh shagird’ of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. I have heard him play the sarod and he was excellent,” Chaudhuri recalled.

Tabla player Pt Anindya Chatterjee’s uncle was Ghosh’s disciple. That’s how Chatterjee had got introduced to the icon. “Every year, he used to come to our village in Dutta Pukur for a picnic. I would to sit on his lap and listen to him discuss music. Though I wasn’t his direct disciple, I have learnt so much from him,” Chatterjee said. Learning from Ghosh became a regular exercise when Chatterjee would go to listen to his concerts. “I would hear him accompany Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Ustad Vilayat Khan. When it would get late at night, he would ask me to stay over at his Kabir Road residence. In the morning, he would go to the market and buy fish for us. So my lessons from him were accompanied with good food too!” he fondly recalled.

Most musicians agree that it is extremely rare to simultaneously become a great performer and a teacher. “Boromama excelled in both fields. That’s a rarity. His stage presence has always been an inspiration. While on stage, he didn’t fear anyone. That was so inspiring. I remember the first orchestra that he had formed. It was called Music of the Drums. That too was held at Mahajati Sadan. My mother was then alive. Bickram was still a kid then. Amar kaaj chhilo green room-e tabla miliye dewa,” said an emotional Chaudhuri.

Performance-wise, Chatterjee had noticed how Ghosh’s style of playing changed over the decades. “In the 70s, I was awestruck by his clarity and speed. I liked the way he introduced new techniques during accompaniment. Later on, I liked the richness of bol-bani and compositions. Even today, I often play some of his compositions on stage. Four months back when he came for my house-warming party, he told me that he feels happy when I say that I am playing his composition on stage!” Chatterjee said.

But what amazes both Chatterjee and Chaudhuri was Ghosh’s success as a guru. “He was the best guru I have seen in the music world after Pt Gyan Prakash Ghosh. From Bickram to Arup Chatterjee, from Parimal Chakraborty to Tanmoy Bose – all were his disciples. India, sadly, never recognised his true worth,” Chatterjee said. Chaudhuri added, “All these years, he never got his due. I am happy that Mamata Banerjee’s government had bestowed the Banga Bibhushan on him. But I believe, he deserved a Padhma Bibhushan.”

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Kolkata / TNN / Priyanka Dasgupta / January 23rd, 2016