PERSPECTIVE: NAME GAME

PERSPECTIVE: NAME GAME – right, like changing Kanchanjunga to KanchanjungHa, just irritating and disgusting, culturally arrogant hegemony ?!!

Mt Kanchanjunga bleeds for cultural humility - from Calcutta to Kolkata, acceptable; but from Kanchanjunga to KanchanjunGHA, PREPOSTEROUS !!! (Gorkhs Daju)

EDITORIAL FROM THE TELEGRAPH

There may be nothing or a lot in a name, depending on what one wants to make of it. It cannot be a matter of great importance to the residents of New Town on the eastern fringe of Calcutta if it is renamed after Jyoti Basu.

After all, streets, neighbourhoods and even towns are routinely named and renamed everywhere after public figures. But overzealous followers can sometimes end up looking silly in trying to play the naming game.

This seems to be the case with West Bengal’s housing minister, Gautam Deb, who has come up with the idea of renaming New Town after Basu. The way he has gone about the plan makes it look like a covert operation and does no good to Basu’s memory, even for the faithful.

Jyoti Basu portrait unveiled by Somnath Chatterjee - Eulogizing the butcher of "1200 plus Gorkha martyrs" in Darjeeling ?!! (Amit Datta)

Mr Deb’s peremptory manner suggests that he treats New Town as his personal fiefdom. He is the local boss of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and obviously thinks that his word is law there.

Decency and democratic norms demand that such issues be debated openly and the views of the local residents heard and respected. Obviously, Mr Deb does not believe in such niceties in public affairs.

Nobody can deny the CPI(M)’s right to try and preserve Basu’s memory, despite the debate on his actual legacy. But Mr Deb’s move raises avoidable suspicions about why he and his party are in such haste to use Basu’s name.

A few months earlier, the Calcutta municipal corporation floated a proposal to name part of the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass after him. That was in blatant violation of the convention that such moves may be made at least two years after a leader’s death.

The fact that the convention is not always followed does not make the violations right. With the Left out of power in the corporation, the move died a political death. Mr Deb’s haste may have been prompted by a fear that the Left could lose power in Bengal in next year’s assembly elections. He will end up initiating an unnecessary controversy if a new regime in Writers’ Buildings were to change New Town’s name again.

The bitter political rivalry between Left and non-Left camps in West Bengal makes such a fallout distinctly possible. It is also possible that the CPI(M) hopes to exploit that controversy in order to win back some public sympathy. All this makes the renaming plan rather spurious. The CPI(M) must be in a really desperate state to hope to make some dubious political gains by using Basu’s name.

Security scan for all for safer city – Celebrities and students wonder why the VIP fuss about being frisked – Bengal’s cultural or political arrogance perturbed ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH

Bengal Health Minister Surya Kanta Mishra - needs a lesson in arrogant humility ?!! (TT)

Health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra was at Hyatt Regency for a meeting on Saturday when he threw a fit on being stopped for frisking. The government has taken it upon itself to punish those responsible for what it terms “a deplorable incident”. Home secretary Samar Ghosh reiterated on Wednesday that an explanation was being sought from the hotel management about the “harassment” of minister Mishra.

The Telegraph, which believes that uniform security-scan rules should apply to everyone to make the city safer, asked some celebrities and students what the fuss was about

SOURAV GANGULY

Cricketer

We go through the security scan all the time. At airports, hotels and at all other important places. I don’t have a problem with that at all.

SAHITA GHOSH

Class XII student of Our Lady Queen of The Missions School

I don’t see why a minister or a celebrity can’t be put through the same drill, given the security threat everyone is under. I think everyone should be checked and no one should be given preferential treatment.

RITUPARNA SENGUPTA

Actress

Security checks should be made mandatory irrespective of who you are or what your social status is. After all, a rule is a rule and it should be applicable to everyone. And why make a hue and cry about it? Don’t we all have to go through security checks at airports? Then why object to it at other places?

INDRANI BANERJEE

Third year student of comparative literature, Jadavpur University

The security check is necessary and I hate it when some people don’t have to go through it. If I’m being subjected to security checks then everyone should be made to go through them.

ANAMIKA KHANNA

fashion designer

Security check is absolutely essential for everyone. How does anyone decide who is a celebrity or VIP and who is not? Tomorrow if anything happens, then what?

EARLIER

Minister frisked by security guards – political arrogance personified OR yoo hoo, that tickles ?!!

From The Times of India

KOLKATA, Aug 22, 2010, 03.39am IST (TNN): It was a bad start for state health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra. On Saturday morning, the minister was barracked by private security guards at the gate of a star hotel close to Salt Lake Stadium. The hotel guards wouldn’t let him in without a body search despite Mishra having disclosing his identity.

No one from the health minister’s own security was there to desist the guards, who had stuck to their brief as Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, a Z+ category VIP, was then at the hotel. The private guards wouldn’t have allowed the minister without a security check, had Union minister of state for health Dinesh Trivedi not stepped in to rescue the minister from further embarrassment.

The occasion was a general body meeting of the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, which had invited the Union ministers. Mishra is an ex-officio member of the governing body, and was also an invitee.

At around 10.30am, the minister came to the star hotel for the meeting. While he was crossing the glass door at the entrance, hotel security guards barracked him. Initially, the introvert Mishra did not disclose his identity. It was only when the guards started searching his body that the health minister opened up and told them that he was the health minister. But that was not enough to dissuade the security guards. They would not relax the instructions they got from their bosses.

An irritated minister rang up state home secretary Samar Ghosh and was about to leave the hotel for his office at Swastha Bhavan. It was sheer coincidence that the Union minister of state for health reached the hotel while the argument with his state counterpart was going on. Seeing Mishra caught up at the gate, Trivedi immediately informed Azad’s security. Sensing trouble downstairs, the Union minister sent his security and also came out of the meeting place to see what had gone wrong. Between them, they managed the situation and saved the health minister from his predicament.

State officials, however, did not take it lightly. “This is unfair. Private security can’t prevent a minister. I have asked the North 24-Parganas superintendent of police to inquire into the matter,” said state home secretary Samar Ghosh. Police have already identified the two security guards on duty. “We will call them for interrogation,” a North 24-Parganas police officer said.

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