Tuesday, December 20, 2011

West Bengal needs 51% FDI in retail

51% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail is the need of the hour in India and particularly in West Bengal. Presently FDI is not allowed in Multi-Brand Retailing in India. Whereas it should not only be permitted but also highly encouraged because it will surely benefit the producers (farmers) and the consumers. I’ll discuss it further in this article.

Another Historical Blunder in the making!
Mamata Bannerjee’s strong opposition to 51% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail is like the opposition to computerization by the Communists in the 1960’s- 1970’s and that’s why this opposition is really hard to digest. Opposing the central government just for the sake of opposing is not-at-all a constructive movement for the future of West Bengal. West Bengal is lagging decades behind the progressive states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka in almost every aspect – Apart from Kolkata there’s no other city which was developed in the past 60 years. We the people of West Bengal have unanimously voted Mamata didi into Power to get rid of the tyrannical communists and their ideologies thus, it’s high time that the state “Opens up” for new ideas and new investments wiping out words like “Cholche na- Cholbe na!” out of our dictionary!

Quick-look at the Present Retail scenario:
  • Crumbling Infrastructure: The logistics of the retail chain is still lying in the medieval age leading to inefficient supply of goods. The lack of cold storages in the country and the pathetic Public Distribution system leads to an annual wastage of about 30% fruitsand vegetables produced in India.
    Food Supply Chain Chart
  • Middlemen’s Domination: The middlemen buy produce from the farmers mostly on credit at slashed down prices. Then the produce passes through a series of an average five to six middlemen until it reaches the retailer. In this whole process profit margins of these middlemen plus the profit margin of the retailer hikes the price of the product up to three to four times the actual price. Ultimately the Farmers and the Consumers are the ones who are losing out the bargain. Many a times the middlemen and intermediary traders create false shortage of goods to shoot-up prices.

51% FDI in Multi-Brand retail is for the betterment of “Ma-Mati-Manush”:

  • FDI in retail sector will be very beneficial to the farmers. The farmers will earn profits directly and will get rid of the middlemen and thus they can modernize their farming techniques for better production. Thus, if the farmers benefit, they will sell the product at lower prices in the market this will further create a win-win situation for the farmers and the consumers by wiping out middlemen menace.
  • Organized retailing is at a nascent stage in India whereas 97% of retailing business is run by the unorganized retailers. The entry of retail giants like Wal-Mart, Tesco etc  in Indian retail market would create lakhs of jobs within five to six years. 
  • Another effect of allowing FDI in retail trade would be improvement in quality standards and consumer expectations as inflow of FDI will surely emphasize quality control and bring about competitive pricing. 
    Global Retail Giants
  • Opening up the doors for global retail giants will not only pump in the competition in the retail sector but will also help to establish a direct link between the farmers and the consumers thus, benefitting both. They would surely be interested to develop their own logistics which will be far better than the existing system thus reducing the amount of wastage. Thus, the end consumers will no longer have shell-out extra money for wastage and shortage of products.
  • Development of organized retail chain will boost the economy, greater GDP, greater tax collection and more employment and that too better paying employment. It will bring about advancement in agricultural techniques, supply chain improvement, tourism, greater sourcing from India. Thus, FDI should not be just allowed but encouraged.
Undoubtedly West Bengal is in a mess. We need better infrastructure which can be achieved by opening up routes for Foreign Direct Investment. FDI in retail is must for the benefit of the Farmers , the consumers and the Government. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Victory Day | The 16th of December

Victory Day Celebrations at Dhaka University. Picture By: Atiqur Rahman
The nine month long Bangladesh's Liberation War (মুক্তিযুদ্ধ) was won on the eve of the 16th of December. The Bangla Nation- Bangladesh was freed from the clutches of Pakistan. This day is Celebrated as the Victory Day (বিজয় দিবস) allover Bangladesh and among Bangladeshis living abroad to uphold the spirit of liberation and to pay tribute to the three million martyrs; who laid down their lives protesting against the tyrannical and racist Pakistani Rule.

On 16th of December, 1971 not just the Bangladeshis but also the Bengalis on the Indian side celebrated the Birth of "Bangladesh". I remember my grandmother describing the situation in West-Bengal and other parts of India when the Great News of Liberation of Bangladesh was heard over the radio; the entire Bengali community as well as the non-Bengalis were overjoyed. Newspapers and periodicals featured news of the numerous lives lost and the bravery of the Bengali people in Bangladesh. The cries of “JOY BANGLA” & “JOY BONGOBONDHU” filled the air. Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had then become the Bengali icon- the Father of the Bengali Nation.

Hot air balloon at Shurarwardy Udyan on Victory Day.
Photo Courtesy: Ihtisham Kabir's blog Back to Bangladesh

Courtesy: Flickr- Nurus Salam
The 16th of December was indeed the Victory Day, the victory of the righteous over evil. It forever erased the disgrace of being ruled by others and revived the Bengali Pride among all Bengalis. “JAI BANGLA! Jai Bangla! – From the banks of the great Ganges and the broad Brahmaputra, from emerald rice fields and mustard- colored hills of the countryside, from the countless squares of countless villages came the cry.”  - This was the first line of the article titled- “Bangladesh: Out of War, a Nation is Born” published by the TIME MAGAZING dated 20th December, 1971.

This was the victory of the Bengali spirit – a nation of Bengalis ruled by Bengalis. This joy was short-lived as revelation of the cold blooded “Killing of Bengali Intellectuals”– About 300 Bengali Intellectuals among which were several teachers, doctors, engineers, journalists, artists, poets, scientists and litterateur were captured by the traitor forces (i.e.  Al-ShamsAl-Badr ) & and were ruthlessly killed. The reason behind this cold blooded murder was that the traitors had known that Pakistan was being erased from the Bangla soil and Bangladesh was marking its place in the World Map with the status of a Free & Independent nation; they wanted to ensure that even if Bangladesh emerges as an independent nation- it should never be self-sustainable and remain undeveloped. On 14th of December large number of intellectuals were targeted by the Pakistani army with the help of the information provided by the RazakarsAl-Shams & Al-Badr

Photo Courtesy: A Walk Through My Life
Bangladesh, as a sovereign and independent nation was hard to digest for USA and CHINA- who were strong allies of Pakistan. Thus, USA and CHINA were among the last countries to recognize independent Bangladesh. This 16th of December, Bangladesh will celebrate the 40th Victory day and it feels miserable that till today the prominent war criminals (traitors) are not punished, instead some of the war criminals are leaders of mainstream political parties. These traitors should be punished and they should be strictly kept away from politics because their aim is to play with the minds of innocent people and continue their dirty-politics. Progress and Development is the need of the hour in Bangladesh.

Concluding this post with the first few lines of this beautiful song written by Dwijendra Lal Roy - dedicated to the glory and magnificence of Bangladesh:

"ধনধান্য পুষ্প ভরা আমাদের এই বসুন্ধরা
তাহার মাঝে আছে দেশ এক সকল দেশের সেরা
ও সে স্বপ্ন দিয়ে তৈরি সে যে স্মৃতি দিয়ে ঘেরা
এমন দেশটি কোথাও খুঁজে পাবে নাকো তুমি
সকল দেশের রাণী সে যে আমার জন্মভূমি
সে যে আমার জন্মভূমি, সে যে আমার জন্মভূমি।।"
 -দ্বিজেন্দ্রলাল রায়

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thumbs up for Anti-Maoist Drive

A Step towards Peace in Jungle Mahal or a Call for fierce & Violent attacks but definitely a huge setback for the Maoists. The 58-year-old top Maoist leader Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji was encountered by joint operational forces in a forest in West Midnapore district of Poschim Bongo (West Bengal).

The CRPF has confirmed that 207 Cobra Battalion, 184 CRPF battalion along with Bengal state police killed the top Maoist leader in a joint operation.

Union Home Secretary RK Singh said, "Our officers have told us that Kishenji has been killed. It's a huge setback for Maoists."

Maoists & Terrorists - Aren't they all same?
Now its time people should give a second thought about these Maoists - Are they any different from the Terrorists? 
The answer is straightaway "NO!".
  • The Maoists are the home-grown terror outfits formed to fight back against the callous handling of the tribals by the Government of India.
  • They took up arms for their rights in the mid 1960's. I believe the Government was and still is primarily responsible for their formation but the situation today is totally opposite.
  • They (Naxals) have killed and terrorized numerous of innocent people. 
  • They should return to mainstream... yes! but how long should we wait?
  • The train schedules passing through Naxal Affected areas have been changed since long.. but till date the Indian Railway is not confident about providing total security to these trains thus the train schedules have been yet unchanged - Causing great inconvenience for the passengers.
  • There are reports that the Maoists are being funded by External Sorces (Other Nations) - This cannot be tolerated at any cost.
Yes, We stand for Human Rights ! We want the Naxals (Maoists) to get back into the mainstream; but there's a limit for everything and they cannot go on killing and creating trouble for common people. If they do then they are no less than Terrorists. |Peace|

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pohela Boishakh | Bengali New Year

Bangla New Year [Bangla: বাংলা নববর্ষ Bangla Nôbobôrsho] or Pohela/Poyela Boishakh [পহেলা বৈশাখ Pôhela Boishakh or পয়লা বৈশাখ Pôhela Boishakh] marks the first day of the Bangla Calendar. Poyela Boishakh is celebrated with great fervor in the South Asian region of Bengal (Bangladesh and Indian/West Bengal) and among Bengali communities living in the Indian states of Tripura and Assam (specially in Barak Valley [Bangla: বরাক উপত্যকা]). Poyela Boishakh coincides with the New Years in many other Southern Asian calendars.
meaning of pohela boishakhBangla New Year or Pohela Boishakh connects all Ethnic Bengalis irrespective of religious and regional differences. Ethnic Bengalis across the world and from all walks of life unite to celebrate the Public or Universal Festival of Bengalis i.e. Pohela Boishakh; it’s the occasion to welcome the New-Year with a new hope of peace, prosperity and goodwill. Poyela Boishakh generally falls on 14th or 15th of April of the Georgian calendar. In Bangladesh, it is a national holiday celebrated around 14th April according to the official amended calendar designed by the Bangla Academy. In India, in Indian/West Bengal & Assam it is a public (state) holiday and is publicly celebrated on 15th of April

History of Pohela Boishakh | পহেলা বৈশাখের ইতিহাস

  • Pohela Boishakh celebration dates back to Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar’s [জালাল উদ্দিন মোহাম্মদ আকবর] reign. Akbar the Great, the renowned grandson of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar [জহিরুদ্দিন মুহম্মদ বাবর] was the 3rd Mughal Emperor. In order to ease tax collection, Akbar-e-Azam changed the tradition of agricultural tax collection according to Hijri calendar [হিজরী সন] and ordered a reform of the calendar because the Hijri calendar, being a lunar calendar- did not coincide with the harvest sessions and thus the farmers faced severe difficulties in paying taxes out of season.
  • The Royal Astrologer of Emperor Akbar's court, Aamir Fatehullah Siraji [আমির ফাতেউল্লাহ সিরাজী], was the one who actually devised this calendar, after performing a research on the lunar Hijri and Solar calendar[সৌর সন]. The unique characteristic of the Bengali year was that, rather than being a lunar calendar, it was based on an amalgamation of the solar and lunar year. This was indeed a great development, as the solar and lunar years were formulated in very different methods.
  • Initially this calendar was named as “Fasli San” [ফসলি সন] (agricultural year) and then Bônggabdo [বঙ্গাব্দ] or Bangla Year was introduced on 10/11 March 1584, but was dated from 5th November 1556 or 963 Hijri. This was the day that Akbar defeated Himu in the second Battle of Panipat to ascend the throne. This not only glorified his victory but also streamlined revenue collection into an orderly process.
  • It was Akbar-e-Azam’s directive to settle all dues on the last day of Choitro. The next day was the first day of the New Year (Poyela Boishakh), the day for a new beginning; landlords would distribute sweets among their tenants, and Businessmen would open a “HalKhata” [হালখাতা] (new accounts book) and close their old ones. Businessmen used to invite their customers to share sweets and renew their business relationship with them. There were fairs and festivities allover and gradually Poyela Boishakh became a day of celebration.
  • Another study shows that , King Shoshangko who ruled ancient Bengal might have actually started the Bengali era. Which means the Bangla calendar started from value one, the starting point is estimated to be on Monday, 14th April 594 in proleptic Gregorian calendar and Monday, 12th April 594 in the Julian Calendar.

Celebration of Pohela Boishakh | পহেলা বৈশাখ উজ্জাপন
Pohela Boishakh is a Public festival [সার্বজনীন উৎসব] of the Bengalis; it is celebrated among all Bengalis- irrespective of religious and regional differences. As discussed earlier; the celebrations started from Akbar’s reign. But the Public celebration of Poyela Boishakh and the large-scale organizations of cultural events have started more recently.

Pohela Boishakh Bengal Dhaka
Celebration of Pohela Boishakh, Dhaka [My Sincere Thanks to S.M. Tanvir Ayon for this Magnificent Snapshot. ]
Rabindranath Tagore had said, 'প্রতিদিন মানুষ ক্ষুদ্র, দীন, একাকী কিন্তু উৎসবের দিনে মানুষ বৃহৎ, সে সমস্ত মানুষের সঙ্গে একত্র হইয়া বৃহৎ, সেদিন সমস্ত মনুষ্যত্বের শক্তি অনুভব করিয়া মহৎ' [“Prōtidin mānush khudrō, deen, ekāki. Kintu Utsōber dine mānush brihōt, se sōmōstō mānusher sōnge āekōtrō hōiyā brihōt, sedin sōmōstō mōnushōtver shōkti ōnubhōv kōriyā mōhōt”]. The summary of the statement is that, a person feels stronger, complete & united when he’s among other fellow mates on the occasion of a festival as compared to daily life. Truly, socializing brings a lot of change in the personality of a person; it actually changes his outlook towards the world and makes him broad minded, well-mannered and a better person indeed. Nowadays it’s seen that, due to our busy schedule and hectic life we tend to forget the purpose of the festivals after they are over; people come together during festivals, forget their differences but as soon as the festival is over the differences are highlighted once again!

The Poyela Boishakh celebrations and festivities reflect the life in rural Bengal. Usually on this day everything is washed and cleaned; people bathe early in the morning and dress in fine clothes and then go to visit relatives and friends. Special food items are prepared for the guests. Starting as a rural festival, Poyela Boishakh has now become an integral part of Bengali culture.

Hilsa- Elish Mach
Elish Mach | Hisla Fish
People from all walks of life dress-up in traditional Bengali attire: Men wear dhuti / payejama / lungi and kurta /Panjabi. Young women wear white saris with red borders, and adorn themselves with tip (bindis), churi (bangles) and fūl (flowers). Its like a custom to start the day with the traditional breakfast of Pantā-Bhāt (leftover rice soaked in water), onion, Shōbuj Lōnkā (green chillies), Āchār (pickles), dāl (lentils) & Bhāja Elish Māch (fried Hilsa fish).

Boishakhi Fairs are organized in many parts of Bengal. The lifestyle of rural Bengal is showcased in almost all these fairs. Various traditional handicrafts, toys, cosmetics, agricultural products, as well as various kinds of food and sweets are sold at these fairs. The fairs also provide entertainment, with singers and dancers staging jatra (traditional plays), pala gan, kobigan, jarigan, gambhira gan, gazir gan and alkap gan. They present folk songs as well as baul, marfati, murshidi and bhatiali songs. Narrative plays like Laila-Majnu, Yusuf-Zulekha and Radha-Krishna are staged. Among other attractions of these fairs are puppet shows, merry-go-round and Giant wheels are also installed and are enjoyed by the children.

Historical Importance of Poyela Boishakh in Bangladesh | বাংলাদেশে পহেলা বৈশাখের ঐতিহাসিক গুরুত্ব

In an attempt to suppress Bengali culture, the Pakistani Government had banned poems written by Rabindranath Tagore, the most famous poet and writer in Bengali literature. Protesting this move, Chhayanat opened their Poyela Boishakh celebrations at Ramna Park with Tagore's song welcoming the month in 1965. The day continued to be celebrated in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) as a symbol of Bengali culture. After 1972 it became a national festival, a symbol of the Bangladesh nationalist movement and an integral part of the people's cultural heritage. Later, in the mid- 1980s the Institute of Fine Arts added color to the day by initiating the Boishakhi parade, which is much like a carnival parade. In the big metropolitans like Dhaka and Chittagong this day is marked by mass crowd flocking to hundreds of open air concerts and cultural programs, mask rallies etc.

DHAKA, Bangladesh | ঢাকা, বাংলাদেশ

Chhayanat at Ramna Park
Songs Rendered by Chhayanat at Ramna Batmul
Courtesy:Ershad Ahmed's Blog-Dhaka Daily Photo
In Dhaka, large numbers of people pour out of their houses and gather early in the morning under the banyan tree at Ramna Park [রমনা বটমুল]. Along with the rising sun, the Chhayanat [ছায়ানট] artists sing the famous song of Tagore in chorus, এসো, হে বৈশাখ, এসো এসো Esho, he Boishakh, Esho Esho (Come, O Boishakh, Come, Come), welcoming Boishakh.

Dhaka’s Poyela Boishakh celebration is incomplete without the Mangal Shobhajatra”. Students and teachers of the Dhaka University’s Institute of Fine Arts (ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের চারুকলা ইনস্টিটিউট) take out a colorful procession (known as “Mangal Shobhajatra”) and parade on different streets and finally returns to the Fine arts Institute. This procession mainly consists of Arts & crafts like (cutouts of tigers, owls, dragon-fly etc. and different types of masks) these colorful pieces of art display the elements of Bengali culture and resemble lifestyle of rural and modern Bengal. People of all ages and irrespective of class and profession take part in this procession. Since 1989 this Procession (Shobhajatra) has become an important event and also a major tourist attraction.

Pohela Boishakh Festivity
Dhakar Rastay Nemeche Sundor Pori!
[Image Click by: S.M. Tanvir Ayon]
Pohela Boishakh celebration
Colorful Processions on Pohela Boishakh, Dhaka
[My Sincere Thanks to S.M. Tanvir Ayon for this Image]
Apart from these, various cultural programs are organized by social and cultural organizations all over Dhaka. Newspapers and magazines bring out special supplements. Targeting the Poyela Boishakh event, various movies, music albums, books etc. are released and special programs are also telecasted on television and radio.

Many old festivals connected with New Year's Day have disappeared, while new festivals have been added. With the abolition of the zamindari system, the punya connected with the closing of land revenue accounts has disappeared. Kite flying in Dhaka and bull racing in Munshiganj used to be very colourful events. Other popular village games and sports were horse races, bullfights, cockfights, flying pigeons, and boat racing. Some festivals, however, continue to be observed; for example, bali (wrestling) in Chittagong and gambhira in Rajshahi are still popular events.

Pohela Boishakh celebration has also hit the dancefloor of the pubs and clubs in the major cities, as an increasing number of parties are being organized nowadays for the youth. Thus, giving the celebration a western touch but keeping the indigenous feel intact.

CHOTTOGRAM, Bangladesh | চট্টগ্রাম, বাংলাদেশ

The centre of attraction of the Poyela Boishakh celebrations in the port city Chottogram is the DC Hill Park [ডিসি পাহাড় পার্ক]. Sammilitō Sanskritik Jot [সম্মিলিত সাংস্কৃতিক জোটে] organizes a two day festival to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year. Various cultural events are organized here including plays etc. Public celebration of Poyela Boishakh in Chottogram was started in 1973; the initiative was taken by the politicians to promote Bengali culture.
  • Chottogram Hill Tracts | চট্টগ্রামের পার্বত্য জেলা : In the Hill tracts of Chottogram three different ethnic minority groups have their individual New Year celebrations. Boisuk [বৈশুখ] of Tripura People, Sangrai [সাংগ্রাই] of Marma people and Biju [বিজু] of Chakma people; presently they have come together to celebrate it commonly as Boi-Sa-Bi [বৈ-সা-বি], a day of a wide variety of festivities; specially need to mention the water festival [জল উৎসব] of the Marma people.

KHULNA, Bangladesh | খুলনা, বাংলাদেশ

Pohela Boishakh Rally Khulna
Pohela Boishakh Rally organized by Shokha Moyukh
Pohela Boishakh is celebrated in Khulna with enormous joy and enthusiasm. People from all walks of life take part in the Borshoboron Rally (বর্ষবরণ পদযাত্রা) organized by Khulna Sonskriti Kendro(খুলনা সংস্কৃতিকেন্দ্র).

College students take great effort in designing festoons, banners, colourful masks for this event. A newly formed non-governmental cultural organization Shokha Moyukh celebrated Pohela Boishakh at the campus of Govt. B L College, Khulna. The rally was followed by a cultural function at the campus. The event was organized by the students with support from the college faculty.

Kolkata and West Bengal | কলকাতা এবং পশ্চিম বঙ্গ
Kolkata, the sovereign of Bengalis in India; witnesses some of the grand celebrations of Poyela Boishakh. In Kolkata and rest of Indian/West Bengal, Poyela Boishakh and indeed the entire month of Boishakh is considered auspicious time for marriages, opening of new business ventures etc. Choitro is the Last month of the Bangla year; the garment traders give special discounts throughout the month. The last day of Choitro, is celebrated as Choitro Sankranti among the Hindu community, and Charak Pujo  is held on this day. On this very same day Charak Mela/fair is organized in various parts of rural Bengal; some really miraculous acrobatics are performed by the members and these stunts are quite risky indeed.

Boishakhi Jatra, AJC Bose Road, Kolkata
Courtesy: New Year Photo Gallery Blog
The day of Poyela Boishakh is a day of cultural events. Like Bangladesh, here also people wake up & bathe early in the morning and dress up in traditional Bengali attire. Many go for Probhat Pheri (a parade similar to “Shobhajatra” in Bangladesh, but it’s not as colorful as that) to welcome the first day of the New Year singing Rabindra Sangeet, here also the song এসো, হে বৈশাখ, এসো এসো Esho, he Boishakh, Esho Esho is very popular.

Pohela Boishakh is also the occasion when the whole family comes for a get together; youngsters touch feet of elders seeking benediction (আশীর্বাদ), and peers greet each other Suvo Nôbobôrsho with a hug (Kolakuli কলাকুলি). The celebration remains incomplete without “mishit mukh” exchanging sweets with the near and dear ones.

Businessmen open new accounting books (HalKhata) on this day; for the Bengali Hindu businessmen HalKhata begins only after performing puja, “Swastik” sign is drawn on the HalKhata by the priests. Devotees are seen in front of the Kalighat temple (কালীঘাট মন্দির), in long queues, from late night. Devotees offer Puja to receive the blessings of the almighty.
The Government of West Bengal organizes various fairs and cultural events in different parts of the state. The most famous of these is Bangla Sangit Mela, held at Nandan-Rabindra Sadan ground.

Other Nations | অন্যান্য দেশ 

Apart from Bengal, Poyela Boishakh is also celebrated by the Bengali community living in United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia etc.
Boishakhi Mela: Bengalis (both Bangladeshis and Indian Bengalis) welcoming
Pohela Boishakh in Sacramento, California. Courtesy:
Today, Pohela Boishakh celebrations also mark a day of cultural unity without distinction between class and religious affiliations. Of the major holidays celebrated in Bangladesh and West Bengal, only Pôhela Boishakh comes without any preexisting expectations (specific religious identity, culture of gift-giving, etc). Unlike holidays like Eid ul-Fitr & Durga Pujo, where dressing up in lavish clothes has become a norm, or Christmas where exchanging gifts has become an integral part of the holiday, Pôhela Boishakh is really about celebrating the simpler, rural roots of the Bengal. As a result, more people can participate in the festivities together without the burden of having to reveal one's class, religion, or financial capacity.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pledge to Celebrate Cracker-free Diwali

Celebrating Green Diwali | Image courtesy: Rang-Decor
Diwali which is the contraction of the word Deepawali (দীপাবলি) is known as the “Festival of Light”; today we are at a stage when a section of our society is all set to change the meaning of Deepawali, i.e. to transform Diwali from being the “Festival of Light” into “Festival of Bombs”. In Bengal Deepavali signifies "Kali Puja" and it is a one day festival. Traditionally in Bengal nothing new is worn or bought as well as no new ventures are started on Diwali.

Every year when Diwali comes environmentalists, medical experts and some social activists raise their voice and warn us of the ill effects of firecrackers, and majority of the people just ignore these warnings and go around bursting crackers!

It’s time for us to make a difference; it’s time for all of us to unite and shun firecrackers. It’s time for us to show “We Care”! Care for our environment, our elderly citizens and babies, our unwell fellow-humans, our pets, the numerous poor-people who can’t afford a onetime meal and more precisely for our own health and our future generations. Let’s all pledge to celebrate “Green Diwali”!

It’s time that we completely stop this fire Cracker menace…! Yes, you read it right Completely stop... No ‘Fuljharis’ or ‘Fountain’ or ‘Charkhis’ also as they cause the maximum air pollution moreover every year several kids end up in burning their hand due to the misuse of these crackers. The only cracker that can be advocated for is the “Rocket” as it beautifies the Diwali Skyline.

If you hate the words- “Terrorists” and “Bombs” and the two very well resemble each other; then why do you start loving the “Bombs” during Diwali? We all know it’s so difficult to walk freely or drive a car or ride a bike peacefully on Diwali night because there are kids, adults and everyone bursting crackers on the Roads and the fear remains that the bombs can blast under your car or bike; Yes, this is  sort of terrorism to the people who are driving! It’s their life at stake, and practically numerous such accidents are reported every year during Diwali. If you hate Terrorists and their Bomb-blasts then Stop Bombing Diwali from now !

The noisy crackers sledgehammer our ear drums which may result in temporary or complete hearing loss or even injure the nervous system! It’s a terrible time for aged people, babies and patients because the noise affects them the most.

Diwali is the only festival that scares the shit out of the four legged inhabitants; you might have seen your tuffy-tommy-jimmy running under the bed, chair or sofa for sure! It’s an extreme torture for them because of their high sensitive hearing ability, the deafening sound of crackers hurt their little brains and they stop eating-drinking and totally freak out for few days.

The celebration of Diwali can be done peacefully by lighting our houses with “Deeps” or “Dias”.  Instead of literally Burning Money by bursting Firecrackers; it’s better to spend this money on noble causes. Let’s redefine Diwali celebration and celebrate cracker-free Diwali, after all any celebration can’t be at the cost of the environment and general health!

General awareness among the people about the ill effects of firecrackers is of utmost importance and simultaneously All Fire-Crackers should be Banned and this ban should be implemented stictly. We the youth, have the power to bring the change- the Change for a Better Tomorrow.

We are fortunate that West Bengal (Poschim Bongo) is the only state in India to have a Noisy(more than 90 dB measured at a distance of 5m from the point of bursting) Crackers Ban. But, its shameful that organizations like The International Marwari Association are protesting against the Cracker Ban!

So on this Diwali Say "NO" to Fire Crackers and Say "Yes" to Life ! Be a responsible citizen.
Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous "Green Diwali".

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bangladesh Unveils Cheapest $130 Android Laptops

'DOEL' Laptop | Made in Bangladesh
The dream of Digital Bangladesh in realization! Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has unveiled the worlds cheapest and also the first domestically manufactured laptop named 'DOEL' today at the Bongobondhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

The laptop will be produced by the State owned Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) (টেলিফোনে শিল্প সংস্থা) in collaboration with 2M Corporation Ltd., Dhaka and TFT Technology, Penang, Malaysia. The primary device will be priced at 10,000 BDT (6,490 INR | US$132.3) and will run on Google’s Android OS.

TSS is set to launch three more models by the end of this week which would run on Intel Processors are are priced at:
  • 13,500 BDT (8759 INR | US$178.6) - Basic model with Intel Atom Processor,
  • 22,000 BDT (14272.67 INR | US$291.1) -Standard model with Intel Atom Processor and,
  • 26,000 BDT (16868 INR | US$344) - Advanced model with Intel Pentium Processor.
This is indeed a great step towards the realization of the dream of Digital Bangladesh and bringing about e-governance; it would undoubtedly boost the connectivity across the nation and will drive digital connectivity in villages.

However, the government needs to do a lot more to improve the internet connectivity across the nation else the distribution of laptops wouldn’t be of great benefit in terms of digitally connectivity. But, for sure this affordable laptop will cut the digital-divide among the citizens and will be very helpful especially for students.

An important feature would be the presence of Phonotic Bangla Keyboard along with English in all the four laptop models. This would surely make it easy for the people who are not well acquainted with english and would increase the reach of digitization by making a larger portion of people computer literate.

People need to have realistic expectations from this affordable laptop  because they are aimed to cater the basic needs and not to deliver high end services but its surely a 'value for money' deal. 

DOEL Primary
Price: 10,000 Taka

10.0″ LCD Panel 
VIA 8650 800MHz
512 MB RAM
Integrated 0.3 MP
WiFi 802.11b/g
10/100M Ethernet LAN 
2 USB 2.0
SD Slot for Max 32 GB
Google Android Integrated
DOEL Basic
Price: 13,500 Taka

10.1″ (1024*600) WXGA
LED Backlit
Intel® ATOM Processor 455 1.66GHz
Intel NM 10 Express 
Intel ® GMA 3150 
(Integrated) Graphics.
250 GB HDD
Integrated 1.3 MP
802.11 bg/n
10/100M Ethernet LAN 
3 USB 2.0
Linux Based OS
DOEL Standard
Price: 22,000 Taka

12.1″ (1360*768) WXGA 
LED Backlight
Intel® ATOM Processor
N470 1.83GHz
Intel NM 10 Express 
Intel ® GMA 3150 
(Integrated) Graphic
Integrated 1.3 MP 
802.11 bg/n
10/100M Ethernet LAN 
3 USB 2.0
Linux Based OS
DOEL Advanced
Price: 26,000 Taka

14″ (1366*768) WXGA 
LED Backlight
Intel® Pentium P6200 
2.13 GHZ Processor
Intel HM55 Chipset
DVD Writer ( Samsung )
Integrated 1.3 MP 
802.11 bg/n
10/100M Ethernet LAN 
3 USB 2.0
Linux Based OS

To get more information  click on TSS | Doel Laptops. 

The Naming of this Laptop: 
This laptop is named after the National Bird of Bangladesh i.e. Doel দোয়েল (English: Magpie Robin). So this should clear the doubts of all the people who think that its named to 'sound' like 'Dell'. 

It’s a matter of pride for all of us today…! 
জয় বাংলা !