Knowledge from Kolkata

Once upon a time there used to be a saying, what Bengal thinks today India thinks tomorow. This now, is known as what Indian thinks today, Bengal thinks tomorrow. With the current trends in Bengal, it is predicted that it will very soon become what India thinks today, Bengal thinks day after tomorow.

While staying at one of the ashrams in Calcutta or rather Kolkata, to be politically correct, I met an ex-man. Who had served in the Indian army and was a typical Lower middle class bong. We shared the same room for a day. One day he asked me of my opinion on the recent increments in the Central and state Government employees. Like I already was cribbing on how the money I pay as taxes was being mis-utilized, he was rubbing it in. I was stunned to hear his thoughts.

He was of the opinion that the government was actually buying the votes from the govt. employees. He had extreme interest in being a primary school teacher and since he was pretty close to the grass
root reality, he spoke of how the teachers barely entered the classrooms once or twice in a week and then marked their attendances for the rest of the week and walked away. Like you would expect something more than this from an Indian teacher employed by the government ! Per this persons calculations, at this rate the number of English ‘knowing’ kids in Bengal would be at an all time relative low. He said he would get into a discussion and take to task any and all primary teachers he came across, who weren’t performing their duties. A little Robinhood in his own terms. Today an average teachers salary is anywhere between 16 to 34 unbelievable grand. The poor man barely manages about 5 to 8, yet again, unbelievably lower, grand. This would mean that at a futuristic level the country’s government is actually increasing the gap between the haves and the have nots and thus forcing the have nots to take to naxalism, because it really provides for a lot of money. Also, the politicians and the people at large are least bothered about inflation. I wonder at times even if the most educated fellas showing off their biceps and tight t shirts and swanky cars even know what is inflation. Do they understand what it exactly means when the papers say that inflation is at 11 % ? Pity. Anyway, getting back to what I was writing, at this rate it would be fare to imagine that the governments only interest is/was to equalize an equal number of well paid people and a similar number of naxalites. There is no rocket science to imagine the future of the country where we are just, in a way, encouraging naxalism. A country’s growth is not measured in number of comparing the cops to the goons.(The ratio, is what I am writing about, for the mathematically inclined.) There has to be a comprehensive thought process behind the welfare of a country and the societies it entertains at larger. So he said, looking out from the window at the over cast skies in a humid weather, with the typical thick framed prescription glasses an old Bengali man would wear.
I must say, there are still a few people in Bengal who think what India will think tomorow or probably day after tomorow.


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