The City of Joy, well known for its Durga Pujo festivities, maacher jhol, sondesh, phuchka and Rabindranath Tagore’s rich cultural stimulation owing to its proximity to Shanti niketan, is said to be losing its prominence in the Indian landscape, given its lack of ability to keep pace with the changing times.
The younger generation migrating from the city in search of better job opportunities is not a fact less known. However, is it just a better career that beckons them to other cities, ignorantly disregarding the best schooling in terms of basic education and the best teaching imparted to them in the city which is very well known for its intellectual stimulation?
When viewed from a broader perspective, one can clearly see the real picture of the city’s ongoing crumbling state. Mamata Banerjee’s vision towards creating a London out of Kolkata, clearly reinforces in every citizen’s mind the loss of identity the city is suffering from. The city’s culture is experiencing a metamorphosis of sorts, with the younger generation resorting to things customs and traditions lesser known to the city and its people.
Although one cannot deny, that the inflow of money in one form or the other has grown in the recent years, which is evident from its sprouting shopping malls, greater emergence of gold and silver shops, the stemming of new infrastructure, business activities, human capital and political engagement. The emergence of more developed areas in the city, such as the coming up of Rajarhat and New Town seem as an attempt to woo its younger generation to stay by and support the development and growth of their home town. A rise in the commercial and retail outlets and eateries point towards a rising consumption being experienced in the city.
A closer look would show how the city is still alive, and fighting for its survival. While one can always point out how it’s lagging behind in terms of infrastructural development, growth of MNCs, a good working culture and a socially progressive attitude, one cannot ignore that all the above attributes have started to build their roots in Calcutta, thus initiating the kind of progress desirable in all ways. The much required IT boom and onslaught of MNCs is entering the joyous domain to give the city’s younger generation a chance to take a step ahead in their career and financial status.
Lastly, the term ‘Joy’ is subjective, so is ‘development’. Their meanings might vary from city to city and person to person. While a Delhi or Mumbai might find its joy in the glamour associated with it, a Calcutta might simply find its joy in the little pleasures of life and a growth which helps it sustain itself and allows it to move ahead along with the changing times. However, this does not mean that it should be kept bereft of any upgradation and enhancement.