THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Populism is Mamata's Achilles heel

Populism is Mamata's Achilles heel

Amulya Ganguli  | 2011-11-12 14:20:00
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Such delusional ignorance of the clear facts of history, of the long trajec...

A visitor to Kolkata cannot but notice how the city has become livable again, as it was nearly throughout its 300-plus years of history except for the recent period of communist rule. 

While the traditionally affluent areas of Ballygunge, Alipore, New Alipore and others have improved further with the new high-rises confirming their prosperity along with the shopping malls - the latest sign of wellness - it is the large numbers of multistoreyed buildings which make emerging localities like Rajarhat look like Gurgaon of the late 1990s.

Notwithstanding the all-round improvements in living conditions - no prolonged load shedding, better traffic management and, above all, the absence of the pervasive fear of falling foul of the Marxist militia - the future remains uncertain because Mamata Banerjee is apparently still some distance away from getting a grip on the situation even if her six months in office is too short a time to make an assessment.

For her, there has been only one positive achievement so far, which is to defuse the Darjeeling issue although it has by no means been resolved. It will be futile to expect the supporters of the demand for a separate state to fade away quietly. 

But, at least, the tension has subsided, mainly because Mamata has been less arrogant in her dealings with the pro-separation leaders than her customarily haughty predecessors.

Otherwise, her government can be said to be marking time for the present, providing no clear indications about how it intends to move forward. 

The improvements that have taken place are largely the outcome of a slight tightening of the bureaucracy and the private sector investments in hotels and malls because of a more stable law and order situation. But the government is apparently yet to find its feet.

One reason for the immobility is its focus on what the prime minister called its 'unbridled populism' when he rejected the demand of the Trinamool Congress MPs to roll back the petrol price hike. 

Reports suggest that he 'scolded' the MPs as a headmaster does a bunch of school children when he asked them to ponder over the kind of West Bengal which they want to leave to the next generation.

Although Mamata has toned down her earlier threats of withdrawing her ministers from the centre unless the diesel and cooking oil prices are also raised, her populism was evident when she turned down for the seventh time an appeal by the electricity suppliers to raise tariffs although the denial means that these companies will incur a loss of Rs 1,600 crore by the end of the current financial year.

If the consumer paying user charges offends her 'socialistic' instincts, her opposition to land acquisition - the agenda which led to her victory in the wake of the Singur and Nandigram agitations - has held up the nuclear power plant at Haripur and scared away the corporate sector. 

But, aware, like Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, that farming cannot absorb all the growing population, she has sought industrial investment, but only in the public sector.

This was exactly the advice which the Marxist maverick, Ashok Mitra, gave to Bhattacharjee. But, while such a course of action may marginally increase the state's employment potential, it is unlikely that the traditionally inefficient public sector will boost industrial production or earn profits. 

Even the jobs will in all likelihood be cornered by Trinamool supporters with the Congress getting crumbs from the table.

But a blinkered economic outlook is not Mamata's only drawback. Her heavy-handed political style is evident from the fact that while, on one hand, she is seeking a gargantuan Rs.20,000 crore economic package from the centre, on the other hand she treats the Congress in West Bengal with barely disguised contempt. 

It is probably Pranab Mukherjee's patience and the centre's coalitional compulsions which sustain the alliance although there is no love lost between the two partners in the state. However, it is undoubtedly her economic bailout demand which made her retreat on the question of the petrol price hike, her first concession.

While Mamata's uncertain course is evident from all this, her inexplicable blunder over a local issue has shown her in very poor light. This was when she stormed into a police station after several Trinamool activists were arrested for indulging in violence. 

Not surprisingly, the suspects were soon released, which strengthened the impression of the chief minister's unwarranted interference in a matter of law and order. For most people, the incident is bound to arouse a sense of deja vu, for it was precisely this kind of manipulation of the police for partisan purposes that was the hallmark of the Left's rule. 

Earlier, Mamata's feckless response to the disturbing number of deaths of children in government hospitals also hurt her image.

It is clear that unless she stresses professionalism in administration and seeks expert advice on economic matters, her government will not have an easy run.

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