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Saturday, February 04, 2006

2006 boi mela highlights

The fair was inaugurated by the Spanish author Dr. Maria Fernanda Santiago Bolanos. Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharji and the Ambassador of Spain were also present on the dais. One of the renowned authors commented that – ‘this fair is the heart of Kolkata, this should not be shifted. Why do the authorities not consider it as the lungs of the city?’ The Mayor also joined in and added – ‘this fair is only of 12 days duration. How can a fair here for such a short period create imbalance in the environment?’ The obvious references were to the ongoing struggle to allow the fair to remain in its present location and not be shifted to the proposed new location in the bypass. The CM responded in his usual tongue-in-cheek manner with – ‘I am one of you. I will do what is necessary by considering the legal and environmental aspects.’


One of the characteristics of this annual fair are the forums where professionals interact with the audience to discuss important subjects. One such was ‘whether IT is the only key to success in West Bengal’. One of the speakers said – ‘there cannot be a single master key to unlock all vaults – there has to be separate keys for each.’ Another person said – ‘there are 50 lakh unemployed in the state out of which 20 lakhs are illiterate. Four out of five persons stay in villages. It is, therefore, important to think of IT as one of the means of development.’ Yet another person opined that ‘to fulfill the aspirations of 60 percent of the people, a political will is equally important.’


It is a bit strange that the electronic media seems not too very enthusiastic this year as compared to last year. Especially missing are visuals of the youth brigade of musicians, painters and artists. The coverage of Boi mela 2006 has been done as a matter of routine by Doordarshan with not much variety. Even the newspapers have not devoted much space to this annual event.


The official website has no information on ‘glimpses of 2006’; also, the ‘site map’ is too tiny for any meaningful purpose to be served.

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