Saturday, June 11, 2005

Oh Kolkata!


Oh Kolkata!
Originally uploaded by gopoo.
Kolkata has many firsts to its credit.The first cantilever bridge in India-the Howrah Bridge.The second Howrah Bridge-Vidasagar Setu is also one of a unique design.And the city always believed in economical mass transportation.Though again as the first city to have a metro in India,Kolkata has still not given up the electric tramcar.Introduced in early 20th century and probably pulled by horses then,it became a symbol of a modern Kolkata when it was electrified.There are two classes,first and second.The seats are cushioned in the first class.I remember that when I was a student in Kolkata the Calcutta Tramways Corporation had announced a 1 paisa fare increase.There was so much of bedlam that many trams were burnt.Those were the very early days of the Marxists in opposition.Today they are more responsible and sobered lot particularly after the purging of the Naxalites by Indira Gandhi and SS Ray.I have ridden on it many times though not for many years now.It is an experience.Bombay gave it up in the early 50s,but Kolkata still sticks to it.Like they say,Kolkata is the last post of the Marxist Leninist ideology.China may create its own form of Marxism-Capitalism,but Kolkata will stick to the ML philosophy.I am not very sure.Winds of changes are blowing and the CPM government seems to be gradually shifting towards a free market dispensation.
But I love the trams and I hope they do not get blown away.

2 comments:

rums said...

i hope so too. i love the trams in cal!

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