Bishwanath Ghosh (for Info only, not official)

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Bishwanath Ghosh

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    ...One building housed the reporting and the features sections and also the office of the much-dreaded editor-in-chief, who now happens to be a minister in the Modi Government. In the other building was located the sports and the business sections and also the all-powerful news desk. I was a young reporter at the time. That evening, around 8 o’clock, I happened to be all alone in the office — most people had left for the day, some others were out on assignments — when the phone rang. It was a call from the news desk. “Apparently there has been a fire at Uphaar Cinema,” the news editor said, “Can you go and take a look?” I took an autorickshaw and rushed to Uphaar Cinema, located in South Delhi. I braced myself to see charred bodies being pulled out of the theatre. But it turned out that the fire had been put out and the bodies already taken away, some of them to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the remaining to the Safdarjung Hospital. ...

    The Hindu on Feb. 10, 2017, 9:27 p.m.

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    ...Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister, forwarded his resignation to the President. Sixty years later, on November 20 last year, a train accident near Kanpur killed nearly 150 people. And within 60 days, last Saturday, at least 40 passengers died when a train derailed in Andhra Pradesh. No one resigned, no heads rolled. Instead, fingers were pointed at Pakistan’s ISI and Maoists. The truth is 60 years is long enough for those in power to grow a thick skin — and also for people to become insensitive to such tragedies. I mean, how does it matter to us if 100 or 150 die in a train accident somewhere in Kanpur or Odisha or wherever, as long as we were not travelling in the ill-fated train? Today, what matters to us is who said what — and not who did what. Our world turns upside down if a has-been BJP leader called Vinay Katiyar says that his party boasts of prettier women than Priyanka Gandhi. ...

    The Hindu on Jan. 27, 2017, 8:02 p.m.

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    ...He is today a hero, even though what he did was an act of gross indiscipline: (to transliterate a saying in Hindi) drilling holes in the very plate that served him food. ...

    The Hindu on Jan. 13, 2017, 8 p.m.

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    ...He is today a hero, even though what he did was an act of gross indiscipline: (to transliterate a saying in Hindi) drilling holes in the very plate that served him food. ...

    The Hindu on Jan. 13, 2017, 4:24 p.m.

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    ...It is a different matter that, of late, blaming the government is often seen as an anti-national act. But it would be unfair to blame the government for one thing: women being molested in public places. The government, at the most, can take precautionary measures, but such measures are bound be limited. Every street in every Indian city, every bus, every coach of every train, every corridor in every building, cannot have policemen or plainclothesmen guarding it round the clock — for that, a quarter of the country’s population will need to be in the police force. Or, you can have Philippines-style vigilantes who go around in bikes shooting down just about anyone they suspect to be a drug-peddler, but vigilante violence can be the most dangerous thing to happen to any country — and, in India, women in Western attire are more likely to be its victims. What, then, can be done to make our cities safe for women? ...

    The Hindu on Jan. 6, 2017, 8:17 p.m.

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    ...But the fact that you could take your own picture at the click of the mouse was mighty exciting, and so, purely in memory of those happy days, I have retained that picture on my blog, even though I barely resemble the man in it. Thereafter, I took countless other selfies with the conventional camera, especially when wife and I would travel: I would put one arm around her and hold the camera with the other, pointing the lens in our direction and — with some mental calculation — making sure we were in the frame. Since we couldn’t see ourselves on the display screen, we did not adjust our hair or alter our expressions to look our best: we merely smiled and looked at the lens. Some of our happiest pictures — whether spontaneously happy or happily spontaneous, I am not sure — were self-clicked in this fashion. ...

    The Hindu on Dec. 30, 2016, 10:19 p.m.

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    ...Many updated their status messages paying rich tribute, some others posted clips of his songs, and a fortunate few shared pictures in which they had posed with him. And then, I noticed something extraordinary. A Facebook friend from Ahmedabad — a Gujarati man called Bhavin Adhyaru — had posted a lengthy tribute, in the Gujarati script, to the maestro. Since the hashtag was in English, I knew he too was mourning the loss. But why him — a young man living in faraway Gujarat for whom Carnatic music must be as foreign as Timbuktu is to me? Then I stumbled upon more tributes — from a Bengali friend living in Bangalore, from a Punjabi friend living in Delhi, from a Bihari friend living in Bareilly, from a Kanpur friend who now lives in Himachal Pradesh. What had suddenly awakened their interest in an 86-year-old Carnatic vocalist? The answer wasn’t difficult to guess. ...

    The Hindu on Nov. 25, 2016, 8:45 p.m.