Home | Contact us | Opinions and Suggestions |
   History Governing Body Director Bibliography Collections Events Membership Press  
News Bulletin

Vol. XIII No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2010

Vol. XIII No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2010

Vol. XIII No. 1 Bulletin 2
January - March 2010

Vol. X11 No. 2, 3 & 4
April - December 2009

Vol. XII No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2009

Vol. X I No. 4 Bulletin
October - December 2008

Vol. X I No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2008

Vol. X I No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2008

Vol. XI No. 1 Bulletin
January – March 2008

Vol. X No. 4 Bulletin
October – December 2007

Vol. X No. 3 Bulletin
July – September 2007

Vol. X No. 2 Bulletin
April – June 2007

Vol. X No. 1 Bulletin
January – March 2007

Vol. IX No. 4
October - December 2006

Vol. IX No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2006

Vol. IX No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2006

Vol. IX No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2006

Vol. VIII No. 4
October - December 2005

Vol. VIII No. 3
July - September 2005

Vol. VIII No. 2
April - June 2005

Vol. VIII No. 1
January - March 2005

Vol. VII No. 4
October - December 2004

Vol. VII No. 3
July - September 2004

Vol. VII No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2004

Vol. VII No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2004

Vol. VI No. 4 Bulletin
October - December 2003

Vol. VI No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2003

Vol. VI No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2003

Vol. VI No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2003

Vol. V No. 4 Bulletin
October - December 2002

Vol. V No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2002

Vol. V No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2002

Vol. V No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2002

October - December 2001

Vol. IV No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2001

Vol. IV No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2001

Vol. IV No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2001

Vol. III No. 4 Bulletin
October - December 2000

Vol. III No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2000

Vol. III No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2000

January - March 2000

October - December 1999

July - September 1999

Vol. II No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 1999

January - March 1999

Goethals News Bulletin
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. X No. 2 Bulletin April – June 2007

News Update | Articles | Researchers | New Arrivals | Mails & Emails

OH! amar sonar Kolkata
Father J. Felix Raj, SJ

Calcutta’s name was changed in 2001 to Kolkata. While some argued that it was a political move to further erase the colonial legacy, others claimed that it was a nationalistic expression in favour of original names like Chennai, Mumbai and so on. David Lamb wrote recently in Los Angeles Times, “In replacing the colonial names of several cities, India loses some of its spice… A city's name is part of its people's culture and literature. To change the name is somehow to diminish the past, as though implying, Forget what was. We are starting afresh.” What’s in a name! The soul of Kolkata has not changed.

Capital of British India until 1911, and now the capital of West Bengal Kolkata has more than 300 years of glorious history. The English merchant, Job Charnok had carefully chosen the site, Kalikata, protected by the Hooghly River on the west, a creek on the north and salt lakes on the east.

“There is only one city in India”, Nobel Laureate, Rudyard Kipling wrote in 1888 in City of Dreadful Night. “Let us take off our hats to Calcutta, the many sided, the smoky, the magnificent…” Kolkata has had many names: “City of Palaces” in the 19th century, “City of Joy”, given by Dominique Lapierre to his book on Kolkata in 1985 which was later in 1992 produced as a movie by Roland Joffe. Writer, V.S. Naipal, also a winner of the Nobel Prize, described Kolkata as a “city in crisis”.

Günter Grass went even further, coming up with the worst insult of all after living in the city for several months: "Why not write a poem about a bloody great mess that was dropped by God and called Calcutta. About how it throngs, smells and lives and gets ever bigger". The late Rajiv Gandhi’s remark in 1985 that Calcutta was a “dying city” had sparked a storm of protests and debates. He had in fact repeated what Mahatma Gandhi had commented about Kolkata in 1925. Kolkata is also known as the business capital of Eastern India. In recent years it is proclaimed as the “gateway to the Asian tigers”. All these names offer some insight into the multifaceted aspects of the city.

It is a vibrant metropolis, the intellectual and cultural capital of India. No doubt a birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought. It lays claim to India’s three Nobel laureates: Rabindranath Tagore in literature in 1913 for his epic verse Gitanjali, Mother Teresa for peace in 1979 for her service to the poorest of the poor and Amartya Sen in economics in 1998. It is also the city of Satyajit Ray who made wonderful films like the trilogy entitled The World of Apu.

Whatever tourists or outsiders might say, the people of Kolkata actually love their city and regard it as the most Indian of all cities. It is a pulsating city with a distinct imperial flavour. The influence of the empire is everywhere – the imposing Victoria Memorial, the gigantic St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Blanca St. John’s Church, the massive Howrah Bridge, known as the landmark of the city, the fabulous Tollygunge Club, the majestic GPO building etc.

Everyday one witnesses pandemonium of trucks and trams, racing CTC buses, fleets of cars and taxis, old and new, screaming two and three-wheelers, sleeping dogs, smoking food stalls, men bathing at the roadside hand pumps and open taps, street children knocking at the windows of the cars and cleaning them for alms at the traffic signals and uneven, crowded and obstructing pavements with stalls and religious shrines. This is the only city in India to have the slow, but charming trams and the outdated hand-pulled rickshaws. Though banned by the Government, these rickshaws cling on tenaciously.

Kolkata is an open theatre where you have innumerable players and spectators. Real life stories are staged everyday. Its streets are chaotic, yet it has a crumbling charm. You can taste the poverty. As some say it is a “Hell on earth”, a collection of all that is wrong, dark in human experience. It is often characterized by poverty, dirt, floods, strikes, traffic jams and bandhs. Cricket is passion here; sometimes madness, not a sport. Stumps sprout on every available patch of parched ground or roads, particularly on bandh days.

It is not just a city; it is a phenomenon of people of every religion, language, culture, trade and so on. It is community with a human and an intellectual faces represented of course by a galaxy of great Kolkatans like Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Brahmabandhab Upadyay and so on.

Kolkata is friendly and laid-back, despite its poverty and overpopulation. In no other city in India does the past rub shoulders with the present as visibly and dramatically as it does in Kolkata. Perfect strangers easily strike a conversation with tourists and visitors about the cricket and football matches or the weather. Taxi drivers regale new entrants to the city with innumerable tales. Complete strangers turn into comrades as they sip their tea around the corner, or while traveling in a bus or tram. Its metro rail system is the pride of modern Kolkata.

It is a dynamic city, a place of continual human activity. Unlike its western counterparts, it does not cover up the dark side and emphasize the laudable with much glitter. It is a constant reflection of, in an unimaginable blend, what is dark and bright, wrong and right, joyful and sorrowful. Harmony and safety are its hallmarks. At night the streets have sleepy quietness unlike the frightful emptiness of other cities. That is why it is attractive to visitors and abidingly nostalgic to residents.

Kolkata is changing. The journey of change is slow, but real. Money seems to be pouring in with consumerism on the rise. For instance, Tommy Hilfiger and Swarovski seem to have higher sales in Kolkata than in Bangalore. The Salt Lake electronic city is abuzz with techies. The world of opportunities is opening up. The city is expanding with promising townships like Rajarhat.

A large section of Kolkata’s population is poor and are engaged in the informal sector of the economy – laundry, house keeping, plumbing, plastic salvaging, furniture making, electrical wiring, TV repair, Masonry, hawking, rickshaw pulling, hair design, folk medicine, music and art, tailoring, leather work and shoe making and food selling. There is an urgent need to improve this sector for the betterment of these people.

But the last few months have been frightful, particularly in Singur and Nandigram. The farmers whose agricultural lands are being requisitioned for special economic zones (SEZ) are resisting the State Government’s attempt towards industrialization. The Government may have to rethink its strategy and find one, which is just, transparent and farmer-friendly.

Facts and figures
  Population of the city 4,580,544 (2001)
  Hindu 77.68%
  Muslim 20.27
  Christian 0.88

Population of urban agglomeration

  Sex ratio 828 F. per 1000 M.
  Literacy rate 80.86%
  Slum dwellers 1.5 million (one third of the population)
  No. of Political parties 22
  No rallies per day 11


OH Kolkata

Situated amidst the tranquil bank of the river Ganges, Kolkata abounds in an endemic charm because of its unique blend of tradition and modernism. Although other countries and metropolises are facing the gradual erosion of values, Kolkata is unaffected. Even today, we see students helping blind persons to cross streets, taxi-drivers returning lost money. Thus we have not lost our values in the face of progress. “East or West” Kolkata is indeed best. Abhishek Mukherjee

The people in this city are very generous and kind. They help others. They are also trustworthy. The city also includes historical places like Victoria Memorial, Town Hall, Shahid Minar. This is one of the best cities in the world. It is often compared with London. People like Rabindranath Tagore, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose, Sourav Ganguly, L. N. Mittal belong to this city. Although people from different castes and religion stay here, still harmony prevails in the city. The city is crime free to some extent. The city also occupies an important position in trading activities. Bhushan Arora

Kolkata is not just a ‘City of Joy’, not just a city of “Banerjee, Mukherjee and Roy” but a city which embraces people of all kinds and from all walks of life. I take pride in the fact that Kolkata has been outstandingly hospitable to everyone. Of late, the city has started off on the road to development and hopefully in no time, will be one of the best metropolises in the world. Aayush Madhogaria

I am proud of the spirit of Kolkatans. We are able to highlight the positive aspects of Kolkata and rise above the negatives. We unite to help each other in any crisis, large or small, distressing or enjoyable. We celebrate all festivals regardless of religious, cultural or traditional values. We have learnt to live in harmony as Kolkatans and face the ups and downs of city life together. We even joke about situations, which would normally anger or frustrate others. Navin Rai

I really like Kolkata because: It is economical in terms of fooding, lodging, etc. when compared to other cities of India. It is developing very quickly with the large shopping malls, multiplexes, water-theme parks around. All these add to the beauty of Kolkata. There are also lots of Heritage Sites in the city, which increases its value even more. Dukan Mark Myers

In Kolkata, there is life beyond usual clicking of a ‘mouse’; a sip at ‘Barrista’ and a dance at ‘Tantra’. The elders are kind and youngsters are happy. It is a city full of passion, dreaming, wayward people and an anchor towards fulfillment. Subir Srimani

Due to the rich heritage, the culture, the warmth of people, Kolkata is by far the most cultured metro. Great leaders and people like Rabindranath Tagore, Subhash Chandra Bose were born and brought up here. They are and will be idols for the youth today and always. Mohini Gandhi & Disha Shah

The culture, the ambience, the noise and socially aware residents of Kolkata, inexpensive living and definitely, the unique assets such as trams and other relevant monuments make Kolkata a great city. People seem to care for each other and often spare time to get involved in ‘Addas’. The city seems to carry on in spite of various hindrances. We have our adequate share of useful institutions both academic and cultural. Allan Reuben Lakra

Well there are a lot of reasons to be proud of or like Kolkata. The people are very friendly and are very helpful. It has the famous Victoria Memorial. The people have very high ethical values and their culture is also very rich. It also has one of the best colleges in the country (St. Xavier’s College). It also has a lot of environmental beauty. The sweets here are too good and it has produced one of the best cricketers (Sourav Ganguly) in the country. Mayur Agarwal

People are quite friendly in Kolkata. Kolkata has a different culture altogether and for this Kolkatans must be proud of. New projects like Malls, IT Parks, housing complexes are coming up here thus changing peoples’ life style altogether. Finally the race is becoming Trendy. Reshabh Bhatter

Like all other metropolitan cities of the world, Kolkata too has a very large population, which is very diverse. Kolkata is known as the “City of Joy”. People here are very friendly and always offer a helping hand whenever possible. Many times all the people join hands to protest against bad things and in favour of good things. Hazardous situations are a rarity here as Kolkata has a developing mindset from the beginning. Biswasanti Gopal Mondol


Some Suggestions to Improve “My Kolkata”

  1. Better infrastructure all over the city needed.

  2. Plantation of more trees to make the city green.

  3. Improvement of the traffic conditions – traffic rules to be strictly enforced.

  4. Arrest environmental degradation – Vehicle exhausts to be controlled.

  5. A cleaner garbage free city and a clean Maidan.

  6. Strikes and bandhs in any form should be prohibited.

  7. More Malls & Complexes should be opened.

  8. Committing nuisance in public places should be banned.


Blind Eye to Pavement Shrines
V. K. Tankha

As if the encroachment of hawkers were not enough, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation turns a blind eye to the proliferation of religious shrines on pedestrian pavements. The argument put forth is that any interference in the setting up of such shrines will hurt religious sentiments.

What is completely overlooked is that a plethora of encroachments forces, and even encourages, pedestrians to forsake the relative safety of footpaths for the main carriageways. This leads to fatal accidents every day, and compels the discerning motorist from traveling at a steady pace, resulting in traffic pains.

The solution lies in firstly educating the Pseudo-religious about the hazards of their putting up such shrines. Thereafter, a blanket ban should be introduced on all such structures.

After all, the state Government’s first duty is to ensure safety for all pedestrians, before pondering to overt any public displays of religious sentiments.


Politics in Campus
Amitava Ray

A study as to how power is exercised, and by whom (and for whose benefit), through the administration of public power, to manage people's affairs may perhaps be termed politics, a great concern of every intellectual in society. Albert Einstein observed: "It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacity to give validity to his conviction in political affairs." The ignorance of politics among the masses of a country paves the way for the rise of tyranny and the fall of democracy. The right to govern belongs to every citizen. Indeed, the right to vote vested in everyone at the age of eighteen becomes a meaningful operation if only the exercise of franchise is an expression of political wisdom.

The recent developments in our country, however are quite disturbing. Politicization of the colleges and campuses especially during the Students Union elections is becoming too common. A seemingly intrinsic part of everybody’s college years, student union elections have graduated from campus debates to a struggle between political parties over the control of the youth, a potent pawn to net the bigger game.

Students’ Union elections are contested and fought with fierce rivalries, noisy campaigns, publicity using posters and banners, lavish use of money supplied by political parties and use of violent methods to settle scores on both sides. University Professors and College Administrators have been finding it more and more difficult to manage the elections peacefully and to reconcile warring elements on the campus.

The frenzy, the finances and the fury of union elections forced the Supreme Court to direct the Union Human Resource Development Ministry to set up a committee to examine what ails present-day campus politics. The Lyngdoh Committee — set up to dissect, diagnose and design a remedy — has come up with a series of far-reaching recommendations that are expected to change the scope of students’ politics.

It must be remembered that we must not ban students’ union or elections on campus. The system needs to be completely overhauled. Peace, morality, and other such vital values constitute discipline, and must be preserved. College premises cannot become scenes of sound and fury obstructing classes, but these important control measures of discipline do not justify the tabooing of politics.

Winston Churchill once defended the election process as "A little man, walking into a little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper - no amount of rhetoric or discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of the point" - and this everyone must remember.


‘Killer Buses of Kolkata'
Bhaskar Gupta

Countless number of accidents takes place in Kolkata due to the rash driving of bus drivers. On 18 February, 2006, Shiburani Sarkar, Aged 64, was helping her husband on to the pavement and a Howrah – Baishnabghata minibus came violently, rushed through the gap between the pavement & another minibus, knocked down Shiburani and dragged her body some 200 yards away. What a horrible sight!

Again, on April 17, 2007, a 14 year old Amit Dolui, was on a bicycle and run over by a speeding bus on B. L. Saha Road in Behala and was taken to a local hospital, where he was declared dead. A 34-year old motorcyclist was killed at the Exide crossing. Seven months ago, a woman was crushed by killer wheels on the same spot.

The police should enforce the traffic rules rigidly and ensure the safety of people and unless they are strict in taking appropriate steps against the reckless and negligent drivers, such street accidents may take toll of human life.


Christian Contribution to Education in Kolkata
Shukla Ray

The development of English education in Kolkata can be traced to the efforts of the first few missionaries who came to this city. As the saying goes, 'First come the missionaries, then the traders'. The Christian community has contributed to the birth and growth of some of the best educational institutions in Kolkata, both in the English language, and in Bengali.

These missionary institutions generally attract a large proportion of the population of Kolkata, from both the elite and the underprivileged classes. This is mainly because these Christian schools and colleges promote the development of an integrated personality, and balance intellectual and physical development through a large number of extra curricular activities.

The majority of the Christian schools and colleges of Kolkata come either under the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of North India. For the past few decades, many of these educational institutions have been considered as the best in the city, for the quality of education, both academic and otherwise. Besides a large number of Primary Schools, the Christian community runs Higher Secondary and High Schools over 60. These schools originally were meant for the local people and to educate the needy and deprived.

The Christian Churches run 5 colleges in the city. The Scottish Church and St. Paul’s Colleges run by the CNI. The Scottish, set up by Alexander Dutt, is one of the oldest colleges in the city. St. Xavier’s College, run by the Jesuits, is a premier institution, and the first to become autonomous in the state. It has approximately four thousand students, Loreto College, run by the Loreto Nuns, is another Catholic institution providing quality higher education in Kolkata, for girls. Finally, there is the Women’s Christian College, under the National council of Churches, which is another well known institution which came up to provide quality education for women.

The overall impact of Christian educational institutions in Kolkata, can be summed up through their efforts in the overall development of the students. Apart from educational excellence, they have provided social consciousness. Through direct hands-on, compulsory social work, a social awareness is inculcated in them. They have also encouraged a keen sense of democratic right and duties, unity amongst sexes, and mutual respect for one another.


Road Conditions in Kolkata
Pratik Kundal

Roads are the lifelines of any city because they provide the essential connectivity between various places, but poor road conditions and horrendous traffic are causes of grave concern today. Though presently many corrective measures have been introduced to regulate traffic, the situation remains unaffected.

According to an opinion poll, conducted by the TOI - AC Neilson Org-Marg, 58% felt that that road space has not increased, 52% felt the road conditions have deteriorated and 23% blamed the apathy and negligence of the civic authorities to maintain and repair roads. Kolkata has not been able to cope with the spectacular growth in vehicular traffic and there seems to be no solution in sight to the pathetic state of affairs. Vehicles take an unusually long time to traverse even a few kilometers, which is undoubtedly attributable to the awful condition of the roads.

There are several roads in Kolkata without pavements; some are miserably damaged, while others are indiscriminately occupied by the hawkers - forcing the pedestrians to walk on the carriageway. Because the roads are frequently potholed with open drains and manholes, they endanger human lives. The Potholes are filled up with sharp stones and broken brick pieces - occasionally damaging vehicles further.

During the rainy season, the roads remain waterlogged for several hours due to poor drainage system, which practically paralyses the transportation system. The authorities often pile up stones, bricks, metals and other concrete on the roadside, as part of the repair work- adding much to the woes and sufferings of the ‘hapless’ pedestrians, causing fatalities almost every day.

Owing to such deplorable road conditions, trucks and other vehicles breakdown everyday, slowing down traffic thereby wasting time and fuel and increasing pollution significantly. Though the citizens are forced to pay exorbitant taxes, it’s they who are the worst sufferers of the rapid deterioration in the condition of the footpaths. The travelers find the streets choked with jams and are unable to keep appointments on time.

Therefore, the Government and the Municipality must initiate drastic measures, for concerted and multi-disciplinary remedial efforts. The Civic authorities cannot always lay the blame elsewhere because they are unquestionably responsible for reducing the incidence of road accidents. The concerned authorities must ensure that execution and completion of construction or repair works are completed expeditiously. They should pay adequate attention to the complaints of the residents and allocate funds for proper maintenance of roads and improve the drainage system because terrible road conditions constitute both a hazard and a nuisance for the taxpayers.


Air Pollution in Kolkata City
Dr. A. K. Mitra

Air pollution in Kolkata was above permissible limits some 20 years back due to the traditional chulas used for cooking. It improved in the interim due to the use of LPG in the later years, but the problem has become acute again due to the addition of new components like SPM (Suspended Particulate matter, below 2u) or NO2 or CO from Automobile pollution. The installation of the Ambient Air Sampler at St. Xavier's College Campus shows that during winter all these levels are above the tolerable limit. This is because the pollutants cannot disperse easily, mainly due to inversion, low wind speed, and high congestion.

Although Calcutta is known to be one of the world's most polluted cities; available data on pollutants are scanty. So far data on SPM, S02, N02, in Calcutta for only a couple of years are available. Relatively small amounts of data are available on other parameters like CO, benzene soluble organic matter (BSOM), heavy metals and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH).

The average SPM level during winter may remain around 600 to 1000ug/m3, whereas the permissible limit is only 200ug/m3. This includes high amount of BSOM. High BSOM was associated with high value of PAH. Twelve PAH compounds were identified and quantified in the city air and some of them are suspected carcinogens. Amongst the heavy metals, lead concentration in SPM during winter for Calcutta was high in comparison to other cities of the world.

The total organolead concentrations in ambient air were found to be very high in the city air. The average organolead concentration during 1994 was around 300 ug/m3 but the use of lead free gasoline has brought it down below 100 ug/m3. Concentrations of benzene. toluene and xylene were found to be much higher than in other studies elsewhere in the world. The average benzene concentration during 1995 was around 500ug/m3 but it has doubled during a period of 10 years due to replacement of lead by benzene derivatives as petroleum additives.

Various other factors like use of kerosene, coal as cooking fuel, coal in use by power plants surrounding the city, large number of cars, poor quality of fuel, bad condition of the city streets, cemented road surface are also responsible for the worsening of the air condition in Kolkata city.

It is estimated by NEERI that 60 percent of Kolkata's residents suffer from some kind of respiratory disease due to air pollution. The burning of coal as an industrial and domestic fuel accounts for a significant proportion of pollutant emissions, especially SPM, which is clearly a major problem throughout Kolkata and should be the main focus of immediate control efforts. Surprisingly, SO2 concentrations are relatively low (within WHO guideline) which is due to the low sulphur content (0.3 percent) of coal used locally.

In general it appears that industrial emissions have, to a large extent, stabilized and in some cases declined. It is not clear what the reasons for these changes are, but it is likely that planning measures restricting industrial development have played an important role. In some cases industries have been forced to close down by the SPCB (State Pollution Control Board). Changes in domestic and commercial fuel use, principally a reduction in coal use, and improvements in burning efficiency may also have helped to reduce emissions.

Carbon monoxide and NO2, emissions from motor vehicles are of increasing concern and probably present the greatest long-term threat to the quality to Kolkata's air. The number of motor vehicle in the city doubles every six years, a trend which is likely to continue at least up to 2020. With this rate of growth it is unlikely that even the introduction of the most stringent control measures would reduce overall emissions and ambient concentrations from this source.

The data presented here give only a very limited picture of the quality of air in Kolkata. A survey of air pollution levels and emissions throughout the Kolkata metropolitan district is required for proper management of air quality.


Education In Kolkata
Sumana Ghosh

We are often plagued with the question “Is Kolkata really shinning in terms of education?” Are students really getting that quality of education which they are entitled to, and that will serve them well in the knowledge economy of the 21st century? Unfortunately the answer is “No”.

Sadly, too many students have to study in schools and colleges where expectations for achievement are low, where academic programs are weak, where too little ‘quality’ learning is taking place, and where the atmosphere is not “student friendly”.

There is no dearth of schools and colleges in Kolkata but there is really a need for “good” schools and colleges, whether private or government, which will provide good infrastructural facilities, focus on quality teaching, and where the orientation would be to develop potential “leaders for tomorrow”.


Kolkata’s Informal Sector
Saswati Chaudhuri

In Kolkata, as in most Indian cities, the urban poor survive by working in the informal sector, which comprise more than 40% of the labour force. Kolkata had witnessed an economic decline from the 60s till the late 90s. The partition accounting for the massive migrant refugees, the predominance of trade-unions, the Bangladesh war, frequent strikes, the collapse of infrastructure, and public governance served to nearly destroy the economy of Kolkata.

Besides, the poverty and lack of gainful employment in the rural areas and in the smaller towns drove large numbers of people to Kolkata for work and livelihood. Lack of proper educational levels and low skills meant that informal sector was their only means for survival. For the urban poor, hawking is one of the means of earning a livelihood, as it requires minimal financial input and the skills involved are low. Street vending is also an easy form of earning their livelihood.

Kolkata has more than 100,000 hawkers, second only to Mumbai. Closure of jute mills, textile mills and engineering firms have resulted in many of their workers, along with their wives, becoming hawkers or street vendors in order to eke out a living. Thus, informal sector can provide an alternative employment opportunities for the poor of Kolkata.

Our self-esteem received a jolt when in the 1980s, owing to the depressed economy, Kolkata was known as “the dying city”. The city’s fortune barometer started rising in the wake of the liberalisation – the economic revival led largely by the IT sector - but we should not forget that at the other end of the spectrum, the informal sector was also doing its bit to resurrect our lost self-esteem and sobriquets like “dying city” are best forgotten for ever.


Survey on Reading Habit

In a random sample survey, recently conducted by the Goethals Indian Library and Research Society among college students in Kolkata, it was found that 73.56 per cent of College students are in the habit of reading one or more English newspapers. 27.5 per cent responded to be reading more than one paper.

Among the names of five English newspapers cited in the survey, the Telegraph topped the list with 75.4 per cent readership, followed by the Times of India with 29.9 per cent, the Economic Times with 13.65 per cent, the Statesman with 06.5 per cent and the Hindustan Times with 02.6 per cent.

The Telegraph is found to be the popular Newspaper read by College Students in the City. The survey was to create awareness among students and to encourage them to develop the habit of regular reading. Among the 1254 respondents, 53.30 per cent considered Kolkata as the ‘City of Joy’.


News Update

Fr. Felix Raj gave a two-day workshop to the staff members of St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling from 11th to 12th April, 2007.

Fr. Felix Raj has been nominated as the Board of Governors of XLRI, Jamshedpur by the Provincial of Jamshedpur.

Fr. Felix Raj’s two papers:

  1. Economic Ideas of Thiruvalluvar and Their Relevance Today, and

  2. Economic Ideas in Arthasastra (Kautilya), have been prescribed as study materials to the introductory course in Labour Economics in the Northern University of Illinois. Both papers were published in the Vidyajyoti Journal. They can be viewed at www.goethals.org

Publications by Fr. Felix Raj:
"On Killing the Killer - Capital punishment is cruel, uncivil and inhuman", The Statesman, April 27, 2007, Kolkata.


New Arrivals

Beyond Hindutva, by S. L. Verma, 2007.

Centenary Commemoration by M. J. Nolan, 1901

Discursive Hills Studies in history, Polity and Economy by Fr. P. J. Victor, SJ. & P. Pradhan, 2007.

Early Buddhism and Christianity by Yu, Chai-Shin, Delhi, 1981.

Human Dignity in Indian Secularism by John Romus Devasahayam, 2007.

Imagined Hinduism 1793-1900 by Oddie, A. Geoffreg, New Delhi, 2006.

India 2007 by Research Reference and training division, India (51st ed).

Indica by Institute of Heras, vol 43 No II, 2006.

Religion in Christian Theology by, K. P. Aleaz, Kolkata, 2001.

Religion in South Asia by Engineer Asghar Ali, Hope India, Delhi, 2005.

Religious Demography of India by Joshi, A. P. Srinivas, M. D. & Bajaj, J. K. Chennai, 2005.

Secularism, Communalism and Intellectuals by Baber Zaheer, 2006.

Shri Sai Baba tr by Swami Anand Shaman Sai, 2003.

Swami Vivekananda by Gajrani, Shiv. & Ram, S., New Delhi, 2006.

The Folk- Literature of Bengal by Rai Saheb, Dineshchandra Sen, Delhi, 2006.

The Mission of West Bengal by Josson, H. S.J., Ranchi, 1993.

Tribal development in India by Rath, Govinda, Chandra, New Delhi, 2006.


Researchers at the Goethals

Neha Parasramka, Jadavpur University, on Travel Literature and Representation of India.

Tim Konar, The University of SUSSEX, on Politics and International development studies.

Dr. Milton Spyrou, Egypt on British India.

Nandan Bhattacharya, Kolkata, on Mahatma Gandhi.

Fr. Kinley Tshering, S.J. Darjeeling on Fr. Fallon, Fr. O’Niell, Fr. Depelchin.

Udayan Namboodiry, Delhi, on St. Xavier’s College History.

Reinhild Ingrid Das, DUISBURG, on Daniel’s paintings.

Joni Roshan Murmu, Kolkata, on Law and Human Rights.


Mails & Emails

Christian mission's wonderful works have proved to be a causal effect on making of modern India. But only the negative aspect of conversion was always on the surface and the Christian missionaries were blamed. Yes, there is no hiding the fact that the Indian Christian community is the result of conversion, but its intrinsic values are overlooked.

Our country is now enjoying its over-all rich impact on our changing attitude towards life that had pushed to modernization. Some may argue to the contrary that the British Rule did bring this trend - it may be partially true but the credit for ground work goes to the Christian works.

The growth of Indian Renaissance not only in Bengal but also in the South India was a direct impact of Christian work. "Modern social scientists assert that education is the most important vehicle of empowerment. Long ago the missionaries of Serampore realized it, they introduced a system of elementary education which was acceptable to all. Their plan did not discard traditional system but made a synthesis of western idea with oriental system. William Carey kept a constant vigil in making their system of education easily acceptable to the poor.
Mr. JV Francis
, Ranchi.

I am grateful to you for the publication of my paper in your website and hope you will publish the revised edition in the form of a book.
Abanti Adhikari
, Kolkata.

Thank you very much for the beautiful newsletter that you are sending us. We love and enjoy all the materials and articles. Every family must receive it. The articles on inculturation of Upadhyay were great. He is a model of the Indian Church. As an ardent admirer of this pioneer, I wish he would be beatified soon.
Dr. Garfield Jansen
, Coimbatore.

Thank you for sending me Goethals News. Please keep sending it whenever it comes out.
Dr. Milton Spyrou
, Egypt.

I read with interest the obituary of Fr. Gerard Beckers, in the Telegraph, 10th April, 2007. The obituary shows how much love he had for us and how much we respected and loved him.
Julian Sunil Martin Roy
, Kolkata.

Thank you very much for sending us the Goethals News. It was highly informative and useful for our library.

Dr. M K George, Principal, Loyola College, Thiruvananthapuram.


Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: goethals@vsnl.com  Web-site: www.goethals.in 
Director: Dr. Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Staff: Mr. Sunil Mondol and Debu Mondal.



Copyright : The Goethals Indian Library And Research Society |  Designed by : Braindrops