Reading The Telegraph from Kolkata, I guess we have to see this below as good news – coming from Melbourne to work in the capital of West Bengal, I always thought there was a major similarity between both cities. Not obviously, but it was something to do with the same architects working for the East India Company and the big old merchant banking firms of Victoria. These two affable guys (pic) I spent part of New Years Eve 2005 with might not be ‘youth’ or ‘students’ but they had very positive views about the livability of Cal. I agree, place just needs a little less exhaust, and reparation payments for hundreds of years of colonial theft… (Ah yes, city links are also a reminder of the Tram Jatra – another good reasonfor twinning these two places – see here and – for the Karachi linkage – here)

From The Telegraph
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Students pitch for more liveable city


The youth of Calcutta dream of making the city like Melbourne — recently judged the world’s most liveable city by an international agency — by 2020. Riding high on history and the information technology boom, the students of various city colleges also have the blueprint to achieve the goal.

The plans, to make Calcutta the “best living city” were presented at Youthcon 07, a convention organised by Concern for Calcutta at St Xavier’s College auditorium, which saw participation by several colleges and management institutes. The “best living city” is not just comfortable to live in but also full of life, according to the organisers.

The convention on September 1 and 2 was inaugurated by mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya and attended by the Union minister for youth affairs Mani Shankar Aiyar.

The minister lauded the students for their enthusiasm and faith but pointed out that any plan for the city should not leave out the economically backward. “You need to be more practical in your approach and include the less fortunate in your plans,” said Aiyar.

Concern for Calcutta, an autonomous, non-profit organisation formed in 1948, launched its youth cell last year to involve the younger generation in the mainstream of development.

“There are some who dream of making Calcutta the queen among cities but there are also those who don’t care,” said Bhattacharyya, who was the chief guest.

The mayor called for the participation of young people can help in maintaining the underground drainage system for reducing waterlogging in the city. “Youngsters can help spread awareness about how plastic bags clog up drains,” said Bhattacharyya.

Release Jose-Maria Sison!

CoRIM received the following urgent message:

Release Jose-Maria Sison!

The Committee of the Revolutionary
Internationalist Movement learned with anger and
outrage of the arrest in the Netherlands of
Jose-Maria Sison by the Dutch authorities.
Comrade Sison was the founding Chairman of the
Communist Party of the Philippines in 1968 and
has remained a life-long opponent of imperialism
and reaction and leader of the Filipino people’s
struggles. It is for these reasons and no other
that comrade Sison has been hounded by successive
reactionary governments in the Philippines. US
imperialism and the European Union have also
tried to stick the “terrorist” label on comrade
Sison, despite the fact that the struggle he has
been associated with in the Philippines is widely
known, even by the reactionary news media, to
have the support of millions of Filipinos from
all walks of life.

The arrest of comrade Sison is not only a major
blow to the struggle of the Filipino people, it
is also an attack on the thousands of
revolutionaries and other political activists
from around the world who have settled in Europe
because of severe political persecution in their
home countries. If the Dutch authorities succeed
in bringing comrade Sison to trial, it will have
ominous, more widespread implications.

The CoRIM, on behalf of the entire Revolutionary
Internationalist Movement, calls upon all
communist, revolutionary and progressive forces
and individuals to raise their voices in protest
to demand that the Dutch authorities release
Jose-Maria Sison, drop all charges, and cease
their political persecution of him.

Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist
30 August 2007