Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Siddharth Singh 2009.
Calcutta, now Kolkata, is a city lost in time. British era buildings dot the ‘skyline’, rickety buses and trams battle for space on the narrow roads, general strikes are called at the drop of the metaphorical hats; chaos reigns everywhere. But there is a pattern in this chaos. A pattern that many Indophile romanticists find enchanting. I suppose this chaos acts as a muse to the rich culture that Bengalis, in spite of hundreds of years of British rule, managed to preserve and enrich.
However, I reckon the proletariat of this Marxist stronghold does aspire for better urban infrastructure and amenities, particularly of mass transport. Without getting into the politics and economics of it, I assure you this is possible without diversion of funds from rural projects. This is not a demand of the Indian crony capitalist system, but of those sections who cannot afford to enjoy the luxuries of air-conditioned travel in cars that absorb the bumps of potholed roads.