Kolkata has always been a jewel on the crown of the British Empire. They ruled us, yes, truth be told, they also built it from scratch. Kolkata walked hand in hand with pride and poverty. Charnock’s logbook says,” In consideration that all the former buildings here are destroyed, it is resolved that such places be built as necessity requires and as cheap as possible these to be done with mud walls and thatched (roof) till we get ground whereon to build a factory. “This is how the first capital of British India was born.
The name Calcutta invokes myriad emotions in people. While an eminent author like Rudyard Kipling termed it as “poverty and pride – side by side”, others like V.S. Naipaul, Gunter Grass, Louis Malle also gave us the hellish picture of Kolkata in their writing. In our times, as well, Rajiv Gandhi termed it as “Dying City”.
Calcutta is a Cultural and Literary History. The East India company had a strong fleet and the army of Kings in India back then did not have the power to contradict them. It, of course, made the British powerful. There have been many works by Charnock and others which were in favour of Kolkata.
Social reformers such as Raja Rammohan Roy, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Swami Vivekananda could take the help of the government to improve the situation of women and writers such as Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay gave us a beautiful kaleidoscope of Kolkata and all its paradoxes.
The City of Joy has always been beautiful, enriched and a melting pot of people with beautiful brain and mind. As a citizen of it, be proud and preach its greatness!