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Lee Kuan Yew Chair at Calcutta University? Mamata wants it

Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee

Will there be a Lee Kuan Yew Chair at Calcutta University? I am delighted.

Mamata Banerjee herself wants it. The West Bengal chief minister said so after a meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

It’s only fitting that Singapore is the first country she chose to visit since coming to power in 2011, ending 34 years of communist rule in West Bengal. [click to continue…]

North Indian temples in Kolkata and Singapore

A temple in Kolkata

I loved this temple in Kolkata. Quiet, well-maintained, it’s a welcome refuge from the world outside. Located on busy Diamond Harbour Road in Kidderpore, it’s an island of tranquillity. There is complete peace as you walk up the long flight of steps from the gate to the interior of the temple.

I was reminded of the Shree Lakshminarayan Temple at Chander Road in Singapore. It is bigger than the Lakshminarayan Temple and the architecture is different too. While the Lakshminarayan Temple is an ordinary-looking house standing on a quiet lane, this temple with its long flight of steps and high dome is clearly a Hindu religious building.

So why did it remind me of the Singapore temple? [click to continue…]

The oldest school in Kolkata

St Thomas' School at Kidderpore in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta)

St Thomas’ School is the oldest in Kolkata, says the school website. The school was founded in 1789, just three decades after the British East India Company conquered Muslim-ruled Bengal. The British built the city of Calcutta (now called Kolkata), made it their capital, and extended their rule all across India. It was from Calcutta that Sir Stamford Raffles sailed to Singapore, reaching the island on January 29, 1819. The ship was an East Indiaman named Indiana. [click to continue…]

New Year greetings from Kolkata

A lane in Kolkata

Here’s wishing everyone a happy New Year from Kolkata (formerly called Calcutta). Kolkata is a world removed from Singapore though only four and a half hours away by plane. There are still plenty of old buildings in the lanes and streets of Kolkata. Public buses and trains are overcrowded. So people want their own cars. And that adds to the congestion. Home to nearly five million people, Kolkata is almost as populous as Singapore, but with very little greenery, narrow, congested roads, it seems even more overcrowded. [click to continue…]

Google’s Singapore data centre creates buzz in India

Google’s Singapore data centre is to open early this year. The report by the Economic Times in India quoting Google’s India Products country head today created a buzz in India. Here is how the news spread. [click to continue…]