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Published in the 1-15 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

News from Murshidabad

Buddha admits Muslim 'neglect' 

The Milli Gazette Online

Behrampore: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee admitted here on April 23 that Muslims in both Malda and Murshidabad are still a "neglected lot" and need the special attention of the government.

The government would seek assistance from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to improve the lot of Muslims in these two districts, said Bhattacharjee who was on a day’s visit here to lay the foundation stone of an industrial estate on a 11-acre plot.

"While in Murshidabad 64 per cent of the total population is Muslim, in Malda their population is 53 per cent. In the two districts, the Muslim community is a majority and we have to improve its lot," said the chief minister who also inaugurated an office of the West Bengal Small Scale Industries Corporation and a shopping complex in the town.

The chief minister said he had asked Webcon to conduct a survey on the feasibility of setting up industries in the two districts. "Webcon has submitted its survey report to me. On that basis, the government has asked the WBSSIC and the West Bengal Minorities Financial Development Corporation to work to improve the situation in the two districts."

Bhattacharjee’s statements come four months after he had promised to take steps for the development of Malda and Murshidabad, during the district conference of the CPM in January.

Observers said the assurances by the chief minister are aimed at wooing minorities for the elections to the municipalities to be held next month. The CPM had fared poorly in Malda and Murshidabad in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections and subsequent polls.  ( al/story_4654814.asp)

Painting Murshidabad anew

By Asim Pramanik in Behrampore
May 13. — It is an artist’s attempt to preserve the most glittering moments in the history of Murshidabad, the capital city of east India comprising Bengal, Bihar and Orissa till the East India Company replaced the Nawabs in the Masnad of Murshidabad. 
Mr Gour Shankar Pramanik, a painter from the Saiedabad area in Behrampore, wants to dedicate his life in rediscovering the history of Murshidabad that shaped the fate of a nation and have interested scholars of history and heritage down the years. A visual art graduate from Indian Art College in Kolkata, Mr. Pramanik has already completed a good number of still frames, close to the size of black-board, that depict in pastel colours the savage force of sword-and-shield battles at Plassey, Giria and Buxar, the serenity of Nawab Siraj-ud-Doula’s afternoon visit to his favourite diamond lake or Hirajheel. They also evince the vintage flavour of the first train in Murshidabad, the prosperity and greenness of agro-based rural life during the reign of the queen, Rani Bhabani. To work on such a theme, one needs to have an eye for detail and a zeal for accuracy of presentation because the painting here deals with the facts of history, said the artist while explaining the cause of toil that such art entails. "Knowing the pros and cons of visual art only here does not mean a lot. 

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