Nation of Beancounters

Indian culture: Calcutta blues

Posted in Indian Culture by Navin Kumar on February 20, 2012

The new government in West Bengal has ordered that all government offices, flyovers, railings and taxis are to be painted blue. From the Indian Express:

“Our leader Mamata Banerjee has decided that the theme colour of the city will be sky blue because the motto of the new government is ‘the sky is the limit’,” said Firhad Hakim, State Urban Development Minister.

1. It’s supposed to be done whenever the buildings are scheduled for repainting. Contrary to what people think, it isn’t a colossal waste of taxpayer money – assuming that the government sticks by this clause and doesn’t hasten the process by diktat.

2. It’s not a bad idea, in itself.

3. There’s an element of exploiting one’s political power to satisfy one’s ego – here by foisting one’s favorite colour on everyone else. “Look at me! I can change the face of a city!”

4. Given that the previous government was communist, that red is a symbol of communism and that blue is considered to be the aesthetic “opposite”  of red, the choice of colour clearly isn’t apolitical.


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