On the back page, editor Chaitanya Kalbag writes:
Shine on, you crazy diamonds
“I remember back in the 1970s, when a new India was just over a quarter of a century old, Geoffrey Moorhouse, in his foreward to his Calcutta wrote: ‘The imperial residue of Calcutta, a generation after Empire ended, is both a monstrous and a marvellous city. Journalism and television have given us a rough idea of the monstrosities but none at all of the marvels. I can only hope to define the first more clearly and to persuade anyone interested that the second is to be found there too.’
“The Japanese possess a very fine aesthetic, and their poets transformed what they observed into written pointillism in the form known as haiku—a 17-syllable composition in three lines. Read this haiku by Basho (1644-1694): ‘Seen in plain daylight/ the firefly’s nothing but/ an insect.’ So true. it is only against the ink-black night that light flares out brightest, and it is only against the backdrop of the rancour and vitriol that we respond positively, and eagerly to good news and tidings of the better side of human nature.
“We have much to look forward to, there really is a lot that is going right. When every “news-hour” on prime-time television actually a showcase for a shouting, berating, finger-wagging “anchor”—heaven knows what they are anchoring when they are ricocheting so much—you are hard put to really get near the real news. If you read the vernacular press you information couched like agendas; you rarely get dispassionate reportage.
“So where do you turn for positive news on what is happening across the vast United States of India? You will find one repository of good news at www.goodnewsindia.com. Its progenitor D.V. Sridhran writes that he stopped the website in 2006 to concentrate on a land restoration project. The website has been revived in 2012 and you will find several good stories.
“We do have a responsibility to ourselves to chronicle the tides rolling in. It is not easy finding these inspiring tales. Our antennae need to become super-sensitive to pick up those feeble radio signals. Sometimes we do tune in to them, and the sounds we hear are music to our ears.”