An Overview of Calcutta

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is a city that means many things to many people. For some, it is the city of joy, while for others it is dirty, crowded, and noisy. It is one of the four major Metropolitan cities of India. Kolkata is not an ancient city like Delhi. Like Mumbai and Chennai, it originated largely due to the expansionist ambitions of the European powers, especially the British Raj. Little wonder, Kolkata has some of the finest Raj edifices built in a variety of styles. Kolkata was the first capital of the British in India and is the proud intellectual capital of the country (source).

The largest metropolis in India, Kolkata is a vibrant city on the move, volatile and unpredictable. A city just about ready to burst at the seams, Kolkata is home to more than 15 million people. It is the commercial nerve-centre of the East, with major industrial plants, textile mills and corporate units. Regal edifices, grubby alleys, bustling bazaars, elegant hotels, people from all walks of life – Kolkata has it all. The city is a hub of fervent activity in the realms of music, theater, arts, and sports. Kolkata has always prided itself on the many luminaries it has sent forth, be it Tagore, Satyajit Ray, or Mrinal Sen. The intense dedication to the arts manifests itself in a plethora of festivals, dance, music performances and other cultural events. The Calcutta’s are also famous for their all-consuming passion for sports, especially, football and cricket. Kolkata is a city of baffling paradoxes, a city that leaves its stamp on one’s mind forever (source).

Religion in Kolkata

Being a cosmopolitan city, Kolkata represents a blend of different religions. Majority of people inhabiting Kolkata are Hindus. Muslims are in minority. Other minority communities include Christians, Buddhist, Sikhs and Jains.

The term Hindu covers a number of religious sects ranging from monotheists to polytheists in various degrees. The religious sect with the largest following is Vaishnavism, mainly of the Chaitanya cult. Of the minor Bhakti cult sect, the most interesting is the Sahajiya sect, which does not recognize the difference of caste and community and the convention of social life. The next in order are the Shaktas and Saivas.

Social behaviour of this plural structure of Hinduism is traditionally controlled by the caste system with a clear-cut division between the entire Hindu community and the other communities (source).

Would you pray that God would send laborers to this city and country to lift His name high?

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