All Bengalis are intellectuals and that includes me!
To a Bengali, being called an intellectual is a matter of birthright. We like to spend our time on intellectual pursuits. That conjures up vision of a dhoti-clad, bespectacled, middle-aged man in hot pursuit of matters intellectual with a butterfly net.
We live by our intellect; this mode of living excludes all non-Bengalis from its definition. We are Buddhi-jibis: folks who live by our wits. If Chanakyapuri, Delhi’s diplomatic enclave was in Kolkata, the capital city of Bengal, the road names there would have definitely had an addition. Shanti (Peace) Path, Nyaya (justice) Marg, Satya (Truth) Marg, Niti (Principle Marg)… to a Bengali all this is secondary to Buddhi- Intelligence. In fact, to a true Bengali, it all starts and ends with Buddhi.
So, in the most sacred land of Buddhi, whose capital Kolkata is, the buddhiman (intelligent) electorate elected Buddhadeb, the star among the buddhijibis to lead them for 5 years. His predecessor had ruled Bengal for almost 30 years. Gita says, “Vinaashkaale viparit-buddhi”: loosely translated, whom the Gods want to destroy, they first turn mad. Buddhadeb’s predecessor is proof that Gita is not infallible, he had had Viparit Buddhi for a long time, but continued to rule without being visited by any destruction.
Our benighted state is blessed with a galaxy of star buddhijibis, as befits a state where the average IQ is in the high 20s. Buddhadeb’s nemesis is Lady Khamata, the high priestess of bad; the leading Dur-buddhijibi. Normally, you would expect the buddhijibis of the state to rise up and side with Buddhadeb; after all he is one of them. But, after 30 years of being ruled by the Viparit-Buddhi-jibi, the state is now mostly populated by Nirbuddhi-jibis. These brainless wonders sat around and nodded listlessly and waited for the next bandh call as the last truck rolled out of Singur carrying the nuts and bolts of the last hope of Bengal’s economic revival.
Man can not live on bread alone; but, the Nirbuddhi-jibis of Bengal can live on their buddhi, nay, their tattered reputation of being the most intellectual in our country.