An East Delhi Citizen's Blog

general riff about politics, education, media, society, cricket..

Archive for the tag “Mamata”

A story of 2 journeys

On a flight between Seoul and Taipei, I settle down in my aisle seat and wait for the flight to take-off before opening my laptop. A man settles down to the right; an Indian?

I am not really in a mood to strike up a conversation; I have a presentation tomorrow for which I am using slides that I have not even seen before. Is this man the talkative type? Does a familiar brown face make him open up? It does too, for me. But, not today. Read more…

Now it is the turn of the rest of India

.. first Bengal, then India: Mamata’s Emosional Atyachaar

Many have celebrated Mamata’s ascendancy and indeed have watched with glee over the last few years how political opportunism mixed with total irresponsibility has become respectable, even mainstream in the state of West Bengal and have not blinked, because, the fire was burning elsewhere.

As Mamata free-wheeled through alliance-making; frst the BJP, then the SUCI and  Naxals and then with Congress, our political commentators were silent. It was all kosher; everything was fair game, we were told, if the Marxists can be removed from power in West Bengal.

As she and her rag-tag combine of has been actors (Shatabdi Roy and Tapas Paul), has been Marxist/ can still sing, if increasingly laden with scatology (Kabir Suman), has been in Congress, was expelled from Trinamool (Sudip Bandyopadhya) entertained Kolkata on 22nd July by ensuring a grateful city was spared a productive day in office, we must ask ourselves, in what way is she better than Mayawati or Jayalalithaa, politicians to whom she is often compared?

My fellow Indians, now our time has come. Now, we will pay the price for Mamata, as a nation. And, it will no longer be possible to ignore her.

I refer to the “Land Bill”, which was being brought in to replace a century old Colonial law which recognised only the role of the State in acquiring land for “public purpose”.

Mamata does not want this bill; every other political party is okay with it. Why? Because, this will be against the emotive, nihilistic and yet, electorally expedient stance she took in Singur and Nandigram.

So, what is the solution? After all, as Nirad Chaudhuri never tired of pointing out, Bengal loves going against the tide in the rest of the country; so what if such a stance is detrimental to progress.

There is a precedence. The Industrial Disputes Act of 1955 has specific sections which apply only to West Bengal. Perhaps, we can have the Land-Bill in the rest of the country, and have a “Mamata section” in the bill for West Bengal?

After all, why should the rest of India pay for the inability of the West Bengal voters to know what is good for them?

Will it stop at the Land Bill? My fear is, it will not.

Bengal People’s Theatre Association

or, Mamata and her merry men

After every Lok Sabha elections, the newly elected MPs from West Bengal are felicitated by the local Bengali residents of Delhi. I am sure, that day will come soon.

In true Bengali tradition, there would be an overdose of “Kaalchaar”; with Robindra Shongeet wafting in the air and self-important denizens of the local Bengali community trying their best to jockey for positions near the stage. Oh, what an eminently missable occasion!

Except, this year, I suspect this event will have great entertainment value. Because, for a change, the Mamata Dal packs great entertainment value. There is Kabir Suman, the MP from Jadavpur, who made a name as a singer of “leaning further left than the left” folk ballads. There is Tapas Paul, who made a name in Bengali cinema as a oversized cherub and there is Shatabdi Roy, who has been acting in Bengali movies since 1986. In a remarkably prescient move, she had acted in a movie called “Didi Aamar Maa” (Didi is my mother), released almost ten years back.
For those of you who doubt their entertainment potential, YouTube is full of Kabir Suman; especially his later ballads when the once leftist goes after his erstwhile comrades with a vengeance. Most of them are not fit for children; so excercise due care.

Of course, it can be said that many things that Mamata says on prime TV are not fit for children either. Like the time she claimed that Tagore offered the glass of lemon juice to Mahatma Gandhi to break his fast undertaken after the post independence Hindu-Muslim violence. Small matter that Tagore had died in 1940, a good 8 years before this!
The Bengali association felicitation offers a unique opportunity of being entertained by Mamata and her merry men. Roles are reversed and the entertainment maybe of dubious quality but, I will admit there is a sense of guilty anticipation to it. Much like queuing up to watch your first “adult” movie. After all, Suman might, just might, sing his song about Marxism in the posterior . Satabdi might be pursuaded to say something from her “Didi Aaamar Maa” and Tapas Paul will perhaps relive his glory days of working with Madhuri Dixit in his only foray in Bollywood.
And, Mamata might sing. She had practice in Saregamapa . Yipee!

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