HomeOpinionBENGAL – A nutritious brain on a broken spine

BENGAL – A nutritious brain on a broken spine

Once upon a time there was a part of land in India which produced and echoed voices of independence under the British, where footprints of great thinkers were found all over. So much was the contribution of this part of India, whether it was the brain or hands that congressman GK Gokhale uttered the words a century back, “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”. Hundred years down the line, this statement has done more damage to Bengal than causing any good. Once the capital of British India, this part of land has now been reduced to a land of thugs, goons, Jihadis and the corrupts.

The Bengal factory which used to consistently churn out freedom fighters & nationalist like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Surya Sen, Khudiram Bose, Matangini Hazra, Bagha Jatin, Chittaranjan Das, Bipin Chandra Pal, Jatindra Nath Das, Pritilata Waddedar, Prafulla Chaki, Batukeshwar Dutt, Kalpana Datta, Bina Das, Rash Behari Bose and so many more is now a rusted abandoned factory of the east. It is baffling to see that the land which gave us Yogis, philosophers, thinkers, novelist, poets like Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghosh, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Jibanananda Das, Jatindramohan Bagchi, Krittibas Ojha ( translated Indian epic the Valmiki Ramayana into Bengali ), Satyendranath Dutta is now a land consumed in past glory and unable to churn out new product of 21st century. Whether it is the first Nobel Prize or the first Oscars, whether it is Jana gana mana or Vande mataram, you name it, Bengal was once the brain of the entire nation. A typical Bengali once could have been visualized with Shastra and Shaastra, book in one hand with a gun in the other, not any more. This article is not about details of the fall of Bengal story but will focus on the core issue that every Bengali has to deal with today.

Post Indian Independence, Bengal has been ruled by 3 prominent political parties, congress, CPIM ( Marxists) and TMC. Every one of them has to own this failure however as per my study and opinion the first nail in the Bengal backbone was put in by the communist regime who ruled Bengal for 34 years, sucked out industries & business from Bengal, created a deep state cadre system in remotest of the villages, created an elitist group of authors, poets, movie actors & directors, created a system to loot and rigged votes to remain in power, met all criticism and opposition with violence and crude force ( Doctrine of communism), most importantly in 34 years communist were able to create rift between centre and state, thereby robbing the spirit of nationalism from Bengalis’ DNA. The current ruling party TMC has used the same tactics but have put them on steroids. When you successfully detach the source of inspiration from a person, you can kill him without a blow. That is why Mughals burned our libraries, that is why British tried to buy and influence Brahmins by offering them lucrative administrative positions, that is why communist and then TMC tried to rob nationalism from heart of each Bengalis. Many people comment that if Bengal’s intelligentsia lost their backbone then how come we saw prominent public figures who were communist started speaking against the communist regime in Bengal, well I have closely studied that point and there is no denying the fact that there was some resistance but what is very prominent is the timing of the resistance. The resistance of Bengal’s intelligentsia started when it was already clear that Bengal Regime change is a matter of time with uprising of Mamata Banerjee and Nandigram revolts. It does not take 34 years for a living awakened society to rise up against injustice. The same intelligentsia who used to be communists before is now behind the tyrant Government of Bengal under Mamata Banerjee. These people includes prominent authors, actors, novelists, singers, nobel laureates of Bengal who has nutritious brain but a broken spine and they are the influencers of Bengal. Mark my words, they will change sides when TMC falls. Today’s Bengal changes TV channel when they see opposition cadres hanging from trees, today’s Bengal does not feel proud in India’s roaring success, today’s Bengal calls their Gujrati, Punjabi, Tamil brothers as outsiders, today’s Bengal shouts “Jai Bangla “ which is a slogan of Bangladesh, today’s Bengal goes to court to complete Hindu festival formalities, today’s Bengali is busy in wining and dining while some where in town or village a woman gets rape threat if she goes out to vote, today’s Bengal has created an army of police whom the innocents fear & the goons worship, today’s Bengal youth goes to other states for employment & then talks against that same state who gave him bread and butter & praises his own Bengal which could not give him employment, today’s Bengal gets job when you pick up the flag of the ruling party or bribe the officials, today’s Bengal has allowed the dirty hands to touch the education system as well which will destroy the next generation ( maybe it already has ), today’s Bengal allows it’s vote banks to drive without helmets and cause arson when they want & where they want. All good that is remaining is embedded in past colourful glory, current Bengal is dark grey. We cannot see the next Rabindranath, the next Netaji, the next Satyajit Ray, the next Aurobindo, the next Bankim Chandra, the Bengal factory is dead. The appropriate words for current Bengal should be, “ What Bengal thinks or do today, the world should never think or do ever “.

I am writing this article with a heavy heart since I am a Bengali living in this dark grey world. I have seen my friends and colleagues remain quiet in the fear of getting arrested by the authoritarian regime, they have hands, they have legs, they have social media accounts but they choose to remain quiet to continue their own small happy life, they care about their own life than that of their next generation. A brain without a supporting backbone is useless however nutritious it may be, today’s Bengal has a broken backbone due to 45 years of experiment by communist and then TMC & we Bengalis have to decide whether we want to live like handicapped for 50 years or go down fighting like a wounded tiger now so that our cubs gets their dose of inspiration & can restart the famous Bengal factory. We do not have time, I also have an old dependent mother, I have a brother, I have a loving wife, I have a 3.5 year old daughter but I have decided to go down fighting using whatever skills I have, what about you Bengalis. Leave your wheelchairs and create resistance, get back to our roots, embrace nationalism.

As our pride, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore used to say “ If there is no-one responding to your call – then go on all alone “.

Biswadeep Banerjee
Working as a Sr. Manager Networks & Communication for a leading European IT Organization. Thinker, researcher and a Rebel at heart.
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