Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Ganguly fallout

Bengalis have had enough of India. There was a time when Indian culture meant Bengali culture, where Indian literature meant Bengali literature, where Bengalis were at the forefront of every positive movement in the country. Ask Nirad babu if you don't believe me, he was there. But the glory days are gone. First that impostor Gandhi ousted Deshbandhu, then the playboy Nehru elbowed Netaji to usurp the nationalist struggle. Then capitalists in Bollywood rejected quality movies—they even dared to portray the lovelorn Devdaas, the Bengali hero, as clean-shaved! Meanwhile the likes of Rushdie stole stories from Sunilda. And now this dropping of Ganguly is just the latest insult in 85 years of ignominious treacherous humiliation by the Indians. But this is the last straw, this is the straw that broke the Bengali camel's, okay make that Bengali goat’s back!

We can hear a Bengali Babu speak:

We must launch a movement to secede from this Republic which we once dominated but which now dominates us! We urge all public servants and union workers to hartal. Join us, brothers and sisters from the schools and colleges and universities, join us and we will go marching down the streets with our cry for freedom! We will congregate on the maidan, we will turn every house into a fortress, every city into a citadel of freedom! Even better, every district, every neighbourhood, every village will form committees, sub-committees, standing committees, advisory committees and working groups to debate, argue and make fiery speeches.

And the country will tremble at the sound of our voices!

We can see law and order breaking down as the local police join the freedom movement and quit their posts. Instead of serving as the muscular henchmen of the state, they will become real Bengalis, running off to go write a poem, watch a French art movie, or more plausibly, visit a pouting whore.

With violent protests in the streets of Kolkata, and several people being beaten up for preferring laddoo over rosho golla (a sign of being a parasitic Marwari capitalist), and the formation of a liberation army called the Banga Sena with a rabble-rousing leadership inciting armed rebellion, Indian government will be forced to send in the paramilitary forces.

To no one's surprise, the Banga Senas will wave the white flag of surrender the moment the first soldier comes marching in. It will later transpire that this soldier was in fact the one brave Bengali returning home to fight for his motherland. While trying to retreat to Bangladesh, the remaining elements will discover to their horror that some idiot has built a fence in between! Luckily, in exchange of smut videos starring Kolkata kalis, the Bangladesh Rifles will help the top leadership escape through their knowledge of secret passageways previously used by the Delhi rickshawallahs travelling in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, the Kolkata press will concede the struggle, claiming it was a nefarious plot by the CIA and the Muslim underworld.

The Banga Senas will fester in exile in Dhaka, horrified to discover the local Muslim populace think themselves Bengali, and have adopted Amar shonar Bangla as their national anthem. But they will somehow put up a brave face to their troubles, and launch their freedom movement once again.

"Issue forthwith and post haste, countrymen", they will declare in babufied English, "freedom's song hearkens to us!".

Of course their dream is not simply for a homeland for the Bengalis. This already exists. There is another concealed dream, of a destiny unfulfilled, of the fate that is theirs by right. They dream of an India which will recognise what the Bengalis have done for India, where they will be admired as superior heroes they have always known themselves to be. Their dream is to once again be the vanguard people of India, to bask alone in the glory they have been forced to surrender.

They dream of a country which will once again be shaped by their vision. Their dream is for a land where grandiloquent words are used in ordinary speech! Where airports and stadiums are renamed after forgotten politicians and obscure poets! Where if the TV channels aren't showing Satyajit Ray movies, then they must be playing old Suchitra-Uttam tear-jerkers. They want a cricket team where Ganguly will always be the captain.

Inspired by such wild and improbable ideals, the murmurings of freedom will continue in secret, when the Babu will return from work and harangue his wife for watching Kahani ghar ghar ki. Of course in public he will know better, remembering to wave the tricolour and bide his time, and wait for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to return from exile and lead them to victory!

Bonde Matorom!