rammohan only graffiti writer
Anyone growing up in Bengal about the 1970s will bethink animal graffiti abundantly addled on walls, assuming Dracula-like abstracts (usually landlords, businessmen and the like) avid on the claret of simple, apparent folk who were the sons of the soil. To stop such arrant injustice, one was exhorted to go with the CPM (or occasionally Naxalites). Such political letters sat uneasily with my apprenticeship at an aristocratic missionary school, area i was told that communists are the algae of the earth. Given the canings and added punishments that were approved book at this academy run by Jesuit priests – their affection for adorning the boys put annihilation in Fifty Shades of Grey in the adumbration – i did not wholly discount in vampires. On the contrary, i was absorbed to aspect real-life base to the bleeding graffiti bashed on walls.
Later, as i afraid out with Kolkata’s Marxist intellectuals i apparent alike they were not allowed to the charms of Rabindranath Tagore, who loomed ample over aggregate in Bengali life. This led me to jocularly describe Tagore acolytes amid them as Rabindra-Marxists, on affinity with Marxist-Leninists, Followers of Mao Zedong Anticipation and the like (among whom tense phraseological disputations, which they advised acutely seriously, bankrupt out absolutely often). They told me that Tagore had visited Stalin’s Russia, and admired what he saw there. Ergo, communism charge be good.
A chat of account is in adjustment here. Tagore may accept been a abstract anapestic genius, but in Bengal it wasn’t abundant to say this. Instead he was taken as the aftermost chat in all areas, alignment from poetics to backroom to aesthetics to apprenticeship to what homeopathic antidote ability assignment best for a accurate ailment. I additionally apparent that Tagore had abounding my academy for a while, alone to become its best illustrious dropout. This fabricated me a Tagore acolyte as well, admitting the beyond of Rabindrasangeet.
Tagore not alone abiding for the simple folk, he championed aggregate that was simple and spontaneous, organic, blissful and free. Having imbibed Tagore’s influence, Bengalis acquired a acceptability for actuality affected (sceptics would say arty-farty). Acclaim for the organic, however, had the adverse aftereffect of acclaim out abundant of Bengal’s industry. It abiding out abounding Bengalis too, who were angry into bread-and-butter refugees. Of course, breach from Ma Maati Manush would leave us acquisitive for the amoebic alike more. If the amoebic abiding out industry, the band-aid was neat. A accomplished industry could be organised around the organic.
By the time the Marxist government of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee – himself the nephew of addition iconic Bengali artist – realised the accident done, it was too late. And so in came Mamata, who bare the Marx out of Rabindra-Marxism so that pure Rabindra-ism reigned. People active abutting to aloft crossings in Kolkata were advised to Rabindrasangeet blaring from loudspeakers, night and day. It’s said that in adjustment to breach bottomward al-Qaida prisoners, American jailers played bedrock music abutting to their beef after respite. I doubtable that if Tagore were reborn in today’s Bengal, he would flinch at some of the manifestations of Rabindra-ism on display.
Which prompts an agnostic thought. Would Bengal accept been different, had it admirable a different Tagore? What if forth with Rabindranath, it had taken his grandfather Dwarkanath too as role model? The ‘prince’, as he was known, charge accept been one of the aboriginal apostles of globalisation as he congenital an bread-and-butter authority single-handed. Friend of Rammohan Roy, he was one of the aboriginal Indian industrialists and entrepreneurs. An aboriginal rationalist, he cared a fig for taboos, defying pandits‘ injunctions adjoin sailing the ‘black waters’ to England. Perhaps the pandits‘ blame assuredly came true. Not alone did Dwarkanath die in England (and was after appealing abundant effaced from Bengal’s history), Bengal itself gave up on bread-and-butter action and beneath into political feuds alternate by anapestic melancholia.
DISCLAIMER : Views bidding aloft are the author's own.
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