Goon-running, Rabindranath and the Netri

October 6, 2011

October 6, 2011

by Krishanu Mandal

[Referencing to the several allusions to Rabindranath’s writings present in what follows has been skipped.]

This is meant to be a political piece. So, ideally this should be a sequence of logical steps–like the proof of a mathematical result. However, the absurdity of living in contemporary Kolkata under the Fraulein makes one cry out utterances as in absurd drama.

Nevertheless we begin with the definitions, as in Mathematics. Goon-running is well-known–much too well-known–as being often nearly synonymous with the real political practices under the veneer of our venerated parliamentary democracy. Netri–the Fuehrer (with a bit of apology to the Germans for this bad grammar), of course, is Mamata. Rabindranath was the son of one of the richest landlords of the nineteenth century Bengal who, cushioned by the enormous rentier income in his family, created epoch-making literature in Bengali. While he managed to give astonishing expressions to almost every kind of emotion and feeling — even hunger and armed resistance against oppressors — he was also well-known to have secured good sums of money by hobnobbing with the likes of Nizam and Mussolini for a university he used to run. Now, quite some years after his death he has become a victim of an unfortunate infatuation of the Netri which is breeding much comedy and some unpleasantness.

May 13, 2011 is a memorable day for Bengal. Sadly perhaps, the day may turn out to be almost as memorable as the ascendancy to power in the ’30’s Germany of a bad painter who used to shout out nonsensical prejudices. Some Fuehrers are alike — scheming egomaniacs usurping outcomes of people’s anger and then cheating them, living ostensibly frugal lives, spewing bullshit in speeches, painting bad pictures and raising gangs of goons.

After decades of chicanery and subjugation against them even in the ‘independent’ India, the people of Jangalmahal in Bengal rose up in 2008 against the state power. Their line of action followed Rabindranath — there was voluntary and democratic participation in the villages and faced with the relentless torture of the state power–that of the governmental ‘joint forces’ and the NGOs of Harmads — they did not deter from armed resistance, as Rabindranath advised at times. They even gave away lives fearlessly, again quite in correspondence with Rabindranath’s vision. The snakes breathing out poison–the Left Front Government, a chummy Chidambaram in Delhi, and their expensively armed gangs — used conventional weapons of repression like beating and killing people as well as throwing people into jail indiscriminately (as well as a bit non-conventional ones like shitting into wells for drinking water in Jangalmahal villages not quite welcoming to them).

People were angry all over Bengal. The resulting long and persistent rebellion of the masses will inspire generations. Fraulein Fuehrer came to power. Several times before the election, she demanded the withdrawal of joint forces from Jangalmahal and releasing the political victims–the prisoners–of the erstwhile regime.

The story thenceforth is quite straightforward. Her gangs of goons are proliferating quite healthily all over Bengal. They are proving themselves almost as efficient in extorting money from the villagers and the common people and in intimidating them as their brethren in CPIM were. Some of these CPIM lumpens just have changed sides. Then, in the time-honoured tradition of the Congress party, these Trinamool gangs are having bloody fights among themselves almost everyday over the share of the loot.

The Fraulein, of course, has declined to do the two simple things that the common people of Jangalmahal demanded most — releasing these prisoners and withdrawing the joint forces.

And the Fuehrer she is, a magnificent plan of creating 10,000 storm-troopers out of the poor youth of Jangalmahal is afoot, perhaps to blossom her Bhairav Bahini in Jangalmahal and hopefully to develop a full-fledged civil war.

In her recent speeches–what emerged out of the rants she made–it is evident that like the celebrated goddess in one of Rabindranath’s plays, she is dreaming of a thorough-going bloodshed in Jangalmahal (as well as in Kolkata perhaps where some internet-using truant ‘intellectuals’, she suspects, take up the cause of the deprived people in Jangalmahal and elsewhere, much to her chagrin). The drama should unfold soon. She has won hearty approval from the West Bengal governor and the chums in the ruling class. Jindals should be loving it.

True, a celebrated song of Rabindranath asks for getting beaten more and more. The infatuated Netri has been faithfully ensuring that for quite some time now.

It is yet to be seen whether she also spurns the most recent opportunity (of October 04) of arriving at a just solution in Jangalmahal leading to fruitful peace there.

Incidentally, in a candid interview on September 24 in Star Ananda (snippets here:, a Bengali news channel, the Fuehrer conjured up a novel named “Kadambini” which she imagined was written by Rabindranath. She was improvising a reference to a sentence she quoted out of context and the sentence concerned was written by the unfortunate Rabindranath in a short story called “Jibito o Mrito”. Media largely suppressed this new piece of occasional buffoonery by the Fraulein in the otherwise sinister interview where she thundered about impending police action in the state.

Not all goon-runners have intellectual pretensions. Only some have.


5 Responses to “Goon-running, Rabindranath and the Netri

  1. Som Says:
    October 9th, 2011 at 04:13

    Wow , what a piece ! Well, with acknowledging all the ill-habits of TMC & Mamta have (actually I was hardly expecting any better when I gave my vote to them), have you noted the circumstances behind her infuration ? It came after two TMC & one Jharkhandi leader was murdered by Maoists. Now when you talk about oppression in Jangalmahal or withdrawing Joint forces or freeing the ‘political prisoners’, have you taken any note how many people Maoists-PCPA have killed during their ‘struggle’ ? & most of them were killed not in armed conflicts, but when they’re with their family at home or teaching students at school or have a cup of tea in some road side shop. How many times have you caaled for the justice for those people ? How many “Fact Finding Commision ” have you established to investigate those killings ? In last few days , I have noticed articles about the arrest & assault on activists in Jangalmahal, but no mention of those three murders ! You’re showing only one side of the truth, but expect people to support your cause ?

    Well, Fuehrers are really nasty, but Stalins are no better !

  2. kallol shome Says:
    October 9th, 2011 at 15:48

    The piece does contain truth about the Mamata regime….but also contains comments on Tagore that are imbecile , shows lack or absence of all historicity…casually mentioning an obtuse demagogue like Ms Banerjee along with Tagore in whatever way is stupid. Tagore is not a ‘victim’ to have been treated thus in the hands of the TMC cultural thugs…this had been his lot many times even in his lifetime. He towered over all this not through his ancestral wealth or ‘hobnobbing’ with the powerful and the rich, but through his visions of humanity and creativity that will go on inspiring millions for eternity.

  3. Krishanu Mandal Says:
    October 11th, 2011 at 06:16

    Two responses so far: one defending mamata and the other defending rabindranath. About the latter a Bengali phrase leaps into mind: le haaluaa! Rabindranath has been analyzed threadbare from the perspectives of politics of resistance. So I shall not repeat things. I would only like to mention that for a prospective international reader of sanhati it was necessary to indicate some of the disturbing facts about rabindranath also instead of merely indulging in mushy sentimentality. As regards the defender of mamata, I will wait for any further responses and then provide a detailed reply. The prejudices injected and disseminated by the corporate media–that both the sides in the ongoing conflict have some ethical justifications, that a victim of the people’s counter-violence should be primarily considered as a “teacher”, not as a local thug and a paid informer consciously brutalizing the local people in favour of the state power etc etc–need a detailed response once again.

  4. Som Says:
    October 23rd, 2011 at 13:17

    I’m quite late to response for recently being busy in my job, but wow…….what a response by you Mr. Mandal. Are you sure sir that those killed in ‘counter-violence’ were thugs ? Where from did you get this information ? As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t heard about any ‘fact-finding committee’ by any pro-Maoist group investigating those murders ! If you have information, plz share ! In fact, the way you declare those victims as ‘thugs’, it reminds me a bengali word- “JANAROSH”…….a word widely used by political parties in Bengal to dismiss acts political violence. And even if they were thugs, the fact remains that you never reported those deaths……you totally suppressed one side of the conflict….like they never happened !

  5. aamadmi Says:
    April 28th, 2012 at 01:08

    Krishanu, your language and article shows that you and your likes are too qualified to talk about an ‘unworthy, overhyped, middleclass-icon’ Tagore. How will you lecture inherently stupid ‘people’ on their ‘movement’? Ignorant people like me, who considered themselves as leftists learnt the basic principles of expansive humanism(building block of left ideology-no?) from Tagore, and we did not learn it from TMC/CPM school and refuse to learn from you as a teacher. So, I refuse to call you as a leftist, and for you I am CPM/middleclass/priviledged chatterati/corporate dalal etc. or may be everything together! Question is, was Mussolini a fascist when Tagore met him, or what was his comments about Mussolini when fascism became visible to him? Was it his fault to be born in a bankrupt zamindar family-or did he ‘manage’ this also like his useless emotional writing? Did not Tagore praise Balsheviks and introduced their ideology through his writings to ‘ignorant Indians’ like me? Why do you take things out of context to achieve the impossible (of maligning Tagore) to ‘people’? To a common person like me, he represents left ideology in its most shining form. And let me not give you a list of hypocrisy of ‘left leaders’ and the social strata they come from along with the ‘people’ they pretend to ‘lead’! Why are you using name of poor people, when you have no respect for them or their thinking, choices and lifestyles (according to me, it is another building block of left ideology). Good luck trying to usurp peoples movements-you might feel good? BTW, did not APDR support inception of popular front in kerala (only democratic rights organization to do so), Gautam Navlakha taking help from ISI spies, left icon Chavez supporting gaddafi and other islamic monster murderers, women-oppressor regimes? Thanks to ‘critics'(obviously of great people whose height is unreachable for cockroaches muddying themselves in darkness) and ‘leftists’, leftists all over the world are condemned to be on the side of political exclusivist islam. Did you analyze that? Though I agree with you and your friends in many of the political and economic issues, still cannot stop asking this – you supported Mamata(who always pleaded to the centre for imposition of 356 in the state) and her goons few days back. What happened to that ‘love story’?
    I support som and Shome both, simple reason- I dont support taking ANY life.