The Bengal I Know, The Bengal I Live In
Yes it would be really idiotic according to some to compare Rome with Calcutta or Bengal as a whole(I prefer the name Calcutta, there is so much in it). But to make people understand situations, the phrase was much needed. Tell me why wouldn't a kid born or brought up in Bengal wouldn't want a RESURGENT BENGAL? And who said Bengal isn't developing? If you talk about the material part!
Lets look into Bengal's development - Jyoti Basu, a veteran politician has fought his whole life to make Bengal what it is now. He came when he was much needed. He won hearts, and most of all gave what Bengalis wanted. But the main problem, in his era after Bengal had finally come to peace there was no growth. Bengal remained Bengal. Then when Basu saw it's time for reformation he brought in Buddhadeb, a person who once walked out of the Vidhan Sabha stating that he doesn't want to be a part of ministry which is full of thieves. WOW! It took him a lot of guts to say that I suppose. So this gutsy man was brought in by Basu coz Basu would have never want himself to fall into the mess that today Buddha Babu is facing(yes Jyoti Basu is a very shrewd character, nothing less than a Nostradamus). The CM came and introduced a series of development plans for Bengal and Bengal was ready to bear it all. But when everything started people got frustrated and they left the LEFT's support and the act never finished. But why the act never finished. Bengal was already frustrated before hand for the no-change environment and when finally Buddha Babu brought in, the slow progress made Bengali's even more crazy. They didn't saw any difference between slow-progress or no-progress. And there is TMC and INC looking for a loophole to brainwash the people's mind always.
Nevertheless Buddha Babu didn't mind and in a true heroic manner went on trying every way to make Bengal develop. Today we see never ending flyover projects, dug-up roads for better pipelines, new metro stations though no new trains etc etc etc.
Doesn't this mean BENGAL is developing? Yes it means so! But why is then the situation so irritating? There is only one answer - A DEVELOPING STATE DOESN'T MEAN BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE, BETTER POLITICS OR ANY MATERIAL DEVELOPMENT, IT MEANS DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE'S MIND, CHANGE IN THEIR WAY OF LOOKING AT THINGS, ESPECIALLY A BETTER CALCUTTA OR BENGAL.
Half the Bengali's don't know about Bengal. Bengali's often mix up betterment with politics. My father says an wonderful phrase - "RAJNITHI KORA VALO KINTU RAJNITHI NIYE MATHA MATHI KORA EKDOM NOI"; Translated - "IT'S GOOD TO BE A PART OF POLTICS BUT IT ISN'T GOOD AT ALL TO GET OVER-ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT IT." Does everything in life has to be with politics? Can once a politician shed his or her's political armour and see like a commoner? Yes he or she can, I got one example - Somnath Chatterjee.
Today in the Sunday Telegraph, Metro section I found an interesting article about half the Bengali's not knowing about the different services offered to them. Now tell me, what is wrong? Bengal or Bengali's???
We talk about traffic problems! It isn't the buses or vehicles which are mainly responsible for it, it is the pedestrian or you who don't follow rules then how can you not expect a traffic congestion. You want development but you can't have patience for it's completion! The problem is Bengali's expect that one day a fairy GODMOTHER will come and make Bengal what it should be, just like in the movie - BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED. We always have the tendency to compare with the past but we never learn from the past, wonder why? Actually Bengali's don't have faith in themselves! They have more faith in their Dada's and Didi's.
"If you have faith in the three hundred and thirty millions of your mythological gods, and in all the gods which foreigners have introduced into your midst, and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you. Have faith in yourselves and stand up on that faith." - Was the message by Swami Vivekananda
Dhritiman Chatterjee yesterday had put a very good point in the Telegraph Debate - We ourselves have to do it. Yes it isn't about any politicians, you can't let them get over you! Why people like Shashi Tharoor loves Calcutta or Bengal can anyone tell me? Coz Bengal has it all but just doesn't know how to use it. To seek salvation, we need to work for all and not us only! It's US that can turn BENGAL INTO WHAT IT CAN BE NOT WHAT IT WAS. Bengal isn't a dream it is our mission. We can make Bengal grow even by going out of it and doing for it. No matter where you are, if you love your Bengal work for it. There is no use of cursing it if you don't participate in it's betterment and growth.
The Bengal I know is like a extinct volcano but the true Bengal was never like this, it was an active one. It is us we the Bengalis who can turn it into the active one. Bengalis are peace-lovers but they are the race from where people like Netaji and Khudiram comes. You wanna see a better BENGAL, go ahead and work for it's betterment, even your small contribution counts a lot. Stop cursing and complaining, the time you take to complain, in that small time you can make a huge difference!
Lastly I want to add some beautiful lines I read in today's Sunday Metro by Soumak Ghoshal - Calcutta is a source of endless irritation for its inhabitants. with its pot-holed alleys, dug-up roads, crumbling buildings and never-to-be-finished flyovers, it may even look like a bombed city to foreigners. But when captured in black-and-white film, the sorry mess somehow takes on a poetic aspect, combining noble gloom with quaint distinction.