Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ekushe Dirgho Jibi Hok!

We should never ever forget 21 February 1952, the day history was made when cultural nationalism triumphed over Mohammed Ali Jinnah's bogus Islamic nationalism. On that day, Bangla emerged victorious in its battle against Urdu, drenched in the blood of young martyrs of Dhaka University.

On this glorious day, I greet Bangalis across the world and salute the martyrs of Ekushe February. Joy Bangla!

Bangla'r maati, Bangla'r jol...

O Amar Sonar Bangla...


Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
I wonder if the people of Bangladesh feel likewise.

Many there would want an Islamic identity instead.

Manik Ghoshal said...

Dear Kanchan, I never realised back in school you would help millions like me be so proud of being who we are- Indian, Hindu and Bengali- all ‘in equal measures’. I only wish our Bengal, the Western part, would be less depressing, thanks to a shortage of exemplars (compared to even 30-40 years back) and the extinction of the predominant Bhodro-lok culture of erstwhile Calcutta and Bengal.
I would like to quote a joke which aptly describes the present socio-political milieu in Calcutta/ West Bengal:
Russian Leader Brezhnev was visiting Calcutta. He wished to encourage and bless the perpetually Marxist Ruled state of India. CM Jyoti Basu yearned to impress the world. But it was a hot summer and it would be a daunting task to mobilise the massive crowds that would have to line the streets from Airport to Raj-Bhawan. But Subhash Chakroborty could always achieve the mission impossible.
Subhash sent his cadres to all the impoverished villagers within 50 miles, who hadn’t had a decent meal in weeks. He offered to bring them for a picnic to the capital city; to welcome their Russian Comrade Brezhnev; they would be served unlimited cold-drinks; taken to the Zoo and Museum; most importantly, they would be served fish curry, rice, daal and fry, and as much as they could eat, at the Shahîd Minar. Understandably, hundreds of thousands turned up and lined the 20 odd miles to the Raj Bhawan.
Brezhnev was truly impressed to witness the sea of ‘red-flags’ and the red hammer & sickle banners lining the streets of Calcutta. They people seemed to be so happy, (dreaming of the fish-curry meal in a short while). Brezhnev reached the Raj Bhawan, had a fantastic Royal-Bengal meal- washed down with Vodka. He was generally very impressed. On his way back to Dumdum the motorcade was instructed to pass the Maidan where a million starved poverty stricken villagers had collected for their promised meal. But they had been taken for a ride. There were no arrangement for any decent meals, only ‘moory’ (puffed rice). Where was the fish-curry, where was the rice? They were very agitated and about to riot!
Just about then Brezhnev was passing by. He heard them shouting at the top of their voices ‘Aamra chai Maach Bhaat! maach bhaat! maach bhaat!’ (We want Fish & rice! fish & rice! fish & rice!)
‘What are they chanting with such fervour?’, Brezhnev asked his Bengal Govt provided Russian translator and escort, a hard core CPIM guy.
‘Sir, they are shouting ‘We want Marxbaad, Marxbaad’ which means, Long Live Marxism!’, he was told. Brezhnev felt utterly proud and delighted, in his air-conditioned Mercedes.
Later in the afternoon Subroto Mukherjee came to the rescue, at Subhash’s request, to clear the unruly crowds from the sprawling Maida. The task was achieved with a few youth congress hoodlums lobbing ‘petos’ (home-made bombs) at one end of the Maidan. The hapless villagers ran for their lives!
Manik Ghoshal

Anonymous said...

While I agree and understand your viewpoint, I've also come to realize that over many years of systematic distortion of truth and history, many/most of current youth in Bangladesh has been made to believe that Bangladesh would have had a better future, only if India didn't meddle with it's freedom fight.