Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Racist friends...

I have this f(r)iend who's been chewing my brain for the past 6 months on how people from her native state rule India's socio-cultural conciousness. She's from Bengal & they're a people who're traditionally proud of their heritage. But this particular fiend's pride tends towards conceit, tends to get argumentative & tends to talk more than listen. So I'm adopting another route to conversation. One where she can read but cannot interrupt! This is a point by point dissection of her race-supremacy claims:

Bengalis "RULE" India!
OK... By what Logic? Here's a list of Indian Prime Ministers & Presidents. I don't see even one Bengali in here. So what exactly do you mean by "rule"??

Bengalis have the richest culture!
OK, let's use that logic again. What exactly comprises Culture? I take it to mean a mix of a regions Art, Music, Dance, Literature, Cuisine etc. Superiority in these areas will be taken as an indicator of cultural superiority.

Art: Leading Indian Artists are M.F. Hussain, Tyeb Mehta, Raja Ravi Varma. Theirs are the paintings that command the highest prices in the world art market. Any bong names here?

Music: There's Hindustani & there's Carnatic in Indian Classical Music. No Bangali. Exponents are Pandit Jasraj (Haryanvi), Bhimsen Joshi (Kannadiga), Gangubai Hangal, Shobha Gurtu (both Kannadiga). Then you have Pt. Ravi Shankar (after 3 Kannadigas, a Bong finally!), Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia (UP-ite), Ustad Allah-Rakha, Ustad Zakir Husain, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Bismillah Khan. Any Bengali names there? We'll come to popular, film music as well, but for now I'd like you to retract the statement you made that people from other states of India have contributed very little to India's culture & development!

Dance: Well, India has Kathak, Kuchipudi, Bharat Natyam, Mohini Attam, Odissi, hell it even has Naga! Here's a full list that has Manipuri & Assamese dance forms. But no bong as far as I know. So where does this false sense of superiority stem from? A feeling of inadequacy...?

Literature: Everyone acknowledges Gurudeb's greatness & achievements. But that was over a 100 years back! And if you really wanna go back in History, there hasn't been a greater poet than Ghalib on the subcontinent & may well never be! If you take the current baromater of literary success to be the Man-Booker, then India's winners are from Kashmir, Gujarat & Kerela; Salman Rushdie, Kiran Desai & Arundhati Roy. And with the exception of Arundhati Roy, the rest are foreign nationals actually! Only our desperation makes us claim them as our own. So before you start claiming Dr. Amartya Sen as your own think again!

Cuisine: Mughlai anyone? I rest my case here! Though I will acknowledge my preference for Bengali sweets here!

OK! Moving on to more trivial pursuits, Indian Films! Names like Kishoreda & R.D Burman are thrown at me! As I duck for cover I realize that this is History being thrown at me. Again! My favourite singer is Kishore Kumar. My favourite composer is R.D Burman. But I would be the last one to refute the accomplishments of a Rafi or a Shankar-Jaikishan who Kishore & R.D. themselves held in very high regard!

But to counter my friends arguments, I list Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor & Dev Anand, the trio who ruled the film industry of yore. Yes there was a Guru Dutt, but he was actually either Maharashtrian or Kannadiga. Yes, there was a Satyajit Ray, who I think is India's only Oscar winner. But remember Mehboob and K. Asif? Mughal-e-Azam was not made by a bong. Nor were any of India's 3 Oscar nominees for best foreign language film: Mother India, Salaam Bombay or Lagaan.

Today's top stars are Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan (yes, he's a star; he may be a below-par actor, but even if it's bizzare, he is a star.), Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar & Salman Khan. No bong names here! Aishwarya Rai is the country's top heroine not Sushmita Sen. Bipasha and Lara (though YUM!) are still mere starlets!

The leading composer today is A.R. Rahman. The leading singers today are Udit Narayan (a Bihari/Nepali) & Sonu Nigam. And Sunidhi Chouhan! India's leading drummers/percussionists are Trilok Gurtu & Sivamani.

Yes, I will acknowledge the incandescence of artists like Shaan, Kajol, Rani etc. But your argument that your people "rule", holds no water!!!

The Nobel's too establish no superiority. There's an equal number of Bong & Tam winners & a Punj in the list too! Our desperation is at it's height here. We claim Mother Teresa to be an Indian on the basis of her work in India, but we also shamelessly claim two others who have spent an entire lifetime working in the US & the UK!

And now to tackle that History book that was being constantly hurled at me... Historically, India's greatest kings have been Akbar & Ashoka. There's been a Mughal Dynasty & there's been a Bihari Empire (Magadha, Patliputra). There's been the Chola dynasty down south, there's been Hyder Ali & his son Tipu Sultan. There's even been a minisicule Peshwa rule! Bengal's impact on history in comparision has been zilch!

You see little girl, the larger the scheme of things grows, the smaller our local achievements get. Even on the world stage, we are recognized for our achievements in the English Language. And we're all viewed as Indians. So really, drop this racial supremacy attitude. The last person to use it was Hitler!

THERE... THAT FELT GOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

41 comments:

  1. couple of things are wrong though....here are the corrections...Lara Dutta is a Punjabi...Guru Dutt is a Bengali..a true blue one(seen many of his bengali films which have won many a national awards)...Arundhati Roy..again is a Bengali (her mum is a mallu and father -a bong), Pt.Ravi Shankar is a hardcore Bengali Brahmin (http://www.mapsofindia.com/who-is-who/art-culture/pt-ravi-shankar.html) .

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think they're wrong. Read the links that 1conoclast has provided. Guru Dutt's real surname is mentioned there (Padukone). Pt. Ravi Shankar's nephew is a friend of mine. They're Telegu Brahmin according to him. Arundhati is Mallu. She grew up there. Her book is based in Kerela. These I know to be facts.
    I dunno about Lara (I can find out though... her younger sister was working in my old company), but it doesn't really matter where she's from! It matters where she's going though! ;-)
    But are we missing the point here?

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  3. I agree that it is not in right spirits to point out who rules here. But at the same time Bengalis have still contributed a mighty lot in the Indian culture that is today. Nonetheless, it is part of the fabric called Indian culture woven out of so many others. To that end, each holds it own.

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  4. Hi,
    Just felt the need to put across a few thoughts....
    Looks like a bong really got up your nose to make you react this way.Good for you.Probably after a long time you felt the need to know a little bit about your country.A bong probably made you gain more knowledge in a day than you might have done all your exam/test oriented life in this country.We do have such inspiring effects on people,like Bose had and still has on true and selfless india lovers(he didnt have to be shoved out of a train to realise that his motherland was not free and that his people were suffering-u miss bong PM's and Presidents on the list dont you?-u know why??because when the russians called nehru to tell them that Bose was with them-Nehru told them to finish him off...U know why....because he was the ONLY leader of India,because he had even defeated Gandhi's nominee to the Congress presidents post-phat ta tha usse aapke leader'o ka,inko apna ghar sambhalna tha na.The country goes gaga over Sonia sacrifising the PM's post....people tend to forget that Jyoti Basu had it on a platter but had more brains than to lead a bunch of fools)....Like Saurav Ganguly had on the psyche of Indian cricket.Like R.D.Burman had and still has on the evolution of Indian(forget bollywood)music....
    I really would not like to get into the name-game...but the fact is YOU have pitted ALL of India's heavyweights against just one community.I am proud to accept it,as only we can.Because only we have the numbers to match ALL of you.I challenge any other community to match us in each and every field that constitutes culture by your definition.All of you will be lacking in most fields.Put togeather you might stand up,certainly not go beyond.
    Its hillarious...you have even put in terms like "southie" and "nepali"in your desperation.
    Again...lets not take names because your "tam" noble prize winner wudnt have the resources to research if a bong didnt help him and get him over to Calcutta.Also....in taking names you would definitely miss out on names like Prof.AP Mitra(the best scientist ever produced post independence-do your research thoroughly and dont even talk abt Kalam and all...Dr.Prannoy Roy-revolutionised media in India(which in turn is responsible for the country's growth)etc etc etc
    You sometimes dwelve into history yourself(ashoka/akbar)to pull out greats but if we do it you conviniently say they are past,they are history.
    As I said my purpose of writing this was not to go into a name-game but to point out the difference between us and the rest of the Indian communities.If you carefully go through some of the names I have put forward(and there are a million such names)you would notice that they are path-breakers...visionaries..people who were/are ahead of their times.That is the BASIC difference between us and the other communities...while every community has its share of poor/illeterate masses-middle class-the successful and the rich...we have the extra burden of nurturing so many of India's pathbreakers/geniuses/visionaries-even someone as low as Sushmita Sen was a first in her field when she led a wave of indian successes at International beauty pageants....
    I can go on and on and on...but lets have some gratitude first and then I can enlighten you further...

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  5. Hi,
    Just felt the need to put across a few thoughts....
    Looks like a bong really got up your nose to make you react this way.Good for you.Probably after a long time you felt the need to know a little bit about
    your country.
    A bong probably made you gain more knowledge in a day than you might have done all your exam/test oriented life in this country.We do have
    such inspiring effects on people,like Bose had and still has on true and selfless india lovers[he didnt have to be shoved out of a train to realise that his
    motherland was not free and that his people were suffering-u miss bong PM's and Presidents on the list dont you?-u know why??because when the russians
    called nehru to tell them that Bose was with them-Nehru ordered them to finish him off...U know why....because he was the ONLY leader of India,because he
    didnt negotiate or fast to have some intruder thrown out of his own house-he caught them by the scruff of their neck and told them to get the hell out-just
    like you would have done if someone had entered your house...U know why...because he had even defeated Gandhi's nominee to the Congress presidents post-"phat
    ti thi usse aapke leader'o ka".
    The country goes gaga over Sonia sacrifising the PM's post....people tend to forget that Jyoti Basu had it on a platter but
    had more brains than to lead a bunch of fools-so my dear friend if you have not had a bong lead your country till now,it is your loss not ours....Like Saurav Ganguly
    had on the psyche of Indian cricket.Like R.D.Burman had and still has on the evolution of Indian(forget bollywood)music....

    I really would not like to get into the name-game...but the fact is YOU have pitted ALL of India's heavyweights against just one community.
    I am proud to accept it on behalf of my community,as only we can.Because only we have the numbers to match ALL of you.
    I challenge any other community to match us in each and every field that constitutes culture by your definition.
    All of you will be lacking in most fields.Put togeather you might stand up,certainly not go beyond.

    Its hillarious...you have even put in terms like "southie" and "nepali"in your desperation.
    Again...lets not take names because your "tam" noble prize winner wudnt have the means and resources to research if a bong didnt help him and get him
    over to Calcutta.
    Also....in taking names you would definitely miss out on names like Prof.AP Mitra(the best scientist ever produced post independence-do
    your research thoroughly and dont even talk abt Kalam and all...Dr.Prannoy Roy-revolutionised media in India(which in turn is responsible for the country's
    growth),Amar Gopal Bose(Bose corp)etc etc etc
    You sometimes dwelve into history yourself(ashoka/akbar)to pull out greats but if we name them you conviniently say they are past,they are history.Not fair.
    While still on history....Kabir was/is not even worth Tagore's nails....as he did not write ONLY for pseudo intellectuals like you as Kabir did;Tagore wrote
    for everyone...from the age of 8 to 80...everyone had something from Tagore.Kabir will have to be born again to match that.

    As I said my purpose of writing this was not to go into a name-game or a rankings game, but to point out the difference between us and the rest of the
    Indian communities.If you carefully go through some of the names I have put forward(and there are a million such names)you would notice that they are
    path-breakers...visionaries..people who are ahead of their times.They dare to go where no one has ever been.That is the BASIC difference between us and
    the other communities...while every community has its share of poor/illiterate masses-middle class-the successful and the Rich...we have the extra burden
    of nurturing so many of India's pathbreakers/geniuses/visionaries-even someone as low as Sushmita Sen was a first in her field when she led a wave of
    indian successes at International beauty pageants....
    I can go on and on and on...but lets have some gratitude first and then I can enlighten you further...

    Somit Biswas

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  6. Candid... Thanks. That was exactly my point. Everyone contributes equally & I am irritated by any race supremacy allegations. As for cultural impact, please refer to the post again.

    Somit: Tumpe "biswas" nahi hota...!
    You miss the point again. I realize that my talking logic is up against centuries of conditioning, but try I must.
    See, I don't need to belittle Mahatma Gandhi in order to get Netaji's accomplishments across. And I'm no conspiracy theorist so I don't need to assassinate Nehru's character either. Everyone acknowledges Netaji's greatness. Why're you so much on the defensive? I'm not taking away Bengali contributions from anyone. I am only arguing with juveniles who keep saying that the contributions of their people are greater than others.
    For example, your statement that "A bong probably made you gain more knowledge in a day than you might have done all your exam/test oriented life in this country" is plain stupid. By the time I'm done with this reply to your comment it will be amply clear that it's you who's getting a lesson.
    Your statements after that line on Jyoti Basu & Saurav Ganguly only go on to emphasize my point, effectively rendering my reply superfluous! But anyway... The psyche of Indian cricket has been influenced for far too long by the likes of Marathi Gavaskar & Tendulkar. The much lesser Ganguly will be known for his captaincy as much as he will be for the being the guy that Chappel publicly fired!
    The rest of your post(s) is pure rambling. You're not making much sense. In fact your comments after this point are making me doubt your comprehension. Or your ability to see both sides of the picture.
    Sushmita wasn't the one who paved the way for Indian beauty pageant winners. The first major pageant winner was a Parsi if I'm not mistaken, called Rita Faria. This was in the sixties when Sush wasn't even born. Sush only went on to seal what her predecessors like Sapre etc. had done in smaller measure.
    As for your wanting to claim every achievement as a bong achievement (the Tamilian who got help from the Bangali), why don't you claim this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner as a Bengali? (Do you even know his name?) Don't give anyone else their due credit. So what if it's a Nobel Prize Winner! Shame on you! And while you're at it, why don't you claim that Al Gore too has bong antecedents??? How utterly juvenile! Not to mention partisan & communal!
    Also, Kabir was more a saint than a poet. We were talking about Ghalib being the poet that has impacted India's poetic consciousness most.
    As for my opinion of you: You're biased and deaf to any logic. You will stick to your lopsided point of view despite any number of arguments. So it's really not worth it. I was only attempting to open the eyes of the likes of you, but it's not going to happen. But your stance doesn't say much for you or your intellectual claims if you're going to make any.
    And now that you know that your information was half-baked, and that your writing is flawed; what exactly are you gloating over? Gratitude for what? For you being a sub-standard example from one small state in my great country?
    Wake up! And start by acknowledging Individual achievements without attaching state tags to them! Talk about people as Human beings, individuals, world citizens. Get out of that frog-in-the-well mentality!
    Anyway, you're not my audience. It's the zillions of others who read this post & quietly snigger at your clannish mindset.

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  7. aman

    what about the mallus !! surely they are the greatest race on earth.

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  8. hey somit!
    I challenge any other community to match us in each and every field that constitutes culture by your definition?
    you what?
    kauwwa... read that section on culture again! you're nowhere!!! you're not even on that list! tell me, do you have a dance form that is achnowledged as a classical dance form in India?
    bakwas karte ho tum!

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  9. SIGH!!!....did I hear the word 'juvenile' here?.....You are fighting like you are on a battlefield and the choice of words are obnoxious!...anyway, I rest my case on you about being 'The Juvenile' here.

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  10. Somitdada ektu shunun

    Basu started making all the right noises about the nation and all just when he sniffed an opportunity of becoming a becoming a national leader and get out of the backyard dump that he was lording over incidentally for a very very long time.

    And to think that a psephologist who did programmes in DD ( National TV in case you have forgotten ) has revolutionised Media and India's growth is a bit of a stretch

    Tagore was no doubt a good poet but lets not compare him to Kabir

    I would have agreed if you had talked about Satyajit Ray , Mrinal Sen , Ritwik Ghatak all of that and said that they revolutionised Cinema in India which they incidentally did

    ektu beshi hoyegalo , chill

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  11. Right about THAT Jay!!! :-)

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  12. Very well said, "Bragging is universally recognized as flawed self-esteem" & I don't understand why only bongs(not all but most) continue to do that.

    It's a genuine query.

    PS: don't want to get in to a fight or an argument so please read & respond with an open mind instead of being critical & rude.

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  13. Madhu... I see you too got an education here a la Monsieur Biswas.
    You seem to like rolling juvenile in your mouth over & over again. Naya word seekha kya? ;-)

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  14. Who's your friend who said Ravi Shankar is a Telugu Brahmin? his family are Bongs. Are you sure he wasn't talking about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar? (Not sure where he's from.) Pandit Ravi Shankar is the brother of Uday Shankar and uncle of Anando Shankar and they are all undeniably Bong. I know because I am related to him in a terribly roundabout manner.

    It was fun to watch Bong superiority being dismantled. While I'm not convinced entirely by your argument, I don't claim uber-greatness for my community either. And it's amusing to watch others do so. Pride and reality need to be balanced out. Else it can be bhery bhery dangerous!

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  15. God save u Aman.....if anyone is a brag here..its you...the 'self-brag' kinds.

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  16. Ritu...thts the point....the non bongs have always been jealous of bongs and have tried to put them down/make fun at the first chance they have got for centuries now. That says a lot about who's got the problem....
    I read a line the other day somewhere.."People laugh cos I am different and I laugh cos they are all the same!"
    I hope you got what I am trying to say here.

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  17. Anamika... You're SUCH a refreshing change from what I have recently been exposed to. So much so, that I am in fact wondering if I went a little overboard here. I don't think so, but there is always the possibility, one that tends to get relegated to the recesses. :-)
    Point taken about Pt. Ravi Shankar. He's no doubt yet another illustrious son. And thanks immensely for not throwing that in my face.
    I wish they made more like you.
    This Madhu is quite something. They way he's going on... But give the devil his due, he's got tenacity, even if grossly misdirected.
    No one is making fun of the bongs. Not here at least. One is just dismantling a long standing myth. In the interest of greater national integration.
    I think it's actually the English who have the greatest cultural impact. We dress in their clothes, we eat with their cutlery, we use their language to get jobs & impress.
    Every other culture can only claim appeal limited to either one state (in your case) or the nation in some others.
    I find it very difficult to argue with this logic.
    All, thanks for visiting the blog. I will try & remain as controversial unless wisdom dawns sooner than expected. :-)

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  18. I think what Opinionated said made sense.
    No one said, Bong culture isn't rich, or isn't ours (read Indian), but when you start competing with your own family members, you shall have to follow the rules of the competition.
    Someone has said, Somit, Comparisons are odious. You must remember that the cause of Opinionated’s ire is that a Bong wished to compete, compare, & establish superiority over other family members. Obviously such a statement will have to be examined for credibility. You unfortunately, fell hook, line & sinker into the same trap!
    I thought that the Social Studies teachers had effectively taught each of us the motto of co-operation, & not competition, & if one has forgotten that, what about all that modern talk on team-building?

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  19. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. If you found my comment 'a refreshing change', that's perhaps because I am what is called a 'probashi' Bong - having grown up in UP and Delhi. So what I should really be doing is directing all the Bong Bongs I know to your post. Beware! :)

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  20. Yeah... I have heard the term before. From the same group. Used derogatively if I'm not mistaken?
    And you're welcome to send anyone to the blog. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence that it. I'm beginning to tire of pointless debate.

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  21. That was a very offensive piece of work, Mr. Biswas!

    I agree with that anonymous blog more than ever now.
    Bongs maybe all that and more, but, humility is not one of your many qualities evidently..

    You guys must have a serious identity crisis to resort to such measures to prove your worth? :)

    Your 'article' is screaming how you think you are too good for your country. Such a shame you have to live among no-so-intelligent people!
    Perhaps you should fight for a new country and call it 'the Bong land' or something.

    Such distinguished intelligence must not be prone to contamination while having to live among a lower specimen of human life form!

    Phew!!

    AND… please, pretty please.. don't lash back with further details of your accomplishments. I already have a good idea. Save me the next sermon. :)

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  22. Thanks Anon... mujhe "biswas" hai ki Somit wapas nahi aa raha hai. He's not coming back. And if he does, I'll be ready! Rubbing my palms together in glee! :-)

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  23. And the discussions about Bongs continue....SIGH!..I will rest my case here 'cos if anyone is smiling though all the comments, its another bengali and thats me and a 'Probashi' at that too...However, totally grounded to my roots.
    The fact is that none of the other blogs of Mr. Opinionated have got so many responses as this one!..
    Hey, you gotto owe this to a couple of 'Bongs' atlst.;)

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  24. Dear Obstinate Madhu...

    http://1conoclast.blogspot.com/2005/10/mulgi-shikli-pragati-jhali.html
    This happened over 2 years back. Without the help of any bengalis.

    As for the post under discussion receiving the maximum # of comments, here's what I have to say: This one was controversial, received a little more marketing than others, and there are only 3 bong contributors here. The others as usual are non-bong comments. So while I'm thankful for their coming here, reading & commenting, it certainly doesn't establish any superiority. Not in my eyes at least. I'm not wearing "paan-stained" glasses you see.
    It's false pride Madhu. Calcutta is one of India's dirtiest cities. Bengal is one of the most economically backward states. Mother Teresa chose Calcutta as her Karmabhoomi because that is where a leper-colony existed. That is where humans were treated worse than pets. This separatism exists till today & is obvious in your stance. So what exactly are you gloating over my dear? Get over it!

    Please don't provoke another detailed analysis.

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  25. Calcutta is dirty...or was dirty.....but watever happened to the slummy Bombay.???..it takes pride in owning Asia's 2nd Largest slum...isnt it?...and thats where you are from!!!!

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  26. I think you are running out on words apart from some defaming adjectives that you keep throwing here and there and at people who do not agree with your half baked knowledge about bengal and bengalis.
    Whoever read your blog didnt bother to correct you 'cos its a sheer waste of time which I didnt realise until now.
    So, continue with the blahs..!Al the best!

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  27. Hey Mads... I'm not only from Bombay. Cal is as much my city as it is a bong's! I'm an Indian before a praant-vadi, and a World Citizen before an Indian, and a Human being (so I say!) before that, and a life-form in the Universe before that. I don't limited myself. Or my thinking.
    My knowledge isn't half-baked. It's more-in depth than yours is. At least for now.
    And whatever you say is right. At least from one person's point of view! ;-)
    So, good morning late-riser!
    Let's just agree to disagree. I'm the first one to admit that I could be wrong. Abhi qhush?
    Turn your attention now to the other posts on this meagre blog of mine. Thanks for all the attention. I do owe this one to you at least! :-)

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  28. hey man, interesting to see that you tried to prove that bengali's aren't that great, and spent a great deal of time. So from all the bengali's the world over, thanks!

    P. S. Art and culture is defined by the reach it has. Every bengali home teaches a child that first.

    ciao

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  29. Infernal...

    Just when I had stopped, you get me started again...

    How? How is it that you all rush to the defense with such alacrity? Do you not even for a moment want to consider what is being said here?
    It took me years before I could be prodded into putting this post up. I didn't want to run the risk of coming across as prejudiced. But even my presenting a balanced point of view is lost on you & your ilk?
    I never took anything away from Bengalis. (What'll I say to all the wonderful women who made growing up so much fun?)
    All I said was, get off your high horse. You're not better than anyone else. How hard is that to digest?
    And since you mentioned reach, maybe you can answer why the reach of Bengali culture is limited to Bengal & Bengalis?
    Do Biharis staying in Bengal adopt that lifestyle? No.
    Are Kumarasambhavam & Abhijñānaśākuntalam authored by a Bengali? No.
    Then?

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  30. Interesting. Very interesting. Don't really understand why some people are making so much hue and cry about it though, especially when the blogger himself calls himself 'Opinionated'.

    To the blogger : Dude, the name is justified. You truly and sincerely come across as an opinionated bastard.

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  31. Typical Ghaati/Kannadiga complex symptoms.....Yawn...

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  32. eucalyptus...
    One thing is obvious, despite all your collective outwardly cool... I can spot smoke billowing from...! ;-)
    It's obvious from your comments. And your choice of words. Doesn't say much for your "kolchor", does it?
    If you read the blog and comments again with an open mind, you'll realize that it's you guys who have the severe complex. Hitting out at me will not change the fact that your ilk is the most annoyingly pompous in all of India. You're universally ridiculed and are popular only in your own "well"!
    PS: I'm neither Kannada nor Maharashtrian. Like I've said before, I'm Indian first. With you idiots, you're Bong first. Shameful!
    Also, this is the last random comment I will entertain on this post. I've had enough jokers try to say their lopsided piece. Intelligent comments (a la Anamika's) though, will be most welcome.

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  33. Dude, get a life first, then talk about bongs. Whether to keep or remove this comment is entirely up to you. It doesn't matter to me whether or not other readers of your blog read this. This is in reply to your reply to my comments.

    First and foremost, Bengalis are never quite politically correct and that is the reason very few of them have so far been able to make it big in Politics. However, history is witness that whenever a bong has started succeeding in anything, instead of backing and help he has received opposition and jealousy from fellow Indians belonging to other communities (may be not all but some). Starting from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to Sourav Ganguly there are numerous examples.
    Secondly, I don't want to belittle other communities because every state in India has produced gems in many fields. There are big names from bengal as well in every field. In literature (Tagore, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Michael Madhusudan Roy etc), Sports (Sailen Manna, P.K.Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, Sourav Ganguly, Leander Paes etc), Film and Theatre (Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Shambhu Mitra, Guru Dutt, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Shakti Samanta, Aparna Sen, Jaya Bhaduri, Kishore Kumar, Rani Mukherjee, Kajol etc), Music (Pandit Ravishankar, his daughter Anoushka Shankar, his brother Uday Shankar, his son Ananda Shankar, Kishore Kumar, Geeta Dutt, Kumar Sanu, Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal etc), In Science (Jagadish Chandra Bose, Acharya Prafulla Chandra, Meghnad Saha, Satyendra Nath Bose etc ) to name a few.
    No matter if you've heard their names, but they are not only nationally but internationally respected and recognized by their work.
    Despite himself being a non-bengali Gopalakrishna Gokhale had once said "..what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow!"
    I don't want to sound like your bengali f(r)iend and claim "bongs rule!" or whatever. You had started your post with the reference of her but gradually proceeded to collective and intentional bong-bashing. Like Laden doesn't represent the whole of Islam, Shivsena members don't represent the whole of Marathis, a couple of 'opinionated' bongs don't represent the whole of Bengal.
    By the way, I presume you meant 'culture' when you wrote 'kolchor'. This is wrong, dude. Bongs pronounce it as 'Kaalchaar' and not 'kolchor'. :) You got it wrong again. :) See...even when making fun or joking, you haven't got enough facts.

    Thirdly, I am as proud of being an Indian much as you are if not more.
    Be it a bong, a marathi, a kannadiga, a tamilian or whatever, unless born and brought up outside the home state, a person is bound to be influenced by his own culture. That doesn't make him/her any less Indian than the others. Only when his/her community/state is brought up in between conversations often he/she becomes acutely conscious and aware of his/her linguistic identity.
    I admit, I got enraged momentarily after I read your blog and posted the comments in that state of mind. It perhaps wasn't the right way to react. But then , you too were as much as fault as anyone. You can't judge all bongs based on a handful of examples. If we really were such arrogant and prejudiced, we would have started crying for our own country by now like the PoK-ians, Gurkhas and Khalistanis.

    I repeat, whether to keep or remove this comment is entirely up to you. It doesn't matter to me whether or not other readers of your blog read this. This is in reply to your reply to my comments.

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  34. Sorry...there was a typo...it's Michael Madhusudan Dutt...not Roy.

    ReplyDelete
  35. another typo...sorry... you too were as much at fault as anyone... :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. eucalyptus...

    bach gaya tu beta... galti se comment moderation hataa diya tha. But no problem better late than never.

    While I don't have the patience to read thru your entire comment (since it's probably more bong rambling), whatever little I read makes me believe that you've finally come around to my point of view! What comes across (at least in parts of your comment) is that you're finally acknowledging that every state in India has produced gems. I was saying that all along! So what are we arguing about now?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Apocaliptus,

    Apologies. Am contrite after reading your full post. Like you, josh mein likh diya. Am glad we see eye to eye now. I was never saying that 5 bongs are representative of the entire race. I thought I'd made that amply clear.

    ReplyDelete
  38. An oh... another thing.
    I was talking to one of my probashi friends asking him to explain the probashi concept to me. He did & then he added: All great bongs are probashi and then went on to name a few.
    I think I can understand now the human need behind the urge to claim every great as our own.

    PS: Leander is genetically Goan. Only brought up in Cal. And his karmabhoomi is all over. So which one do we go for?

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  39. Opinionated :
    A little piece of information again...Leander Paes is the great Grandson of the poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt. Hi might have some Goanese connetion but the ancestry is Bong for sure.

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  40. Thanks for the info A. Any GK is welcome.
    Leander carts around a Goan surname for God's sake! He may be part bong, but when you're saying that, can you at least state that his "ancestry is part bong for sure"? I'm not sure you meant it to come across like that, but this is exactly the bent of mind I find irksome.

    ReplyDelete

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