To start with, many on date in India & globally feel that Senonomics has fallen. I am perturbed by shallow views of many of my colleagues & friends. I started my corporate career at the time of VP Singh’s caste chronicles & LK Advani’s Rama mandir movement. In St Xavier’s the friends were equally divided among left & right , also in Scottish Church CP was a surprise entrant in the arena — a party that was a bonhomie of drunkards & opium/ LSD lovers , suddenly started getting patronage of scholars… so much so that to us –the left leaning students, it came as a whirlwind of surprise , but CP won so many college SU elections in the aftermath of a sympathy wave , a sympathy wave that saw Indiraji as a martyr & engulfed the slogan– MAAYER RAKTER PRATISHODH, CONGRESSKE SAB VOTE. In fact, that was a turnaround for Bengal politics. Bengalees accustomed to live under Left regime that took away land from middle classes. Can such middle classes be called bourgeoisie? Don’t know. But to become classless was a fad for my friends. I took Sandipandaa as my guru, & gradually realized that electoral politics has made the old guards of Maoism very helpless Even if the GS / President of the SA union did not want to stand up for students failed owing to lack of studies, they had to gherao the chamber of Mr Kalyan, the principal, & throw paper weights to him, intimidate & make him sign a paper issuing admit cards to students for HS exam , whom no sensible person would not want to sit for . Results naturally went pathetic. During my 7 days’ classes at Presidency, I found the stark diff with St Xavier’s where I was studying in the mornings. I saw that absence of politics calls for a discipline of sorts . Anyway, coming to the times, the scenario is St Xavier’s was not too good anyway. Students used to throw chalks & abuses to lecturers, & lecturers used to reply back stopping short of just calling students Bustards ( that citation earned Prof Shantanu , a gold medallist in Eco ) a very harsh award / reward . And, in 80s , when Bharatiya Janasangh was trying to gain the airs of Janta dal that was the immediate replica of Congress in Bengal & had Prafulla Sen , Vijay Singh Nahar & other stalwarts , there was clear fading of the Hindu attire , like the age old Load-shedding of Kolkata & Bengal , which became morbid earlier than most other metros, thanks to the stoppage of most of our Industries sans power plants. At that time, when I could take revenge of punishment from Mr Neogi, a maths lecturer, owing to my proximity to both SA & DSO, despite not being directly associated either. At that point of time , all debates used to circle around dialectic materialism or theory of evolution & involution. Des Capital, Communist Manifesto , Tolstoy, Anton Chekov, Nicolai Gogol, Fydor Dostovosky … & there were so many cheap Bengali versions of very great essays of Stalin, Lenin, Marx, Engels , Cruschev. But we also used to debate on Dr Zivago & Somerset Mom , on Keats , Ulysis & Sukanta. We loved Sushash Mukhujye, Shaktida,Sunilda, Nirenda , Sankhadaa equally, & we were fascinated by both Mao & Mark Twain. At that point, strong left ideologues were active , & the leaders that were out after a long battle of mastless defeat were divided in too many groups , & after SUCI created DSO, probably ultra lefts came out with IPF . But nowhere there was BJP in a big way , nor Hindu Mahasava. Politics was not discussed too much , in common rooms of Xavier’s as was a ritual in Scottish / Presidency canteens, but in debates & tea breaks what we could gather was that in most of colleges , other than the jumping brigade of SFI, who were trying to bounce back , was CP. How? We did not infer any violence with our mothers & sisters, nor the majority of fellow students . Yaa, there were a few of them , but they were mostly with SA / ABSA/ DSA. Shila of high repute in music , was with DSA, our batch-mate & do not know, why SFI & SA/DSA had the worst of rivalries –be it Scottish , or Presidency / JU. CP was either non-existent, or surprisingly, when CP won elections in most of medical colleges & to our surprise, doctor fraternity embraced CP as a better refuge compared to ultra left, SA shook hands with CP, to oust SFI from colleges. ( SA / DSA were college based, not organised like SFI) . In those days, our Marwari friends still did not join CPIM , CPIM’s inroads thru Jyoti Basu’s appeasement of Todis & Thapars & Neotias were slow ; our friends , who considered that Bengalees won’t get clerks’ jobs unless they shower that bounty & mercy on them , were with CP / Congress, & it took me long to assess the atrocities inflicted on our elders by a regime of mousers — the slaughters of 350—400 in deads of just 2—3 nights by Runu-Manu combine . Continue reading