Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:01 pm Post subject: Ihar Cheye Hotem Jodi Arab beduin
I had written a light hearted Bangla poem, of mediocre quality, just to lighten up the mood while bad things were being reported everywhere. There was this drip drip bad news about climate change, the new noth-south divide, the gloomy outlook of a world less controlled by nations and more controlled by a shadow group behind giant corporations, coupled with global conflicts raging everywhere, and not just in Iraq or Afghanistan, which are merely one sphere of American interst that seem to mesmerise the meida. Add to that the issues of the world food crisis, and to cap it off the continuous drip of bad news leaking out from Santiniketan.
এই করে কেটে যায় অারো এক মাস
প্রচুর সময় হাতে - খেলা যাক তাস
সমাজ উন্নয়ণ রাখো চিন্তার বাইরে
বাথরুমে গান গাও তাইরে নাইরে
তনু এটা লিখেছিল - কোরোনাকো ফঁাস!
And then, like most folks, I got back to the normal grind, going about my work, reading books and listening to interesting speeches by folks, watching a bit of the Winter Olympics highlights, and speaking with other exstudents of Santiniketan. I even ended up writing individual letters to a number of MPs of the Indian Parliament lower house, and got a response too, on the issue of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2009.
Regarding Santiniketan, I ended up sending a few joint emails to Delhi, along with Piyali Palit, and searched out a few Rabindrasangeets by Partha da, from iTunes. I included one of them on a recent Podcast - ক্লান্তি অামার ক্ষমা করো প্রভু, and updated the খাতা web blog.
On the side, I was exchanging a few emails with folks. One topic under discussion was if Rabindranath should be separated from Santiniketan, thereby freeing Rabindranath and also Santiniketan - presumably because the two became incompatible with each other - like a marriage gone sour.
But, my thoughts actually turned away from that. I guess I shall never make a good marriage counsellor. The thoughts turned to something else - about ourselves - those of us that seem to engage in debates and discussions on what to do with Santiniketan.
I often get bogged with this dimension - or lack of dimension - in the debates. It appears to me, rightly or wrongly, that such debates have one fundamental flaw - They are conducted almost rxclusively by the middle class, and only the middle class
The middle class, I often suspect, might ill-qualified to understand either Rabindranath, or indeed anything outside of the middle-class bubble. Also, I suspect, Rabindranath, while being inclusive and universal in his thought and action, did not rate the middle class too high on his list of priorities.
In other words, neither Santiniketan, nor Rabindranath, should have been restricted to the middle class world, It is perhaps a tragedy that the middle class Bengali community first kidnapped and improsonned Rabindranath and all his work till this day.
So, perhaps Rabindranath needs to be released and set free. The question is - how does one free Rabindranath from the Bengali middle class? And how does one conduct a debate on these issues, when the only people engaged in such debates are the very middle class that Rabdinranath often had so low an opinion of? Gurudevís comments come to mind - ইহার চেয়ে হতেম যদি অারব বেদুইন.
Another thing that often amazed me is how the middle class Bengali crowd seem so interested in having a debate but not interested in concluding that with any plan of action. It is as if debates should he held only for the sake of debates, and folks should never have to worry about actually working towards some goal. As if following the mantra of মুখেন মারিতং জগত is the only path worthy enough for them.
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