There are angry moments and then there are moments of relief. Frankly speaking when I read about the news of Kabir Suman quitting as a Member of Parliament and Trinamool Congress I was happy and relieved. Thank you, Suman. You needed that break and WE deserved that break from you.
Don't get me wrong. I am a fan of the kind of music he makes, though I consider that I have actually heard very little of that. But any kid growing up in Calcutta in the 90's and early 2000's who over romanticised everything and had all the wee bit makings of the typical Bong aantel (Tagore, Derrida, Theatre, Revolution and book fair trips included) listened to Suman. No big deal! He was the archetypical "Gaanwala" of his songs. And the sheer magic of poetry in his works, "....Tomaar tulona ami khujina kokhono, bohu bybohar kora kono upomaay..." made us go wild. And then there was the iconic song/verse where he claimed, "....nagorik klantitey tomaake chayi, bohudur hentey eshey tomaake chayi..."
But this was then. When he was a wordsmith. When he could turn the urban milieu upside down with his touch of his own style of communism. When he wasn't labelled as a wife beater. When he wasn't portrayed as a debauch and a man of double standards by the media. When he didn't bad mouth the audience speaking against his line of thought in a concert (that was very much unlike the spirit of the songs which we used to hear). And to our surprise we could all see through these truths. These were mostly truths. I do not know if he took up the excuse of religion to marry again or was it his own wish to convert (that was a personal decision) but what hurt was when this man whom we considered to be a great couldn't stand up to take responsibility of his personal life. (There is a long story there from a personal experience, but that's a different story altogether.)
For many like me, we continued to loved his songs, but he had fallen from grace. For an ardent fan like my father who though did not belong to the jeebonmukhi listening generation but still collected his cassettes, he was a lost case. Suman Chattopadhyay's resurrection was not possible for us who were disillusioned by his hipocrisy and lack of character and will.
But then again Bengal politics have much to offer for your entertainment than even Horatio could have imagined. Singur turned out to be a political turnaround moment for Mamata Banerjee and her brand of socialism found many a takers in the Nandan going elite aantels (Buddhijibi as she prefers to call them). I have immense regard for many of them and the way they supported Banerjee in her movement for what they considered was wrong yet maintaining a safe distance from the nasty rigmaroleof electoral politics. But Suman being that "naive" that he claims to be contested the polls from Jadavpur constituency. And many like me, his erstwhile fans and his neighbours of his earlier Lake Gardens house, were voters from the area.
It was a time for us to choose. For many like my father who had been life long Congressis and were fervent in their support of the Congress-TC pact in West Bengal which eventually threatened the basis of 32 years of Left Front rule in Bengal, it was not a pleasant choice. Many, and this I can say from my personal interaction with the people of the area, voted just for Mamata Banerjee. And if Kabir Suman ever thought that it was him who was being voted to power, he should get his facts right. My pishimoni and mom did not vote in many years. They did not want to elect a person like Suman as their representative. My father reasoned out that he was voting for change and Mamata Banerjee, not Suman. It was not merely a prediction that the margin of TC could have doubled in Jadavpur in case another candidate was put up there.
And then after he gets elected what he did as a people's representative (one who needs to be at the beck and call of the people) was to ask for appointments! yes! and this same person later claimed in a media conference that he was not being able to work for the people? Excuse me! Mr. Suman. I don't know when will you be able to behave like a mature individual who doesn't run away from his responsibilities just because another woman allured him, but you were speaking in the capacity of a Member of Parliament in the largest and thriving democracy in the world. And what kind of work exactly did you refer to Mr. Suman? Throwing away the elected Government of the Country/state?? Quite apparent, because you empathise with them. I do make that us and them distinction so famous in Bengal politics in this case. Yes it is them who have been fooling around for long. In stead you should have paid attention to the use of the welfare measures that were undertaken by the Government in your Constituency. But you are so naive that yours is always a case of sour grapes.You claimed you did not want to contest elections, you did never wish to be party member and took membership only after your candidature was announced and the BEST joke was that you have realised all political parties irrespective of CPM/Trinamool are corrupt. Blah! you took that long to realise that????? I mean do you think we are fools to believe that you were coecred into this democratic process.
And then you went ahead foul mouthing your leadership and party in public appearances. The only question, we, the electorate had for you was why don't you quit then? And you did, but how was it possible without the drama? You resigned over an SMS (?!) I mean hats off to you to come up with such innovative ideas to buy time and butter your ego. You every well expect the TC leadership to coax you back to their fold. I sincerely hope they don't. You are a good riddance.
It's often painful to see a childhood hero go down the drains. In your case Suman, it is different. You are just a mere shadow of your earlier self. You are selling that self of yours as a commodity. Do us and yourself a favour, please continue with singing, you might just regain some respect you lost. And Don't even dare to revoke that SMS resignation. For our sake Gaanwala!