‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ meets ‘Indian Idol’ in West Bengal

January 16, 2013

(Any career-destroying attempts at irony or humour are the responsibility of the author, and not of the chief ministers of Gujarat or West Bengal or any of their associates.)

Everybody’s talking about how Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has fostered fair weather for businesses and investors in his state. Maybe he’s making it too easy. In West Bengal, it looks like investors and business people must work a little harder for their returns. Take a look at that state’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee. She isn’t just making business people and investors work for their profits; she’s making them sing.

From India Today:

An industrialist climbing the dais at an investors’ summit to sing a popular Rabindra Sangeet. The perhaps unseen scene was made possible on Tuesday courtesy West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee .

Impressed by Dhunseri Petrochem and Tea chairman C.K. Dhanuka’s ability to play the violin on an earlier occasion, Banerjee cajoled him to sing at the opening of the “Bengal Leads” summit organised in this industrial cum port town of East Midnapore district.

“Mr. Dhanuka please come up and sing us a song. Violin, violin,” she kept repeating as the seemingly embarrassed industrialist walked towards the stage. Banerjee then asked music company Saregama’s Sanjiv Goenka (chairman of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group) to accompany Dhanuka.

Dhanuka began singing the evergreen hindi song “Ae Mere Pyare Watan” and later Rabindranath Tagore’s masterpiece “Jodi tor daak sune keu na ase tobe ekla cholo re” (If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone) as Goenka, Banerjee and others present on the dais hummed along.

At Banerjee’s insistence, then everybody stood up to sing the national anthem that brought the programme to a close.

I’ve encountered countless books and films from many countries that portray cogs in the capitalist machine as being willing to take any risk, cut any corner and do anything that it takes in the name of profit, return and so on. Maybe Banerjee is on to something, then: “KBC” meets “Indian Idol.”

This might seem crass. It might even seem degrading, being made to dance like a monkey on a leash in front of a crowd. On the other hand, people tend to put up with lots of indignities to get rich. Surely there are worse ways to do it then than learning how to sing and play a musical instrument.


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That’s all! I thought you were going to take a dig at their policies and compare both of them. But yes you did make me laugh…..a little.

Posted by Woman21 | Report as abusive

It’s just a blog post. It doesn’t have to be deep or bring down the system 😉
I’m glad that I got a little laugh out of you!

Posted by Robert MacMillan | Report as abusive