23 April, 2021

Fang Shui: The Martial Art Of Mithunda

The BJP, hankering for a credible ‘insider’ in Bengal, counts on Mithun Chakraborty’s demotic pull

Mass appeal
Mithun Chakraborty with other leaders at the Brigade rally in Calcutta
Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee
Fang Shui: The Martial Art Of Mithunda

Place: Calcutta’s Brigade Parade Ground, known for its amphitheatrical ethos, with a tradition of mighty political grandstanding, on March 7. Dramatis personae: PM Narendra Modi, other top BJP leaders and Mithun Chakraborty. Audience: Tens of thousands of BJP supporters. “I know you are waiting to hear that dialogue from me…maarbo ekhaney, lash porbey shmashaney (I’ll hit you here and you’ll land in the burning ghat)…that will continue, but I am giving you a new one now,” Mithun Chakraborty said. “Do remember this dialogue,” he continued after a pause. “I am summing up all that the senior leaders said so long…and the dialogue reflects me, Mithun Chakraborty. I do what I say. Ami Joldhora-o Noi, Balibora-o noi, ami jaat gokhro. Ek chhobolei chhobi. Hya, ebar etai hobe Banglay.” That bloodcurdling line means, “I am neither Joldhora nor Balibora (non-venomous snakes); I am the real cobra. Just one bite and you’ll become a photograph. Yes, that’s what going to happen in...

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