Being Mamata Banerjee

“Ah! Might as well postpone the expiry date on this little blue planet,” thus must have quoted the Almighty as He sent forth–aye, play the bugle—Ms. Mamata Banerjee to save this nearly destroyed world from all that is dark and red. Being the second most multi-talented, many-feathered hat wearing individual after Leonardo (da Vinci, not Dicaprio, you Titanic-loving romantic!), Ms. Banerjee is a politician, poet, painter, attorney, feminist, firebrand orator and social worker (self-proclaimed, that last one). No reason why you wouldn’t want to step into her shoes… err, hawai chappals. So here’s how to BE like Ms. B.

The look says it all, so you’ve to be mighty careful about getting this right. Order a special white saree (angels always wear white), extra-long (very handy, in case you forget your handkerchief on a hot, humid day and need something to wipe that sweat off your face). And keep the generously-oiled hair in a perpetual bun. The trademark slippers come with the package, of course. There—that takes care of THE look (symbolises simplicity, see?).

Now become the founder and chairperson of a political party that eats, sleeps, drinks and breathes all things anti-communist. Make sure your party members are well-trained in the area of damaging furniture in public offices. Choose a catchy motto for your party, preferably an alliteration. Adopt a range of protest strategies—jump up on the bonnet of someone’s car and dance on it, or make a noose with your shawl and threaten to hang yourself with it. Any other method that grabs attention, and makes heads (even TV cameras) turn your way works just fine. And don’t give a rat’s arse when people question you…what do they know about sanity!

If anyone (MP or not!) DARES oppose anything you say, get hold of his collar and drag him right out of the well of the Lok Sabha. You can also hurl shawls and papers at ministers and speakers whenever they have the nerve to piss you off. Remember you’re a Railway Minister, be daring. Don’t hesitate to make promises that are 10 times heavier than what the budget allows. After all, you don’t need to keep them; just trust our memories to forget it all by the end of the year. Lose all your knowledge of English, then insist on speaking in English in the Parliament (“Faarst eww listen phrom faarst to last, then eww shout!”—it’s entertaining). Be an ambitious dreamer to the core, promise all farmers (like the talented Ms. Banerjee did) that you will build factories by filling up the Bay Of Bengal (!!!) but wouldn’t lay a finger on their land. A highly imaginative artist all the way. Maybe one of these days you can hope of building factories in the skies too. Also, there are lots of political issues lying about in the mess that is West Bengal; keep choosing random ones and call strikes on a fortnightly basis. Don’t mind the civilians, the kids love these surprise holidays anyways.

You’re ready. Now go shout at a few rallies or demolish something. Show the old men who’s the “didi” of Bengal!

About the author

Nazneen Alam


  • Not in good taste. It appears that the very object of this piece is character assassination in a snide manner. Criticise her policies, but do not attack a person personally. Looks like it has been written with an eye on the elections. The tirade against her simple attire was quite distasteful, not the hallmark of an educated person. Avoid such calumnies.

    • @rohan, the post was never intended as a means of character assasination. her policies alone do not make her mamata banerjee, i had to go into some personal details as well. to call it an “attack”, however, means overlooking the fact that it is a piece based on satire. as for having written it “with an eye on the elections”, well it’s just that the elections presented ms.banerjee as a good topic to write on. and nothing about her attire is a calumny. do point out to me which part of my “tirade” you felt was one.

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