India had several distinguished and brave queens in the past. V GANGADHAR comments on the latest to join the brave queen brigade.
It was bound to happen in these turbulent days when Indian states were fighting the food inflation monster. The nation needed rulers of extraordinary courage who set an example to their troops.
Remember Joan of Arc, the Jhansi Rani, Annie Oakley who could draw and shoot faster than any gun slinger in the Wild West. And now there was a new recruit to this illustrious brigade, Mamata Banerjee, the west Bengal Chief Minister!
Reports are pouring in from all parts of West Bengal on how Mamata was beating back the challenge of Potato Robbers, a deadly group, more dangerous than the ‘Thugees’ of the 19th century and Al
Capone’s notorious Chicago bootleggers who shot first and then responded to questions. Once she became aware of the fact that thousands of tonnes of West Bengal potatoes were smuggled into Odisha, Jharkand and Bihar. Mamata decided enough was enough and acted.
It was like the old days of the Wild West when gangs rustled huge numbers of cattle (sheep and cows) and smuggled them across US state borders. The history of the Wild West brought to the wide screen and in Technicolor by Hollywood revolved around these sagas.
And now the history of the Wild West was recreated in West Bengal by its brave leader. Putting on her special armour, Mamata made it clear about her plan of action.
“I will not allow our own people to be deprived of potatoes while traders gained by sending them to other states. Potatoes will go to other states only after the needs of West Bengal were met with.” As Mamata delivered this inspiring address wielding a historical sword, her troops stopped 900 trucks carrying potatoes to neighbouring states. It was an inspiring moment in the history of West Bengal which made it clear it was ready to launch The First Potato War.
Like boy hero Casabianca stood on the burning deck, General Mamata stood on the potato-laden truck unmindful of the fact she had to meet the challenge of other powerful kings who were hit by the Potato blockade.
King Namo of Gujarat who had planned a special visit to Bengal to seek her support for his political ambitions cancelled his trip on learning that Gujarat too would not receive any West Bengal potatoes. This was a bitter blow to Namo pride?
People in his state consumed the largest quantities of potatoes. Depriving them of ‘Batakanu Shak’, ‘Bataka bajjiya’, ‘Alu Paratha’, ‘Kanda bhatakanu Shak’, and ‘Bataka tuitti-fruiti’ would derail his political ambitions. Namo planned war strategy like stationing elite Vishwa Hindu and Bajrang Dal units close to West Bengal borders.
But General Mamata Didi was unfazed having formulated a new battle strategy which would subject the VHP and BD infiltrators to aerial bombardment of rotting fish which the Gujaratis hated.
They would run away helter-skelter leaving Rani Mamata victorious once more. She devised another strategy to disrupt plans of fasts unto death by Arvind Kejriwal which would involve frying onion and potato bhajias close to their fasting sites on Ram Lika maidan.
The Aam Admi mobs would not be able to continue with their fasts, pounce on the bhajiyas and that would be one more victory for Mamata in the Potato war.
(V Gangadhar writes satire, a special form of humour. Incidents and anecdotes in his column are purely imaginary.)