RoHu-Hilsa wins oVer prawn

The Sunday Guardian - - Covert -

The Press Club of In­dia at Raisina Road wit­nessed its keenly con­tested an­nual polls for of­fice bear­ers. For the first time, the main can­di­dates used the YouTube to air their in­ter­views and panel’s man­i­festo.

The en­tire rul­ing panel headed by Gau­tam Lahiri won—ex­cept for one can­di­date among 16 man­ag­ing com­mit­tee posts—with fly­ing colours, de­feat­ing the ri­val group led by Anikendra Nath Sen, pop­u­larly known as “Bad­shah” Sen. The fight was de­scribed as be­tween two Ben­galis.

When this writer asked Jayanta Roy Chowd­hury where the Ben­gali votes were go­ing, he trot­ted out a diplo­matic re­ply that went vi­ral among the 1,721 print and tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ists who voted: “Lahiri, after be­com­ing PCI’s pres­i­dent last year, in­tro­duced rohu fish in the menu and hosted an il­ish (hilsa) fes­ti­val, which proved very pop­u­lar. How­ever, there are those who hope if Bad­shah Sen wins, he will host a chin­gri (prawn) fes­ti­val. So, the Ben­gali votes may get di­vided on rohu and il­ish vs chin­gri lines.” Tra­di­tion­ally, those Ben­galis who have their roots in East Ben­gal, cel­e­brated the vic­to­ries of the East Ben­gal foot­ball club with hilsa prepa­ra­tions, while those with roots in West Ben­gal cel­e­brated Mo­hun Ba­gan’s vic­to­ries with prawn feasts. How­ever, with in­ter­mar­riages, most Ben­galis have both eastern and western Ben­gali lin­eage.

Dur­ing peak vot­ing, a vet­eran jour­nal­ist, above 70, walked in. A young woman can­di­date, a TV jour­nal­ist, hugged him ask­ing for his vote. After go­ing a short dis­tance, he com­mented to his friend, “If a pretty girl hugs me at this age, she surely gets my vote.” She was the only can­di­date to win from Sen’s panel.

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