RoHu-Hilsa wins oVer prawn
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.