The Ben­gali DNA

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

1) 2) 4) 5) 7) 8) 9) griha-karmey nipuna out-knowl­edge). Jukti-Tarka-Gappo: six core pro­fes­sions** probasi Per­haps a bit too much. ADDA" ex­haus­tive list, most Malaysians will prob­a­bly re­alise that they may have in­ter­acted with sev­eral of th­ese qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­als across a wide spec­trum of fields. Th­ese in­clude: med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als like Dr Subir Sengupta, pi­o­neer­ing ra­di­ol­o­gist Ajit Ku­mar Mukher­jee, sur­geon Dr Pro­bir Sengupta, der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Mad­huri Ma­jum­dar, gy­nae­col­o­gists Dr Ta­posi Choudhury and Dr Arun Bag, gen­eral prac­ti­tioner Dr Shudeep Roy; aca­demi­cians Dr SR Sengupta, Dr Hena Muk­er­jee, Dr Jay­ati Roy, Sucheta Sen-Mukher­jee, Dr Ni­ran­jan Deb­nath, Amit and Bar­nali Guha who run a promi­nent school; ur­ban plan­ning and real es­tate pro­fes­sional MK Sen; ac­coun­tants Su­bi­mal Sengupta, Sukanta Dutt and com­pany sec­re­tary Sikha Dutt; en­gi­neers Prasanto Dutt, De­bo­jit Choudhury and lawyer Swapna Roy; writ­ers/au­thors Deepika Mukher­jee and Tutu Datta; en­tre­pre­neur Sham­rat Sengupta; ad­ver­tis­ing/com­mu­ni­ca­tion strate­gists Su­tapa Bhat­tacharya, Na­banil Roy, Shub­hankar Mitra, De­bo­priyo and Ab­hishek Bhat­tachrya; mar­ket re­searchers Ip­sita Mitra Too much talk and com­par­a­tively less ac­tion. Many are just dream­ers in­stead of do­ers. 2) PNPC ( para ninda para char­cha) – crit­i­cal gos­sip about oth­ers, of­ten on is­sues not rel­e­vant to their own lives/fam­i­lies. Fo­fot-dalali: a ten­dency to prof­fer views and ex­pert opin­ion on is­sues based on su­per­fi­cial knowl­edge and de­spite lack of thor­ough study. Cur­rent pur­suit of IDE­AL­ISM in many cases is im­prac­ti­cal. De­sire to ex­tract full value for money paid. This is not nec­es­sar­ily lim­ited to the less af­flu­ent classes. Resid­ual habits about class-con­scious­ness. Strong be­liefs/crit­i­cal views still linger about cer­tain sub-seg­ments, as­so­ci­ated with caste and un­skilled pro­fes­sions. Goar­tumi: Ob­sti­nacy usu­ally ex­pressed through tak­ing a hard­line po­si­tion, be­yond the reach of prag­matic res­o­lu­tion. Too many view­points, with­out ac­cept­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for their re­sult­ing im­pli­ca­tions. This gen­er­ates a ten­dency to in­dulge in un­nec­es­sary pol­i­tics, group-ism, cliques and ca­bals. Painfully ex­posed while par­tic­i­pat­ing as mem­bers in sports clubs, colony/con­do­minium com­mit­tees, pro­fes­sional or­gan­i­sa­tions or even cul­tural as­so­ci­a­tions. 10) The "Iago syn­drome": Pro­vok­ing oth­ers to foist con­flict or dis­cord, while per­son­ally hid­ing in the back­ground. The naive min­ion(s) then face the re­sponse and ar­tillery bar­rage, while the "ini­ti­at­ing Iago" slinks away, of­ten un­scathed. 11) Trig­ger-happy about ini­ti­at­ing le­gal steps par­tic­u­larly po­tent among those hail­ing from East Ben­gal and lower-As­sam (ac­cord­ing to a pop­u­lar Ben­gali proverb). Ex­or­bi­tant le­gal costs are thank­fully in­flu­enc­ing a de­cline in this trait ... with the rare ex­cep­tion of a re­cent case in Sin­ga­pore. 1) 3)

4) 5)

6) 7) 8) 9)

* ADDA = in­volves much more than gos­sip. ADDA ac­tu­ally in­volves a peculiar but com­pelling mix of de­bate, con­struc­tive dis­cus­sions and idle talk, plus vo­cif­er­ous ar­gu­ments on a wide range of is­sues ... from phi­los­o­phy to pol­i­tics, cin­e­matog­ra­phy to cur­rent af­fairs, fine arts to fi­nance, medicine to molec­u­lar bi­ol­ogy and road trans­port to ra­dioac­tiv­ity.

** Six core pro­fes­sions: When this writer ac­cepted an ob­vi­ously high-po­ten­tial ca­reer op­por­tu­nity in the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try with JWT, his late fa­ther and un­cle jethu (both leg­endary po­lice of­fi­cers and pres­i­dent's-medal awardees) were aghast. • His el­dest cousin Barda (then a bri­gadier in the Gurkha reg­i­ment) was for­mally in­structed to sit him down for a "hard-talk ses­sion". Even in 1982-83, ad­ver­tis­ing was not re­spected as a re­spectable pro­fes­sion (in their books). With all good in­tent they were ap­pre­hen­sive that he would end up paint­ing hoard­ings on Calcutta, Delhi and Bom­bay streets. • Ob­vi­ously per­spec­tives widened and views evolved as he earned in­dus­try recog­ni­tion/ku­dos within In­dia and in the in­ter­na­tional arena. But then, suc­cess ac­quires many fa­thers, while fail­ure leaves you an or­phan. and Bipradip Chakraborty; mo­tor­sport driver Akash Neil Nandy; ge­ol­o­gists Dr Deb­nath Basu and Dr Tanwi Basu; ... all in­flu­en­tial pro­fes­sion­als who have earned sub­stan­tial recog­ni­tion from the govern­ment, rel­e­vant in­dus­tries and the wider com­mu­nity.

They in­evitably es­tab­lish a strong foun­da­tion for pro­mot­ing Ben­gali cul­ture, lit­er­a­ture, mu­sic, arts and so­cial in­ter­ac­tion in all the coun­tries where they have set­tled, be­sides set­ting up char­i­ta­ble trusts and con­tribut­ing sig­nif­i­cantly to so­ci­ety in the coun­try of res­i­dence.

While the Gu­jarati com­mu­nity is es­sen­tially driven by busi­ness and en­tre­pre­neur­ial en­ergy, the Ben­gali com­mu­nity is driven by a com­pelling rev­er­ence for ed­u­ca­tion and pro­fes­sional recog­ni­tion. We an­a­lyse their dif­fer­en­tial DNA.

Per­haps for the first time in re­cent mem­ory, a na­tional news­pa­per in Malaysia (or in the Asean and Far East Asian re­gion) is pub­lish­ing a com­pre­hen­sive fea­ture on this com­mu­nity. This will be pub­lished in two parts, which will in­ter alia ex­plore: 1) how pioneers from this

(From left) Pioner ra­di­ol­o­gist Dr Ajit and aca­demi­cian Dr Hena Mukher­jee.

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