The Bengali DNA
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)
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.