Our Correspondent ● Kolkata: Oxford Bookstore conducted the launch of the book ‘Ghoti Kahini’ (Ravan Prakashan) written by Partha Bandyopadhyay on 29 December evening. Dignitaries like Minister of Tourism and theatre personality Bratya Basu, musician Debojyoti Mishra and Managing Director of Patrabharati publication Tridip Chatterjee.
The book encapsulates the lifestyle of a ‘Ghoti’, Bengalis originating from West Bengal contrary to ‘Bangal’, the Bengalis from East Bengal and the impact of its cultural differences on the political system of our country in the sixties.
It also describes a typical chronicle of a Ghoti, in contrary of culture, vocabulary, habits with that of the Bengalis from East Bengal. The book finds its inspiration from ‘Bangalnama’ a famous memoire by late historian Tapan Roychowdhury, which portrayed the writer’s ‘Bangal’ origin in his works.
Partha Bandyopadhyay, sketched his own upbringing from an unknown North Kolkata contextual. The author spent initial half of his life in North Kolkata. He has specialization particularly on the right of immigrants and labour union.
From the very childhood, due to his family’s political affinity on right wing politics, Bandyopadhyay was an active political worker and has spent about fifteen good years closely with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party. Later on, due to ideological difference, he left them and condemned them.
In 1985, after teaching biology at a remote, rural college in West Bengal for four years, Bandyopadhyay left for USA to pursue a Ph.D. in biological sciences. He earned his second Masters degree from Illinois State University, and then went on to earn his doctorate degree in plant biology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. In 1992, he earned his Ph.D with a dissertation research award, and started working as a postdoctoral research scientist with the state system in Albany, New York.
In 1999, Dr. Banerjee quit his science career, and moved to New York City to pursue his third Masters degree, this time from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He received a prestigious Sevellon Brown award for his understanding of American media and ethics. He also received a Scripps-Howard fellowship to travel with a group of fellow students to Israel, Palestine and Jordan, to report on religions of that region.
In this book the author talks about the anonymous right wing footage in West Bengal and his association with the political party in the early sixties. He also wrote about his exposure to typical civic society of West Bengal followed by its culture, education, love, abhorrence, disgrace observed and experienced by a young protagonist from North Kolkata who tried to correlate with his own further journey headed for other side of the globe after three decades. He tried in this book to find the meaning of life or no life, the book represents the odyssey of confusion and clarity, something different from Bengali’s typical habit of interpretation of accustomed memoire.