Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Since the results of the election in West Bengal are out, one cartoon character has been thwarting all around in the creative hemisphere of mind. The character is no other than our famous - "TINTIN "created by Belgian cartoonist Herge. An important question is why suddenly "TINTIN" is baffling and coming on the mind.

Reasoning to the answer of this question lies in the plots that were established in the stories of "TINTIN IN AMERICA", "TINTIN IN THE CONGO". As all TINTIN lovers know how TINTIN has played a major role in various social reforms. Be it against gangsterism during 1930s America or be it against the oil corporation lobby. Role of TINTIN as a social reformer has been amply depicted by Herge in several of the plot centric stories that has enthralled us.

Thus when the election results were out in West Bengal complemented by the anti corruption campaign of Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev, I was thinking it would have been great if suddenly "TINTIN" could have arrived in India at this point of time.

Following TINTIN's arrival in India, several plots could have been born where TINTIN the social reformer who always fought for truth and exposed corruption will join hands with Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev in exposing corruption of politicians in India. Perhaps, TINTIN, Snowy, Captain Haddock, Prof. Calculas could have been appointed by the CBI to find out all the culprits of the mega 2G scam in order to find out the people playing around with the public resources of India.

Snowy could have been the biggest information sniffer who would have more efficiently catch hold of the ruffians easily and avoid the institutional beauracracies that jack down the system of finding out corrupt people in this country. Our beloved Snowy would have just sniffed the people, understood them through his senses and would have grabbed their trousers. TINTIN could have then followed it up by putting in handcuffs. The police and the CBI could have been guided by Prof. Calculas in predicting all future plots indicating which minister is going to get engaged in a scam and to what extent. By this way the famous team of Herge could have reduced the existing level of corruption and would have prevented future scams to happen.

However to make the ministers honest and make confession about their corruption, Captain Haddock could have created local informal parties where they could have been intoxicated and Captain could have influenced them to speak the truth with the help of some potions.

In between, TINTIN could have attended some of the Dharnas with Anna and Baba Ramdev and distributed pamplets for common people with objective findings of his investigation exercise of the 2G scam. By this way, our close to heart boy TINTIN would have shown the youth of the nation a new dawn. In between, he could have met also Prof. Kaushik Basu in Ministry of Finance and also discussed his thoughts with Prof. Basu who has been proposing an idea of legalising corruption to check the mal effects of corruption by means of transparent information dissemination. The minutes of that meeting would have been a really nice plot for "Herge's" future plots.

At the end of a two month stint in New Delhi, TINTIN would have got a salute from all the people of this wonderful country in New Delhi and we all TINTIN lovers would have been reminded of the famous "ticker tape parade" that TINTIN had got in Chicago in "TINTIN IN AMERICA".

But if you all think, that TINTIN's stay in India would have ended over here, then you are completely wrong. Because after this he would travel to West Bengal where the state after 32 years of left regime saw Trinamool Congress coming to the ruling position.

The leader Mamata Banerjee would invite TINTIN to sort out one of the extremist problems in certain parts of West Bengal. TINTIN is informed that the extremist movement is largely being carried out by some of the Maoist groups.

TINTIN takes the case and goes to the field to explore the complex interplay of the state, grass root people, opposition politics and how the people belonging to Maoist groups are also expanding their reach through their bargaining with the down trodden people, politicians and corrupt officials. TINTIN also gets some hint that one group of politicians uses the extremist movements as a pawn to come to power. Media facilitates this game of power control amongst the people of the state through a series of manipulated information dissemination.

Industrialists also dont move back and they also see their incentives in supporting a group of politicians for shift of power. In this spider game of power control TINTIN finds out that everybody is maximising their gains. So he is intrigued by the fact that at the end of the day the loosers are people who are in the margin and who dont belong to any of these groups. For these people who live and struggle for their subsistence, the problem is not sorted out. They receive oppression sometimes through means of state, police, opposition party cadres, maoist groups. Their story of suffering continues. TINTIN could not provide a solution to the Chief Minister when he comes back to Kolkata from the field.

Our beloved cartoon hero is now more bewildered, perplexed and he doesnot get a "ticker tape parade" in Kolkata. Though he fails to resolve this case, he understands the need to do a lot and undo what has been undone at all levels of governance in the state. However, TINTIN goes back to New Delhi and from their to his own country. But before going back and waving from the plane in Subhash Chandra International Airport promises to come back soon to solve some of the unifinished tasks in the state.

We never read these stories of "TINTIN IN NEW DELHI, WEST BENGAL". But we read "TINTIN IN AMERICA", "TINTIN IN CONGO". But I always hope our future generation will also read or see some manifestations of plots like "TINTIN IN NEW DELHI", "TINTIN IN WEST BENGAL" and through these plots the imagination of future social reforms in this country will be born in the minds of all children as we used to have when we had first read - "TINTIN IN AMERICA", "TINTIN IN THE CONGO".

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