Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Just to prove a point

I returned from Delhi yesterday and read up the local dailies to catch up on the news. This has now become an old habit of mine that I had mentioned in an earlier blog.
One of the English dailies published a report on Somnath Chatterjee’s book launch function in the capital that shocked me. The report mentioned the name of my good friend Amajeet Banerjee (not Amarjeet)  as the only person close to the CPIM who was spotted at the launch function. It may be mentioned that none of those considered close to Somnath da were present at the launch function that was attended by the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and number of other dignitaries.
True, Amarjeet, who is the brother-in-law of West Bengal industry minister Nirupam Sen, was there at the book launch function at the Teen Murti Bhavan. But he is someone who has till date never ever flaunted his relationship with the minister in public. The fact of the matter is that he wasn’t even keen to go to that function since neither he nor Somnathda personally knew each other. I only prevailed upon him and took him to the function. Myself, Ujjwal Upadhyaya and Amajeet were there together during the book release.
Amajeet is a very simple person who always keeps to his own away from any kind of limelight. For all our common friends in Kolkata, Amajeet is the man for all-reasons-all-seasons in Delhi.
However, mentioning Amajeet’s name in the newspaper report, even if innocuously, has put him in an awkward situation for two reasons. First, by any stretch of imagination Amajeet has never been conspicuous by his presence or absence in any event. Second, does being related to a minister or anybody by law truly reflects a person’s political leanings. The newspaper report inadvertently tries to establish guilt-by-relation thereby presenting a slanted report.
An angle that the newspaper report missed out on is Amajeet’s links to the literary world. Amajeet happens to be a close family friend of Prime Minister’s daughter Daman Singh who made her literary debut last year with her novel Nine by Nine. Amajeet is also known to Harper & Collins India, the publisher of Somnath da’s book. Earlier this month the second novel of Daman Singh -The Sacred Grove – published by Harper & Collins India was launched and the company had invited Amajeet at the launch function. Being invited by publishers is not new for him.
So, there were more good reasons for Amajeet, other than being related by law to a minister, for being at Somnath da’s book launch function.
I feel bad that I personally brought him to the function not knowing that his name would be dragged and linked to a touchy subject by a media report just out to prove a point that someone close (as per the reporter’s defination) to the CPIM attended a function in defiance.
When the media is out to prove a point it sees only what it wants to. This is an ominous trend. To draw a parallel with the timeless Shakespearean nugget of wisdom - some people crave for publicity, and some have it unfairly thrust upon them.
ess bee

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