When Sm. Mamata Banerjee, the leader of the Trinamool Congress, announced my name as a TMC candidate for the Jadavpur parliamentary constituency in West Bengal, even close friends were surprised. A few of them called me up to know why I decided to be a candidate. The question was twofold: 1) What makes you join politics and contest in an MP election? 2) Why TMC?
Along with such calls there came messages from unknown people who expressed their dismay at my decision. One person found it proper to call me a “rotten egg” for having decided to contest in the MP election. Most of these souls claimed to have one thing in common: they all liked my “songs”. It seemed they wanted to see me for the rest of my life as a “singer”, though I have been and I still am a songwriter-singer-musician and not just a singer. This is another remarkable thing about the society I live in. Here, people call me “gayok” – singer.
From what I have already heard of what my rivals are saying in their campaign about me: We knew him as a “singer”. What does he know of politics? He should have remained a “singer” and not chosen to be an MP candidate. On my way to Gocharon, Baruipur, I saw a CPIM wall verse about my opponent and me: “Kajer Chele dilli jak / Gayok ekhon gaan shonak.” ‘Let the boy of deeds go to Delhi and let the singer sing.’ I liked it. It was at least slightly less inane and more humorous than what the Communist Party (Marxist) of India writes about or against me on the walls.