Poets 'Cockatoo', 'Parrot' spice up WB polls
Popular Bengali news channel Star Ananda has come up with an animated series featuring a cockatoo and a parrot.
Kolkata: Amid the shrill campaigning and political bravado in the run up to the West Bengal assembly polls, a certain 'poet Cockatoo' and 'Mr. Parrot, the commentator' are providing much-needed comic relief with their wit and sarcasm.
With TV channels working themselves to a frenzy to outdo each other in election coverage, popular Bengali news channel Star Ananda has come up with an animated series featuring a cockatoo and a parrot depicting the rivalry between the two major political players in the state, the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Trinamool Congress. And on display are witty, sarcastic and at times caustic remarks, which are proving to be a big hit amongst audiences who will vote for a new government in the six-phase elections beginning April 18.
For instance, speaking on the Congress-Trinamool alliance, the red crested cockatoo comes up with:
'Many won't get the tickets
alliance is what the masses want
Not much sharing with the Congress
Sonia to get the leftovers!'
The parrot retorts by equating Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee with ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak:
'Mubarak departed, as the people wished
Buddho too will disappear, Didi (Mamata Banerjee) knows
What Mubarak could do in thirty years
Buddho has done far more is the fear!'
Of course, the lines have a certain sting when the characters deliver them in Bengali, which these English translations lack. Titled "Tiya Tippani Banaam Kobi Kakatuya", the show is a hit even among those not too interested in politics.
Housewife Priyanka Saha said: "I am hardly interested in politics; neither do I watch news often, but I religiously follow this show. Their acerbic remarks are so enjoyable."
In fact, the show's runaway success has started making the high and mighty fidgety. The CPI-M mouthpiece Ganashakti, in an op-ed piece, urged the cadres not to "waste time" watching the show, but rather go door to door and work at the grassroots level.
Bengal polls have traditionally seen witty and colourful slogans painted on walls across the city. The parties have used slogans generously not only to woo the masses but also ridicule their opponents. One such slogan, and perhaps the wittiest, was given by the CPI-M way back in 1977.
"Sunleo haansi paey
Congress aabar vote chaey."
(One can only laugh to know
The Congress is seeking votes you know!)
"I have witnessed so many elections. Earlier we used to enjoy a lot the slogans and the cartoons. They often used to be the hot topic of our 'adda' (gossip). But now creative slogans are hard to find," said Dinesh Naskar, 70. "The 'Tia-Kakatuya' show has brought back those memories. I relish watching it," he chuckled.
The star commentators, meanwhile, are chirping away merrily. Deriding the chief minister for the massacre in Netai, where nine people were killed in clashes allegedly triggered by Marxists-backed assailants in January this year, the parrot quips:
'Admitting we've killed isn't so easy
Searching for the armed camps, the police are so busy'
Pat comes the reply from the cockatoo:
'Will the Red bastion have a green gloss
Or will Didi be bowled on a full toss'
The duel ends with this retort by the parrot:
'The polls are just a month afar
Buddho flops, Didi is the star!'
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