After Floyd, Paraspathar - Bangla band sings for CPM in jadavpur

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By CHANDREYEE CHATTERJEE
  • Published 23.04.09
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Bangla band Paraspathar boarded a mini-truck to rock the vote for Sujan Chakraborty of the CPM on Wednesday evening but the candidate’s absence struck the wrong note.

Gaan hochhey toh bhalo tobey prarthi kothay? (The songs are nice but where is the candidate?),” asked a young man who had stopped at the busy Garia crossing to enjoy the roadshow on his way home from work.

Paraspathar, the first Bangla band to hit the campaign trail, is seen as the CPM’s answer to Kabir Suman of the Trinamul Congress. Suman, who is Chakraborty’s rival in the race for the Jadavpur seat, sings regularly at campaign meetings.

The CPM had recently created a banner inspired by a Pink Floyd album cover.

Paraspathar’s lead vocalist Ayan Banerjee announced before the roadside gig that the band was campaigning for Chakraborty “of our own free will”. “We want to stand by ex-Jadavpur University student Sujan-da, just like our juniors stand by us. If at the end of the day it makes a difference to the name on the banner tied to our truck, we will have fulfilled our mission,” Ayan said.

The 50-odd listeners sang along as the band belted out popular Mohiner Ghoraguli songs like Telephone and Tomay dilam and their own compositions like Bhalo lage and Ichhe dana. Everyone liked the music but opinion was divided on whether the roadshow would increase Chakraborty’s prospects of winning the seat.

“Posters, rallies and meetings may be Sujan Chakraborty’s main poll weapons but this concert will definitely increase his appeal among young people,” said Jhuma Basu, a homemaker from Patuli.

An engineering student from Garia who did not wish to be named said Suman singing during campaign rallies might have prompted the CPM to turn to a band.

As Paraspathar packed up and headed for Bagha Jatin, a 44-year-old Garia resident who had apparently enjoyed the band’s performance said he did not think “gimmicks” could determine which candidate won. “Nobody is going to judge Kabir Suman as a singer when they go to vote. It’s the same for Chakraborty, no matter how many bands sing and seek votes for him.”

Paraspathar is not the only band that will sing for the CPM as campaigning gathers steam. Sources said representatives of the party were in talks with other bands to perform similar roadshows in Jadavpur constituency.