M3 Features

Bengal’s ‘Common Man’ gets a face

June 14, 2015

Influenced by cartoonist RK Laxman's ‘Common Man’, students of Rabindra Bharati University and Jadavpur University have come up with Bengal's own icon – ‘Bishubabu’. This quintessentially Bengali ‘bhadralok’ has a different take on a range of issues that have made headlines in the state.

A typical Bengali, Bishubabu's day starts with rushing for local trains on his way to office. The next fight is to get a seat in a bus that drops him near his office. Tired after the journey, Bishubabu can't be seen anywhere near his desk, but his pair of glasses on the table is proof of his attendance and his bag hangs from the chair's backrest.

Like every other ‘intellectual’, Bishubabu is fond of Tagore, Rabindrasangeet and poetry. He brings a jaba mala (garland of hibiscus flowers) on Tagore's birthday to mark his presence amid the crowd. He is also a strong critic of the Centre's step-motherly attitude towards the state. He believes that both the CIA and the CBI are conspiring and should be thrown out.

Laxman’'s ‘Common Man’ was a nondescript with no region-specific idiosyncrasy. In a previous interview, Laxman explained how he had to cut regionally distinctive individual figures from a crowd in order to achieve this.Bishubabu, on the other hand, is a character that is Bengal’s own. His individuality and distinction have been embraced and enhanced so that he can stand out as a representation of Bengal. He is a common man in Bengal but outside he is unique enough to get noticed if he raises his voice. Hence he is somewhat empowered and has the potential to touch the political and social lives of the people.

Bishubabu will appear on Facebook soon.


Written by Daniel Johns for Team M3.tv

Feature image: RK Laxman’s Common Man (toastingtoaster.in)

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