Thursday, June 17, 2021
Page Mail

“Dui Bigha Jami”

Dear Madam,
In Rabindranath Tagore’s epic poem ”Dui Bigha Jami”( My little plot of land), the village zamindar had calmly told the poor man — ”Know what Upen? This too should come my way … . You’ll have to sell it for me” so that the former can extend his garden and design it perfectly in a symmetry!
Had the poem been set in today’s time, the zamindar wouldn’t have required to threaten Upen to “sell” the land. There would have been no need to lodge false cases of ”defaulting a loan” and force out Upen from his last piece of land by a Court decree. “Dui Bigha Jami” would have surely been written by Tagore in a new angle had he been alive today!
Today the “musclemen” of the zamindar could have easily thrown out Upen from his land and took possession of it. All that would have required for the zamindar is to merely ”believe” that the land is ”his property”! After all the “faith” or ”belief” of the zamindar is innumerable times more important than the hard reality of Upen’s ownership of his own land.
So if it is neither “unjust” nor a crime to forcibly banish Upen from his land and take possession of it by awarding utmost “respect” to the “faith”/”belief” of the zamindar; then how can the latter and his henchmen be treated as ”criminals” and convicted!
Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata-114