Bongaon, West Bengal. A six-months-old baby here is giving renewed hope and confidence to communists after they faced severe setbacks in recent elections and by-elections in West Bengal and Kerala. This baby boy has been attracting large crowds of devotees due to his striking resemblance with communist philosopher Karl Marx. Many people in West Bengal, ruled by communists over three decades now, believe the baby to be a reincarnation of Marx, thus proving that communism will be back in the state with a new found vigor.
“The baby looks so much like Marx Dada. His mother says that red is his favorite color and he doesn’t drink milk till his cat is given one bowl full after taking out from the bowl of the family dog. He is no one else but Marx-da himself. He is the one.” Jyoti Dasgupta, a devotee said.
Devotees are bringing lot of edibles and milk with them. The whole village is full of red flags and various unions of devotees have come up to take care of crowd management and upbringing of the baby, fondly being called as Marxy by them. The state government of West Bengal has announced that all the devotees would be given free food and lodging facilities for a minimum period of next three months. This has led some people from neighboring Bihar and Orissa to set off for Bongaon even though they admitted that they didn’t know a thing about Karl Marx or communism.
Communist parties have also demanded that a special train carrying devotees from Tripura and Kerala to Kolkata should be run to facilitate the pilgrimage, but Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee has straightaway refused the demands of the communists. She termed the whole affair as fraud and has accused ruling CPM of using cheap tricks to win public support. She claimed that the mother of Marxy was actually a victim of atrocities by CPM workers but she was sweet-talked by the leftist workers to be a part of this drama and earn handsomely.
“A special train will be run, but it will carry Leftists out of West Bengal after assembly elections. It’s a shame that they are now using babies for their propaganda.” Mamta thundered.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya has downplayed all the controversies surrounding the incident and instead appealed to the media and intelligentsia to take note of the hidden signs.
“Marxy was born on 16th May earlier this year when communist parties in India had faced their biggest defeat in Lok Sabha elections. Clearly it’s the case of a phoenix rising form its ashes. People writing off communist parties in India should just look at this baby. We are alive and kicking.” Mr. Bhattacharya said in a press conference in Kolkata.
CPM polit bureau is believed to be thinking over ways to engage Marxy during next assembly elections that are due in 2011. Experts believe that Marxy would be grown up enough by then to deliver some election speeches.
Veteran communist leader Jyoti Basu has appealed to Congress to support CPM and proposed a joint strategy where Rahul Gandhi would campaign for Congress and Marxy for the left parties.