‘I know you are wrong, but still I make you right,
I know you are right, but still I make you wrong,
Roses must be yellow, the sky must be green,
It is with you that I am always seen,
Water must be red, I do not know,
I say yes they are if my boss says so,
I kiss his feet, I lick his hand,
I always praise him like a band,
His Master’s Voice ke age nehi socha,
Yes sir, yes sir, I am The Great Indian Chamcha.’
The origin of ‘chamcha’ can be traced back to the 1880s with ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ bringing out not only the naked body of the ruler but also the naked soul of the ministers, wrapped in a coat of sycophancy. Today the same unabashed sycophancy is more eminent when chamchas are there from boardrooms to booths, worshiping their GOD. Chamcha-giri is at its best in current India.
The bootlicking culture, patronized during the British rule has evolved into a full-fledged occupation for many. A glimpse of explicit chamcha-giri coms up in Utpal Dutta’s character in ‘Sriman Prithhiraj’. Under a wrap of humour, it also brings out the satire in that era when certain Bengali babus were like slithering leeches to the rulers.
Time has changed and so have sycophants. Now they are more polished; open and direct in their expectation. It doesn’t have a wrong connotation anymore, at least not in the eyes of those who nurture them. Chamcha-giri can start early in life with being ‘the teacher’s pet’, graduating to ‘the boss’s best’or ‘the politician’s package’ or ‘the guru’s accessory’ and many more.
Pic courtesy: http://cloudninetalks.blogspot.in/2014/05/a-laywomans-guide-to-chamchagiri.html
I guess the sole reason of existence of a chamcha is to find the right plate to bang on, make noise and get undue advantages in return. A chamcha is like a GREEDY, LAZY, FALSE, WEAK, OPPORTUNIST, IRRITATING attachment of the powerful and influential.
The Great Indian Chamcha never suffers from high cholesterol because they use all their oil and butter on others. The Great Indian Chamcha is not an individual, it is a way of life. A human trait which can come and go in anyone. Their smile is not their own, their emotions are not their own, their speech is not their own, not even their self-respect. Yes and No (if the boss says so) are their favorite binary words, the rest is not their own.
I guess we all have a nascent Indian chamcha in us which pokes when we want good vegetables from the grocer or a kid buttering his parents for a new toy or a personal assistant like Sabu to Chacha Chaudhary. A bit of chamcha-giri might be a profitable proposition but when it becomes a characteristic of a nation, politics corporate and religion, they are the apt subject for dissection “an entry to the The Great Indian Blogging Contest, as a part of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2015” with the humorous scissor of satire for instant entertainment and glee.