Bengal and Britain And, Um, Business

When two ex-business biggies go to town – one of them even stepping outside its home counties – you sit up slightly from your slouch and wait for something new to happen. This week, Britain and Bengal showed their keenness to do business, with Boris coming to India for a roadshow and Banerjee hosting a Thatcherite convention. We wish both parties luck.

‘Britain and business’ doesn’t trip off the tongue as easily as ‘bangers and mash’, while, let’s just say, ‘luchi-alur dom’ has delivered every time that ‘Bengal-business’ hasn’t. But the two former symbiotic entities – one veritably lived off the other through the 18th-19th centuries, while the other still lives off those wonderfully archived memories – need a makeover, and not just of image. Brexit Britain seems rather spare on the shopfront, even as Johnson was photo-opped at the factory of British bulldozer manufacturer JCB near Vadodara – at a time when many leaders wouldn’t be caught bulldozing in India.

The Right Honourable Banerjee’s Bengal has not Indexed – exited India – yet. But she is proudly advertising the fact that ‘investment proposals received’ at the Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata this week ‘aggregated to ₹3,42,375 crore’ with a ‘potential new employment’ of 40 lakh. MoU power to Bengal, and gee biz to Britain. The future of this B2B endeavour looks, well, twee.

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