Mamata’s Taliban Fatwa on Free Interaction

between Men and Women

Shakespeare’s Hamlet said: “Words, words, words”. The Prince of Denmark was disgusted with words. In West Bengal the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is not disgusted with rapes, but more with the news of rape cases published by the newspapers in the front pages. She at last discovered the real reasons for increasing number of rape incidents. Earlier she said rapes occur because some in the opposition to her government made conspiracy to malign her government. Now she has improved her thesis a little. She has discovered a new truth about the rape cases. Even the Taliban are outdone by her fatwa.

Mamata who herself is not married for whatever reason has realized in this middle age of hers, that rape cased have increased because men and women interact more freely with each other. She is surprised why people do not understand this simple reason, particularly the anti-Trinamool media and anti–Trinamool government journalists. So the rape cases are increasing in the country. She sarcastically links this to open market probably having in her mind FDI when she says: “It’s like an open market with open options”.

Mamata as the Chief Minister of the state probably wants to give Taliban fatwa on the free interaction between men and women. She in an elated mood attended the grand release ceremony of the Festival number of her party news organ ‘Jago Bangla’. There is one similarity of Jago Bangla with the CPI(M) news organ Ganashakti as both these newspapers openly follow the party line. In Ganashakti also nothing is published against the CPI(M) party or the erstwhile CPI(M) dominated Left Front government. The Left leaders also used to show scanty regards about other newspapers and channels alleging that they do not tell the truth.

Mamata looks more furious about other newspapers in the same dictatorial fashion and uses this occasion for targeting the news channels which dish out news against her government and party. She warns with ‘mujhse bura koi nai hoga’ approach that this presentation of the negative side of the Trinamool government of the state will yield awful results. After the Park Street rape incident, Mamata Banerjee tried to convince the media that it was a fabricated incident to malign her government. Later her own Anti-Crime Branch of police differed from her version of the incident and established the fact of rape of an Anglo Indian woman.

But even today she has not forgotten this incident. So she warns the news channel not to malign her government by writing about rape cases. Her argument is that report of such incidents will lead to the increase of rapes. Rape should not be made a target in the newspapers and media. People and especially teenagers are not to be allowed to know more about it. This is like Taliban fatwa and too some extent similar to the diktats of the Khap Panchayats. The CM might have had in her mind the cartoon incident and the role of the media in supporting Ambikesh Mahapatra of Jadavpur University.

The Chief Minister finds a way out for coming out of the rape impasse. Parents should be strict in forbidding their children to hold hands of each other. Elizabeth Barrett Browning once lamented that this society is unkind to the lovers and there is no place for making love freely. Mamata might have banned this kind of poet in the syllabus from college and university courses. “Earlier if men and women would hold hands” she lamented in the manner or Ayatollah Khomeini, “they would get caught by parents and reprimanded but now everything is so open”. She knows that her statement would be misinterpreted by some section of the media who are against her government and party.

The Trinamool Congress chief alleged that a section of media was suppressing facts and causing “news pollution”, pointing to projection of few rape incidents in the state. She is very happy that the state has not yet become ‘a land of rapists’. The audience that assembled at the function clapped loudly to register their support. Being encouraged by the party men, the Chief Minister said that the anti-Trinamool media and newspapers glorify the rape incidents. Otherwise there is no reason why they publish such news. It means that the rape incidents should be suppressed and not highlighted.

What Mamata Banerjee has forgotten that her movement in Singur started chiefly against the rape of Tapashi Malik who protested against selling of land for the Tatas. At that time Mamata Banerjee fought against the rapists and felt very much grateful to the newspapers for highlighting the incident of Tapashi Malik’s rape. She used to say in her fiery speeches that West Bengal has become a land of the rapists in the reign of CPI(M). The situation has changed. And the Trinamool government is now in power and so no incident of rape is to be reported for any reason other than praising her government. Mamata Banerjee is sure that people will not tolerate this kind of negative journalism which allows the newspapers to report rape incidents. If such news is published it is nothing but wrong news items.

The Chief Minister warns such newspapers not to circulate canards. It is clear to her that such news channels have no other aim but to target her government and to distort her own version of any rape happening in Kolkata like the Park street incident. Mamata will not tolerate any dadagiri and didigiri; which she thinks nothing but daring a challenge to control her government, By publishing such reports of rape incidents and other Trinamool hooliganism in schools and colleges where even Principals are attacked physically, jugs are thrown to Headmistress, the newspapers looked bent upon demolishing Bengal's culture.

A few days ago, the Trinamool M.P. Saugata Ray has told that the targeting of Principal and teachers in academic institutions cannot be accepted. Mamata Banerjee with a motherly affection for such naughty boys said that these so called ‘dastardly attacks’ on teachers and academicians in institutions are only minor incidents, because no Trinamool students can do any wrong like herself. Kings can do no wrong. Her party is in now in power. So she or her party cannot do any wrong. This is the argument given by Hitler in Germany and in the recent past by CPI(M) Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and now by Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee.

The essence of Mamata’s Taliban fatwa is that men and women should not interact freely in the state for prevention of rapes. Parents should not allow their children to hold hands of the children of others. No free mixing should be there between two different sexes. Mamata has not told anything about the third gender although very recently the Pinki Pramanik case occurred in the state. Newspapers not following the lines of the state government are not being given any subsidy. Libraries are also forbidden to keep such newspapers by using government money. These are very much in conformity with Mamata brand democracy. No dissenting voice should be there because the state government is very much pro people and at least the Chief Minister has such a conviction.

The logic of Mamata is very simple as she is simple-minded. CPI(M) led Front government was the worst and the change has occurred in favor of Trinamool government. It establishes logically that her government is the best because the opposite of the worst is the best. Unfortunately, some newspapers do not understand this simple logic why her government is the best and why none should criticize any of her diktats. So rape incidents or cartoon incidents which happen only to malign her government should not be published in the newspaper front page. No journalist in that function asked the Trinamool supremo and State Chief Minister if such news can be published inside, say, in Page 3 or 4. But if any newspaper has only one page, Mamata has not made it clear if such news portal can publish anything related to rape or against her government.


More by :  Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee

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