Once pro-Mamata Di, West Bengal intellectuals now turn their backs on ‘lawless’ Trinamool

(From left) Indrani Sen, Mahasweta Devi and Bibhas Chakraborty

Barely two years after Trinamool Congress came to power, most of the pro-Mamata Banerjee personalities like painter Samir Aich, academician Sunanda Sanyal, writer activist Mahasweta Devi, theatre personality Bibhas Chakraborty and Kaushik Sen, singer Indrani Sen and Protul Mukherjee are now humming a different tune.

Such is the disillusionment of intellectuals who had once rallied behind the TMC chief for a regime change in West Bengal that they are openly criticising Mamata for her party’s lawless ways in the backdrop of spurt in political violence.

Samir Aich
Samir Aich.

“It is pretty unfortunate that what we disliked about the CPM during the Left rule in Bengal is being repeated now by the Trinamool Congress government now. The day this government came to power the leaders of the ruling party started taking all the credit ignoring the common people who supported them to unseat the communists,” said Samir Aich, a noted painter.

Aich said the ruling government feels if someone says something which is not in their favour that person is their enemy. “And they immediately start disturbing the person in many possible ways,” he said.

Protul Mukherjee
Protul Mukherjee.

Singer Indrani Sen also has similar feelings about the state government. “As we are approaching the panchayat election this year, political violence has significantly shot up in various pockets of the state. We get to see Trinamool minister exchanging heated dialogues which are further fuelling political clashes. This is totally uncalled for. We never expected this while supporting them two years back,” Sen said.

She said people who are with Banerjee are not helping the state to grow in terms of development. “They are, in many cases, breaching the barrier of political courtesy inciting ugly fights with the opposition,” she added.

Pallab Kirtaniya
Pallab Kirtaniya.

Both Aich and Sen were known as pro-Trinamool intellectuals and close to the chief minister since the time political violence erupted in Nandigram way back in 2007.

“We have no regret that we supported Mamata Banerjee and her party during the anti-land acquisition protest. We felt the regime change was really needed that time. But it would not be proper to think we would defend her for the government’s wrongdoings just because we stood by her in the past,” said veteran theatre personality Bibhas Chakraborty.

Kaushik Sen
Kaushik Sen.

He said, “We would like to tell the government not to politically influence the state administration. The police must be allowed to function impartially. This is the most important factor now.”

“It would be really sad and unfortunate if those same things, for which we had wanted a change and hit the streets, happen again now,” said Pallab Kirtaniya, singer who was often seen at various Trinamool Congress programme with the CM.

Indrani Sen
Indrani Sen.

Recently, another pro-Trinamool intellectual and academician Miratun Nahar has resigned as a member of the state college service commission and the Nazrul Academy citing reasons of growing differences between her and the state government due to lack of administrative transparency. She has sent her resignation to both state education and information and cultural affairs department.

“People can see what kind of change has taken place in Bengal. I don’t need to add anything to that. The new generation must come up and protest what is going on now. Democracy is like a bird and its two wings are – the ruling party and the opposition. It can not fly with just one,” said singer Protul Mukherjee.

Bibhas Chakraborty
Bibhas Chakraborty.

Magsaysay award winner writer-activist Mahasweta Devi is also unhappy with the functioning of the ruling Trinamool Congress government. She had resigned as the chairperson of Paschimbanga Bangla Academy after her recommendation of an author for the prestigious Vidyasagar Puraskar (award) was turned down by the state government.

Mahasweta Devi had actively campaigned for Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress to topple the erstwhile CPM-led Left Front government in Bengal. But soon after Trinamool stormed to power and intensified anti-Maoist operation in Junglemahal and took several unilateral decisions, she started developing distance with the ruling government.

Mahasweta Devi
Mahasweta Devi.

Last week, state Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Pradip Bhattacharya met the author-activist requesting her to once again stand up against the ongoing Trinamool atrocities in Bengal.


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