'We want a change in Bengal again -- but this time change in the real sense of the term.' An anguished Indrani Roy writes an open letter to the West Bengal chief minister
Hope you have got over the shock of the assault on you and your honourable finance minister Amit Mitra by Students’ Federation of India cadres.
We watched the incident on television and, like hundreds of other Indians, we condemned it wholeheartedly, our political convictions aside.
Those who attacked Mitra are cowards.
Staging a demonstration is democratic but being so violent with someone, that too an elected representative of a state government, is not only unconstitutional but also unfair.
Is something rotten in the state of West Bengal?
It has to be.
In fact, I am writing this letter as I have been immensely upset by events that have rocked my native land for the past few weeks.
Recently 23-year-old Sudipta Gupta died in police custody.
Our hearts wept.
We were deeply shaken and we thought of directly approaching you for justice.
We even talked to some of our friends about it.
Riding on the hope that you are the ‘people’s chief minister’, we planned to walk up to your door begging for a proper investigation.
But before we could step out, came your comment: ‘Sudipta’s death is an accident’.
You must have uttered these words on the spur of the moment, right?
For, a person as sensitive as you, a political veteran like you, knows for sure that when someone dies under such circumstances, the death can be due to anything but an accident.
And the police, who were supposed to protect Sudipta, are answerable for the incident, no matter what.
Just when Sudipta’s father was crying for his dead son, your accident theory simply rubbed it in.
‘I can’t digest this insult, I will fight for my son’s death. Even if I have to go to the Supreme Court, I will,’ the bereaved father told the media.
This wasn’t the end.
Soon after, while in Bengaluru, you told the media, ‘The death (of Sudipta) is a petty matter, small matter’.
We would have loved to disbelieve the media reportage. But then, there were hard-to-be-dismissed audio-visual clips.
We cried again -- for Sudipta as also for the death of optimism of a much-hyped poriborton (change) that you promised to gift us after ousting Bengal’s 34-year-old Left Front regime.
Didi, people had looked up to you as a ‘messiah’ who would lift us out of the ‘lawlessness that Bengal was suffering from all these years’.
But to our utter dismay, we saw that we were dragged into yet another pathetic swamp of political confusion.
‘Politics’, which used to be a ‘passion’ that netas followed, all of a sudden, started invading our homes as we watched helplessly with gaping mouths.
Take the case of ‘hooligans’ vandalising the PresidencyUniversity campus, for instance.
It happened right after you claimed that the ‘political situation was peaceful’ in Bengal.
But your party colleagues stated that some ‘miscreants’ committed the crime under the pretext of being TMC members (vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar herself said those who came to ransack the varsity were carrying TMC flags, remember?)
Didi, your party disowned the troublemakers and said they were carrying TMC flags just to malign its image.
The Left parties cried themselves hoarse stating just the opposite.
To be honest, Didi, we are tired of this jugglery of charges and counter-charges.
We desperately want definite answers.
Since you are the head of the state government, we appeal to you to let us know the truth and nothing but the truth.
Be it Sudipta’s death or the assault on (Amit) Mitra or the Presidency vandalism, please dish out neat, logical answers.
We will accept them with an open mind, that’s a promise.
For we, like you, are rational individuals.
We trust you, we who voted you to power, didn’t we?
For once, please rise above your Trinamool Congress supremo status and act like the chief minister.
Let me tell you, though the political situation in Bengal is ‘peaceful’ as you state, we, the ordinary citizens, with varied political inclinations, are living under a constant fear these days.
We don’t feel safe in our dear Bengal any more.
We think twice before posting anything (not just cartoons) on our favourite social networking platform.
We worry a lot if our husband and children are late in returning from their offices and schools.
We are anxious if there is a political rally as we are not sure if it will turn violent.
This is not the poriborton that we sought.
Didi, we have heard so much about your grit and unrelenting political spirit.
It’s time to put those qualities into practice.
Be the leader and show us the way.
We want a change in Bengal again -- but this time a change in the real sense of the term.
A curious and concerned onlooker
PS: Please don’t bring up the issue of Left’s 34-year-old misrule. That’s an old story and we are rather tired of hearing it