I had read Soumya Datta’s article (Facebook Users Beware: Every Post you Make, Didi’s Watching) a few months ago. The article talked about Mamata Banerjee looking over Facebook posts against her and taking due action. I had wondered then if any government in the world in any democratic set-up would really undertake such a dictatorial step. My doubts were cleared on Friday when I read in the news about Prof Ambikesh Mahapatra of the Jadavpur University in Kolkata being arrested because he circulated over social networking sites and e-mail a cartoon of Mamata, former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi and railway minister Mukul Roy that allegedly showed the lady in question in poor light. (Read: It isn’t Funny Madam Chief Minister)
According to news reports, Prof Mahapatra was attacked by Trinamool supporters near his New Garia residence on Thursday night. The police arrived at the spot and took him to the police station. He and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta were arrested on Friday. The duo have been arrested under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act, the news reports quoted an official to have said.
IPC and IT Act? As far I know, IPC deals with any kind of criminal offence and the IT Act is for tackling cyber crime. Pray what offence is spreading a cartoon? Going by that logic R.K. Laxman should have spent his entire life in prison.
Even I shared this particular cartoon in question on my Facebook wall. And now I ask myself what was so bad in it to be called a “cyber crime”. As I write this article for Howzzit today, do I put myself in danger of being attacked by Trinamool goons on my way to school and back? Am I also tempting the authorities to come and arrest me? Is this post in any way violation of the IT Act?
But I am just a 16-year-old. So they have to send me to some juvenile home. On charges of what? Insulting the chief minister? Derogatory comments? Spreading wrong information? Somewhere I read one of the charges was “outraging the modesty of a woman”!
I am lost now. What are we arguing about?
But do logic and arguments hold any water for Didi? Everything is a conspiracy for her. So was Prof Mahapatra’s cartoon, so could be my this write-up.
But this is not the beginning. Things started getting wrong a long way back — the mass political murders. We thought those were political provocations. Then the chief minister’s disgusting statements against rape victims and the shameful way Damayanti Sen, the officer in charge in one of the rape case, was removed… the undemocratic decision of the state government to oppose a bandh… and finally, the utter embarrassment over the railway budget. We squirmed as the entire country (may be even the whole world) laughed and scorned us. Then there were the sudden dictatorial decision to ban all but Didi-friendly newspapers in state libraries. She openly gave threatening statements to the media — toe our line or face the music. And now this.
How long do we just keep quiet and sit back? We need to raise our voice. It’s my request to all the people of the state to raise your voice without the fear of getting ambushed by evil. I hope people have slowly started to realise the big mistake that they have committed by putting these people into power. Those who were seen publicly campaigning for TMC before the elections are now seen protesting against them.
Has West Bengal realised the truth a little too late? Are we in for four more years of this treatment?