Celebrated Tollywood actor and two-time TMC MP from Krishnanagar, West Bengal – Tapas Pal, breathed his last on 18th February in a Mumbai hospital. The untimely death of the actor-turned-politician comes after two years of deteriorating cardiovascular and neurological health, which led to a cardiac arrest causing his death.
Tapas Pal rose to fame in the 1980s, after delivering a series of super-hit Bangla films. His debut film, Dadar Kirti (1980) was an instant hit. He sustained his fame with films like Saheb (1981), Parabat Priya (1984), Bhalobasa Bhalobasa (1985), Anurager Choyan (1986), Amar Bandhan (1986), Guru Dakshina (1987) to name few. Notably, Pal also won the Filmfare award for his role in Saheb. Tapas Pal made his Bollywood debut opposite Madhuri Dixit in the film Abodh in 1984. Tapas Pal was paired with Debashree Roy for multiple films, as their ‘Jodi’ was seen as irreplaceable in Bengali cinema. Pal worked with her for around eight films, some of which include Arpan, Surer Sathi, Mayabini, to name a few.
Tapas Pal capitalized on his fame and entered politics in 2001, beginning his political innings with the Trinamool Congress. From 2001 to 2009, Pal was an MLA from Alipore constituency. In 2009, Pal won from a TMC ticket and began his career as an MP from Krishnanagar. He won his seat in 2014 once again.
Despite being a celebrated actor, Pal was a colossal failure as a politician. As an add on, he was a rabidly vicious one while at it. On multiple occasions, Pal made incendiary and distasteful remarks. Many wondered what had caused the ‘sweet’ actor of Tollywood to make such a degrading transition into politics, that he was soon known to be a cannon-mouth by his colleagues in the TMC itself.
In 2014, Pal was found to have said at a public meeting that he would kill supporters of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and would unleash his boys on their women to rape them. “If any opponent (of the Trinamool) touches any Trinamool girl, any father, any child, I will destroy his entire family. Aamar chheleder dhukiye debo, rape kore chole jaabe, rape kore chole jaabe (I will unleash my boys, they will rape them, rape them),” were the man’s exact words. Despite the large-scale public anger against Pal, TMC supremo and Chief Minister of Bengal refused to take any action against him. The remarks made in 2014 by Pal made him a subject of a CID probe into the case a year later.
Tapas Pal was also found to be involved in the Rose Valley chit fund scam. In 2016, the CBI arrested him and conducted a rigorous 4-hour questioning. It is believed that Tapas Pal was a former Director with the Rose Valley Group. He was granted bail after serving 13 months in prison.
Tapas Pal, many would say, was a good man, but a puke-inducing politician not made for a ruthless political party like the TMC. In order to make a place for himself in the party, it is highly possible that the man-altered his entire personality to match that of a TMC leaders’. However, he indeed overdid it all.