Following the saying of My playground, My rules, it seems Mamata Banerjee has changed the definition of Democracy and Freedom of Speech in Bengal altogether. She has given a direct warning to media houses to – do what we want, say what we want or suffer the fate we want.
The Fresh Assault
A day after giving a dishonourable statement about the heinous rape of a minor girl, Mamata Banerjee has made another assault on Democracy and Freedom of Speech. She has issued a spine chilling warning to media houses to simply toe her line for getting continued benefits of state advertisements. She said,” Even if a chocolate bomb explodes somewhere in the state, Trinamool Congress is held responsible for it. The incident is shown again and again throughout the day. And Anandabazar is unparalleled in this. They always present negative news.”
Her undemocratic views on Freedom of Speech are not new. In the past also she made it clear to the media persons that only those media houses will get the benefits of state advertisement, that covers the state government in a positive light.
Mamata Didi openly saying that to get govt advertisement in a local newspaper one has to publish "positive news" of the government and send one copy of newspaper everyday to local DM office for proof. This should be condemned by every right thinking person. pic.twitter.com/p4ymWXdTzo
— Avijit Dasgupta (@coolfrnds4u) December 5, 2021
This autocratic behaviour is not just for the media houses alone. In the past individuals have been jailed for entertaining their right to free speech. BJP youth leader Priyanka Sharma was jailed for sharing a simple meme of Mamata Banerjee. During one TV interview, she brazenly termed a student as a Maoist activist merely for asking a question from the ‘honourable’ leader.
Her hatred for the Hindu deity Slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is hidden from none and many have been incarcerated for chanting the slogan. Mamata seems to follow the quote of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin verbatim, when he once said, ”There is freedom of speech, but I can’t guarantee freedom after speech”. This direct assault on Free Speech and Hindu’s Right to practise their religion puts Mamata Banerjee no less than the dictator Idi Amin.
Light has a dual nature i.e Particle Nature and Wave Nature. Imitating the nature of light, Mamata Banerjee too has dual nature i.e seeking absolute democracy with no limits in BJP ruled states and Autocratic behaviour with no rights in her own state. The fascist charge on the central government is always up her sleeves and even a minor action/step of independent central authorities, following their due process, is termed as political vendetta, death of federal structure and fascism of the union government.
WB CM-TMC chief Mamata Banerjee writes to all Oppn leaders & CMs, "expressing concern over BJP's direct attacks on democracy"
'I urge that all of us come together for a meeting to deliberate on the way forward at a place as per everyone's convenience & suitability,' letter reads pic.twitter.com/OvlV2W4yo6
— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2022
While in her own state, a spree of political murders, open threats to voters, gag orders on media, jailing different ideologies etc. are very rampant and to her, these are not threats to democracy. Abraham Lincoln once defined Democracy as “government of, by and for the people. But the actions of TMC in Bengal have re-phrased it as “government ‘Off’ the people, ‘far’ (from) the people, by the people”.
Her new observation regarding media seems to suggest that the TMC chief wants the rest of the few publications and media houses to bend to TMC’s will like most of the publications do. While the CM, by hook or crook, may bend the state publication houses to her party’s whims and fancies, the strongest pillar of democracy i.e Judiciary will uphold the rights of individuals and of media houses, of free speech, and such arbitrary and authoritarian statements will be put to task.