In 2012, a professor from Kolkata learnt the hard way that sharing TMC or Mamata Banerjee cartoons on social media, even if they’re meant to be taken lightly, can land you in hot soup. Or in the case of West Bengal, in jail.
Not only was professor Mahapatra arrested and booked under relevant sections, TMC “vigilantes” decided to take matters into their own hands and assaulted him while he was on his way back from work.
Seven years later, the situation hasn’t changed much in Bengal. If anything, things have become all the more volatile with the ongoing Lok Sabha elections hanging like a dagger above everyone’s heads.
In Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal, you simply do not do anything that irks the Chief Minister. Because if you do, you might end up in jail. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the whole Priyanka Sharma fiasco by now. Sharma, a BJYM worker in Howrah, was arrested for having shared a meme on Banerjee. The meme had a morphed image of Banerjee’s face on Priyanka Chopra’s look at the Met Gala a few days ago.
The image served no other purpose but mere humour, but clearly, Banerjee isn’t too keen on criticism or satire or even harmless fun, for that matter. Ironically though, Mamata Banerjee has often positioned herself as a champion of free thinking and free speech. Of course, as long as it is in her favour.