02 July 2014

We Condemn That A Member Of Parliament Can Call For Rape


The explosive statement by the Member of Parliament Tapas Pal has spread not just within West Bnegal but has crossed state, national and international borders. The ruling party uses state power in conjunction with muscle power to suppress dissenting voices. This has become the latest political culture in our state. Value based politics and courtesy in politics are rarities. 

During the last regime also, it was common to murder political opponents, blind them, cut their hands etc. Added to this in Nandigram and Singur was sexual harassment and rape of the women of the opposite political groups to suppress dissent. However, even in the worst times, nobody had the courage to openly support such activities or to proudly encourage their supporters to take up such activities. Nobody had stooped to such lowly actions.

Today, we find through media reports that Tapas Pal has gone down to such levels. He declared a Fatwa amidst an audience of blind party supporters who clapped with great enthusiasm - if any person from the opposition dared to touch anyone in his party, he would respond with a revolver, plus he would send his men to rape the women from such families. Only a set of completely blind and dehumanised supporters could support such a statement with enthusiastic clapping.

As soon as this statement became public, the “generals” of the TMC have immediately swung into action.The Member of Parliament has been given a 48 hours show cause. The party has said it does not support the Member of Parliament’s statement etc. However, it was an MLA of the same party who said proudly that he had crushed three people to death under his feet. Another leader directed his supporters to attack the police with bombs and to burn the houses of their opponents. Another bright star has not limited his actions to mere rioting – he beat up the teachers in a college and forced them to apologise to him. Was any punishment meted out by the party to any one of these people? Not at all. Instead they have become the twice blessed favourites of the party Supremo.

This message has spread all over the party network. So, Tapas babu went one step further. Not just murder, he advocated rape like the most barbarian of conquerors, with the intention probably of being deluged with the affection of the Supremo. In West Bengal politics, there is a planned effort to spread political and sexist violence, inhuman and uncivilised behaviour. There is an attempt to arouse the violent and vengeful side of human nature amongst the common ordinary people to consolidate the ruling party’s base everywhere. This is basically an endeavour to hold on to political power by any means.

We strongly oppose such immorality, sexism and violence in politics. We feel that any person who makes statements which incite hatred and violence has no right to be a Member of the Indian Parliament. A political party which claims to not support or promote such political culture should immediately expel anti-social elements like Tapas Pal from their party. Otherwise one will be forced to conclude that public statements by party spokesmen are mere eyewash, while the real objective is to encourage the growth of such misdeeds.

As democratic organisations and citizens, in the interest of value based and humane politics and civilised behaviour, we demand:
1.       Immediate Resignation of Tapas Pal from the Parliament.
2.       Suo Moto Proceedings to be initiated by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha to declare Tapas Pal unworthy of being a Member of Parliament.
3.       Immediate criminal proceedings to be initiated by the State Government against Tapas Pal
4.       The State Government must take responsibility to safeguard all constitutional democratic rights of all citizens
5.       The State Government must guarantee the right of women to move and work freely without the constant fear of being sexually assaulted.

Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity, Shramajivi Samanvay Committee, Shramajivi Mahila  Samity, Paschim Banga Swarojgari O Raduni Union, Hosiery Workers Unity Center

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