By Mayank Jain:
I write this letter as an agonized citizen who has lost all faith in the future of this country as we find ourselves governed by ministers like you who go around making shocking comments on something as sensitive as ‘rapes’. Your recent comment, as reported on the video released by various media channels, isÂ “If anyone from opposition or their wives and sisters are here, then listen up, if any one of your people touch anyone from TMC I will destroy you, I will not spare them. I will send my boys and they will rape people.”
Is this how a Minister of Parliament is supposed to respond? When did rapes become the benchmark of your political aggression? It is highly disappointing to see ministers turning into goons when cornered with criticism from opposition.
You didn’t stop at just rapes and also threatened to kill anyone who dared to ‘touch TMC person’, whatever that means according to your twisted vocabulary which equalizes rape threats to a show of strength.
“My name is Tapas Pal. If anyone touches any TMC person I will make sure they are dead. I walk around with ‘maal’. ‘Maal’ means revolver. If any CPM person touches anyone in the Choumaha village I will make sure they are destroyed. I will burn their houses down.”
The distressful part is that you are not alone and there are many in the same Parliament who echo the same sentiments and insensitive aggression is hurled at people at large. Those we have elected to make laws and govern the country give lessons in belligerence and misogyny all the time in public spaces, quite opposite to what we need in the country that elected people like Harsh Vardhan who thinks sex education is vulgar and Mulayam Singh Yadav who absolves males of rapes they committed by calling it a ‘mistake’.Â Your own party TMC, which has a stronghold over Bengal, already finds itself in the middle of a challenging tide as West Bengal became the highest contributor to crime against women in India for the second year running.
This continued apathy to a cause as crucial as this is one of the reasons why the country has been called the one of the most unsafe places for women in the world. A petition started on Change.org reflects the similar sentiment that people are tired of such statements and patriarchy that masquerades itself in the form of aggressiveness, as they seek your suspension and action from the party instead of just pushing the matter under the carpet yet again.
What you have managed to accomplish through your misogyny is aggravation of your party, so much that it had to distance itself from your comments. The incident shook the faith of a large number of people, including me who had any hopes left of ‘acche din’.
Gender and sexuality in India hang on loose strings on two extreme ends of the spectrum where the majority support on one side manages to bring the other one down, and your comments haven’t helped.
If you think you can seek revenge from your so called political opponents by threatening them with rapes and killings, then you need to take a re-look at your political strategy. What goes around definitely comes around and I sincerely hope against all the past trends that people see this as an unfortunate incident and not a benchmark for their own aggressive stands.
We don’t want another Tapas Pal for this country, not now and never will. Please mend your ways. Else, it is never too late to make way for someone better equipped to do your job.
A concerned youngster