Skip to main content

Complaint against Rakesh Sinha: Having silenced her critics within Bengal, Mamata is spreading her tentacles outside the state

Rakesh Sinha
By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*
It left me aghast when I heard that at the Shakespeare Sarani Police Station, Kolkata, an FIR, at the behest of Mamata Bannerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, based on very flimsy and unfounded grounds was filed against my old time friend, Delhi University Political Science professor and RSS think tank/ spokesperson, Rakesh Sinha — truly, a man of letters and clear understanding on matters pertaining Hindu-Muslims relations, India’s secular credentials and communal harmony.
Why it actually traumatised me, was the fact that I have known Rakesh for almost two decades, even while he wasn’t the spokesperson of the RSS, as an erudite scholar and a very well-read intellectual. We have often sparred on the umpteen TV channels on a variety of topics ranging on a varied variety of topics, sometime on the opposing sides of the table and at others, on the same side! What impressed me was his deep-rooted knowledge of history and a holistic approach towards all aspects of politics and in fact, life in general.
In fact, the travesty of the entire misadventure is that in 1987, Sinha had interviewed Mamata Bannerjee who highlighted the excesses of the CPI-M government. Besides, he had not visited West Bengal for the last two years. Today she is doing exactly what she had criticised that time. Truth is that such act will lead her to nowhere other than ending up as a fascist.
Communal violence at Basirhat
Early this month communal violence swept through Basirhat in the North 24 Parganas district, which borders Bangladesh, after Muslim mobs went on a rampage, angered by a controversial Facebook post by a Hindu teenager. A man was killed and several homes, business and vehicles burnt in the violence that erupted and continued for days.
What actually happened was that being a journalist and writer, he has been tweeting on a variety of topics, including the Hindu-Muslim riots at Basirhat, 24-Parganas, Kolkata. What is inexplicable is that the tweets posted by him are all innocuous and have nothing to do with provoking the communal violence in Basirhat. The post that has been made the axis of complaint, is that of a picture with his mother offering prayers at the Mahakal Temple in Ujjain on July 9. 
Other harmless tweets included the President of India presenting an award to Sinha and the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat releasing a book on Narendra Modi. It seems that Mamata is phobic of Sinha’s research-oriented criticism of her dangerous design of dividing people on communal lines.
Ludicrous complaint
What is very ludicrous is that Sinha has been booked for this particular picture under various non-bail able IPC Sections, including, 120 (B), 153 (A1 and B) 295 and 505 — all claiming that Sinha tried to incite communal hatred and thus tried to spark communal conflagration in the already panicked state through his social media posts.
There can’t be a bigger absurdity that this! When contacted by this writer, a peeved Sinha stated that he was the last person to have annihilated the communal concord and that it was a malicious effort on the part of the Mamata brigade to throttle the freedom of expression.
“RSS is an organisation that firmly believes in cementing the amicable communal bonds between various communal cross sections, especially between Hindus and Muslims. Mamata has always misused Muslims as vote bank and hasn’t done anything to uplift their lot in the field of education, jobs and the pathetically low standard of life.”
Mamata phobia
Having silenced her critics with the state of West Bengal, Mamata, is now spreading her tentacles outside the state and the FIR against Rakesh Sinha is a similar strike in her hit list.
Rakesh Sinha was also upset about the fact that Mamata was exploiting state agencies for the gratification of her selfish ends to retain her power via nexus between the police, administration and other agencies to promote her vote bank politics.
In fact, the FIR has been lodged by one Manoj Kumar (perhaps at the behest of the repressive Mamata), a TMC stooge and cohort alleging Sinha’s posts to be “provocative”. According to Brajesh Jha, Sinha’s counsel, they have moved the court for anticipatory bail and in all probability, the FIR will be quashed as it has been registered with a diabolic design to crush the RSS activist, on insubstantial grounds without any annexures.
Many activists across the party lines and political allegiance and leanings, like — NDTV’s Vikram Chandra, Ravish and Vishnu Som, Maulana Athar Dehlvi, Ambar Zaidi (creative film director from Jamia) besides other umpteen eminent citizens – have openly voiced their support, in favour of Rakesh Sinha.
Opined Ambar Zaidi, “All the people believing in the voice of sanity condemn the FIR against Rakesh Sinha for exposing the involvement of communalist radicals of TMC in Basirhat/ Baduria riots. We are also planning a candle light march to support Rakesh Sinha.”
---
*Columnist, educator and grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Comments

Neeraj Nanda said…
Janab, Firoz Bakht Ahmed have you forgotten the fake FIRs (in hundreds) against India's top painter M. F. Hussain which forced him into unwanted exile to Dubai? Have you forgotten the many cases (Now sub-Judice) against more than 20 AAP MLAs in Delhi? This has been going on for a long time and the situation is dismal. The system is ready to be misused by most in politics to suit their interests and harm opponents. We realize this when we ourselves or some one dear to us is harmed. It's a sad state of affairs.
Girish Mishra said…
I agree with Neeraj that we should never forget the past of Firoz Bakht Ahmed.
Gunalan Srinivasan said…
I think society as a whole is change to a stage where wearing the badge of Intolerance is pride. But the law&order agencies becoming the handmaids of ruling dispensation both in registering case turning blind eyes to crimes committed by front outfits of ruling dispensation is apparently dangerous to social harmony & fear free route life.But Firoz's outpour in defending Rakesh Sinha is subtly defending RSS. What such wonderful Jeevan such as Rakesh i s doing in RSS that too as spokespersons. Lingual delivery by itself is not scholarly. Mamata's mavericks are not uncommon.Where was FBA then
Dear Neeraj, Girish and Srinivasan, I agree as to wherever there is suppression of the voice of sanity , freedom of expression or an activist, voice has to be raised! I ask the "Award wapsi giroh", where
are they now?

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.