Firhad Hakim, a prominent Trinamool Congress leader and the mayor of Kolkata, stirred up controversy on Sunday. The official Facebook page of Kolkata Municipal Corporation had posted the mayor’s Republic Day message along with a distorted map of India. The regions of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Aksai Chin were seen missing from the Indian Kashmir.
PoK is under Pakistan’s illegal control whereas Aksai Chin is illegally occupied by China. However, India never left its claim on these two regions. The nation considers both as integral parts of it.
Having said that, the Facebook post has stirred the hornet’s nest with many calling out the TMC leader for his anti-India post on Republic Day. Deputy Mayor, Atin Ghosh, conceded that the post was wrong.
The Communist Party of India -Marxist (CPIM) had demanded the resignation of the mayor. The party’s Assembly leader, Sujan Chakraborty, had asked Mamata Banerjee to hold the mayor accountable and take strict action against him.
Bengal BJP’s Twitter handle lashed out at Hakim and CM Mamata Banerjee asking if they endorsed the stand of Pakistan on Kashmir. Sayantan Bose, State BJP general secretary, alleged that such distortion was executed by Hakim on the behest of Imran Khan. He further added that the move was a part of a larger conspiracy to turn West Bengal into West Pakistan.
Why is @FirhadHakim , the Mayor of Kolkata, promoting an Indian map that doesn’t have POJK & ‘Aksai Chin’ on the official KMC portal? Is @mamataofficial endorsing Pakistan’s stand? Our Home Minister @AmitShah ji has proclaimed in Parliament, “Jaan de denge hum Kashmir ke liye”. pic.twitter.com/SUtwU9JeHp
— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) January 26, 2020
Netizens too minced no words and came down hard at the TMC leader. They have accused him of furthering the cause of Islamisation in India, appeasing his community members and being a closet Pakistan supporter.
What a shameful Act by Kolkata Municipal Corporation , This was the post done by them on the Republic Day to wish the people .
The Map of India is totally incorrect.@FirhadHakim .
Now they have deleted the post .
Shame shame @AITCofficial @MamataOfficial .@TajinderBagga Ji pic.twitter.com/BQEG7TEplm
— Yash Binani 🇮🇳 (@binaniyash4) January 26, 2020
Mayor Firhad Hakim’s concept of distorted map of India… Furthering the cause Islamisation of India. pic.twitter.com/QdQwwLjX5O
— Goutam Mukherjee (@GoutamM18781046) January 26, 2020
This is message from Kolkata Municipal Corporation headed by Didi’s trusted lieutenant Firhad Hakim.
Kolkata Mayor has used a distorted map of India. It is a deliberate attempt to appease a particular community. @SuPriyoBabul @BJP4Bengal @me_locket @amitmalviya pic.twitter.com/538EhDZg50
— Atanu Das (@AD1India) January 26, 2020
Hakim, however, pleaded innocent and stated that an internal investigation is underway. Hakim claimed that there must be a ‘conspiracy’ behind the social media post and it may have been ‘hacked’.
This is not the first time when the Mayor of Kolkata has been in the news for the wrong reasons. He had earlier called a Muslim-dominated area of Kolkata as “Mini-Pakistan.”
In order to pacify Muslim rioters, during the anti-CAA riots that had seen extensive vandalism, arson and damage to public properties, Hakim had claimed such acts by Muslims will ‘help BJP to come to power in Bengal’ and then the Muslims have to ‘keep their heads down’, like they allegedly do in UP.