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‘There are individuals who perhaps commit mistakes’: Sagarika Ghose downplays Sandeshkhali unrest yet again, justifies arrest of Republic TV journalist

"When a propagandist goes to a particular place and demands the freedoms of the journalist to practice hate and propaganda, he or she will invite consequences," Sagarika Ghose justified arrest of Republic TV journalist Santu Pan.

On Friday (29th March), ‘journalist’ turned Trinamool Congress MP Sagarika Ghose courted controversy for downplaying the plight of women in Sandeshkhali village of West Bengal.

During an interview with leftist propaganda outlet The News Minute, she was asked to speak about the unrest in Sandeshkhali. The interviewer Sudipto Mondal also tried his best to present the accusations of sexual violence against women as a routine political affair in Bengal.

“I mean you (Sagarika Ghose) have barely been nominated and you are in the middle of a storm because of Sandeshkhali. I will give you a second or two to talk about Sandeshkhali and how it is symptomatic of politics in Bengal and whoever comes over there does this kind of politics…It has become a nature of politics over there… How does your liberal self not get a little (rattled)?” Mondal was heard saying.

At the very onset, Sagarika Ghose attempted to trivialise the role of Trinamool Congress goons namely Sheikh Shahjahan and his accomplices Shibu Prasad Hazra and Uttam Sardar in the Sandeshkhali unrest.

“I think in every political party and every democratic political party, there may be individuals within the party system who are not part of a certain way of thinking. There are those individuals who perhaps commit mistakes,” she was heard saying.

“There are lumpen elements in every party. At the end of the day, we have to look at how a political party responds,” the Trinamool Congress MP said while conveniently forgetting how her party supremo dubbed the protests by women as a ‘minor incident.’

Sagarika Ghose justifies arrest of Republic TV journalist

On hearing that, Sudipto Mondal said, “How did the political party respond? You said that the guy has been arrested. You know that the law is taking its course but both of us can agree that there was a delay and prohibitory orders were imposed there (in Sandeshkhali).”

“As a result, journalists could not land up on the spot. Section 144 applied to anybody who wanted to go and find out what’s happening over there,” he added.

At that point, Sagarika Ghose went on a tirade against Republic TV and said that ‘propagandists’ are bound to face consequences. “No? Apply to who? Umm Republic TV. They are not journalists. They are propagandists. They spread hate. And they are not fair or accurate,” she brazened out.

“When a propagandist goes to a particular place and demands the freedoms of the journalist to practice hate and propaganda, he or she will invite consequences,” the self-declared crusader of free speech remarked. She then claimed that Republic TV was seeking to incite or inflame because they supposedly ‘profit from hate’.

It must be mentioned that the Sandeskhali police arrested a Republic TV journalist named Santu Pan on the directives of the Mamata Banerjee government. He had to spend 3 days in jail before being granted bail by the Calcutta High Court.

Sagarika Ghose passes off Sandeshkhali unrest as ‘local land dispute’

On 7th March this year, Sagarika Ghose tweeted, “Exhilarating experience on the women’s march today led by India’s only woman chief minister @MamataOfficial ahead of #InternationalWomensDay. A pleasure to meet @abhishekaitc on the march.”

“Meeting the women of Sandeshkhali was an eye-opener. They said local land disputes were being politicised by outsiders ahead of elections and Sandeshkhali’s own votes remained firmly with Trinamool Congress,” she brazened out.

Sagarika Ghose wasted no time in downplaying the unrest in Sandeshkhali village, which took place after scores of women took to the streets demanding justice for the atrocities committed against them by TMC goons.

She brushed off the raging controversy as a ‘local land dispute.’ OpIndia had reported the testimonies of several women of Sandeshkhali. They courageously narrated the sexual exploitation suffered by them at the hands of TMC leaders such as Sheikh Shahjahan and his aides Uttam Sardar and Shiba Prasad Hazra.

While illegal land grabbing by the Trinamool Congress was one of the concerns of the villagers, it wasn’t the crux of the issue. The former ‘journalist’ shrewdly dismissed key concerns of women’s safety and threats of gang rape received by the victims from her party leaders.

Interestingly, Sagarika Ghose mentioned that the villagers would continue to vote for the TMC. She however forgot to inform that the likes of Sheikh Shahjahan did not spare the women who voted for the party.

Besides denying the harrowing experiences of the women in Sandeshkhali as a ‘local land dispute’, Sagarika Ghose accused the ‘outsiders’ of politicising the issue. The use of the word ‘outsider’ to refer to the Opposition BJP in West Bengal is a well-thought-out move.

Since 2019, the TMC supremo Mamta Banerjee herself has blamed ‘outsiders’ for incidents of violence and unrest that took place in the State. The objective behind it was to evade responsibility for failing to provide safety and security to the residents of West Bengal.

It also served another purpose of creating a magnified sense of fear among the Bengali community that migrants from other states were somehow usurping their culture, language and safety.

The regionalism and eventual polarisation have yielded great results for the TMC in the 2021 West Bengal elections. Now, Sagarika Ghose is following in the footsteps of Mamata Banerjee.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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