Kolkata, Feb 10: Magsaysay award-winning writer Mahasweta Devi Sunday urged political leaders in West Bengal to desist from using expletives about rivals.
“One cannot misuse the language. This is akin to insulting your mother. One should not use such indecent words while talking about political opponents,” the author of novels like “Hajar Churashir Maa” and “Aranyer Adhikar” told mediapersons.
The 87-year-old writer and social activist participated in a protest march organised by the Congress affiliate Nationalist Yuva Samiti from South Kolkata’a Tollygunge to Hazra.
Mahasweta Devi said such language misuse was never heard of in the past. “We are not prepared to hear such words now. I appeal to all political parties, irrespective of whether they are in the opposition or not, that it is incorrect to use indecent words while talking about opponents,” she said.
The Sahitya Akademi and Jnanpith awardee said everybody, including the top political leaders, should ponder over the issue.
Asked to comment on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee abusing her security personnel, Mahasweta said: “The yardstick is the same for one and all. What is improper for one cannot be proper for someone else.”
Angry after she had to wait several minutes for her car while coming out of the Kolkata International Book Fair last Wednesday, Banerjee shouted at Special Branch officers who provide her security. “Apnader dhore chabkano uchit, chabkano uchit apnader dhore (you should be whipped”) she said in Bengali.
Basides Banerjee, state leaders have been using expletives against political opponents. From Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy to state ministers Jyotipriya Mullick and Becharam Manna, CPI-M’s Anisur Rahman to Forward Bloc’s Debabrata Biswas, the “indecency” bug has bitten a number of leaders, drawing censure from civil society and the public.