History repeats itself. But history student Ramnayan Chowdhury apparently forgot that. And now, he is paying the price for sharing and liking a cartoon on Facebook that targeted West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
With a Trinamool Congress supporter filing a complaint against him, he is under police scanner — much like Jadavpur University (JU) professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, who was eventually arrested last year.
On January 7, Chowdhury, a second year student of Bidhannagar Government College, and a supporter of CPM youth wing Students’ Federation of India, ‘shared’ and ‘liked’ a cartoon which depicted a caricature of MS Dhoni saying “Doodh mango toh khir denge, Match mango toh series denge”.
Next to it was a caricature of Mamata Banerjee, with a speech balloon that said, “Jawab mango toh Maowadi (Maoist) bolenge, Shilpo mango toh shila dikhadenge (If you want an answer, I would brand you a Maoist/If you want industry, I would show you foundation stones)”.
It enraged Subhakshon Dutta, a Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad supporter, who lodged a complaint with the police.
A police officer said an inquiry has been started into the complaint.
Chowdhury has been taken aback. “Hundreds before me have shared and liked the cartoon. I was shocked to find out that someone can lodge a police complaint for this. It is politically motivated,” he said.
According to Dutta, the cartoon was offensive on three counts.
“First, what it says about the chief minister is in bad taste. It says the government is busy laying foundation stones and there is no investment, which is not true,” he said. “Second, the Indian flag beside Dhoni is upside down and third, it takes a dig at the recent series loss against Pakistan, indicating India was ready to throw away the match.”
Last April, JU professor Mahapatra was arrested for forwarding anti-Mamata Banerjee cartoons via email.
The state human rights commission later asked the government to pay him Rs. 50,000 as compensation for his ordeal.
“The Section 64A of the IT Act is being used by the ruling party to curb criticism on social networking sites,” Mahapatra said.