How is your life after bail outside the prison?
I am not well. I have to take at least 32 pills a day and four of them are sleeping pills. I cannot walk or sleep properly and see nightmares every night. The Saradha episode which affected my health might also affect my mental conditions. That why I am also undergoing “preventive” psychiatric treatment. Most important, doctors have advised me to get exposed to sunlight at least once a day. I was hardly exposed to the sun during the many days I spent in jail. It seems I was a resident of the South Pole.
How was life behind the bars?
I preferred to stay confined inside the cell throughout the day. I did not venture out of my ward, because whenever I did inmates crowded around me, and almost everyone had some plea or other. Some wanted me to arrange for their parole. Some wanted a bail. I am thankful that the jail authorities gave me an orthopedic bed and I could sleep properly. In this hotel I have already developed a back pain.
How long do you plan to stay in a hotel?
I am helpless. The matter is in court. I am not even getting a rented house in Bhawanipore. But I have developed severe back pain sleeping on the hotel bed. I cannot take it anymore, and now plan to sleep on the floor. I cannot move about because of my health. Once I went to a nearby temple and was dead tired just walking a few steps.
Madan Mitra sleeping on the floor! Is it to get rid of the ‘influential’ tag?
I was never considered myself as influential. Yes officially, I was an MLA and also a minister. I was also the office bearers of several clubs, organisations and unions. But now I have resigned from all of them. I was always a common man, and now I am a free bird.
At a time when Trinamool Congress is at its peak, you are confined inside the four walls of a hotel room. Don’t you feel bad?
I am keeping a track of all party activities through the television screen. Even on the day of the Singur verdict, I prayed at the temple inside the jail. During the day I watched the entire programme on television. I never felt that I have rush to the stage as I know my health won’t permit. Things change with time. When you are in jail, you learn to adjust.
How is your relationship with the party now?
It was on August 16. 1990 Mamata Banerjee was attacked. It was then that I moved close to her and visited her in the hospital. Earlier I was with Chattra Parishad (Congress’s student wing), and I knew her but was never close to her. After the attack, I followed Mamata Banerjee. Later she called me and asked me to head Chattra Parishad. Later I joined Trinamool Congress following Mamata Banerjee. I too contributed to the rise of my party. My party is all I believe in.
How do see your political career now?
I was crossing a river and I have managed to cross the English Channel. I do strongly believe that from here the situation will improve. Though none of the leaders visit me now, yet I should thank god that my colleagues in Trinamool Congress are still supporting me.
Madan Mitra has always been popular for his social work? Now you seem to be helpless in this area too?
There was a time when I used to receive phone calls from different people at the dead of the night. I never declined anyone. I even took patients to SSKM Hospital in my taxi. During the Left Front regime, I was controlling the Bengal’s premier hospital SSKM. But those days are gone. However, if I can I shall try to help anyone.
How will you spend time now?
The only advantage of this Saradha episode is that it brought me closer to my family. Earlier, I could hardly spent a couple of hours in a day with my family. My grandson Maharoop is now my source of inspiration. Now I want to be a full fledged family man.