Rebel Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman attended CPI(M) patriarch and former chief minister Jyoti Basu’s birth centenary celebrations, organised by the CPI(M) state committee, on Monday.
The singer-turned politician’s presence at the programme took everybody by surprise since he is known to be a staunch anti-CPI(M) and had also written on his Facebook page a month ago that the humiliation and mental torture he had to bear during the Left Front regime ‘were unforgettable’.
Suman was seen sitting beside CPI(M) central committee member Benoy Konar.
He also shook hands with leader of the Opposition Suryakanta Mishra.
Suman was one of the persons most vocal against Konar’s role and speeches during the Singur-Nandigram episode in 2006-07.
The singer-songwriter who had composed a series of numbers against various incidents of atrocities and human rights violation during the Left regime, including that of Jyoti Basu, however, was all smiles on Monday.
“I’ve come here to acknowledge the fact that Basu was a man of tall stature. There is no denying this fact. Political differences with him are separate issues,” Suman said.
One of Suman’s most acclaimed numbers - Anita Dewan, Kshama Karo (forgive us, Anita Dewan) - was composed to protest the infamous rape and murder incident that happened while Basu was the chief minister.
Basu’s role and remarks following that incident were strongly criticised.
Suman had repeatedly said that he had to suffer a lot in the hands of the CPI(M) for composing and performing this number.
Even a month ago, when a section of city-based intellectuals, led by poet Shankha Ghosh, hit the streets to protest government inaction in protecting women’s honour and security, Suman had said he could not have attended the rally because prominent pro-CPI(M) personalities had attended it.
The Trinamool MP’s relation with party chief and chief minister Mamata Banerjee turned sour when he released a CD containing songs that supported
Chhatradhar Mahato and the Maoist-backed movement in Lalgarh. Later, Suman gradually turned a staunch critic of Mamata and started doing exactly opposite to his party diktat, irrespective of issues.