A large crowd, with several carrying portraits of Soumitra Chatterjee on Sunday, takes part in the funeral procession of the actor who passed away aged 85 in Kolkata.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)
A large crowd, with several carrying portraits of Soumitra Chatterjee on Sunday, takes part in the funeral procession of the actor who passed away aged 85 in Kolkata.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)

Communist by faith, actor Soumitra Chatterjee was critical of BJP, Left and Congress

Often referred to as a renaissance man by Bengal’s intellectuals, Soumitra Chatterjee was not a member of any political party but believed in communist ideology and occasionally wrote for the mouthpieces of the West Bengal CPI(M), including Ganashakti, a daily.
By Tanmay Chatterjee | Hindustan Times, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON NOV 16, 2020 12:55 AM IST

Though politicians from all spectrums, including top national leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), mourned his death on Sunday, legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee was a critic of the saffron force and believed that secular values in the country were getting eroded. He was equally critical of the Left parties and the Congress, if one goes by the last signed article he wrote before the Durga Puja.

Often referred to as a renaissance man by Bengal’s intellectuals, Chatterjee was not a member of any political party but believed in communist ideology and occasionally wrote for the mouthpieces of the West Bengal CPI(M), including Ganashakti, a daily.

His last article appeared in Ganashakti’s festive number published on the eve of Durga Puja. “I still believe that the Left path is the only alternative,” read the headline of the article in which the actor spoke about communalism, Ram Mandir, BJP, Congress and the Left parties.

“I am surprised that the man during whose tenure Gujarat witnessed communal riots in 2002 is now ruling India. Indians are tolerating these people and voting them to power once again. I think the big reason is that people cannot find a powerful alternative. Or, they don’t know what to do,” Chatterjee wrote in the signed three-page article. He did not name anyone.

Referring to construction of the new Ram Mandir, Chatterjee wrote, “So many people are dying during the pandemic and yet there is politics in the name of Ram. The funny part is that Ram, to whom a temple is being dedicated, is known to us since our childhood. He is popular for thousands of years. He is right before our eyes…”

Writing a rather long portion on the cow vigilantes, the actor said, “How can someone put a diktat on what to eat?”

Referring to demolition of the Babri Masjid, Chatterjee wrote, “I will always raise one question. Where were the political parties that could have stopped it? Speaking against the incident is not enough. People should have been brought together under their flags.”

“The Congress ruled the country for 60 years. Many of its leaders are Rightists. Not openly but secretly. It is time to review the history,” wrote Chatterjee in the article.

“It is my opinion that there are shortcomings in the evaluation of the Leftists as well. We had many differences with Gandhi and it still exists. But we cannot deny the honesty in his politics. How many politicians have that honesty today? This is making us rethink. The Leftists could have declared that Gandhi was the leader of the freedom movement but they had differences with him. Can’t this much be done?” Chatterjee wrote.

BJP state vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar said his father and Chatterjee’s father were friends and the two families lived at Krishnanagar in Nadia district where the actor spent his childhood.

“I knew him all my life. The height he achieved with his multi-faceted talent put him in a class above the rest. How can the BJP not show him respect just because he believed in Left ideology? I am in the BJP but he freely discussed many current issues with me. We also had our differences. Some things are above politics,” said Majumdar.

Chatterjee’s final journey to the crematorium on Sunday evening was marked by the presence of the state’s top Left leaders. CPI(M) state secretary Suryakanta Mishra, Left Front chairman Biman Bose and others walked in a procession led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee while a few thousand fans of the departed screen icon followed.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Farmers sitting in a tractor trolly during their protest against farm law, at Singhu Border in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
Farmers sitting in a tractor trolly during their protest against farm law, at Singhu Border in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

15,000 tractors, 170 km: All you need to know about the farmers' tractor rally

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 07:16 PM IST
According to the Delhi police estimates, about 15,000 tractors are present at the three border points and more are expected to trickle in.
Close
A farmer drives a tractor with the national flag as farmers prepare for a tractor rally on January 26, at Singhu Border near Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
A farmer drives a tractor with the national flag as farmers prepare for a tractor rally on January 26, at Singhu Border near Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

Here is the final route of farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 07:04 PM IST
Multiple rounds of meeting have taken place between the police and the farmers over the route of the January 26 rally. It has been decided that the farmers' rally will begin after the end of the main Republic Day parade.
Close
To collate the information of criminals, all the 95 police stations across Mumbai are also preparing a list of the top 25 criminals in their records, such as regular trouble makers, hard core criminals or local goons. (PIC FOR REPRESENTATION)(HT_PRINT)
To collate the information of criminals, all the 95 police stations across Mumbai are also preparing a list of the top 25 criminals in their records, such as regular trouble makers, hard core criminals or local goons. (PIC FOR REPRESENTATION)(HT_PRINT)

Mumbai Police nab more than 100 criminals in Operation All Out ahead of R-Day

PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:56 PM IST
  • Mumbai Police had started Operation All Out to maintain law and order in the city and is carried out once or twice a month.
Close
PM Modi will interact with the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) awardees at 12pm on Monday.(PTI)
PM Modi will interact with the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) awardees at 12pm on Monday.(PTI)

PM Modi to interact with Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awardees tomorrow

Written by Prashasti Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:53 PM IST
The PMRBP, formerly known as the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement, is India's highest civilian honour for those under the age of 18.
Close
All eyes are on the tractor march of the farmers on January 26 as it has already been subject to many controversies.(ANI)
All eyes are on the tractor march of the farmers on January 26 as it has already been subject to many controversies.(ANI)

308 Twitter handles from Pakistan creating confusion over tractor march: Police

Written by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 07:09 PM IST
Delhi Police on Sunday specified that they have found 308 Twitter handles with their origins in Pakistan creating confusion over tractor march.
Close

Hardeep Puri Interview: On Central Vista, Adani airports row, vaccine exports

By Kumkum Chadha, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:38 PM IST
In HT’s series The Interview, Puri talks at length on several issues: controversial and informative. If he defends industrialist Gautam Adani bagging the contract for six airports, he also talks about expanding the aviation sector, and the phased roll-out of transporting the vaccine.
Close
Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.(PTI file)
Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.(PTI file)

Sole aim of Cong is to bring Babur's rule in Assam: Himanta

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:08 PM IST
Himanta Biswa Sarma also alleged that followers of Ajmal attacked 'Satras', the Vaishnavite places of worship, at Batadrava and other areas.
Close
FILE PHOTO: A man counts Indian currency notes inside a shop in Mumbai, India, August 13, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A man counts Indian currency notes inside a shop in Mumbai, India, August 13, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas(REUTERS)

Old 5, 10 and 100 notes to go out of circulation after March? Govt says

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:09 PM IST
Unlike 1,000 currency, which was declared exhausted by the government in 2016, 100 was circulated in the Indian economy in a new colour of lavender in 2019 without declaring the previous legal tender void.
Close
Nalbari: Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses BJP's Bijoy Sankalpo Samabhekh public rally in Nalbari, Assam, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI01_24_2021_000144A)(PTI)
Nalbari: Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses BJP's Bijoy Sankalpo Samabhekh public rally in Nalbari, Assam, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI01_24_2021_000144A)(PTI)

Congress and AIUDF will open doors for illegal immigrants in Assam: Amit Shah

PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:53 PM IST
  • Amit Shah also accused new political parties formed on the back of anti-CAA protests of indirectly aiding Congress.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a program organised for his interaction with the NCC cadets, NSS volunteers and artists participating in Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a program organised for his interaction with the NCC cadets, NSS volunteers and artists participating in Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

'When you march on Rajpath...': PM Modi talks to participants of R-Day parade

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:53 PM IST
The Republic Day parade, PM Modi said, pays tribute to India's great social, cultural heritage, as well as our strategic strength.
Close
Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav with farmer leaders.(PTI File Photo)
Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav with farmer leaders.(PTI File Photo)

Formal permission received from police for Jan 26 tractor rally: Yogendra Yadav

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:49 PM IST
Hindustan Times' sister publication Livehindustan reported that three alternate routes have been decided upon by farmers and Delhi Police during a meeting.
Close
Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan addresses during an event, in Jabalpur on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan addresses during an event, in Jabalpur on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

Madhya Pradesh CM launches 'PANKH Abhiyan' on National Girl Child Day

Written by Prashasti Singh, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:48 PM IST
The National Girl Child Day is celebrated every year since 2008 to spread awareness about the inequalities and atrocities girls have to face in our patriarchal society.
Close
Devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges to mark "Makar Sankranti" festival.(REUTERS)
Devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges to mark "Makar Sankranti" festival.(REUTERS)

Mahakumbh 2021: All devotees should register with Uttarakhand govt, says Centre

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:46 PM IST
The medical certificates can be either from a community health centre, district hospital or a medical college, the SOP said.
Close
Mamata Banerjee had on Saturday declined to speak at an official programme at the lawn of Victoria Memorial Hall to celebrate Subhas Chandra Bose's birth anniversary(File photo)
Mamata Banerjee had on Saturday declined to speak at an official programme at the lawn of Victoria Memorial Hall to celebrate Subhas Chandra Bose's birth anniversary(File photo)

Mamata Banerjee hails from 'demoness' culture, has faulty DNA: BJP MLA in UP

PTI
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 04:00 PM IST
The BJP claimed that Banerjee's reaction reflected her mindset of appeasement politics, while the ruling Trinamool Congress said no one can teach lumpens to be dignified.
Close
Since the beginning of farmers' 'Dilli Chalo' protests, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh have engaged in a bitter war of words.
Since the beginning of farmers' 'Dilli Chalo' protests, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh have engaged in a bitter war of words.

Farmers protest: AAP ups ante, quotes RTI document to slam Amarinder Singh

Written by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 03:56 PM IST
The party on Sunday produced RTI documents claiming Punjab CM Amarinder Singh was part of a high-powered committee of chief ministers for 'Transformation of Indian Agriculture'.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP