Clamp On Cartoons
The graffiti war in Calcutta is heating up. As the city's walls get crammed with caustic barbs fired at each other by rival political parties, what is interesting is that unlike earlier days the cartoons of Mamata, which were the staple of the CPI-M campaign, is now almost nowhere to be found. "There is a fear that anyone painting a comical or satiric representation of her may meet the same fate as Ambikesh Mahapatra, (the professor who was beaten up and thrown into jail for circulating a cartoon of Mamata)," said a CPI-M party cadre on condition of anonymity. "Though what she did may not be acceptable in a democracy, the fact is that it had happened and it can happen again. No one wants to take that chance." So while a CPI-M graffiti makes fun of Mamata's national ambitions by drawing a large empty chair with the caption "I want to be PM, it does not carry a caricature of her, as it would most likely do in earlier times. Political observers also feel that much of the sting of the graffiti war has eroded after a ban was putting on it by the election commission during the last set of elections.
One of the more clever and creative TMC campaign slogans came from Sreerampur, where lawyer and TMC MP, Kalyan Banerjee is contesting. It says, "Mamatamoyee Bangla…Kalyanmoyee Sreerampur". The two words, "mamata" and "kalyan" mean compassion and grace respectively. Punning on the two words and the names, the Bengali slogan means…Bengal is full of compassion and Sreerampur is full of grace.
Di-lemma circulating via SMS: "Kakey vote di?...Mo(di)? Na Didi? (Whom to vote for? Modi or Didi?)
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
THe CONGRESS PARTY is a corpse in WEST BENGAL. PERIOD.
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