Mamta di, the dictator



“Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior,” said Socrates who was born about 2500 years before Mamta di blossomed into a dictator in the state which espoused the dictatorship of the proletariat for quite a few decades.  The proletarian attributes of Mamta di may be limited to the sari she dons, but her dictatorial character is unfolding more quickly than we would have expected.

Last month she banned most mainstream English and vernacular newspapers from the state-funded libraries under the pretext of encouraging “free thinking.”  Free thinking seems to mean thinking like Mamta di, or at least having thoughts favourable to her. 

Recently she had a Jadavpur University professor arrested for circulating a picture spoof on the Trivedi – Mukul Roy exchange offer in the Ministry of Indian Railways.  Now she is after the blood of more academicians.  She has ordered an academic scrutiny of teachers in colleges and universities.  And the scrutiny will begin with – what else – the Jadavpur University.  Moreover, the scrutiny will be carried out by “external officials” – a euphemism for Didi’s own personnel?

Are we reminded of Stalin, the dictator of Russia, who would not tolerate any kind of opposition, even the mildest of the sort?

Let us not forget the case of scientist Partho Sarathi Ray who was arrested by Didi’s order for protesting against the evictions of people from a slum.

Let us also not forget how Didi donned the mantle of the Judge when a woman was raped in February.  She said the charge was fabricated.  She went on to ask what a married woman had got to do with a nightclub?  Did she not know that the Indian Penal Code does not prohibit married women from working in a nightclub or seeking employment there?  Or, what if a woman visited a nightclub for her own personal reasons?  Should the Chief Minister of the state don the mantle of the moralist instead of trying to secure the safety of her citizens?

Commenting on the philosophy of Socrates, with whose words this blog began, eminent writer Will Durant said: “… if the government itself is a chaos and an absurdity, if it rules without helping, and commands without leading, how can we persuade the individual, in such a state, to obey the laws and confine his self-seeking within the circle of the total good?”

Ruling without helping and commanding without leading – that’s more of a dictator than an administrator.  Such politicians are becoming too common in Indian politics.  Didi is just a glaring example.  There are far too many of them in almost every state of the country as well as at the Centre. 

Is that why “self-seeking” by individuals has increased disproportionately in the last few years? 




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16 Responses to Mamta di, the dictator

  1. Rupertt Wind says:

    Looks like somebody got the power to her head, mamta is going too far the people too fast!

    • matheikal says:

      Mamta doesn’t need anybody to get anything to her head. She thinks she’s the greatest politician in India. (A typical Bong trait, I think.)

      • Rupertt Wind says:

        Its a disaster! isnt it? She had so much promise and now she is just as pathetic as anyone else!

  2. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    “…thoughts favourable to her”? More like, “favorable about her.” What say you?

    • matheikal says:

      Hey, are you checking my prepositions? I’m very poor at them though I’m an English teacher!

      Well, I meant thoughts that she takes as favourable for her and her party….Nevermind the preposition.

  3. anatreek says:

    She is a dudess..Now suddenly people have forgotten the other ‘M’, Mayawati :D..

  4. There was a time when she wore a plain white sari and a pair of chappals, sat in a White Zen with probably no escorts and set off to deliver the parliamentary railway budget. The Traffic Police had to rush to clear the traffic and give her way. I know this had nothing to do with her behaving like an autocrat. But, I thought of her more like a simple lady who appreciated the need for ‘change’.

    But then time has changed and so has the notion of ‘change’ ….

    • matheikal says:

      Sid, as many commentators have said, probably the power has gone to her head. Or probably, she always had this dictatorial tendency in herself. The austerity she displayed was just a mask for that, a Freudian defence mechanism.

  5. myblog1962 says:

    power matheikal power it has driven her mad ,to b very honest she reminds me of Hitler..

  6. bhavanas11 says:

    Women in power are worser than men in power–why? Because their attempt to imitate men in power becomes a more than perfect imitation. I was most upset with Mamta after her comments after a series of rape “allegations” in the city–no matter what, one needs to be very senstive about commenting on such topics. I do not know how many women in Kolkata will step forward to report after such comments. I am so sad that once again a woman has failed!

    • matheikal says:

      Bhavana, the rationale you’ve given for your argument is fascinating. I think it’s right: the urge to outman men! But the upshot of it on the society can be disastrous, as you’ve mentioned.

    • Raghuram Ekambaram says:


      You have said it, just like “more English than the English”,”the emigrants are more patriotic about their homeland than the natives are”. This is just so true. Thanks a lot.


  7. Aditi says:

    This autocratic trait is seen in most women politicians of India, The senior and both the junior Mrs G’s, Jayalalitha, Mayavati, Mamata. It is very frightening and sort of threatens to stereotype the Indian woman politician.

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