Kolkata: Noted writer and rights activist
Mahasweta Devi, who had actively campaigned for Trinamool
Congress in West Bengal Assembly election, on Monday described the
government as `fascist` and alleged it was trying to throttle
the people`s voices.
"The people are denied of their legitimate right to
protest and this is nothing but a fascist attitude. The
government will have to withdraw the undemocratic diktat,"
Devi told a press conference referring to the denial of
permission by the government to hold a hunger strike and
sit-in demonstration on November 23 and 24 in the city.
The press conference was organised by the Association for
Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) and 21 other human
"What has not happened in the last 64 years in West
Bengal happened today. The people were robbed of their natural
right to protest," the Magsaysay award winner said.
The hunger strike and sit-in were planned to demand
withdrawal of Joint Forces from Maoist-hit Jangalmahal, of
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and release of political
prisoners as promised by Trinamool Congress before coming to
Permission was initially given by Kolkata police but was
withdrawn later citing "administrative" reason.
Asked if her hopes of good governance were dashed, Devi
said "I have protested against injustice of the Left regime
and the entire country knows me as a rebel writer and for that
I have received Padma Bibhusan and Magsaysay award."
Asked if she has any sympathy for Maoists, she said "I
don`t believe in the politics of violence and killing of
people but what Joint Forces are doing is also not
She demanded the Joint Forces be withdrawn first and the
government take the initiative for peace talks.
Some other intellectuals, who had stood solidly behind
Mamata Banerjee in her bid to come to power in the state, have
also voiced their protest in a letter written to APDR.
They include singer and Trinamool MP Kabir Suman,
film-maker Aparna sen, theatre personality Koushik Sen, writer
Suchitra Bhattacharya and poet Sankha Ghosh.