West Bengal which is better known as West Bangladesh, is one of the top states in India when it comes to minority appeasement. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is the appeaser-in-chief, who has constantly allowed Islamic Fanatics in the state to have their say. There are people like Imam Barkati who have received the backing of the Bengal CM. Barkati made the headlines for issuing a Fatwa against PM Modi.
Mamata Banerjee’s state cabinet is no less. Urban Development & Municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim has stoked controversy by calling Kolkata’s Garden Reach Area “Mini-Pakistan.” Hakim in an interview to Pakistani English daily, ‘Dawn’ made the controversial comment. The article was titled ‘Canvassing in mini-Pakistan of Kolkata’.
In an interview to Dawn’s Maleeha Hamid Siddiqui, Hakim was quoted as saying, “Please come along and let us take you to mini-Pakistan in Kolkata.” Hakim was referring to Kolkata’s Garden Reach area which comes under his constituency. The Pakistani journalist was interviewing him.
When questioned about his controversial comments by the media, Hakim said that the media was playing a trick to create communal unrest. “This is a ploy to create communal tension. PM Modi has been to Pakistan. That is okay. But if I, as a Muslim say anything, then it is not okay. Why so? I am as much a son of the soil as Narendra Modi. This is nothing but discrimination,” Hakim said.
Hakim also denied calling Garden Reach area “Mini-Pakistan.” He said that he had never made such statements. He said that it was just a ‘mere coincidence’ that a journalist from Pakistan had come to his constituency. Hakim said that the Pakistani journalist had told him that the Garden Reach area reminded her of Pakistan. He said the statements were being blown out of proportion. Hakim even went on to give a strange ‘What if’ example. He said that if someone had said Kolkata is like London, then would there be a different reaction?
The Dawn article which was circulated in full flow on the internet, was published before the fifth phase of West Bengal polls. Hakim’s constituency, Kolkata port also voted. Hakim was one of the 11 TMC MLAs was allegedly seen accepting cash bribes in a sting operation carried out by Narada News.
The secular voice of the nation may claim that even if Hakim made the statements there is nothing wrong with it. The problem is not with the statements they make, the problem lies with their loyalty towards the nation.