New Nazrul book questions Mamata ‘secularism’
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Already facing Mamata Banerjee government's wrath over a book on its wooing of Muslims, Nazrul Islam is ready with another.
The controversial IPS officer's 73rd publication, to hit the market soon, indirectly questions among other things the secular credentials of the Chief Minister, in terms of her Cabinet, government and politics. The book, in English, is titled How Secular is Indian Politics.
Following the release of his last publication, Musalmander Ki Karaniya (What the Muslims Should Do), in Bengali, officials had dropped in at the office of Mitra & Ghosh Publishers Private Ltd seeking to buy all the copies of the first print. They had also allegedly urged that the book be withheld, leading the publishers to approach the West Bengal State Human Rights Commission.
In How Secular is Indian Politics, Islam discusses caste ("varna") and community ("jati") factors and portrays that in the Mamata cabinet, her distribution of portfolios as well as in posting of top officers, the higher castes have been given preference.
While the Additional Director General of Police, Training, refused to comment, except acknowledging that he was coming up with a new book, the publisher, who refused to be identified, said it was almost ready for print.
Islam had earlier earned the wrath of the previous Left Front government for his anti-government writings. When Mamata became railway minister under the UPA II government, she had invited him to join as executive director, safety, Railway Board. In 2011, after she came to power in West Bengal, she had the IPS officer brought back to the state. However, relations between the two have since soured and Trinamool leaders claim Islam took up the pen against Mamata when he was denied a posting of his choice.
Out of 37 Trinamool Congress ministers in Mamata's Cabinet, only one is a Bengali Muslim, while eight of the Muslims are Urdu speaking, Islam writes. This is not proportional to the demographic profile of Bengal, he says, as the lower-caste Bengali Muslims constitute at least 28 per cent of the state's Muslim population as per the 2011 census. The Urdu-speaking Muslims, also known as Bihari Muslims, are much lesser. According to Islam, this shows the Trinamool's bias for those who have more clout.
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