KOLKATA: Noted Sahitya Akademi award winning Bengali poet Mandakranta Sen lodged a complaint with the Cyber Crime Cell of Kolkata Police on Wednesday night after she was allegedly threatened to be gang-raped for her poem against religious extremism. An FIR would soon be lodged.
The incident comes within a week after another Bengali poet Srijato Bandopadhyay was booked under non-bailable charges for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments in his poem slamming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Sen was vocal in supporting Srijato's freedom of speech.
“Eshob magi guloi desh ke shesh korche, eke bina condom a gono chodon dewa dorkar (These sluts are destroying the nation, they should be gang-raped without condoms),” read the threat comment by one Raja Das on Mandakranta Sen’s poem against Hindutva and Islamic fanaticism, which was posted on Facebook on March 27.
They had faced similar reaction when she was in Bengal to return her Sahitya Akademi award in October 2015 after the murder of Kannada poet M M Kalburgi and the Dadri beef lynching incident. “These attacks are a result of religious extremism ignited by a political ideology. The attacks on Muktomona (free-thinkers) of West Bengal and Bangladesh are not because the religious fundamentalists do not understand our poems but because they want to interpret the poems according to their political needs,” Mandakranta Sen told New Indian Express.
Several atheist bloggers of Muktomona movement have been hacked to death in Bangladesh in the past two years for criticising aspects of all religions, including majority Islam. Since then, many poets in West Bengal have become part of the free-thinking movement and have come under cyber attacks of several Hindutva proponents.
Several Bengali poets were booked with sedition charge and arrested for obscenity during the Hungryalist movement in 1960's. However, Mandakranta refused to draw a comparison of the contemporary attacks with the Hungryalist movement. “Arrests of Hungry poets were not motivated by politics but attacks on us are clearly politically-motivated. The Hungry poets used the language of their choice as a political assertion but the obscene language used by us, Srijato and me, are a reaction to the political scenario of the country. We do not force obscenity in our poems. It comes from within in response to the socio-political degradation that we are witnessing in our country,” she added. The noted poet indicated that a rally attended by Bengali litterateurs would soon be organised in Kolkata to condemn the attacks on Bengali poets.