KOLKATA: Wading into yet another controversy, West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Dilip Ghosh, here on Sunday, alleged that women were being made to become the face of protests under the influence of drugs and they could become victims of violence.
His comments on the International Women's Day drew howls of protests, with Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and Minister Firhad Hakim urging people to boycott him.
Replying to a question about obscenities witnessed on the Rabindra Bharati University campus during the Basantotsab (Spring festival), Ghosh said, "The state's cultural traditions are getting ruined. Women are forgetting our cultural heritage. They are being made to become the face of protests under the influence of drugs. They shout all through the day. What kind of a Bengal is this".
After this, Ghosh packed more explosives in his remark. "If these women behave in this way, how will the common people behave with them? They will become victims of violence," he said.
However, Ghosh refused to blame anybody specifically for the "decadence". "It's a collective decadence. Everybody has to find out the reason," he said.
Countering Ghosh, Hakim said, "First it has to be ascertained whether he himself is under the influence of drugs. He is an uncivilised, barbaric man. And the BJP has made such a person its state president. People of Bengal should boycott him."
The incident of some young women displaying obscene words written by distorting lyrics of Rabindra Sangeet on their upper back with 'gulal' during the Basantotsav, organised by the Rabindra Bharati University on Thursday, has shaken the collective consciousness of the Bengali society.
There was furore after photographs of Thursday's incident went viral. Eminent persons demanded 'strong punishment' for the perpetrators, who were students of a college in the Hooghly district.
Some youth were also seen moving around with obscenities written on their chest.
The police have formed a special investigation team to probe the incident following a complaint lodged by the university. Vice-Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Roychowdhury tendered his resignation taking the moral responsibility for the incident, but later withdrew it at the request of Education Minister Partha Chatterjee.
After the university lodged the general diary at the Sinthee police station, the accused reached the campus and apologised for the 'mistake' to the authorities and the student council.
Close on the heels of the Rabindra Bharati incident, a video clip of four Class XI students of Barlow Girls High School in the Malda district making vulgar gestures while singing a lewd parody of another composition of Rabindranath Tagore surfaced on social media.
The girls, in their school uniform, repeatedly burst into laughter as they sang. Following all-round condemnation, they apologised for their conduct and gave an undertaking never to repeat it.