Babul Supriyo, the Union Minister of State was recently heckled by some students in Jadavpur University. Apart from the political friction, Babul Supriyo has a record of hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
"The Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, BJP’s Babul Supriyo in Jadavpur University asked a girl to join him in his room in order to show her who he really was,” reported edexlive on September 20 quoting Debraj Koley, a postgraduate student of the Department of Film Studies at the Varsity.
Here are some of his past statements that reflect his personality.
In February 2015, A five-year-old girl was sexually assaulted inside a local Bharatiya Janata Party office at Behala, in southwest Kolkata, and Supriyo asked the media not to “sensationalise” and politicise that the incident took place at his party office.
The BJP’s repeated insistence on empowering women and make India a safer place for them seem to be mere hollow gestures. As far as Babul Supriyo is concerned, he has not been lagging behind his colleagues in delivering statements defending the accused of sexual misconduct.
In fact, he ran a Twitter thread to defend Vikas Barala — the son of Haryana BJP president — after a case of stalking and attempt of abduction was filed against the latter.
Justifying stalking he tweeted, "Guys, think rationally. A guy chases a girl - he's drunk! Deplorable? But why charge him with 'Abduction' etc without investigation?”
In this case, Babul seemed faraway from thinking rationally. The survivor, in fact, had mentioned in the FIR that the perpetrators tried to abduct her.
Karnika Kohli, the then journalist with The Wire had tweeted “what do you think he was planning to do with her? pakdam-pakdai khelna chahta tha Bechara (Did the “poor guy” want to play Hide & Seek)?”
Babul said that Karnika had a dirty mind which was going over-drive. “That's your dirty mind going on an over-drive sister! Think rationally, do you really wish to encourage this 'Trial by Media' in our Country?” Babul’s tweet read.
In a reply to Babul’s “media trial”, another twitter user, Shiraz, said, “It's the trend set by you and your team. You are the champion in media trials. By the way, in Barala case there is no media trial. He is a criminal.”
Another user took a jig at Republic and tweeted “Look who's talking, trial by media. @republic…, this guy is a threat to your business.”
Projecting himself oblivious of the fact that political patronage influences the police case, Babul asked in the Twitter thread, “Why drag his father into the case? Just because a Neta's son's mischief make better headlines?" Desh ki Beti ko insaaf chahiye? (India’s daughter needs justice?)" etc etc! Why?”
Replying to this tweet, one user had said, “Simple because” he dragged his father's powers while doing this heinous act and getting bail for non-bailable offences. Why not then…drag his father’s name?”
Demanding justice for the women who survived cases of sexual harassment had never been easy. Babul as a minister in Modi government has left no stone unturned to create further obstacles in the demand for justice.
He added another tweet in a whataboutery manner and compared one injustice to the other. He asked those seeking Vikas’s arrest— “why aren't the same Justice Seekers raising voices for the youngster hacked to death in Kerala or the 61-year-old woman raped & killed in West Bengal too?”
It’s important to recall here what Maya Angelou said about a woman speaking up for herself. “Each time a woman stands for herself, without knowing it, possibly without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
The survivor who accused the Haryana BJP’s president’s son while speaking up for herself has stood for all women. These nuances, Babul Supriyo seemed, completely oblivious of.
Babul has also been booked for making a derogatory remark against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in March this year.
Even a charge sheet has been filed against Supriyo for insulting Trinamool woman Mohua Mitra who on January 4 had lodged a complaint against the former alleging that the BJP lawmaker had used words intended to "insult her modesty" during a live show on a TV channel.
His other tweet may help in understanding who he is, “We all went to college and know, like reel, ‘Boy chase Girl’ exists in real life too”.
Justifying a serious case of stalking and attempted abduction, he compared it with college romance depicted in Bollywood movies. This shows who our Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, BJP's Babul Supriyo really is. Maybe, he, then, does not need to ask a woman to come in his room to show the same.