Illustration by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Text Size:

Mahua Moitra speaks the language of today’s youth, which is why videos of her speeches are watched by perhaps the most apolitical people of India. Who wouldn’t want to see a spark of brilliance sitting among half-asleep politicians in our Parliament? Lok Sabha TV seems to go from low definition TV to Ultra HD with her energy bursting onto our screens, demanding people to think about the true meaning of democracy, about the voices being muzzled through arrests, cowardice of false bravados and authority, the making of propaganda into a ‘cottage industry’ and the brazen audacity of celebrating an economy where only the rich are getting richer.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP from Krishnanagar Mahua Moitra boldly spoke truth to power last week in a House full of masked men. Only someone like her could have the guts to bring up the topic of sexual harassment in Parliament, causing outrage among some of her male colleagues who moved a breach of privilege motion against her days later. Moitra is back in the news for yet another scathing speech in Parliament in which she spoke about the case of alleged sexual harassment by an ex-Chief Justice of India and now Rajya Sabha member from 2019 (without naming him in her speech). Her remarks were later expunged. Back then, one of the CJI’s employees had written to the Supreme Court about her ordeal and alleged sexual harassment. The special hearing of the case was amusingly heard by the CJI himself, which broke the cardinal rule of natural justice — something that Moitra categorically pointed out in her speech. Eventually, after much uproar, the case was dismissed by another Supreme Court panel and no one bothered to speak of it again. But Moitra did. And her speech has gone viral.


Also read: Why India’s opposition parties don’t have good orators


A leader to watch out for

Mahua Moitra always ends up hitting the right chords through her speeches because she ends up saying things so many of us would perhaps not have the guts to say, or things that have been buried under the churn of constant news and the many ridiculous things there are to outrage over these days. But Moitra remembered what’s truly significant. Seen in the context of journalist Priya Ramani winning the defamation case against her by former Union Minister MJ Akbar, Moitra’s speech about the unnamed woman’s case of alleged sexual harassment by the former CJI seems to continue the befitting theme of “speaking truth to power”. But then that’s what Moitra has always been like since she arrived in politics.

An investment banker in JP Morgan, she came from London to Delhi and started her journey into politics with the Indian National Congress, which, true to its nature, did not see her brilliance or potential. During her speech last week, the entire house sat in pin-drop silence, captivated by Moitra’s every word, with alert eyes seen on faces plastered with masks. Amongst this spellbound crowd sat Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Choudhary who listened to her intently. Moitra had played a pivotal role in Rahul Gandhi’s project ‘Aam Admi Ka Sipahi’ in 2010, but her talent was wasted with Indian Youth Congress.


Also read: ‘Memsahib’ Mahua Moitra is bringing what Indian Parliament never had: a call out culture


Congress’ loss, TMC’s gain

After a brief stint with Congress, Moitra then shifted to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not only saw her potential but honed it fast enough to offer her a ticket from Karimpur in the 2016 West Bengal assembly election, receiving much criticism from party workers because they thought Moitra was too “urbane”. But Mahua took on the challenge, rented a house in Karimpur, worked her way on-ground, and won the election. Banerjee then gave her a Lok Sabha ticket in 2019 to fight from Krishnanagar, which Moitra won again against her rival Kalyan Chaubey from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by more than 60,000 votes.

While Mamata Banerjee is feisty and earthy, Mahua Moitra is perhaps the urban-version of Didi who speaks Americanised English, shows the finger to an anchor on national television, and doesn’t shy away from using the word ‘fascism’, much to the displeasure of the Narendra Modi government. And in all of this, she remains unapologetic and fearless while never mincing her words.

She also brought up the ‘Goswamis’ of journalism — perhaps one of the most ailing pillars of India’s democracy — while looking up at Parliament balcony to the media, imploring them to find their conscience from the depths of fake reporting and absence of journalistic ethics.


Also read: Budget 2021 is Nirmala Sitharaman’s breakout moment, but long road to being Sushma Swaraj


The female politician we need

Many have given impassioned speeches in Parliament on similar topics. But what is unique to Mahua Moitra is that given the current Parliament’s gender demographics, she is perhaps the only woman in the opposition who speaks so fiercely against the Modi government and its policies. In an opposition heavily dominated by men, Mahua Moitra is the woman who stands out and, in fact, overshadows them all with her oratory skills. This is why bringing up the former CJI’s case of alleged sexual misconduct only drives the point home that our Parliament needs more female leaders.

Mahua Moitra also stands out because she hasn’t reduced herself to only representing the state politics of Bengal. She speaks of issues that are ailing the country as a whole, be it farm laws and crony capitalism to fascism. A very significant aspect of a parliamentarian is to lead the country by endorsing thoughts and ideas that make a nation progress. Mahua Moitra’s speeches are not just belting out thoughts on an exemplary nation with exemplary ideals. She keeps it real. Tells the issues as they are. And forces her listeners to be embarrassed to not see the obvious rot in the system.

The author is a political observer and writer. Views are personal.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

VIEW COMMENTS

30 COMMENTS

  1. Why does the Indian elite always gravitate toward non-Indian Indians. Seriously, is there a traitor to Hindu civilization the Print doesn’t praise. She married a white man who beat her and converted the children and her to christianity. He then left her for a more attractive white girl. Her recompense is ruling over brown people on behalf of her Church Fathers.

  2. Mr. Chatterjee, no one has declared Mahua Moitra to be a PM in waiting, and since this thought has definitely crossed your mind, let me tell you that I would be extremely proud and happy if she is able to attain this highest seat of office in India. There are no two ways about stating that the need of the hour is to have feisty leaders like Ms. Moitra holding the reins of the country so that bigoted and double-faced politicians of the existent variety are forever relegated to the background of a history that need never be looked into again.

  3. With this eulogy you have risked her membership.

    Once Didi reads this article, alarm bell will ring, she will see her as contender and in couple of months time, it’s marching orders.

    Just ask ex rail minister.

  4. MM is indeed fiesty, courageous, eloquent and often on point. Sadly, lot of her criticisms aimed at the central govt more often than not, also apply to her own govt in WB.

  5. May be a great orator, what it’s of use if it’s not constructive? She can throw out all hyperbole’s and cry out loud about democracy. Democracy does not mean you can do anything. That will lead to anarchy.

  6. Modi haters like Mahua Moitra only do loud speaking without any relevant substance. Their futality of shouting in case of CAA and now farmers protest have not helped them.

  7. we think she is the PM in kicking arse. She is what young India needs. “education, urbane good sense and guts”. We will see more of her. and don’t worry. Didi is not losing anything.

  8. I started reading the opinion thinking that may be Mahua Moitra had raised some very important issues in LokSabha. But, it seems it was an article to further her political interests and a way of the author to vent his/her anger on the Government.
    Crony Capitalism was when 2G Scam, Coal Scam happened, when to favour Ambani Universal License was given for telecom. Ambani didn’t become Ambani in last 6 years, mind that.
    Fascism doesn’t happen when a cartoonist is arrested by Mamta Banerjee Government, but, when someone who is creating a toolkit with references to Khalistanis is being arrested. Pls share facts and just don’t give plain absurd opinions.
    If wealth was created for everyone from so long why so many people were waiting for electricity, LPG since independence. Probably because if everyone can get LPG where to get subsidized kerosene for adulteration.

  9. This woman should be the Prime Minister of India and I hope that happens soon. No one else is close to her skills in showing the BJP how much of a Fascist government they have.

  10. Some of our women are outstanding. Mahua is a bold and virtuoso speaker who stands up for democracy. She made a great speech about the criminality of the Chief Justice who was shielded by the govt. over a molestation case. The BJP members shouted against her. Their only argument is that she was insulting a sacred post. They put criminals in charge of sacred posts and then say ‘you should not demean the chair’ ! ! This is their standard defence – of Modi, Yogi, Sadhvi – and all of their violent cadre.

  11. Begum Zainab Sikandar, did you check your worth with Smt Moitra before penning this fawning piece? She had declared in a public forum in West Bengal, press to be worth two paisa as they came in uninvited by her in a TMC meeting where she was holding forth.

  12. Shouting at a frantic pitch, reading up plagiarized scripts is no ideal for youths. Unless by youth you mean those unemployable unemployed 20 year old dolts.

  13. The Party hoppers normally tend to be the fire brand leader in their speeches. The changing ideology makes it extremely difficult to convert sense into non-sense and the other way round with logic. The way out is by screaming, yelling, abusing, crudely insulting opponents and praising and coping the current boss.
    Oratory is respected, when it comes with in depth knowledge, sound logic, commend on the language and articulation with correct intonation. Criticizing the opponent has to be done in a dignified way, where necessary with sarcasm.
    That is the difference between a parliamentarian a street-corner activist.
    What is unapologetic and fearless on the street is crude and arrogant in a protected environment of the house.

  14. Mahua Moitra is more like a lays chips packet. More gas less chips.
    I listened to her speech in Lok Sabha. It is only rhetoric, sound bites & no substance. She talked without giving any supporting data. A typical of left intellectual. She is blaming Central govt & its policies but did not spell what exactly is the real issues in those policies. Regarding the farm laws nobody including Mahua talked about what is the issue in those laws, how it is going to negatively affect the farmers.
    As per me Mahua becomes a ‘Shero’ to all Modi haters including to Print

  15. Agree with every word in this article. Ms. Moitra is the leader to look out for. I would live to see her as one in the Union Council of Ministers.

  16. Mohua is superb and an asset to any Parliament. But having read many previous articles of Zainab ,I feel she has lost the objectivity of a journalist. Banding about tired catch catchphrases of anti Moises does not substitute for journalism

  17. Mahua Moitra like Shekhar, Mamata and congress, think that only she is intelligent but she is way far away from reality. They can’t even understand the pulse of nation, definitely not possible when they are too biased.

  18. Blatantly a ‘paid for’ rubbish article by a sold second rate journalist.
    The cr@p just keep rolling from 2nd sentence, paragraph-1.

  19. If she is such a good person, she will not be in a thuggish party like TMC. She will not be in politics at all. Modi also gave such fiery speeches when he didn’t have power.

  20. Wow, you dont get this kind of quality journalism anywhere. The author has a very bright future in marketing and advertisements.

  21. I agree… She drops the word fascism like an old Bengali communist all the time, at the proverbial drop of a hat ! What is TMC then ? Mamta her boss is a nazi

  22. Why doesn’t she talk of population explosion. If the population of is not controlled it will be difficult for people who believe in education and science and prosperity to SURVIVE and take modern scienctific education .

    HINDUS must vote for a party which will not discriminate against HINDUS and protect their progressive culture from RIOTERS AND PROSELYTIZERS.

    THE real future of INDIA will be dependent on a continuous population reduction and modern scienctific education a community which opposes population control and modern education which is in variation with religious beliefs might end up bringing INDIA on it’s knees.

  23. Once TMC loses Bengal, this upstart will also end up losing her LS seat. Infact in the event of mamta losing assembly polls, she will be not waste her time in TMC. So before hold your horses before you declare her some sort of “PM in waiting”

Comments are closed.