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Say Jai Shri Ram while embracing, not throttling others: TMC’s Nusrat & Mimi defend Didi

At ThePrint Off The Cuff, TMC MPs Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty spoke on a range of issues, from 'burning Bengal' to their glamorous image.

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New Delhi: Trinamool Congress MPs Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty have defended West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for taking action against people chanting “Jai Shri Ram” in Bhatpara, saying the sloganeering was meant to incite passions.

“Aap ‘Jai Shri Ram’ gale mil kar bolo, na ki gale daba kar bolo (chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while embracing people, not while throttling them),” said Jahan, addressing an audience question at ThePrint Off The Cuff in New Delhi Saturday.

“Mandir baad mein bana lena, masjid baad mein bana lena, jo tootey huey ghar aur dil hain unko pehle bana lena chahiye (temples and mosques can be built later, first build the broken houses and hearts),” Jahan added.

Jahan and Chakraborty, both actors who have made their debut as parliamentarians in the 17th Lok Sabha, were in conversation with ThePrint Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta and principal correspondent Sanya Dhingra.

As the packed house was opened to questions, the duo was asked multiple questions about the violence that West Bengal is often in news for. The two, however, insisted “West Bengal is not burning”, adding that minor incidents were being portrayed as something bigger.

“Such things keep happening everywhere,” said Chakraborty.

‘Didi: The fighter with a heart of gold’

Jahan and Chakraborty gushed with praise for Banerjee when asked how she “popped the question” to them and invited them into active politics.

Chakraborty said Banerjee had first thrown a hint her way during a state government awards function, while Jahan recalled how she had initially mistaken Banerjee’s proposal for an invitation to campaign for the party.

“One day, Didi said, ‘this time you have to work for the party’”, Jahan said. “We thought she means we should campaign for TMC leaders, as we have in the past…”

“We are on,” Jahan said she had told Didi at the time.

Both claimed that they were caught off-guard when their names were read out on television as the Trinamool Congress announced its candidates, before adding that they felt overwhelmed by the faith Banerjee had placed in them.

“Didi is a fighter, she rose from the ground,” Jahan said.

Chakraborty added that Banerjee wasn’t a diplomatic person and said things as they are. “She’s not a hypocrite…she’s a person with a heart of gold,” she said.

When an audience member asked Jahan if she felt she’d been made her party’s “Muslim face”, she said “many Hindus also voted for me”.

Work & politics

While discussing their plans for their respective constituencies, Chakraborty said she’d like to focus on women’s health and sanitation, while Jahan stated that she’d want to work to detach the word “sensitive” from her seat (Basirhat), which has come to be associated with communal tensions.

Asked her opinion on the Triple Talaq Bill, Jahan said while she supported its thrust on women empowerment, she didn’t subscribe to the criminalisation aspect.

A lot of the questions to the two focused on the ‘glamour’ they bring to Parliament, with one audience member asking if it could serve as an impediment in their political careers.

To this, Chakraborty replied, “People connect with our hearts, not with our faces.”

“I work for my people, whether it is in films or politics.” Chakraborty added.

A longstanding friendship

Jahan and Chakraborty were also asked about the friendship the two share, and whether it was a deliberate strategy to make public appearances together.

“We have been friends since our acting days… We have shared the limelight since then. We are so glad we are together here as well,” Jahan replied.

With palpable camaraderie between them, Jahan and Chakraborty said people seek out familiar faces when they go to a new place, and that is what they were doing as well.

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  1. Dr.Bidhan ,Dr.Shyama Prasad,Subhash Bose and these rotten street dancers with only credit is entertainer to MEN.
    Now they are Begum choice and minorities voted for them against Hindus.
    Bengali Hindus had to sacrifice since 1905 .
    1946 with GREAT CALCUTTA KILLING OF HINDUS till 2019 elections Bengali Hindus of east is always in receiving end.

    • Please don’t utter the names of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy and our Great Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to justify your communal comments. Had you been a bit more cautious andvread Netaji (his own writings), you wouldn’thave ever uttered such words having communal overtures. While I am no supporter of Ms Mamata Banerjee, I do oppose any attempt to communalize Bengal. Subhash Chandra Bose had always feared this and had worked for communal harmony throughout his life.

  2. Didi is following policy of minority appeasement for power and votes. There is no place for religion in politics but congress and all their offshoot follow minorities appeasement and calling BJP communal. Are they not communal favoring certain minorities for votes?

  3. Not only roads are being built , they are being built faster.This the Bengala sisters may not be aware but the people knew it. Actually they might have talked about state roads and hearts of bangala people.

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