‘Appeasement Politics and Bengal’
Kolkata: The President of West Bengal Council of Higher Education (WBCHSE), Mahua Das, has come in the eye of wide-spread criticism after her controversial press meet on WB HS Result day where she told “the highest marks obtained this year is 499. A Muslim girl secured the marks. She is a Muslim lady from Murshidabad.”
In her press briefing, Ms. Das failed to mention the topper name as no merit list was prepared this year due to coronavirus pandemic situation. But, the Chairperson without taking the topper name, had said ‘A Muslim Girl’ from Murshidabad secured 499 marked out of 500.
Opposition parties specially BJP criticized the Press notes and claimed that the move was in tandem with the TMC’s appeasement politics. BJP’s IT Cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted “In Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal, appeasement politics hits a new low, when a board official reduced academic achievement of Class 12th girl student to her religious identity … She repeatedly mentioned that the girl is a Muslim.”
The West Bengal State Imam Association also slammed Mahua Das for her ‘Muslim Girl’ comment. In their press note, the association said that ‘we strongly condemn the way in which the religious identity of the student come into focus without giving her the respect she deserve”
Calling Das ‘a person without ethics and manner’, the Imam Association has demanded strict action against her from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Intellectuals, educationists, and all other opposition political parties also criticized Mahua Das for ‘mixing merit with religion‘ .
In this controversial situation, Mahua Das may tender her apology in public for her communal comment or may resign from her post, sources said.
However, in 2021 WB HS examination, Rumana Sultana from Kandi in Murshidabad district became the unofficial topper . Rumana, a student of Raja Manindra Chandra Girls High School in Kandi, has scored 499 marks out of 500. She had ranked fifth in the 2019 Madhyamik (Secondary) examination by securing 687 marks of 700.
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