Bengal BJP chief slammed for insensitive comment on Muzaffarpur video

Published : May 28, 2020 21:16 IST

Dilip Ghosh, BJP’s West Bengal unit president, interacting with the media on May 8. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI

While the entire nation was at a loss for words at the sight of a toddler trying to revive her dead mother, a migrant worker, at Muzaffarpur station, the attempt by Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) West Bengal unit president and Lok Sabha member Dilip Ghosh to play down the tragedy by referring to it as a “small incident” that should be treated as an “exception” has sent shockwaves across social and political circles.

The video at Muzaffarpur station, which has gone viral across the country, shows a toddler trying to wake her mother up, unaware that she is dead. The child’s mother, a migrant worker from Bihar, had died on the Shramik Special train that was bringing back migrants from Gujarat. According to reports, the Railway has claimed that the deceased was ill during the time of boarding the train.

Reacting to the incident, West Bengal’s BJP chief said: “Don’t train accidents take place? Don’t people die on trains? This rail department has set examples. A child needed milk on one occasion, the mother tweeted it, and in the next station rail officials were waiting with milk and a doctor…. We know there is a lockdown and many are not being able to come to work… so some small incidents are taking place. It is unfortunate. The situation is not normal and such unpleasant incidents can take place. They should be treated as exceptions.”

Ghosh’s choice of words came up for severe criticism in social and political circles. “The comment shows that not only is Dilip Ghosh a heartless man, but also he is trying to exonerate a heartless Central government policy which has hurt the common people of this country,” said senior Trinamool leader Om Prakash Mishra.

Veteran leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and leader of the Left Legislative Party in the Assembly Sujan Chakraborty told Frontline: “His [Dilip Ghosh’s] words can only be compared with the words generally uttered by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She described the gang rape that had taken place in Park Street (in 2012) as a small incident. What common people think to be huge incidents, she has time and again dismissed as a trivial matter. Dilip Ghosh’s language is the same as hers. It is the height of insensitivity towards people from one who happens to be a people’s representative. What common people are affected by does not seem to affect them.”

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