It’s not been even a year since Mamata Banerjee assumed power in West Bengal, and her image has already taken a beating. Mamata has projected herself as a leader who is very rigid and not open to suggestions no matter what price she has to pay for it. The police action against the Jadhavpur University professor is a befitting example of this. It is serious that the professor was arrested just because he had made a cartoon of Mamata and put it up on a social networking site. The cartoon was certainly a spoof on Mamata but in no way could be termed as objectionable and derogatory. Should we then assume that the freedom of expression has been gagged in Mamata’s regime? Will the people of Bengal be forced into writing and saying what Mamata likes? More so as the Chief Minister recently had ordered government funded libraries to make available dailies preferred by her. The professor’s arrest is not the only cause of worry but Mamata’s justification to it is more appalling. We shouldn’t be surprised if Mamata goes on to extend support to those TMC supporters who had attacked the professor.

Though the professor and his neighbour were released on bail but their arrest is an assault on the democratic set up of the country. There is no doubt that this incident is a form of autocracy but also goes on to show that it is an abuse of power. Mamata’s arm twisting of the Centre has forced her to believe that she is supreme and no one has the right to criticise her. This incident also showcases as to how people sitting at the helm of affairs misuse the law for their personal gains. The professor and his neighbour were arrested on the terms of violating the cyber law. It seems that the Centre which initially wanted to put certain restrictions on the networking sites but later backed off is now being vigorously taken up by Mamata Banerjee. Mamata has to get rid of this attitude else her image is going to be dented further.