January 2018 \ Interviews \ Political Interview
“Bengal has to be part of the development sweeping India”

Mr Babul Supriyo who took charge as Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in July 2016—two years into the present term of the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government...

You have faced mob violence in West Bengal, including over cattle trading. What is your take on the issue?

It is not about cattle trading alone. I intercepted consignments of cattle being taken to illegal slaughterhouses that were flourishing for years in Asansol, my Parliamentary constituency. Incidentally, West Bengal’s Law Minister Moloy Ghatak occupies an Assembly seat in that area, and knows about this. Children have come and told me how they are unable to focus on their studies in the evening as the sounds of animals being slaughtered rent the air. There is animal blood flowing in the drains, and burnt bones all around, polluting vast areas. People who were intercepted told us that they were mere pawns in the game, this illicit trading is being done at the behest of powerful people who protect the illegal slaughtering mafia, of course, after much money changes hands. When I receive complaints from people in my constituency about how this debilitating activity is inconveniencing their lives on a daily basis, it becomes my duty as their representative to act. I cannot let such things pass. Let me add that in this matter I’ve also come to witness the police’s cowardice and inability to deal with this mafia. Sometimes the policemen behave disgracefully, as though they are an extension of the Trinamool Congress cadres. The miscreants whom I intercepted were allowed to get up close and personal with me in a very negative and nasty way. It is a known fact that these illegal slaughterhouses have been allowed to operate as they are very much a part of the appeasement politics being practiced by Mamata Banerji keeping the minority vote banks in mind. But the majority in Bengal is suffering in the process.

Do you think that under the BJP-led NDA Government yellow journalism has not been allowed to flourish?

I cannot say so. Yellow journalism is a coexistence of the good and the bad. Like if you go to the singing industry, there are good singers, extremely bad singers, and there are non singers. So it is with your profession of journalism—there are going to be good journalists, good journalism houses, good publishing houses, and there are going to be equally bad journalists, or people who are not even journalists—basically fringe elements trying to create some publicity by breaking false news. So you cannot stop that. Even if someone is intercepted for false reporting which could be detrimental, or incite violence or unrest in society, even for that any kind of thing, clamping down creates a lot of noise. So yellow journalism is there. You simply have to deal with it. It is like social media, if you don’t like it, if you cannot handle it, then stay out of politics. But if you are in it, you have to take all the bricks that come with the bouquets.