Mustafiur Rahaman, a 19-year-old student of chemistry honours at Krishna Chandra College at Hetampur in Birbhum is being attacked by Babul Supriyo, the Union Minister of West Bengal for the environment on social media.
The student had questioned the Minister on Facebook for his controversial remark on the Jadavpur University student who tore a copy of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at her convocation ceremony to protest the Act. Rahaman had written on Supriyo’s Facebook wall, “Babul da apni koto ta shikshito aar apnar guru Dilip Ghosh koto ta shikshito je ki na goru theke sona bar kawre (Babul da, how educated you are and how educated is your guru Dilip Ghosh who extracts gold from cows).”
To which the Minister decided to reply with a threat citing the CAA. The Minister replied to Rahaman saying that first, he will send Rahaman back to his country and then reply with a postcard. Rahaman’s reply on Facebook read, “Mustafiur Rahaman aage tomaye tomar deshe pherot pathai tarpor post-card ye jobaab debo (Let me first pack you off to your country, then I will respond through postcard).”
Rahaman was interviewed by The Telegraph yesterday while he was waiting to be a part of the Jatiyo Bangla Sammelan to protests against the Minister’s threat to Rahaman. Rahaman told The Telegraph that he was in pain, he was sad and feeling helpless because of the Minister’s response. He told the paper, “A Union minister was threatening a small person like me because of my name. He wants to send me to Pakistan because for people like him, Muslims have only two places: Pakistan or Kabristan.”
Rahaman further said that the fear of being thrown out of his own country has become real now. He said, “Never have I thought of living in any other country. Never did I think I could be thrown out of my own country…. But the fear is real now.”
Rahaman’s parents were scared after they got to know of their son’s exchange with the Minister on Facebook. They asked him to apologize fearing further threats and harm but Rahaman did not apologize. He decided to stand with his reality and said that he hadn’t committed any crime. He said that many people have come out in my support and he doesn’t want to let them down.
Rahaman replied to Supriyo’s attack on Facebook as well, he wrote, “Babul Supriyo aamar jatheshto proman achhe je aami bharotiyo ar bangali. Aapni bangalider samman korte janen na aar banglar MP (Babul Supriyo, I have enough proof to show I am an Indian and a Bengali. You don’t know how to respect Bengalis but you are an MP from Bengal).”
When contacted by The Telegraph, Minister Babul Supriyo said that his courteousness shouldn’t be taken as his weakness. He said that his comment was directed at an individual and not any community. He also tried to justify his threat by saying that he also used an emoji.
Supriyo told The Telegraph, “Whatever I have said was directed at him. I did not target any community. It is exactly directed at an individual. People who are connecting it with a religion are doing it with their dirty and vested political interests. Anyone who reads that (the message), it was written with a pinch of salt. Instead of abusing back at someone which I never do, I wrote it with a little bit of taste of humour. I also added a smiley. I don’t need to give my explanation to anyone. I would just tell these people to concentrate on their studies.”
Rahaman said that he has never abused the Minister, he only criticised him. He said that he questioned the Minister in the first place because he questioned the qualification of the Jadavpur University student who tore a copy of the CAA.
Rahaman said, “I found his reaction offensive and therefore took on the minister.”