It's not new. But the Marxists known to bare their fangs at the slightest provocation have once again revealed their vindictive face. It has now trained its guns on film maker Aparna Sen who dared to lead a protest against violence in Nandigram.
The organisers were said to have received a telephone call from party headquarters Alimuddin Street asking them not to invite Sen to inaugurate the film festival and instead suggested a much lesser known documentary film maker who is known to be firmly in the CPI(M) camp.
One of the organisers Susanta Mukkerjee told television channel Star Ananda that the caller was emphatic that it could not be Sen under any circumstances and if the organisers flouted the suggestion there would be demonstrations outside the festival venue. CPI (M) strongman and Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty, who incidentally is currying favour with the party bosses to be inducted into the state secretariat, allegedly made the call. He has been stagnating in the state committee when his juniors have made it before him.
The organisers were also categorical and announced that they would invite Sen to inaugurate the festival as there was no one of her stature among women film makers in Bengal. And that she was internationally acclaimed.
The channel talked to Sen and she said, "The Marxists after over 30 years in power are not ready to tolerate any criticism or opposition".
Asked that given her latest film The Japanese Wife is due for release, whether she was apprehensive that the shows would be disrupted and if so whether she had made her apprehensions known to the authorities. Sen said, "She would never have thought of such a thing earlier but now one is not so sure. Let the film be released and then let us see what happens."
Seemingly amused at the goings on in Bengal under the tutelage of the Marxists the film maker said CPI (M) leaders were exposing themselves badly. "They seem to be bent on dividing artistes and intellectuals into camps such as those against us and those for us. They are demeaning themselves with their fascist streak," she added.
Meanwhile, when the channel contacted minister Chakraborty he denied having pressurised the organisers. He said he had not talked to them but had met them two months ago. "It is either a misunderstanding or a deliberate campaign against me. He also denied having suggested anybody's name and said he was ignorant about the whole thing."