Millennium Post (Kolkata)
Sans words, signs or crowd: Mamata’s ‘Satyagraha’ paints rare scene
KOLKATA: Protesting against the ‘undemocratic and unconstitutional’ decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI) banning her from campaigning for 24 hours, Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday observed a unique and exemplary ‘Satyagraha’ at the Gandhi Statue on Mayo Road for three-and-a-half-hours.
Scripting a new chapter in the history of Bengal politics — which had often witnessed loud and violent protests — Banerjee sat next to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on a wheelchair without uttering a single word. It was a protest that didn’t witness any sloganeering, use of political insignia, posters or any object that would have helped her to endorse her party. During her lone protest, the wheelchairbound leader took to painting. Not just that, even her party supporters stood at a distance of around 100 metres from the leader. A black shawl wrapped around her neck to mark the ‘black day for democracy’, she completed two paintings during the protest time while sitting under a tarpaulin shed.
Earlier in a tweet, Banerjee had called the ECI’s move “undemocratic and unconstitutional”. Banerjee reached Mayo Road at around 11.34 am, about half an hour ahead of the scheduled time of protest. She left the protest site at 3 pm.
However, when the ECI imposed a ban on Banerjee's campaign