Dipsita Dhar, the All India Joint Secretary of Students’ Federation of India, has recently found herself embroiled in controversy due to remarks that have hurt Hindu sentiments. As a leader in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPIM, Dhar’s comments have raised questions about the party’s stance on Hinduism and its potential impact on the fabric of Indian society.
The incident unfolded during the 21st district conference of SFI in Rampurhat, where Dipsita Dhar, the organization’s national editor, was delivering a speech. While addressing the gathering, Dhar delved into the political aspects of Ram Mandir and Hindu sentiments. This led to a young man, identified as Amit Mandal, protesting against her statements.
CPM leader Dipsita was insulting Ram Mandir and Hindu Religion— Gargi Mukherjee (@gargiMu48960835) January 13, 2024
A young man came and protest then SFI carders have beaten that person.But police did nothing. In West Bengal Insulting Hindu deities are being a day to day practice under Trinamool rule. pic.twitter.com/TTNjPWEla1
The situation escalated, resulting in a brief pause in Dhar’s speech. Eventually, the SFI supporters engaged in a heated exchange with Amit Mandal, leading to his removal from the venue by the police.
Communist Influence on Hinduism
The controversy surrounding Dhar’s comments brings to light a broader concern about the impact of Communist ideologies on Hinduism in India. Critics argue that Communist thoughts, historically known for their aversion to religious sentiments, have played a significant role in diminishing the standing of Hinduism. Dhar’s alleged insensitive remarks, in this context, become emblematic of a broader trend within certain political circles.
As a leader within the CPIM, Dipsita Dhar’s actions and statements have repercussions beyond personal opinions. The party, known for its Marxist ideologies, has often been accused of neglecting the cultural and religious values of the majority Hindu population. Dhar’s alleged remarks only serve to reinforce these concerns, suggesting a disconnect between the party’s principles and the sentiments of a significant portion of the Indian population.
The incident also raises serious questions about the state’s response to dissent. If expressing disagreement with certain political or religious ideologies leads to physical attacks and arrests, it signals a troubling trend in the state’s approach to freedom of expression. The episode involving Dhar casts doubts on whether expressing dissent against religious figures is considered a punishable offense in West Bengal.
Who is Dipsita Dhar?
Dipsita Dhar, born on August 9, 1993, is a political leader and student activist, making her mark as the All India Joint Secretary of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI). Hailing from Howrah, West Bengal, Dhar completed her education with a degree in geography from Asutosh College in Kolkata. She further pursued her academic journey, obtaining a Post Graduation and MPhil in Geography from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Currently engaged in her doctoral studies in Population Geography at JNU, Dhar has conducted fieldwork in Kerala. In 2021, she stepped into the political arena as the CPI(M) candidate from the Bally constituency in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, reflecting a promising emergence in the realm of Indian politics.
While Dipsita Dhar may represent a new generation of leaders in Indian politics, the recent controversy surrounding her remarks underscores the challenges that arise when political figures fail to navigate the delicate balance between freedom of expression and respecting religious sentiments. As the debate unfolds, it remains to be seen how Dhar and the CPIM will address the concerns raised by their constituents, particularly those who identify with the Hindu faith. The incident serves as a reminder of the delicate nature of religious sentiments in India’s diverse political landscape.