Mohun Bagan won the Calcutta Football League 2018 on Wednesday, defeating Calcutta Customs 2-0. However, At half-time in the game, the club’s honorary president Swapan Sadhan Bose made a sexist remark, that would put anyone to shame. After East Bengal’s eight-year domination on the state trophy, Bagan lifted the title with a game in hand.
The match was telecast live on Sadhna News and Bagan were leading 2-0 at half-time, with one hand on the trophy. Tutu Bose, as he’s fondly called, was asked by the presenter about his feelings. He remarked, “7 bochor dhore mey hocchilo, hothat ekta chele hoyeche. Kirom lage bhai tomar hole? Sherom lagche.”
Loosely translated, this means that ‘after eight years of girl child, a male child has finally taken birth in the family. How would you feel?’ This is bigotry, chauvinism and sexist in all senses. Bose’s remark has brought disgrace to the club that is in the midst of a transition. The man could have also taken a jibe at all the players that have failed to land the trophy in the Bagan cabinet in the last few years, including footballers like Katsumi Yusa and Darryl Duffy.
A former Rajya Sabha MP from the ruling Trinamool Congress, Bose is showcasing exactly the mindset the society shouldn’t. His son Srinjoy Bose is a Member of Parliament from the same party, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently initiated the Kanyashree scheme, to encourage female education and empower girls in the state. The gravity of the situation notwithstanding, the people with him on the dais laughed on the remark, making it acceptable for the moment.
Even before the match could end, the video clip of Bose’s misogynistic comments spread all over social media and the remark wasn’t taken too well in circles. Several people are demanding an apology from Bose (which finally arrived), while others are demanding his resignation at once.
Tutu Bose tendered this public apology on Thursday in a press release
Such remarks boil from thoughts that still linger in the male chauvinist section of the society, and will continue to linger until we actually let go of the thought. Feminism, social equality and bigotry aren’t topics that need fighting for on social media, but in the minds of humans, to ensure we get a humane and civilised society in the future, when men and women are treated equally.
With elections looming large on the Mariners (later this month), it will be interesting to see how the rival faction, led by Sohini Mitra Chaubey, uses this issue in the build-up.