Deepak Dev, Bengali film star and Trinamool Congress nominee from Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency, has courted controversy after he likened the electoral battle to the experience of “getting raped” in an interview with the Bengali newspaper Ei Somoy.
When asked how he felt about contesting the Lok Sabha elections on a Trinamool Congress ticket, Dev said: “It is just like getting raped, Yaar… you can shout, or you can enjoy.”
The 31-year-old actor, beside being the highest paid actor of the Bengali film industry, is also one of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee favourite. He was seen sharing the stage with Mamata at many cultural and political events in West Bengal.
He had also said in the interview that though politics is new to him, he did not take it for granted and is very serious about it. He claimed that a huge chunk of youth don’t vote because they have no faith in politics and politicians. Dev said he would try and influence them to exercise their franchise this time around.
The “rape” analogy drew immediate reactions from various circles with many cultural figures and intellectuals condemning it. Miratoon Nahar said: “I am not too familiar with this film personality as being one who would inspire awe but what he has said is highly insulting to women.
Dev is scheduled to visit CPI candidate Santosh Rana, who is his opponent from Ghatal, after the latter had invited Dev for tea. Sources close to Dev said both of them had had a phone conversation last night about the invitation. “Rana had called Dev and gave direction to his residence,” a source said.