Kolkata, Jan 25 (PTI) Several prominent personalities in the city assembled here on Monday to protest against the rise of alleged 'fascist forces' in Bengal which they said was evident from chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' at an event to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The event, E Kon Sokal Raater Cheyo Ondhokar (what kind of a morning is it that is darker than night) was attended by actor-theatre activist Kaushik Sen, his actor son Riddhi Sen, painter Suvaprasanna, director Raj Chakraborty, actor Saayoni Ghosh, actor-MP Nusrat Jahan among others.
'Despite having differences with the Trinamool Congress (TMC), I am here as we all need to come together to register our protest against the forces which are out to muzzle our voices, impose their choice on us and thrust their divisive ideology of hatred,' Kaushik Sen said.
Condemning the chanting of 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans at the government programme to mark the icon's 125th birth anniversary at Victoria Memorial on January 23, Sen said, the incident was 'pre-planned, deplorable, and another manifestation of intolerance displayed by these forces'.
'We need to raise our voice against forces which are out to take away our right to protest and freedom of speech.
These forces are spreading the language of hatred in the country,' he said.
Claiming that Monday's protest was triggered by the January 23 incident, Suvaprasanna said, recent incidents ranging from the treatment meted out to Amartya Sen by Visva- Bharati, trolling of actresses, threats to actors for voicing opinions in public forum had also prompted them to come together.
Actor Kanchan Mallick said, 'Our protest is against the January 23 incident as well as threats on social media against felllow actors'.
Actor-MP Nusrat Jahan said she was here not as a TMC member but as a member of the industry.
While alleging that right wing forces were anti-woman, Jahan said, 'they cannot intimidate us'.
A letter by poet Srijato cautioning against rise in 'dark forces taking away our right of expression and muzzling our voice' was read out on the occasion.
Actor Deboleena Dutta Mukherjee, who had recently faced rape threat on Facebook for mentioning on a TV show that despite being a vegetarian she was ready to cook beef, said that she will not be cowed down by such threats and coercive tactics by forces which want to impose their diktat on dietary habits and freedom of choice of people. PTI SUS MM MM