The man who is in the eye of a storm for his a-threat-a-day attitude in West Bengal was once the hero of a Rajashri film banner starring the debut of Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit titled Abodh.
Paul has so far starred in 31 films in his career from 1980 onwards marking his debut with Dada Kirti, directed by Tarun Majumdar. In his long film career he has acted in many other films by Tarun Majumdar and also illustrious directors like Budhadeb Dasgupta, Tapan Singha and Hiren Nag among others.
Leading lights of Bengali cinema including Debasree Roy,Rupa Ganguly, Moonmoon Sen, Satabdi Roy, Sandhya Roy and Mousumi Chowdhary have acted opposite him in these 31 films. He also received a Filmfare Award for Saheb.
Even while he was active in cinema Tapas Paul, a Bio- Science graduate from Hoogly Mohsin College joined the All India Trinamool Congress and was its MLA from Alipore for two terms. Since 2009 he has been an MP from Krishnanagar.
But his name started making headlines very recently when one of his speeches threatening the families of his rivals with rape came into open on June 30, 2014.The speech made before party workers on June 14 in Chowmaha village had warned his political rivals that if anyone dared touch the TMC girls, “I will send my boys who will rape their women and go away”.
It would be difficult to exactly pin- point exactly why and when a consummate and sensitive artiste like Tapas Paul turned into a hate campaigner. Political rivalry in West Bengal has been a saga of violence for a very long time but these stories of violence unleashed by the CPM were never high- lighted by the media and TV channels as long as the Left was in power.
But now that TMC has been in power for quite some time and the Left has been almost decimated in the Lok Sabha elections in in 2009 and 2014, one expects Mamata Bannerjee to restrain her followers. If not for anything else, a course correction for her party is urgently needed if Mamata Bannerjee wants to create a space for herself on the national stage.
By: Amitabh Srivastava
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