“Why Don’t You Join Politics?” Asks Mamata Banerjee To Swara Bhasker

Mumbai : For the first time, the Trinamool Congress hosted a meet-and-greet event for the West Bengal Chief Minister in Mumbai, where she is on a two-day visit. Actress Swara Bhasker at the event, spoke for about four minutes, and introducing her colleagues she said that these people have risked their career for the resistance alive. On her speech Mamata’s reaction was quite a good one. She after keenly hearing her out asked Swara, “Why don’t you join politics?”

Not every celebrity is comfortable in sharing their political opinions or being vocal about issues concerning the country fearing they might court a controversy. But actress Swara Bhasker is an exception.

Swara, standing among the audience members, spoke for 4 minutes at the event, addressing Mamata, who was seated on the dais. She began her speech by thanking Mamata in Bengali for defeating the BJP with her battle cry “khela hobe (let’s play)”. 

She introduced comedian Munawar Faruqui,  who was jailed earlier this year for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments with his jokes and has since been forced to cancel shows amid “threats of vandalism, “They have risked their careers, their livelihood to keep resistance alive”, said Swara in a part of her argument. 

Mamata Banerjee was very impressed by Swara. She keenly and patiently heard her out and questioned, “Why don’t you join politics? You’re a tough and strong lady.” The audience too applauded in support.

Later while interacting with ThePrint, Bhasker responded to Mamta Banerjee’s compliment and said it was “gracious of her (Mamata) to compliment me”. “My question to her was about the misuse of draconian laws, especially the UAPA, and I was glad to hear her assure everyone that she will not stand for the misuse of that law,” she added.

At the event Mamata broke her silence and came out in open support of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, the brand ambassador of West Bengal. Banerjee commenting on Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s arrest in drugs case, said, “Shah Rukh Khan has been victimised..”

Aryan Khan and his two fellow accused were released on bail nearly a month later, after the Bombay High Court said there was “ hardly any positive evidence on record to convince this court that all the accused persons with common intention agreed to commit unlawful acts”.

Shah Rukh Khan, who co-owns the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, flies down to Bengal each year in December to be part of the Kolkata International Film Festival, where Mamata acknowledges him as her brother. She also sends him a rakhi each year. 

Before leaving for Mumbai, Mamata had confirmed to the media that she won’t be meeting Shah Rukh Khan as is busy with his shoot schedule.

Apart from Swara, other personalities who were present at the meet and greet included filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, lyricist Javed Akhtar, actors Shatrughan Sinha, Richa Chaddha to name a few.

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