The obvious has happened. Tapas Pal has rendered an unconditional apology for his remark on sending out his men to rape women belonging to CPI(M). The ruling party in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress has decided not to punish their minister of parliament, and accept his apology letter. A senior party leader Partha Chatterjee has said the chief minister is extremely hurt at the comments and the party distanced itself from it.
Though for many this apology letter is too little and too late, Pal's words and the silence of the party reveals more about the party than the MP himself.
It re-emphasises on what the TMC's own attitude towards women and their safety is. This was revealed after the Park Street rape case or the Kamdhuni incident where the TMC has always tried to look at the sexual assault cases through the lens of politics. It never even condemned its another MLA and erstwhile film star Chiranjeet when he remarked in 2012 that girls wearing short dresses and skirts are responsible for increasing incidents of eve-teasing in the country. So it would be foolish to think Banerjee would come out this time to condemn the comments publicly and remove Pal from her party.
But what is more scary is not just TMC's attitude towards women's security, but also towards crime and Didi's indulgent attitude for her party members. The Saradha scam is a case in point though the direct involvement of the party members in it is yet to be proven. But the cases of individual members like Anubrata Mondal or Monirul Islam are more clear. When Islam was handed a ticket for elections and went on to become an MLA from Labhpur in 2011, he was already under trial for the killing of three brothers. Islam even proclaimed in an election rally that he would not think much before killing someone when required.
Mondal, district president of TMC from Birbhum has not been arrested even after being named in an FIR in a murder case. High court judge Dipankar Dutta and Harish Tandon who took over the case after Dutta withdrew himself from it, have questioned the investigation and police action in the case. Mamata was seen sharing the stage with both Islam and Mondal before the elections. This, despite Mondal claiming in another election rally that people could kill the opposition members or even bomb the police if they would intervene. Justice Dutta, in a court hearing had even asked, if the state was testing the patience of the court. Indeed, what the ruling party is doing at present in Bengal is worse - they are testing the patience of the people!