Kabir Suman composes a song for Pinki Pramanik (2012)

Like rain clouds looming in the distance, some amount of discontent is building in parts of the city. After players from Bengal, including former champions Jyotirmoyee Sikdar and Bula Chowdhury, came out in the open to rally around Pinki Pramanik on Friday, claiming that the athlete’s human rights have been violated and that she deserves a more dignified treatment, Kabir Suman has taken up cudgels for the Asiad gold medallist sprinter.

The singer-songwriter has uploaded an edgy song in protest against the treatment meted out to Pinki on his website. The song, “Tumi purush naki meye”, has the musician lashing out at police atrocities.

When TOI got in touch with him, Kabir Suman said, “Pinki is one of the finest athletes India has ever produced. At international meets, she won several silvers and golds for the nation. The plight of the person involved has made me pen such lyrics. Maybe, Pinki is not a woman, maybe she’s from the outer space, but to see someone subjected to such humiliation just cannot be accepted. If this isn’t trampling of democracy, what is? I wish I were dead.”

The musician is aghast that a video clip of the tests conducted to ascertain her sex is now doing the rounds on the internet. What’s more, no political party has so far come out in support of Pinki. “Where are the political parties? Where are all those fashionable women who, like cheergirls, stood in Calcutta streets several years ago with placards and banners demanding Dhananjoy Chatterjee’s execution? Where are all the conscientious mothers and sisters of Bengal? Where are the leftists and radicals and humanists who protest against everything they don’t approve of? Where are the feminists who so vehemently supported Taslima Nasreen?”

Kabir Suman, who reasons that the song has been made “out of sorrow, agony, disgust, anger, helplessness”, feels that a public opinion needs to be formed. “I’m not targeting any individual with this song, but our society at large. I’m tired of putting up with hypocrisy that our society so stands for and my lack of capacity to bring about a change. In the song, you’ll find me howling. I don’t remember being so bitter ever. It brings out my hatred for this society. Yes, I hate this society.”

Zinia Sen

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