The West Bengal Assembly elections are a few months away and a big revelation about Mamata Banerjee, which has the potential to swing the elections, is circulating on social media. A Twitter user posted a clipping of the 2 March 1985 edition of The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based English newspaper titled, ‘City Cong (I) MP has bogues PhD,’ which suggests that Mamata holds a PhD degree from a fake American University.
“Till in 1985, Mamata claimed to have obtained a PhD degree from East Georgia University of USA. In 1984 LS polls, walls of Jadavpur had “Dr Mamata Banerjee” written all over them. Later found that no such University existed, subsequently Mamata stopped prefixing “Dr” to her name,” tweeted the user.
Mamata Banerjee, who started the political career as a Congress member, was elected as Member of Parliament from the Jadavpur constituency of West Bengal in the 1984 general election. The Jadavpur seat being the home of Bengali intellectuals, Mamata thought having a stamp of PhD from a foreign university would help her candidature, and it did, because she won the seat.
Banerjee claimed that she had a doctorate from the University of East Georgia on the topic “The Impact of Mughal Harem on state and policies”, and even used Dr before her name. Later it turned out that Mamata Banerjee, as well as her guide Dr Karuna Pada Datta, had a fake doctorate from a university that did not even exist.
The Economic Times, the financial daily, published a detailed story back in 2009 on why many Indian leaders fake their university degrees. However, The Telegraph, the English daily owned by Anandbazaar Patrika group, has removed the story from its website or does not want to highlight it because nowadays the group is rooting for the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal.
The culture of faking a degree from a foreign university, in which many leaders across the political spectrum of India like Mamata have been caught, shows the level of inferiority complex among a section of the Indian population even now when the country has become the fifth-largest economy in the world and the contender for the global superpower status along with the United States and China.
The rooted inferiority complex and subjugation of such people was visible a few weeks ago when politicians like Shashi Tharoor, Jairam Ramesh, and Akhilesh Yadav were raising doubts over the Indian vaccine just because the country succeeded in coming up with an effective vaccination drive before many western nations. Yet, today countries like Belgium are purchasing the Indian vaccine to save their citizens.
Despite the political differences one has with Mamata Banerjee, most people agree that she is a mass leader with popularity among the Bengali community, and therefore, she does not need the Americans to certify her leadership skills or intellect, but faking a degree shows the level of inferiority complex harboured by her.