West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee may have courted controversy over her claims of a PhD degree, but she is now the subject of a thesis by a man who, impressed by her leadership, is pursing a doctorate on her.
Inspired since his childhood with Banerjee's charismatic leadership and managerial qualities, Rezaul Islam Mollah, 25, is doing his PhD on her from the Vidyasagar University in West Midnapore district.
A resident of Hatitota village in Burdwan district, Mollah says the research work is an ode to Banerjee for her indomitable fighting spirit.
"Since my childhood I have been seeing Mamata Banerjee fighting for the rights of the poor and the oppressed. As a child, I saw how she came to the rescue of my parents and villagers who were being hounded by political goons," Mollah told IANS.
"Ever since I opted for Mamata Banerjee as my research work, people have been wondering why I did that. But it has been my childhood dream to do so. It is an ode to the charismatic leader who is known world over for her indomitable fighting spirit," he said.
A post graduate in management, Mollah can't stop raving about Banerjee's managerial qualities especially during the anti-land acquisition movement against the erstwhile Left Front government.
"She doesn't possess a formal degree in management, but the managerial skills that she has is unmatched. The way she led and coordinated the Singur and Nandigram movements, the way she continues to handle various affairs even after becoming the chief minister is a lesson that needs to be taught in management institutions," he said.
The varsity authorities are also excited over Mollah's choice of the subject.
"It is highly commendable that Mollah has chosen a contemporary political figure which is a relatively difficult prospect. The UGC and university were quite happy to approve the subject and we are eager to see his research work," Vidyasagar University vice chancellor Ranjan Chakraborty told IANS.
When Banerjee was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984, the then firebrand Congress leader was said to have obtained a PhD degree from East Georgia University in the US. It was later alleged that such a university didn't exist.