The higher education department has issued a show-cause notice to West Bengal Government College Teachers Association general secretary and economist Debashis Sarkar,asking him to explain why he made anti-state government comments on television.
An assistant professor of Jhargram Raj College,Sarkar is often invited to panel discussions organised by various vernacular news television channels. During discussions,he has presented his views and analyses on economic issues. Recently he participated in a panel discussion on the outcome of elections held in six civic bodies.
The notice was issued after a retired college teacher,Subrata Panda,wrote to state education minister Bratya Basu on May 26 against Sarkar. Panda alleged that Sarkar had been speaking against the government on private television channels and creating academic disturbance.
The retired teacher also demanded a probe whether Sarkar was discharging his duty properly and whether he was taking advantage of his presence on television shows. Panda also questioned if Sarkar had followed prescribed democratic norms that a government staffer is bound to follow.
Promptly responding to the letter,director of public instruction Dr Anish Chattopadhyay issued a letter to Sarkar seeking his response on the issues raised by Panda within a fortnight. Sarkar said he would reply to the letter within a week.
I received the show-cause letter yesterday. Being a government employee,I will follow instructions, Sarkar,who is a former secretary of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education,said.
Asked if he is bound to obtain permission from the state government before speaking to the press,Sarkar said he would not like to discuss this with the media as he had already received a show-cause notice. Whatever I have to say,I will write it to the government, Sarkar said.