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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bangla Academy chairperson Shaoli Mitra writes to Mamata Banerjee, expresses desire to step down

Shaoli Mitra said that her decision to step down from the prestigious chair was prompted by difficulties in performing her duties due to lack of infrastructure.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Kolkata | Updated: January 7, 2018 9:44:08 pm

Renowned theatre personality, Shaoli Mitra, wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressing her desire to resign from the post of chairperson of Paschimbanga (West Bengal) Bangla Academy, the official regulatory body of Bengali language in the state.

Mitra, daughter of erstwhile renowned theatre personalities, Sombhu Mitra and Tripiti Mitra, was one of the intellectuals who stood by Mamata Banerjee since the Nandigram and Singur agitation during the Left Front regime.

However, she is yet to receive any reply or even a confirmation of the receipt of her letter from the chief minister’s office. “It is almost three weeks that I have forwarded my letter to the chief minister. But till date I am yet to receive any reply or communication. I am now wondering whether chief minister has at all received my letter,” Mitra said speaking with media persons on Sunday.

West Bengal Bangla Academy was founded on May 20, 1986. It is the official authority of Bengali language and is responsible for reforming Bengali spelling grammar, compiling dictionaries and promoting the language, among others.

Speaking to a section of the media, she said that her decision to step down from the prestigious chair was prompted by difficulties in performing her duties due to lack of infrastructure.

“I did not accept the post out of the greed for any honorarium or just for the sake of the prestige involved with the chair. I accepted it because I loved the nature of the work. Till 2016, I enjoyed a smooth functioning tenure. But after that I started facing difficulties due to lack of infrastructure. So I decided to step down and accordingly I wrote a letter to the chief minister detailing the reasons of my resignation,” Mitra said.

Mitra was the leading face of the agitation against the alleged atrocities during Left Front regime and has sided with the then opposition leader Mamata Banerjee. She was also a face of ‘Poribartan’ campaign in 2011 which saw the end of Left Front’s 34-year-long rule in the state and Mamata Banerjee becoming the chief minister.

Her sudden decision to step down has now created ripples in the political and administrative circles in the state, although there was no reaction from the chief minister’s office nor from Trinamool Congress.

Mitra has several prestigious awards like Padma Shri in 2009 for arts, Banga Bibhusan in 2012 for lifetime achievement in theatre and Sangit Natak Academy Award in 2003 for acting in Bengali theatre.

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