January 10, 2015 1:07:28 am
At a time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is facing criticism from various fronts, the general secretary of one of the party’s major cultural wings, Natya Swajan — till now headed by state Tourism Minister Bratya Basu — has quit her post accusing Basu of running the organisation in an autocratic manner. Following the resignation of Trinamool MP from Balurghat, Arpita Ghosh, Basu too has resigned.
Ghosh said she will withdraw all her plays from government shows like Natya Mela organised by the state Natya Academy. The MP was recently quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate for her alleged involvement in the Saradha scam.
“There is the stink of misuse of power. My originality has been affected. I can no longer stay in such an atmosphere,’’ said Ghosh, actor and playwright, who has produced plays like Pashukhamar (Animal Farm) and Astomito Surjo (Darkness at Noon).
When contacted, Basu said: “The whole thing is very unfortunate. I don’t know why Arpita has resigned. But all allegations of misuse of power are false.’’ Basu is reported to have consulted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee before he resigned from his post.
The one casualty of the break-up between two celebrated theatre personalities — both senior Trinamool leaders — is Ghosh’s debut film Prastab, a remake of Adrian Lyne’s 1993-hit Indecent Proposal. Basu was supposed to play the role of John Gage, played by Robert Redford in the Hollywood film. “I don’t know whether Bratya will be interested in my film any longer, if he is, he can come forward,’’ Ghosh said. When asked, Basu said: “I am not very hopeful. If Arpita sends me a letter, I will see.”
The two resignations are not the only ones Natya Swajan has seen in the recent past. While last week, noted theatre personality Debesh Chatterjee had resigned, Manish Mitra had quit in November last year as the body’s vice-president. All of them, without mentioning Basu, had alleged that they were leaving because the government was controlling theatre through a “particular person”.
Chatterjee, who is also a noted actor, has also resigned from West Bengal government’s Natya Academy and non-government Minerva Repertory Theatre.
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