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Shaoli Mitra quits as Bangla Akademi head

Kolkata, April 22 (IANS) Theatre personality Shaoli Mitra on Sunday stepped down from the post of Chairperson of Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi citing infrastructural issues and complaining of difficulties in carrying out her responsibilities.

“I don’t want to be insulted at this age. Despite assurances from the government, nothing was done to improve the infrastructure,” said Mitra.

In May last year, Mitra had informed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about the problems.

Then in December, she had written to Banerjee expressing her wish to resign as the Akademi head, but decided to wait and watch after an assurance that the issues would be sorted out.

Mitra said she held two meetings with state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee.

In March she was assured that steps were being taken to mitigate her concerns.

“But, I have not received any communication from the government in the past one month, despite the assurances given to me in March.

“I was waiting for some concrete evidence that the government wanted me to return to the post. But, I have not got any such evidence about the government’s intention. So, I have now informed the government formally that I have taken the final decision not to return to the post,” said Mitra.

The daughter of late Bengali theatre doyens Sombhu and Tripiti Mitra has already communicated her decision to the Education Minister and the department’s officials.

Mitra has headed the state-run regulatory body to promote Bengali language since 2012, when legendary author Mahasweta Devi resigned from the post.

She was one of the leading members of the civil society to have supported Banerjee in her Nandigram and Singur agitations during the last few years of the CPI(M)-led Left Front rule in the state.



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