Shaoli Mitra quits as chief of Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi
Kolkata: Theatre personality Shaoli Mitra today resigned from the post of chairperson of Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi, a state-run regulatory body that promotes Bengali language, citing "lack of infrastructure and difficulties in performing duties".
Mitra said she was forced to send her papers to the information and cultural affairs department and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee as no steps were taken to improve the infrastructure despite government assurances in March.
The West Bengal Bangla Akademi is the official authority on Bengali language and is responsible for compiling dictionaries and promoting the language.
There was no communication from the department or the minister in past one month, Mitra said and discounted any possibility of rejoining the regulatory body in future.
"I am finally cutting off all the possibilities of my returning to the chair of Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi," she said in her letter to Chatterjee.
In the past too she had offered to resign on the same grounds.
The thespian also said that she had raised the issue in May last year during a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"I had told the chief minister about the infrastructural problems of the Akademi in May last year and had a discussion on the matter with the education minister a couple of times, the last being in March," she said.
"I had expressed my wish to be relieved of all responsibilities in December last year, but Chatterjee had assured me that the problems will be taken care of. I had then relented. But with no progress even after the assurances, I am left with no option but to resign," she said.
The state-run organisation lacks manpower and people are not hired even on contractual basis, she said.
Mitra, a Padma Shri awardee and daughter of maestros Sambhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra, had taken over as the chairperson of the regulatory body after Mahasweta Devi, the late literateur and social activist resigned from the post in 2012. She had been among those who stood by Mamata Banerjee during the Nandigram and Singur agitations when the Trinamool Congress was in the opposition.
Chatterjee could not be contacted for his response on the issue.
He had said in January that Banerjee had promised to address Mitra's grievances and had then asked her to withdraw her resignation.