West Bengal: Noted academician protests returns award to protest Bangla Academy honour for CM Mamata Banerjee
The Bangla Academy Award has been given to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. In protest against this development, writer and researcher Ratna Rashid Banerjee has decided to return the award given to her by the Bangla Academy.
Kolkata: The Bangla Academy Award has been given to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. In protest against this development, writer and researcher Ratna Rashid Banerjee has decided to return the award given to her by the Bangla Academy.
Ratna Rashid is returning the Bangla Academy award that she had got in 2019. In 2019, she had received the Annadashankar Roy Memorial Award. She is also a two-time recipient of the Bangla Academy Award.
“I was pleased to accepted the award back then. But yesterday, I came to know from the news media that the Bangla Academy has instituted a new award this year and that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been conferred the award for her relentless contribution towards Bengali literature. Nothing can be farther from the truth,” Ratna Rashid Banerjee told the media.
“The Bangla Academy, by giving the award to the Chief Minister, has not only set a dangerous precedent but also insulted all those who are actively involved in enriching Bengali literature. In this context, the award conferred on me in 2019 is now akin to a crown of thorns and I am returning it,” the Burdwan-based writer added.
Ratna has also written a letter to the president of Bangla Academy.
"By giving this award to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal Bangla Academy has not only set a disgusting example, it has insulted all the people engaged in the truly relentless practice of Bengali literature," she wrote.
Mamata Banerjee was awarded for her relentless 'literary pursuits'
The triennial award of Bangla Academy has been started from this year. And in the first year, Mamata has been awarded for her book of poetry 'Kabita Bitan'. On Monday, the state's information and culture department organized a 'Poet Pranam' program in memory of poet Rabindranath Tagore. State Education Minister Bratya Basu announced Mamata's name as the recipient of the award.
According to Bratya, Mamata has continued her relentless pursuit of literature along with other work. So the Bangla Academy has decided to reward him. Mamata herself was present on the occasion. However, he did not take the award on his own. On the contrary, it was Bratya who accepted the award on his behalf.