Who is controlling Bharat Bhawan? The question is once again in focus after veteran Hindi writer Prof Ramesh Dave resigned as editor of multiarts complex's literary magazine 'Poorvagrah'.
After Dave issued a press statement on Tuesday saying that he was resigning as chief editor of 'Poorvagrah' because he was not being able to bring out its editions on time for lack of support from other staff involved in publication of the magazine, Bharat Bhawan administration claimed that Dave had in fact been removed from the post some days ago.
"I have resigned as editor of Poorvagrah. I came to know that Bharat Bhawan administration has made up its mind to remove me from the post, so I thought it is better to take initiative and resign," said Prof Ramesh Dave while talking to HT on Wednesday. Chief administrative officer of Bharat Bhawan, Tarun Bhatnagar, however, said that Dave was removed some five days back.
"We have tradition of having guest editors for the magazine. Earlier Prabhakar Shrotriya took out some issues, later Krishna Dutta Paliwal and others also worked as guest editors. Then Ramesh Dave took the charge and successfully brought out three issues of Poorvagrah. I came to know that even the fourth issue of his tenure is ready. His age was acting as hindrance in continuing with him as the chief editor and therefore, it was decided to Dave’s age was acting as a hindrance in continuing with him as the chief editor and therefore, it was decided to relive him of his responsibilities as an editor of Poorvagrah. relive him of his responsibility," said Bhatnagar.
But more pertinent than the question whether Dave was removed or he resigned is the question whether a person appointed as chief editor of the magazine by the Bharat Bhawan Trust could be unilaterally removed by the administration? And if yes, is the Trust with luminaries like Pt Jasraj, Hema Malini, Prabhakar Shrotriya on board is dead and it's the state government appointed trustee secretary and the chief administrative officer are running the show in Bharat Bhawan?
Dave said that he was appointed by the trust in June 2011 and he was not aware whether trustees have been taken into confidence before state government decided to remove him.
Senior writer Jyotsana Milan said the decision to appoint Dave as chief editor of Poorvagrah was that of the Bharat Bhawan Trust. “Bharat Bhawan Trust had appointed Dave, how can representatives of government remove him? If they have done so, where is the trust? Government should dissolve the trust if it has to control the affairs of Bharat Bhawan in this manner,” said Jyotsna.
“Dave was critical about Bharat Bhawan’s style of functioning. May be that’s why he resigned or as Bharat Bhawan says he was removed,” said critic Vijay Bahadur Singh.
Renowned litterateur and critic Rajesh Joshi, reacting to the latest move by Bharat Bhawan said if Bharat Bhawan has removed him then it is very shameful and insulting. It is difficult, in this government, to work on culture, said Joshi.