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A sad day for Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

entertainment Updated: May 30, 2013 13:13 IST
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A pall of gloom enveloped the world of arts here, particularly the film industry, after the untimely death of Rituparno Ghosh this morning. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today condoled the death of renowned film-maker Rituparno Ghosh, saying it was a very sad day for Bengal.

Ghosh, who made films like Chokher Bali, Unishe April and Raincoat, died in Kolkata Thursday morning of a massive heart attack. He was 49.

"We are stunned. In his sudden demise, Bengal has lost an eminent filmmaker. It is a very sad day for us," Banerjee, who visited Ghosh's residence this morning, said. To enable people to pay their last respect to the director, his body would be kept at Nandan film complex from 3.30 PM to 6 PM, she said.

Thereafter, the body would be taken to the Tollygunj Technician studio before cremation, the chief minister said. Education minister and theatre personality Bratya Basu said he was rendered "speechless" by the news and the loss was a personal one.

He recalled that the director had expressed his desire to see his latest play. Basu said he was a pioneer not only as a director and actor, but also in his contribution to society, noting that with his films like Heerer Angti and Unishe April he had created a new genre of films in Bengal.

As an actor, his path-breaking role of a transgender in Chitrangada portrayed the plight of a section of people which had remained neglected by society. Same sex relations, a taboo in Bengali society although accepted in the West, was for the first time revealed through his life and work and invested with a rare dignity for the first time in Bengali society, the minister said.

The death of renowned film director Rituparno Ghosh is a loss not only to the film industry, but also to creativity, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said on Thursday.

"It is tragic and his demise is not only a loss to the film industry but also to creativity," Tewari told reporters. Tiwari said Rituparno Ghosh had the ability to touch frontiers of creativity and the courage to think out of the box. "Right now, our hearts and minds should be with his family. We offer condolences to them," he said.

The doyen of Bengali films, Soumitra Chatterjee, said the news came as a great shock to him. "He was a great genius and the void left after his death cannot be easily filled," the actor said.

Raima Sen, grand daughter of legendary Suchitra Sen, said she was indebted to "Rituda" to give the turning point in her career.

"Rituda gave the turning point to my career in the film Chokher Bali. He was more than a director to me; he was almost a part of our family. He was a unmeasurable genius," she said.

Fellow national award winning director Kaushik Ganguly said he was left shattered by the news. Similar was the reaction of theatre personality Kaushik Sen who said, "He was supposed to come to watch my next production. It was a great loss."

State industry minister Partho Chattopadhyay said Ghosh was a great genius and the gap left after his death would not be easy to fill up.


(Inputs from IANS & PTI)