Saturday, December 30, 2017

A huge candle march protest rally was held on 28thDec’17 to save Kolkata’s pride Academy of Fine Arts from closing & to protect this heritage assets. From this rally unanimous voice was raised for immediate intervention of our Hon CM Mamata Banerjee to resolve the crisis.

Due to court case by Trustee board against EC & Employees, plus dictatorship of trustee board and some controversial/illegal decisions by them "Academy of Fine Arts" is in a verge of closing.

An Apolitical Candle March Protest Rally by all artists, actors/actresses & Academy lovers held on 28Dec17 to save Kolkata's pride "Academy Of Fine Arts" was organized by Save Academy Of Fine Arts (Academy Of Fine Arts Bnachao).

Around 500 artists, painter, actors’ actresses, theater personals & art/theater lovers participated in this protest rally, Mrs. Shyama Das. Mr. Saroop Chattopadhyay, Mr. Prasun Bhowmick & Prof Nabakishore Chandra, Tuli Guha, Malay Das, tapan pathak, Biplab Dolui, Bishwatosh Da addressed the rally & led the rally with active support of Mr. Santosh Das, Mr. Sudip Banerjee, Mr. Kamal Banerjee, Bijoyda, Prafullada, Chandan Sengupta, Asis Samanta, Sridhar Mal, Badalda, Prasenjit Chakraborty,  Jhantuda, Gautamda, Mange etc plus hundreds of  artists, painters, actors actresses, theatre & art lovers.

Several theatre groups including Bahurupi, Shudrak, Drishyapat, 21 Shatak, Charkak, Rongobyango Awaditiya, etc also taken part in this protest rally.

YouTube Link:  

We “Save Academy of Fine Arts” don't want to close Academy for even a single day.

Our demands are:

1)  Clarity in Academy's function.  Gallery & auditorium allocation shouldn't be done without proper application and permission from inside of Academy.

2)  To protect Academy's assets including museum.

Museum is closed since last 10 years, some section has already doubted that few valuable paintings, sculpture & assets by/of Rabindranath Tagor, Abanindranant, Jamini Roy, Nandalal Bose, & Lady Ranu Mukherjee etc are either lost or destroyed so we demand an independent enquiry.

3)  Academy should be run from Academy only & not from any trustee/joint secretary's house, who don't visit Academy month after month.

4) Immediate payment of salaries of three employees which was stopped by Trustees since long.

5) We're requesting State Government & our Hon CM, please acquire Academy to protect it from further damage & to save misuse of funds & assets.

No AGM was held since over three years so by society act now Trustee Board & EC are illegal.

Therefore Government can acquire academy immediately.

6) Immediate removal of Mr. Kallol Bose who haven’t been in Academy since over 11 months.  Recently he is trying to run Academy from outside by online. Surprisingly inside Academy there is no internet connection at present & the website they have created is not an official Academy’s website.

7) Present Chairman of trustee board is Mr. Prasun Mukherjee, Ex-CP, during then CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s era.

Nowadays he is not at all cooperating with staffs, Executive Committee etc for smooth running of Academy, instead he is supporting Mr. Kallol Bose only who is full of allegation.

8) 81st Annual Exhibitions prize money etc are still due.

9) Unnecessary expense by filing & fighting legal cases against staffs and executive committee with Academy's fund should be stopped.

10) The trustees are not authorized to tender any financial expenses as per their wish, in spite of this they have incurred expenses electrical goods costing to Rs. 16 lakhs for Exhibition Gallery from Philips India in Feb 2015.

11) Mr. Kallol Bose Joint Sec arranged “Art & Heritage Foundation” with all Exhibition Galleries for organising CIMA Award Show for 4o days (24th Jan to 04 March 2017) for non commercial rates incurring loss of Rs.15lacs.

12) The Board of Trustees headed by Sri Prasun Mukherjee being aided by Sri Kallol Bose Jt Sec of Executive Committee favors a section of the employees owing allegiance to CITTU & BJP as a result exploiting the other section of INTTUC. Moreover the services of two trainees & 2 contract labors were regularized on 18thJune 2016 & salaries revised only to boost the moral of those unions & demoralizing the INTTUC members.

Few More important facts:

To keep the accounts in the hands of the Trustees, they compelled the Executive Committee to appoint an Accounts Officer in May 2015 from their known sources. Surprisingly, the existing accountant was illegally show caused by Trustee along with Jt Secy Mr. Kallol Bose and subsequently suspended in Feb 2016. A domestic enquiry was also conducted. But, he was not proved guilty. However, the Trustees and the Joint Secretary denied the fact and still deprived him of his salary.

A resolution was taken in a Executive Committee meeting dated 09th Dec 2016 through valid quorum of 6 members headed by other Joint Secretary, Sri Sudip Banerjee, and accordingly, the service of Mr. Subhasish Ghosh, Administrative Officer was regularised who joined the Academy on 01st Oct 2012 for a probation period of 1 year and whose confirmation of service was pending since 01st Oct 2013; illegitimate suspension order on Mr. Gautam Sinha, Accountant was withdrawn and Sri Mange Balmiki was appointed as Trainee, Security Guard. The Board of Trustees denied the resolution of quorum and still not released their actual salaries.

The Jt. Secretary Sri Sudip Banerjee informed to the office of Joint Labour Commissioner about the resolutions pertaining to employees on 14th Dec 16. The INTTUC union also approached to the office of Joint Labor Commissioner. But unfortunately, their grievances remain unresolved in JLC office because to avoid an order from the office of JLC in favor of the employees, the Board of Trustees filed a Title Suit NO. 621 OF 2017 on 02nd June 2017 against the aforesaid three employees and four members of EC who formed the quorum before the Learned City Civil Court at Calcutta.

It was plead to Honorable court for an injunction restraining those three employees and four members of quorum from use of Academy premises. The Trustees meet the legal expenses from the corpus of Academy.  But, the victim employees are paying from their pocket to defend the case in court which aggravates their misery further.


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Thanks & Vande Mataram!! Saroop Chattopadhyay.

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