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Protest rally by culture clan

Artistes and members of the culture clan have called a rally in front of the Academy of Fine Arts on Wednesday to voice their distress over the murder of college student Sourav Chowdhury and protest some of the comments of actor-MP Tapas Paul.

The protest will be held under the banner of Sanskriti Samannoy, a forum for people from all spheres of art and culture.

“We don’t want the platform to have any political colour. We want people to join us not as endorsers of a political party but to protest what is wrong and harmful for our society. We are surprised at the lack of any reaction at the state level to what Tapas Paul has done. We are appalled by the use of language these days on public platforms by political figures. If we don’t come together to combat this, it will only get worse,” said theatre activist Chandan Sen.

Educationists Sunanda Sanyal and Ambikesh Mahapatra, artist Samir Aich, theatre artistes, some former vice-chancellors and residents of Bamangachhi and Kamduni are among the 300 people expected to attend Wednesday’s meeting.

The organisers have not been allowed to use microphones. “We have not got the permission to use a microphone despite this not being an exam season. We will make do with a hand mike.”

On the spurt of awards and to theatre workers and others from the culture brigade, Sen said: “This is a way to prevent the rise of dissenting voices through the arts. I had resigned from the executive committee of Natya Akademi during the Nandigram protests despite my Left leanings. Today artistes should come forward with the same courage.”