Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Suchitra Sen Museum in Pabna Still a Dream

Md Imroz Khandakar

Pabna’s district administration is yet to carry out a 2014 court order directing it to set up a museum dedicated to the memory of Bengali film legend Suchitra Sen at her ancestral home, freed from the clutches of Jamaat-e-Islami nearly two years ago.
The one-storied house at Hemsagar Lane in the town’s Gopalpur neighbourhood has apparently remained neglected since the district administration took over in 2014 after years of bitter legal tussle. Illegally set up shops in front of the house still stand.
After Suchitra’s father Karunamoy Dasgupta moved to India in 1947 with his family, the government took custody of the 0.21-acre house as vested property. The silver screen goddess, born as Rama Dasgupta in 1931, spent her childhood in this house.
Four decades later, the Pabna district administration leased the house to Imam Gazzali Trust, set up by Jamaat, which operated a private girls school and college there. They erected several tin huts on the open space inside the house, blocked the main gate and set up shops by the road.
Following strident demands by people from all walks of life in Pabna to throw out the Jamaat-backed institute and set up a museum there, the district administration in 2009 refused to renew the lease further. The trust, established by Jamaat leader Abdus Subhan in 1983, moved the High Court against the decision.
In July 2011, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed a writ petition arguing a museum should be set up to preserve the grand legacy of the iconic actress.
In August, the court ordered the trust to vacate the house in two months and directed the government to take over and protect the memory of the legendary actress of yesteryear who died on January 17, 2014.
The trust moved the Supreme Court challenging the High Court verdict but the top court on May 4, 2014 threw out the appeal and upheld the High Court verdict.
Finally, the district administration took possession of the house on July 16, 2014 on a court order to establish the “Suchitra Sen Smrity Sangrohashala”, a museum to archive her memories.
However, no visible progress has been made so far. When contacted, Additional Deputy Commissioner Munsi Md Muniruzzaman said they were working to take steps as directed by the High Court.
But, he said, they did not write to the concerned ministry seeking official proposal or directives.
Suchitra Sen Chalachitra Sangsad convenor Jakir Hossain said they had to wage tough demonstrations and prolonged legal battles to free the house.
“But bureaucratic complexities are obstructing implementation of the court’s order,” he said. “We demand setting up a museum in that house to preserve Suchitra Sen’s memories as the court ordered.” 
- See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2016/apr/08/suchitra-sen-museum-pabna-still-dream#sthash.VBiB6Otm.dpuf

Shared from Dhaka Tribune Link: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2016/apr/08/suchitra-sen-museum-pabna-still-dream

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