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INDIA: Demand for Restoration of the Ancestral Houses of Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen

PRESS RELEASE

Kolkata, 31 January 2020

Human Chain at Shahbag Dhaka 28 Dec 2019

Federation of Film Societies of India, the apex body of the huge film societies network of the country (founded by Satyajit Ray in 1959) in its Central Executive Committee Meeting held on 30 January 2020 in Kolkata, has decided to initiate an international campaign for restoration of the ancestral houses of the great masters Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen.

Satyajit Ray’s ancestral House at Mashua, Katiadi, Kishoregunje, Bangladesh

Satyajit Ray’s ancestral house is at Mashua, Katiyadi, Kishoreganj which is about 115 KM North-East from Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. This property is now in a dilapidated condition (photo attached). Film activists of Dhaka has appealed to the Govt. through the District Administration for immediate renovation and preservation of this house. No action has yet been taken in this regard.

Ritwik Ghatak’s ancestral house ate Rajshahi, Bangladesh

Ritwik Ghatak’s ancestral house at Rajshahi (photo attached) is about 245 KM North West from Dhaka. Ghatak spent his childhood and young age at Rajshahi and studied in Rajshahi College. Ghatak family had to leave East Pakistan from this house in 1948. The river Padma in Rajshahi was his most favorite. The property was leased out in 1987-88 by the Military Government of Md. Ershad to a private Homeopathic college who demolished most of the old structures to build up a very bad shaped college building. Presently they have demolished another room of Ghatak’s ancestors to make a bicycle garage. Entire film and cultural community of Rajshahi and Dhaka came on street to protest against that misdeed. Human chains were formed in Rajshahi, Dhaka and Toronto in the last week of December (photo attached) to register the protest where many important filmmakers, film scholars, college and university teachers, students, activists took part. Eminent film personalities of Bangladesh like Tanvir Mokammel, Morshedul Islam, Nasiruddin Yusuf Bacchu, Shameem Akhtar and many others protested on street and signed the petition to Government not only to save Ghatak’s ancestral house but also to save other two ancestral houses of Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen.

Mrinal Sen’s ancestral house at Jhiltuli, Faridpur, Bangladesh

Mrinal Sen’s ancestral house at Jhiltuli, Faridpur is about 130 KM West from Dhaka (photo attached). The house is now under the disposal of a private owner. Most of the property has been demolished to build up new construction. Still the original house is there which could be renovated and preserved. Film activists of Dhaka are demanding for the same but there is no reaction from Govt.

Human Chain in Toronto 28 Dec 2019

Federation of Film Societies India has decided to take up the issue to the international level so that the Bangladesh Government gives due importance to preserve all these three properties owned by the ancestors of the great Masters like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen for historical purpose. The issue will be brought to the notice of the Ministry of Culture Government of India, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and UNESCO for doing the needful at their concerned level.

Premendra Mazumder, Vice President of the Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI) and the Asia Pacific Secretary of the International Federation of Film Societies (IFFS) has been entrusted with the responsibilities to take up the issue at the international forum of IFFS for supporting the demand of FFSI.

 

Amitava Ghosh

General Secretary

Federation of Film Societies of India

Central Office

C-7 Bharat Bhavan 2nd Floor

3 Chittaranjan Avenue

Kolkata 700072

http://www.ffsi.online/

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