Educationist Sunanda Sanyal resigns from Mamata's panels

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 23, 2011 13:30 hrs

Kolkata, Nov 23 (IANS) Noted educationist Sunanda Sanyal, who had for years backed Mamata Banerjee during her fight against West Bengal's then ruling Left Front, Wednesday resigned as head of the School Syllabus Committee.

Though the octogenarian Sanyal cited ill-health as the reason for putting in his papers in the resignation letter sent to School Education Minister Bratya Basu, his close associates said the educationist was peeved over the state government taking several measures in education and keeping him in the dark about them.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had persuaded Sanyal to chair the Syllabus Committee and the Higher Education Committee she formed soon after coming to power in May.

Sanyal had earlier stepped down as head of the Higher Education Committee.

Sanyal, who had been in the forefront of the campaign against the Left regime since the 1980s over the removal of English teaching from primary level, was particularly upset over the cabinet's decision to opt for a no-detention policy up to Class 8.

Sanyal was unhappy that the cabinet opted for the no-detention policy Nov 3 even before the Syllabus Committee submitted its preliminary report. The committee gave its report Nov 14.

The former professor of English, one of the most prominent intellectuals of the state to have supported Banerjee, had campaigned for her Trinamool Congress in the April-May state assembly polls.

'I sent in the hard copy of my resignation letter this morning to the MIC (minister-in-charge),' Sanyal said in an SMS message to media houses.

Bratya Basu said he would speak to the educationist. 'The chief minister has asked me to speak to him. But I am told he is unwell. He has chikungunya. I tried calling him, but could not get through.'

The development comes two days after Magsaysay Award winning writer Mahasweta Devi called the Banerjee government 'fascist' for allegedly denying permission for a meeting and hunger strike programme to the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR).

However, the writer in a letter Tuesday to union minister and Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy wished the state prosperity under Banerjee's leadership.

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