Kolkata: One of West Bengal's biggest intellectuals Mahasweta Devi has quit as the Chairperson of the Bangla Academy, a post that was given to her by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The author and Magsaysay Award winner Mahasweta Devi decided to quit after her proposal to give the prestigious Vidyasagar Award to a young author was allegedly turned down by the state government.
"I selected two writers and they have been totally neglected and some other persons have received the award. That's why I have resigned," Mahasweta Devi said.
At a recent meeting of the academy she had recommended the name of two authors for the Vidyasagar awards, but one of them was later rejected by the state government, she said. "It was a unanimous decision at the meeting. Everyone had agreed upon the names. But I don't know why one of the names got excluded from the final list later without my knowledge," she said.
Mahasweta Devi had openly supported the Trinamool Congress in the run up to the 2011 Assembly polls. But ties between the two women had soured recently after a civil rights group was stopped from holding a meeting.
The Sahitya Akademi Award writer had on an earlier occasion described the state government as 'fascist' and alleged it was trying to throttle the people's voice.
(With additional information from PTI)