State Education Minister's controversial remark sparks outcry in West Bengal

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Kolkata, Sep 16, 2023, IANS

In West Bengal, a new controversy has ignited concerning the ongoing dispute between Raj Bhavan and the State Secretariat. Education Minister Bratya Basu has stirred the pot by referring to the interim Vice-Chancellors appointed by Governor C.V. Ananda Bose as "slaves."

This comment drew swift condemnation from Keshab Bhattacharya, the General Secretary of the West Bengal College Teachers’ Association, who labeled it as a display of poor taste and a lack of cultural sensitivity.

He expressed disappointment, particularly because Minister Basu himself had a background as a college teacher.

Partha Pratim Roy, General Secretary of the Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association, also criticized the remark, stating that it not only insulted the Vice-Chancellors but also the entire academic community within the state.

Prominent economics teacher P.K. Mukhopadhyay even suggested that Basu could face legal action based on his statement.

Mukhopadhyay emphasized that such comments not only undermine the social standing of the targeted interim Vice-Chancellors but also cast a shadow over the entire academic sphere in the state.

Despite facing widespread criticism, Minister Basu remained resolute in his stance, asserting that he made the statement as a politician and not in his capacity as the state's education minister.

He argued that his comment pales in comparison to the language and epithets directed at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the party's national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee.

He concluded by stating that it is within anyone's right to spark controversies or debates on the matter. (Edited)