Kolkata: It was a proud moment for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as Calcutta University today honoured Mamata Banerjee with D.Litt. for her special contribution in social service.
The university also appreciated her good work in literature. The decision was taken at the university Syndicate — highest executive body — in its meeting on October 25.
A CU alumnus, the CM had consented to the proposal and returned to her alma mater at the university’s convocation programme at Nazrul Mancha today.
The award was presented to Banerjee by West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at the Nazrul Mancha auditorium in south Kolkata. Speaking during convocation Banerjee spoke about intolerance and distortion of history in the country. She said, “Intolerance is rising in the country. History should not be distorted. India has diversity of origin and we should respect that.”According to a PTI report, earlier this week, a petition in the Calcutta High Court was filed by a former professor of the university, Ranjugopal Mukherjee, challenging the university’s decision. In his plea, Mukherjee claimed that it was arbitrary and devoid of any proper reasoning. He also claimed that no incumbent chief minister has already been conferred the award. Mukherjee’s lawyer Shamim Ahmed said, “We have filed a PIL, challenging the decision of the university on several grounds of her ineligibility which we will place before the high court during the hearing.” As per PTI report, Ahmed added, “The members of the university senate are appointed by the state government, which is headed by Banerjee.
The same people have decided to honour the chief minister with the honorary D.Litt.”
The report added that during the hearing in court on Wednesday, the West Bengal government argued that the petition was “politically motivated,” and that it did not amount to public interest. Advocate General Kishore Dutta said that the plea was “out and out in political interest,” and that “except character assassination, nothing is there.”
Earlier on January 9, the Dhaka Tribune reported that on January 16 in a special convocation ceremony, Chittagong University (CU) will honour former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee with a Doctor of Letters (D Litt). The report added, “The University decided to honour him during its 52nd syndicate meeting.” The former President of India is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on January 15 and will stay at the University Campus from 12 pm to 2:30 pm, added the report.