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Celebrated Bengali poet Sankha Ghosh loses life to Covid-19, PM Modi, Mamata Banerjee mourn the loss

The legendary Bengali poet was cremated with full state honours in Kolkata

By Team Newsfile

Kolkata, April 21: Bengal was in mourning on Wednesday when Sankha Ghosh, one of the
most celebrated poets, passed away on April 21 in Kolkata while fighting Covid-19. The 89-year
old Bengali poet tested positive for Covid-19 on April 14. He was in home isolation on the advice
of the doctors. However, his health started deteriorating on April 20 and on Wednesday
morning, he succumbed to Covid-19 complications. He is survived by his wife Pratima and two
daughters.

A teacher par excellence


Renowned author Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay in an interview with Anandabazaar Patrika said
that when he had last spoken to Sankha Ghosh, he was not able to speak properly. However, his
memory and mental strength were enough to keep him going. “I have known him since his
young days. He has always been known for his calm demeanour,” said Mukhopadhyay.
Ghosh has taught at several colleges, and retired from Jadavpur University in 1992. The
celebrated poet was a recipient of the 1977 Sahitya Akademi Award for Babar-er Prarthana. In
1999, he was felicitated with the second Sahitya Akademi Award. In 2011, Sankha Ghosh was
conferred with the Padma Bhushan. In 2016, he was honoured with the Jnanpith Award. 
Bengal’s conscience bids adieu
Known as the conscience of Bengalis, Ghosh’s popular poetry volumes are Adim Lata:
Gulmomay, Dinguli Raatguli, Mookh Dheke Jaye Bigyaponey, and Murkha Baro Samajik
Nay. Though Ghosh did not belong to any political party, his works were of great political and
social significance. He resigned from the Bangla Academy in protest against the death of 14
villagers in Nandigram during police firing under Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s Left Front regime.
In 2019, he penned a poem against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

PM Modi, Amit Shah remember Sankha Ghosh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Sankha Ghosh and tweeted: “Shri
Shankha Ghosh will be remembered for his contributions to Bengali and Indian literature. His
works were widely read and admired. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and
friends. Om Shanti”.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on social media: “Anguished to learn about the sad demise of a renowned Bengali poet and Sahitya Akademi Awardee, Shri Shankha Ghosh Ji. He will always be remembered for his outstanding poems, deeply rooted in the social context.”

JP Nadda, National President of BJP, also paid his tribute to the renowned poet on Twitter. 

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief at Shankha Ghosh’s death. She said she had a very good relationship with the poet and his death was an irreparable loss in the world of literature. “Today we have lost a jewel of Bengali literature and poetry, Shankha Ghosh.” The legendary Bengali poet was cremated with full state honours on Wednesday. 

Team NewsFile