Aspiring teachers in West Bengal are living a dejected life as the teacher recruitment scam exposed massive irregularities and corruption. While teaching job aspirants have been raising their voices on the issue, a Saraswati Puja pandal in the state has been themed around the recruitment scheme and has effigies of the main accused Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee besides Goddess Saraswati.
The puja pandal in Kolkata highlights Bengal Teacher Recruitment Scam. The pandal has been organised by Biswajit Sarkar. The Puja pandal is divided into three sections. The first section shows shops where an unqualified candidate can become a teacher if they pay huge money. Inside the shop, former Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee and his close aid Arpita Mukherjee can be seen standing surrounded by money and gold which were seized by the central agencies. The section also has a weighing scale with Goddess Saraswati on one side and gold/cash on the other side outweighing the goddess.
On the second portion of the pandal, there are two cages–one cage has books, and the other cage has the Goddess Saraswati idol. In the final section, the makers have shown aspirants who are protesting for not getting jobs despite qualifying in the Teacher Eligibility Test and Staff Selection Commission.
Meanwhile, former West Bengal Education minister Partha Chatterjee’s wish to offer prayers to the goddess of learning on the occasion of Saraswati Puja has been rejected.
Chatterjee, also the former Trinamool Congress secretary general, is currently serving his judicial custody at Presidency Central Correctional Home for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam. He had made an appeal to the prison authorities to allow him to offer his prayers on Saraswati Puja organised within the prison compound. However, state correctional services department sources said that his plea has been rejected for security reasons.
Similar pleas from the former West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) Kalyanmoy Gangopadhyay and former chairman of West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) Subiresh Bhattacharya, who is also housed at the same correction home under the same charges, have also been turned down.
Trinamool Congress MLA and former president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) Manik Bhattacharya has also been denied offering prayers on the auspicious occasion. (With agency inputs)