Kolkata: No gun salute, no wreath laying, no state honour!
Going by his wish, legendary film director Mrinal Sen has been cremated in Kolkata today like a common man whose stories he depicted on the silver screen for six decades.
Sen, 95, had breathed his last on 30 December due to old-age related ailments. His mortal remains were kept in Peace Haven in central Kolkata for his son Kunal Sen to arrive from the United States.
Kunal and his wife flew down at Kolkata yesterday and, today early afternoon, the cortege of the legendary filmmaker rolled out from Peace Haven for the last journey.
The cortege first went to his residence near Deshapriya Park in south Kolkata and, then to Keoratala Crematorium at Kalighat.
As the cortege moved through the city streets, people lined up on either side paying their last respect in silence.
Noted poet Sankha Ghosh, filmmakers Tarun Majumdar, Aparna Sen, Sandip Roy, Anjan Dutta, Nandita Das, Srijit Mukherjee, actor Prasenjit Chatterjee, Sreela Majumdar and, several others from the Bengali film industry walked in the funeral procession.
Those from the political world who were present include Left Front chairman Biman Bose, parliamentary party leader Sujan Chakraborty, former minister Anjan Bera and others.
In respecting Sen’s principles and wish, no one laid a wreath or bouquet on his mortal remains, nor did anyone offered a pranam.
The question of a state honour by way of offering a gun salute during cremation, which has become commonplace in Trinamool rule, was a far cry.
“When he was alive, he never allowed us to offer him a pranam. He never wanted that we treat him like a cult figure. Hence, respecting his life-long principles, we neither laid a bouquet on his mortal remains nor did we offer him a pranam,” said filmmaker Nandita Das, who flew down to Kolkata only to attend the funeral.
According to Sen’s bereaved family, a memorial service will be held at Gorky Sadan on 5 January and common people are welcome to attend.