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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Citizens Taken Aback by Life Convict’s Exhibition of Painting

MALDA, 15 FEB: Darkness of prison is the harsh reality for him and the urge to roam about in under open sunlit sky is confined to his bosom. But his fingers and brushes bring about the only content to Chinmoy Basu, a convict for life. An exhibition of the paintings of Basu that commenced today at the basement of a multistoried building not only took the visitors to astonishment but also made them purchase a good number of those pictures in appreciation of his art.

It has been learnt from the Soma Ganguly Neogy, secretary of Param Welfare Society who along with her members made an exceptional enterprise to hold such a unique exhibition said, “It was Swami Divyanandaji of Ramakrishna Mission, who has a wide renown of bringing the prisoners to the mainstream of the society, inspired us to commence literacy campaign in correctional home.”

“While holding such functional literacy and literacy camps in Malda district correctional home about seven months back, we were taken aback by the painting skill of Basu. We were also surprised by his spirit that could not be suppressed by the dark of the prison. It was only then I, in consultation with other members of the society, resolved to bring Basu’s skill to public as we felt he deserves recognition,” Mrs Ganguly Neogy said.

She informed that they would organize a larger exhibition in the middle of the year with Basu’s painting and expect a huge response from the mass. She acknowledged that along with Swami Divyanandaji, the block development officer of English Bazaar Gopal Das and the superintendent of the correctional home Debashish Chakraborty provided all sorts of assistance in holding such unique exhibition.

Mr Chakraborty said that Basu had been in the correctional home for five years and he was sentenced for life only two years back. “The life sentence brought a sea change in his life and he started painting himself and soon his art drew attention of other inmates as well as of us. It’s really a wonder that without any training he heightened himself as an artist and that too only within two years!” Mr Chakraborty said.

The superintendent of the correctional home Mr Chakraborty also informed that Param Welfare Society members were also surprised by the skill of Basu and wanted to hold an exhibition with his paintings made by water colour, pastel, pens and pencils.

“I am delighted that Basu, despite being in the prison, has found a way to ventilate his hidden treasures. 30 percent of the earning had from the exhibition would be deposited against his name while the remaining 70 percent would go to the correctional home inmates welfare fund which would be given to the families of poor inmates in necessity,” Mr Chakraborty added.

Swapan Mukherjee, who along with many others rushed to the exhibition of a different sort, said, “Presence of the sun in most of the paintings perhaps suggests the light of freedom which Basu desperately craves for.” “He was my friend once. A railway employee before he had killed his brother in law. I’m spellbound that Chinmoy has upgraded himself to such an extent as an artist,” Mr Mukherjee said. He also said that the several paintings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Debi and Swami Vivekananda by Basu suggests probably that he had been spiritually influenced too nowadays.

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