Photo of Debashis Sarkar, teacher at the government-run Jhargram Raj College
An economist and professor in West Bengal has been asked to explain his recent criticism of the government on local TV channels.
Debashis Sarkar, who teaches at the government-run Jhargram Raj College in the state's Midnapore District, has been served notice by the state's education department.
Mr Sarkar is also the secretary of the West Bengal Government College Teachers' Association.
The notice to him is based on a complaint by a retired college teacher who wrote to the state's education minister alleging that as a government employee Mr Sarkar was violating the terms of his service. (Post Your Comments Here)
Mr Sarkar has said that he will submit his reply to the government soon. "I will submit my stand to the government in black and white and only after that can I share my argument or documents with you," he said.
Education minister of the state, Bratya Basu, has said that teachers in government colleges are required under service rules to take permission before talking on private television channels. He says, the notice has been served to ask whether he had taken prior permission before speaking. "We just asked them have you taken permission or not. That's enough. Nothing else," said Mr Bose.
A woman professor at a district college has also been given a showcause notice for her comments in a recent TV interview about how violence and attacks on government property seem to have become a norm during bandhs or strikes.
In April, a professor was arrested for circulating cartoons of the chief minister online. The incident was highlighted by intellectuals in Kolkata and the opposition Left to argue that Ms Banerjee has become increasingly intolerant of criticism and any debate that questions the actions of her government.
"Mamata Banerjee in her own party, she is only one post and all lampposts. She feels entire West Bengal should be lampposts. Nobody should have any independent opinion of their own," said Arunava Ghosh, a lawyer.