West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today condoled the death of renowned film-maker Rituparno Ghosh, saying it was a very sad day for Bengal.
"We are stunned. In his sudden demise, Bengal has lost an eminent filmmaker. It is a very sad day for us," Banerjee, who visited Ghosh's residence this morning, said.
To enable people to pay their last respect to the director, his body would be kept at Nandan film complex from 3.30 PM to 6 PM, she said.
Thereafter, the body would be taken to the Tollygunj Technician studio before cremation, the chief minister said.
President Pranab Mukherjee also condoled the passing away of Rituparno Ghosh, saying his untimely death was a huge loss to Indian film industry especially to Bengali cinema.
In a message to the brother of 49-year-old film director, he said that Ghosh was an "acclaimed and highly talented director".
"Rituparno Ghosh shall always be remembered for his innovative films which will continue to inspire film-makers. The untimely demise of this promising and creative genius is a huge loss to the Indian film industry, particularly Bengali cinema," Mukherjee said in his condolence message to Indranil Ghosh.
Education minister and theatre personality Bratya Basu said he was rendered "speechless" by the news and the loss was a personal one.
He recalled that the director had expressed his desire to see his latest play.
Basu said he was a pioneer not only as a director and actor, but also in his contribution to society, noting that with his films like 'Heerer Angti' and 'Unishe April' he had created a new genre of films in Bengal.
As an actor, his path-breaking role of a transgender in 'Chitrangada' portrayed the plight of a section of people which had remained neglected by society.
Same sex relations, a taboo in Bengali society although accepted in the West, was for the first time revealed through his life and work and invested with a rare dignity for the first time in Bengali society, the minister said.
Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari also condoled the untimely death of Ghosh.
"I am deeply shocked by the tragic and premature death of Ghosh. He was a creative genius who gave a new dimension to film making with every film that he was associated with," Tewari said in his condolence message.
"His films always left a deep imprint on minds of the audiences who were captivated by the honest portrayal of human emotions," he said.
In Ghosh's death, cinema has lost a visionary, Tewari said.
"As Ghosh was always innovative and bold in undertaking new themes for his films, his death has left a void which will be very difficult to fill," the minister said.