New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah offered their condolence over the death of veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, saying Indian cinema lost one of its legends.
In a series of tweets, the President mentioned how Chatterjee’s (anglicised version of Chattopadyay) performances won him several national and international awards including Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Bhushan and Legion d’Honneur.
“Condolences to his family, the film fraternity and millions of fans across the world.
“With the passing of Soumitra Chatterjee, Indian cinema has lost one of its legends. He will be specially remembered for the ‘Apu’ trilogy and other memorable performances in Satyajit Ray’s masterpieces. He made immense contribution to the craft of acting,” the President tweeted.
Prime Minister tweeted in Hindi, English and Bangla, saying “Soumitra Chatterjee’s death is a colossal loss to the world of cinema, cultural life of West Bengal and India”.
“Through his works, he came to embody Bengali sensibilities, emotions and ethos. Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” said the Prime Minister.
Shah also took Twitter to convey his feelings after the medical board at the Kolkata hospital, where the 85-year-old was for over a month, announced the news.
“Deeply pained to learn about the demise of legendary Soumitra Chatterjee ji. An iconic actor, who took Bengali cinema to new heights. In Soumitra Da, Indian silver screen has lost a gem. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and countless followers. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti,” Shah tweeted.
Chatterjee’s health condition was “extremely critical” and he was “not responding at all” to treatment, critical care expert and head of the medical board Arindam Kar had said earlier in the day.
He passed away at 12.15 p.m. His health condition was “extremely deteriorated” since Friday.
The Dadasaheb Phalke awardee was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Belle Vue Hospital for almost 40 days and his consciousness level went down significantly since Friday.
The condition of the veteran actor had remained a matter of concern owing to co-morbidities and advanced age. His key problem was Covid-19 encephalopathy, doctors said.
Chatterjee tested positive for coronavirus on October 5 and got admitted to the hospital the very next morning.
He was shooting for a documentary titled “Abhijan” directed by actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay. Last time he attended the shooting floor at Bharatlaxmi Studio was on October 1. The next shooting schedule was fixed on October 7.