Leela Samson resigns as Sangeet Natak Akademi Chief

SansadTV Bureau

India’s leading institution for performing arts, Sangeet Natak Akademi, has been rendered headless as its Chief Leela Samson, appointed by the UPA government, has resigned for unknown reasons before her term was supposed to end.

Samson tendered her resignation from the post on September 30, which was in turn accepted by the Culture Ministry, Union Minister of State for Culture Shripad Yesso Naik said.

“We received her resignation on September 30 and it has been accepted by the ministry,” he said.

However, Naik did not disclose the reason for Samson taking the step.

Samson, 62, who is also the Censor Board Chairperson, was not available for comment.

The UPA government had appointed Samson, an eminent Bharatnatyam dancer, as the Chairperson of the Akademi in August 2010 for a period of five years. Her term was supposed to end in 2015.

She was the 12th Chairperson of the Akademi, which is serving as the apex institution of performing arts in the country.

Her resignation comes at a time when the term of the general council members ended in July, leaving the autonomous body of the Ministry of Culture, with only a few in the Executive Board.

According to Shanta Serbjeet Singh, former vice-chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi, the President, on the recommendations of the government, nominates the chairman of the Akademi.

The members in the general council are nominated from different states based on their contributions in the field of performing arts for a period of five years, she added.

Sangeet Natak Akademi is the national academy of India for music, dance and drama.