Bhaskar Bhattacharyya

Former mayor's son dies in swim tragedy


Pictured during his father Ramen's time as Camden mayor, Bhaskar Bhattacharya is pictured left, holding his son Bhuba, now 15. Bhaskar’s wife Rohini is on the far right.











17 February 2006

by Katie Davies

THE son of a former Mayor of Camden was killed in a swimming accident in India last Friday.

Bhaskar Bhattacharya, son of Ramen Bhattacharya who was a councillor from 1990 until 1994 and mayor in 1993, was drowned in Chennai in the south of the country.

The 56-year-old documentary filmmaker went into the sea at Neelankarai in Tamil Nadu around 6am but was caught out by a strong current. His body was later found by local fishermen.

He lived in Delhi with his wife Rohini and their 15-year old son, Bhuba but spent many years in Hampstead.

His father Ramen, 85, said: "We had a very big party in Chalk Farm community centre for his birthday last year.

"When he left he said he had an assignment to film in South India but he didn't tell me what he was doing because it was about a Shiva temple and I am a complete atheist."

The film was the latest of his documentaries which have been broadcasted by the BBC, National Geographic Society and Indian TV companies.

He wrote, produced and part presented a month long live shoot for Channel 4 about the massive Hindu festival the Kumbh Mela.

And Mr Bhattacharya had also worked on music videos with artists like David Bowie and set up his own production company Maya Vision.

His father continued: "There have been so many people coming around to see us we haven't had time to grieve.

"He was the most compassionate and loving son and that's why so many people loved him so much. He was the eldest son of my family and his son is the eldest son of the next generation.

"I was very proud to see the first film he was involved in which was The Jewel in the Crown. He was a talented film maker and kept getting better.

"I spoke to him a lot on the phone, he either rang me or I rang him, he stayed in touch and we were very close that way.

"When I spoke to Bhuba on the phone we just sobbed and sobbed for the first two times but on the day after I called him and told him you look after your mum and she will look after you and that I would be proud of him.

"Bhaskar used to tell me he was so happy that I came to this country because it gave him the opportunity to do all that he wanted to do. When he went to India he had the prestige of coming from London."

Before moving back to India Bhaskar Bhattacharya lived in Hampstead with his parents and later as a squatter on Haverstock Hill.

A private memorial service is being held for family and close friends on Sunday.