Original Copy of Constitution

Character of the Association
The Cultural Association of Bengal is a non-profit, non-political, and non-religious organization.

The location of the Association is decided from time to time by the Executive Committee. At the time of its inception, the Association was located at 88-09 148th Street, Apt. 5K, Jamaica, New York, N. Y. 11435.

Vision of the Association
The vision of the Association is cross cultural interaction and appreciation with particular emphasis on the literature, art and the cultural heritage of Bengal.

Mission of the Association
The following are the mission of the Association :

  • To promote an appreciation of the Bengali culture and heritage through cultural, social and recreational programs.
  • To publish and circulate general and cultural news.
  • To open Bengali language classes or schools for children and non-Bengalis.
  • To establish contacts and affiliations with organizations with similar vision and aims in the U.S. and abroad.
  • To undertake other activities pertaining to the objectives of the Association, like helping and arranging to organize a yearly North American Bengali Conference.
  • To establish a central library and Bengali heritage museum in North America.
Organization of the Association
The Association consists of members who believe in the objectives and aims of the Association as laid down in the Constitution and as amended from time to time, joined the Association by signing a declaration agreeing to support those objectives and aims, and paid the required subscription. The executive functions of the Association are performed by the Executive Committee elected by, from and among the members biannually in manners specified by the Constitution.

Membership Subscription
An annual membership subscription as determined by the Executive Committee from time to time is payable in advance and starts from the day the member is admitted to the Association. The Executive Committee is empowered to fix annual subscription for members.

Types of Membership
The membership of the Association consists of:
  • Founder members who were active in organizing the Association, or became members before the Constitution was adopted and have remained active by paying the required subscription;
  • Life members who pay at least 10 years’ subscription at a time; Member who pay yearly subscriptions, and
  • Courtesy members, who are the spouses of Founder members, Life members, and Members. The Courtesy members, devoid of voting rights and ineligible for election to the Executive Committee, are entitled to privileges of the Association as determined by the Executive Committee.

Termination of Membership
Membership is terminated by death, resignation, or non-payment of membership subscription. In addition, the Executive Committee is empowered to terminate, by a resolution to that effect, the membership of a member whose activities they consider detrimental or subversive to the objectives and aims of the Association.

Voting rights of members
The Founder Members, Life Members, and Members are eligible to vote in the election of the Executive Committee, run for office themselves, and participate in the voting to amend the Constitution, provided they have been members for at least 1 year by the day of the notification of an election or amendment.

Formation and functions of the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee consists of the following Office-bearers:
  • One President
  • Three Vice-Precedents
  • One Treasurer
  • One General Secretary
  • One Assistant Secretary
  • Four Members
The Office-bearers of the Executive Committee, to be elected by the members and from among the members, function for two years from the day the Executive Committee takes office. Under unavoidable circumstances, the tenure of the Executive Committee may be extended with a written resolution by the Trustee Board up to but not more than for one year.

Any vacancy in the Executive Committee caused by death, resignation, non-payment of membership subscription or otherwise may be co-opted by the Executive Committee for the unexpired tenure of the office-bearers concerned.

The President upholds the objectives and provisions of the Constitution, convenes, presides over meetings of the Executive Committee and the General and Requisition Meetings of the Executive Members and carries out all other functions as laid down in the Constitution. He/She is entitled to delegate his/her functions to the Vice-Presidents.

The President may delegate any of his/her functions to one of the Vice-Presidents. In the absence of this Vice President, the functions would be carried out by the Executive Committee.

The President can resign by submitting his resignation to one of the Vice-Presidents. Hereupon, one of the Vice-Presidents as elected by the Executive Committee becomes the President of the Association for the unexpired tenure of the out-going President.

The Treasurer keeps the accounts of the Association and operates financial transactions in manners outlined by the Executive Committee.

The General Secretary and the Assistant Secretary execute resolutions of the Executive Committee, keep records of activities of the Association, and carry out the day-to-day functions of the Executive Committee in the manners outlined by the Executive Committee from time to time. The Executive Committee meets at least once in every six months on a notice of at least four days, with four office-bearers forming the quorum. An emergency meeting of the Executive Committee can be called by the President or by the General Secretary with one day&rsquo's notice and no quorum requirement.

The Executive Committee is entitled to co-opt ex-officio members to the Executive Committee, form advisory committees and sub-committees for specific functions or activities, invite non-office-bearers to its meeting or obtain opinions, reports, etc. from them, elect honorary members and patrons of the Association, and do all other functions relevant to the objectives and aims of the Association.

The Office-bearers of the Executive Committee can relinquish their offices by submitting their resignations to the President.

The President can appoint a Returning Officer or an Election Subcommittee to hold an election for office-bearers of the Executive Committee. The election of the Executive Committee is held through secret ballots by mail, E-mail or at a General meeting called for this purpose with a notice of at least one week.

Auditing of the accounts of the Association
The Executive Committee appoints internal or external auditor or auditors for auditing the Association’s finance.

General Meeting of the Association
The General Meeting of the Association is held at least once in a year with a notice of at least 7 days with a quorum of 5% of the currently enrolled members. If the quorum fails on the first occasion, the General Meeting can be held with a further 7 days’ notice without a quorum requirement.

Requisition meeting
In response to a written request by no less than 20% of the enrolled members for a requisition meeting to discuss or adopt some resolutions on matters of urgent importance, the President convenes such a meeting within 4 weeks of such a written request. The quorum requirement of such a meeting is 20% of the enrolled members.

Responsibility and functions
A Board of Trustees shall uphold the objectives, aims and provisions of the Constitution, oversee the functions of the Association and hold the legal responsibility of the Association. In furtherance of its corporate purposes, the Board of Trustees shall have the power to hold, enjoy and disburse funds and property donated, bequeathed, devised, conveyed or transferred to it, to raise / receive funds, properties, donation, contributions, etc., to assign and pay over from time to time to such cultural and educational funds and income as may be determined by itself to be incidental to or in advancement of its purposes and objectives and aims; but not for the monetary profit or financial gain of any of its members, trustees, and office-bearers. The Board shall have no day-to-day executive function nor shall have responsibility for executive duties. The Board shall assist the Executive Committee in developing plans, raising funds, reviewing financial reports, acquiring and managing permanent assets of the Association and making judicial review as and when called by the Executive Committee.

The Board of Trustee shall consist of at least six persons, to be elected from the Founder Members, Life Members and Members. The Board shall have the power, by a vote of two-thirds of all Trustees of the Board, to change the number of Trustees to be not more than twenty five or less than six persons. A vacancy caused by death, resignation or otherwise shall be filled by cooption of members (with voting rights for the unexpired tenure) by the Board of Trustees.

Election and Retirement
One-third of the Board of Trustee shall retire and be replaced through a biannual election. The biannual election of Trustees shall be held in December in alternate years. Prior to the election, a Trustee shall have been a member of the Association for at least two years. The Board of Trustees shall have power to adopt bylaws with provisions for fixing the method of election by a vote of two-thirds of all Trustees of the Board.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees shall be elected by the members of the Board by annual rotation. The Chairman shall convene and preside over the meeting of the Board of Trustees. The Board&rsquo's meeting shall have a quorum of one-third of its members and shall be held at least once in a year. The Board shall adopt rules to conduct its business.

Emergency power of the Board of Trustees
In the event the Board of Trustees finds, by majority, that the Executive Committee fails to function according to the provisions of the Constitution, the Board of Trustees shall take over the management of the Association, and shall function as the Executive Committee, pending the election of a new Executive Committee within a period of ninety days.

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