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Visva Bharathi

PMO accepts complaint against Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor

April 12, 2023

Mita Mukherjee

The Prime Minister’s Office has started “processing” a complaint lodged by Santiniketan Trust against Visva-Bharati University vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty for making “ obnoxious and derogatory remarks” against old-timers, alumni, local residents and religious tradition of Bengal from Upasana Griha (prayer hall), a property belonging to the trust.

The PMO website now shows that the current status of the complaint is “under process”.

The Santiniketan Trust, a charitable body established by Rabindranath Tagore’s father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore in 1888 had recently urged Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to restrain Chakrabarty from making such remarks using a platform like the Upasana Griha. 

Anil Konar, the trust secretary wrote to the PMO last month after many locals and old timers expressed dissatisfaction over the way Chakrabarty had been repeatedly misusing the prayer hall. In the letter to the PMO, the trust had also informed the PMO that the prayer hall was its property. 

The vice-chancellor, in one of his speeches from the Upasana Griha had allegedly said that Durga Puja festival was started to appease the British.

He had also indirectly attacked economist Amartya Sen from Upasana Griha by saying that those involved in grabbing Visva-Bharati land are often called Tagore-lovers.    

In its complaint to the PMO, the trust wrote: “….. We being the trustees of the said Trust cannot allow him to use the platform of the Upasana Griha to insult and humiliate the Ashramiks, Alumnus and local citizens and to launch unnecessary attack on the Hindu religion tradition….We appeal before Your Authority to restrain Bidyut Chakrabarty from doing obnoxious activities and from drawing remarks in abusive language in the Upasana Griha……”.

According to some local residents now that the PMO has accepted the complaint, they were hopeful that action will be taken against the vice-chancellor.

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