visva bharati

Visva-Bharati to install new Tagore plaque with Union ministry’s updated text

November 16, 2023
Mita Mukherjee
The plaques, without bearing the name of Tagore recently installed by Visva-Bharati former vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty to mark the UNESCO‘s conferment of World Heritage Site on Santiniketan, will be removed soon, sources in the university said.
The Visva-Bharati has received a text for the new plaques from the Union Education ministry this week following which the varsity has started the process of replacing the old plaques with the new ones which will bear only the name of Tagore, the sources said.
The revised text sent by the Union ministry bears the name of Tagore but does not mention the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the former VC, Chakrabarty.
The plaques earlier installed by Chakrabarty only bore the names of Modi, the chancellor of Visva-Bharati, a central university and the former VC.
The omission  of the name of Tagore triggered a controversy with people from several quarters including political parties raising protests and demands that the plaque should by replaced  and that the new plaque must bear the name of Tagore who established Visva-Bharati and also founded Santiniketan.
“Established in rural west Bengal in 1901 by the great Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Santiniketan was a cradle of learning and education firmly rooted in India’ classical traditions, aspiring to a concept of university humanity,” the text sent by the Union Education ministry  read.
The English version  of the text has 200 words. The ministry has also sent the Hindi version  of the text and asked the varsity to prepare a Bengali version as well.
The Union ministry’s move to replace the old plaque with the new ones bearing the name of only Tagore is being viewed as an attempt of the centre to suppress the controversy centered around the former VC’s decision on omitting the name of Tagore.
“It remains a testament to Tagore’s vision of a place where the world makes a home in a single nest, resonating with the timeless pursuit of knowledge and unity in diversity,” the text states.
According to an official, ” The text has reached us on Tuesday. The process of replacing the plaque has already started.” 
Since Chakrabarty was appointed as the VC in 2018, he had taken a number of “wrong” decisions which erupted controversies and drawn sharp criticisms from several quarters of society, the latest being omitting the name of Tagore in the plaque. Chief minister, Mamata Banerjee too had raised objection against omitting the name of Tagore on the plaque.
Another controversy was created after the university asked Nobel Laureate Amarty Sen was asked to vacate a portion of land where his residence is housed, citing the reason that had been occupying the land unauthorisedly. Some of the other decisions of Chakrabarty that sparked controversies were suspending the holding of Pous Mela and Basanta Utsav on the campus. Several students, teachers and employees who raised their voices against the wrongdoings of Chakrabarty had been suspended, sacked or transferred which had also drawn sharp criticisms from various people.
Posted in Campus, News
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