Visva Bharathi

Visva-Bharati Trust complains to PM about VC’s “obnoxious” remarks

March 9, 2023

Mita Mukherjee

The Santiniketan Trust, a charitable body established by Rabindranath Tagore’s father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore has urged Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to restrain Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty from making “obnoxious and derogatory remarks” against alumni and old-timers on the campus using the Upasana Griha (prayer hall) a property belonging to the trust.

The trust has written a letter to the Prime Minister, who is the chancellor of Visva-Bharati in this regard.

“…. We would like to point out that the said Upasana Griha is a property of Santiniketan Trust and the Trust allowed Visva-Bharati to hold different religious programs since the days of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. It should be noted here that Professor Bidyut Chakrabarty had refused to be a trustee of Santiniketan Trust. 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……” the letter read.

The Visva-Bharati had recently accused Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen of occupying 13 decimals of the varsity land at his ancestral home without authorization and the trust’s letter to the Prime Minister is significant against the backdrop of an ongoing a controversy centering the charges brought against Amartya Sen regarding the unauthorised occupation of 13 decimals of land.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, after examining the land records available with the Birbhum district administration, had handed over a set of land-related papers to the economist to prove the charges brought against Amartya Sen are baseless.

Recently, Chakrabarty had indirectly attacked the economist from Upasana Griha by saying that those involved in grabbing Visva-Bharati land are often called Tagore-lovers.

The Santiniketan Trust owns nearly 11 bighas of land in the ashram area. The Upasana Griha and Patha Bhavana are housed in the trust area.

Students and staff of the university hold a prayer at the Upasana Griha every Wednesday. The Upasana Griha is made of colourful Belgium glass and it is popular as a “glass temple”.

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